Janet is a woman in her mid twenties sharing the story of her life. Janet started out her life as a little boy named Jarrod. Jarrod knew at a young age that he was different and his mother knew as well. His mother allowed him to dress as a little girl because that is what made him happy. Soon she had to leave her husband and take Janet with her because he didn’t understand and couldn’t support a child like this. Janet found great comfort in the support that she got from her mother but also realized that she had a terrible taste in men. Man after man would move in and psychologically and physically abuse both Janet and her mother while it always centering on this “thing” that Janet was becoming. Finally Janet’s mother decided that she had given all she could give and told Janet that she had to get out on her own and figure her life out. Janet tries to find a safety net at the local shelters but there is none, no one loves her anymore, no one will help her and absolutely no one understands. Janet begins to do things to survive that she never thought she would ever have to do until she receives an envelope with a memorial program in it, her mother had passed and her family buried her without telling her first. Her story is one of abuse but more on the strength that it takes to be, ourselves, whoever that is. (*This piece is to be done by a female performer post gender reassignment.)

DI/ Female- I've Changed

  • You always hear about people, “Hitting the nail on the head.” (Laughs) Hell I’ve had so many nails and so many damn hammers in my life; Lord knows I do not need any more. (Smiles) The first time my mother hit the nail on the head is when she looked at me playing in her make up with all the joy in the world that a little boy could have and she told herself, “He’s so happy. (Beat) Playing in my make-up and dressing up in my clothes.” Nail hit! (Laughs, beat) Everything starts somewhere. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t look in the mirror as a little boy and wonder when I was going to change. When my hair would start getting long. When daddy would let me paint my toenails, and stop making me wear boy clothes, or hug me like all of my friends’ daddy’s hugged them. (Beat, she hugs herself) A limitless, “Take my breath away because he loves me so much,” kind of hug. I never got that from him, or any of the men that my momma moved in and out of our lives. But (Beat) my momma always loved me, unconditionally. And when I told her that I wanted to become the woman I was made to be she looked at me and said, “Baby, you spread your wings and fly. Do you hear me? You fly.” I went from Jarred Samuels to Janet Kristen and in an instant I was transformed. The scary thing about transformation isn’t the fear of who you will become; it is the steps that must be taken to get there. Putting one foot in front of the other is easier said than done, easier said, than done.




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