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Old Luke, New Lucretia

I have an important announcement.

During my 10 years online, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Blogger on adult cinema. Rabbinic beat reporter. Political essayist. Man about town. Breaker of women’s hearts.

Soon I shall I leave for a few weeks’ vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Lucretia.

I am a transsexual blogger. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That’s OK. I understand that I am not the only one in transition as I move from Luke to Lucretia. Everyone who knows me and my work will be transitioning as well. That will take time. And that’s all right. To borrow a piece of well-worn parlance, we will take it one day at a time.

Transsexualism is a complicated and widely misunderstood medical condition. It is a natural occurrence ¬ó unusual, no question, but natural.

Recent studies have shown that such physiological factors as genetics and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can significantly affect how our brains are “wired” at birth.

As extensive therapy and testing have confirmed, my brain was wired female.

My transgender friend Chaim provided the best and simplest explanation I have heard: We are born with this, we fight it as long as we can, and in the end it wins.

I gave it as good a fight as I possibly could. I went more than 40 hard rounds with it. Eventually, though, you realize you are only fighting yourself and your happiness and your mental health ¬ó– a no-win situation any way you look at it.

When you reach the point when one gender causes heartache and unbearable discomfort, and the other brings more joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined possible, it shouldn’t take two tons of bricks to fall in order to know what to do.

It didn’t with me.

With me, all it took was 1.99 tons.

For more years than I care to count, I was scared to death over the prospect of writing a story such as this one. It was the most frightening of all the towering mountains of fear I somehow had to confront and struggle to scale.

How do you go about sharing your most important truth, one you spent a lifetime trying to keep deeply buried, to a world that has grown familiar and comfortable with your façade?

To a world whose knowledge of transsexuals usually begins and ends with Jerry Springer’s exploitation circus?

Painfully and reluctantly, I began the coming-out process a few months ago. To my everlasting amazement, friends and colleagues almost universally have been supportive and encouraging, often breaking the tension with good-natured doses of humor.

When I told my friend Jimmy D, he leaned back in his chair, looked through his office window to scan the parking lot outside and mused, “Well, no one can ever say I hate fags.”

When I told Pinchus, the saucy soccer-loving lad from Wales who cuts my hair, why I wanted to start growing my hair out, he had to take a seat, blink hard a few times and ask, “Does this mean you don’t like football anymore, Luke?”

No, I had to assure him, I still love soccer. I will continue to watch it. But now, I Hope hope to begin playing it for the other team.

I know that this is a terrible shock to my many friends – especially female – in LA, but please know that this has been harder on my than it ever was on you, this double life I have been leading. I treasured you all as Luke, and hope to continue to do so as Lucretia.

P. writes on XPT: “…[Holly] may have been keeping this little secret for a while and it would explain a lot of things that has transpired publicly over the past few months.”

Raoul Duke posts: “For Christ’s Sake, Luke, we’ve talked about this: You’ve got to stay on the Lithium. Depakote will just make you a zombie, and this is what happens when you go without meds altogether. Trust me, man. It’s the only way.”

One benefit of my sex change is that it inspired my first IM with Holly in about three months:

HollyRandall: if you can’t broaden your personal horizons, can’t you at least broaden your musical horizons? HollyRandall: i just bought some Brazilian music, it’s really nice
Luke: i’m getting into meatloaf and bananrama. Should i burn you some?
HollyRandall: hell no
HollyRandall: i have Sirius in my car, so i listen to that a lot
HollyRandall: the opera channel is nice
HollyRandall: i’m dying to see Carmen
Luke: How do you feel about me becoming a woman?
HollyRandall: you are a woman in every sense except physically
HollyRandall: besides, you’re too concerned with false masculinity for me to buy that
HollyRandall: BTW, my Justin Magnum shoot for Playgirl will be in the August issue, and I got the cover
HollyRandall: aren’t you proud of me?
HollyRandall: i should shoot you next
HollyRandall: just a few less banana chocolate shakes and you’re good to go
HollyRandall: and double up on the Levitra

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