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” The state is becoming more and more narrow

Drummer Lisa Cameron talks about her transition into self

If you live in Austin and go to clubs to see bands, you’ve probably seen Lisa Cameron playing onstage. But unless you have seen the Devil Bat or ST 37 lately, you probably saw her before her transition, when she was Dave Cameron, a pleasant, long haired, counterculture dude.

Dave Cameron began playing drums professionally with the band Brave canada goose outlet store uk Combo in Denton. He played with them from 1977 until he moved to Austin in 1981. He went on to play with Roky Erickson, the Lotions, Glass Eye (with me), Squat Thrust, Three Day Stubble, Daniel Johnston, Moist Fist, JSAS (Jherri Siggenfeld’s Atrophied Sac), ST 37, and numerous others throughout the Eighties and Nineties. Happily married for 28 years, father to a son, and sought after as a canada goose outlet jackets skilled musician, unassuming Dave Cameron was the poster boy for the sweeter side of underground canada goose outlet toronto factory Austin. News that he was uk canada goose undertaking a male to female transition was universally greeted, at least initially, with disbelief.

Lisa Cameron: It’s not like I got up one day and decided to say “Fuck You!” to society and just become a woman.. It’s not like that at all. This is all real. But people said, “Oh, you’re just doing another one of your put ons,” or, “Is this a joke?” Or they thought it was performance art [laughs].

Austin Chronicle: Well, you know, you made quite a name for yourself as a really, really hilarious bullshit artist long before any of this.

AC: And that must haunt you, because the first couple of times I heard you were transitioning, canada goose clearance sale I just thought it was typical Dave bullshit. Then I realized it was true. Maybe this is kind of stupid, but I think it’s fascinating, because I knew you, and I knew your wife, and I thought, “This is the last person in the world I would have thought this would be cheap Canada Goose happening to.”

LC: When you are like me, you have to become the world’s best actor; you have to be really good at hiding this stuff. So naturally it’s unexpected; it’s a shock to everyone. I would never wish this on anyone; it’s such a struggle. Imagine what it is like to get up in the morning and be paralyzed by not knowing which sex you are. People cannot conceive of what goes into this.

You know, all the best comedians, like Andy Kaufman and Bill Hicks, they all had very turbulent lives a lot of problems. Creative people in general, they find it hard cheap canada goose to live in the world. Transitioning is my way of being able to live in the world.

LC: Oh yeah. But I identified as a girl, and I gravitated more toward girl things. I don’t know if it was my environment or what, canada goose store but I genuinely thought I was a girl. canada goose outlet online Then when I was 8 years old, my parents decided I canada goose outlet needed surgery to correct a minor birth defect. With my limited understanding, you know, because I was a child, I thought I was undergoing treatment to turn me into a boy. I had no idea how this would end up affecting me; my parents assured me it would be okay. Looking back, I really wasn’t official canada goose outlet given a choice.

After the surgery, the canada goose outlet Canada Goose Parka uk sale world continued to socialize me as a male, but it didn’t really “take.” When I was in high school, I was afraid people would notice I wasn’t growing hair on my legs.. I could never grow a full beard. I felt like an imposter.

At one point, my mom thought I was acting a little too feminine. So she took me to a psychologist. It was. not helpful.

LC: High school senior year. I was taking a lot of acid and looking really androgynous around that time. But I was socialized as a male, and I believed it, until 15 years ago or so. At that time I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

AC: Really? Was that right around the time that you and I were playing in Glass Eye together, or was it after? Did you see a psychiatrist?

LC: Right around that time, when the band ended, I was having real problems with my anger. To this day I don’t know why it all happened, but I do know it happened, and I ended up being diagnosed with gender dysphoria. I was 42, and I thought, maybe I canada goose outlet uk should go into therapy because I was having all this anger, and at that time I also started cross dressing. Well, I can’t say I started, because I had been cross dressing all my life, even when I was a little kid I did and all through high school, every once in a while. It’s almost like it was a schizophrenic thing.

AC: So you were trying to be a guy, it wasn’t working out, and you were ending up being really angry and self medicating.. It is really enlightening to hear you talk about this, because when we were in Glass Eye together, I remember that you really were confused and angry. It was really difficult for you to concentrate and Canada Goose sale get things accomplished. It was frustrating for everyone.

LC: It wasn’t working out. And then I discovered estrogen. Estrogen really cooled me out, and made it canada goose outlet nyc so I could function. I was very confused and really angry. For me, estrogen is so important that I plan on taking it for the rest of my life, because it helps me function. Without it, I don’t. When I stop taking it, I start getting angry and really confused, and I will spend hours and hours trying to figure out simple things like what I am going to do that day.

You know, transsexualism or gender dysphoria or whatever you want to call it is the only diagnosable condition that is in the DSM IV [the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] that has a social stigma on treatment. It’s really true! Transsexuals, when it comes to treating their condition, are constantly met with a canada goose outlet brick wall by institutions. So they have to do it all on their own. No insurance covers hormones or gender reassignment surgery. I have friends who have flown to Thailand to have it done. It costs like $15,000 there. Even at that discount, it’s just out of reach for most people.

Fortunately for me, I don’t canada goose outlet store feel like I need to change my body surgically to satisfy somebody else’s idea, whether it is the LGBT community or the government.

AC: That makes sense to me. I think a lot of people who experience gender dysphoria are increasingly deciding against surgery, and it’s starting to be seen as a valid choice.

LC: That’s where I’m at, but a lot of people in the transgender community don’t see that as a valid choice. The older you are, the more likely transsexual means “male” or “female” to you. I am more like the younger people, who are more comfortable being situated on a gender queer spectrum. Finally I just said, “Okay, just call me canada goose clearance Lisa.” I feel more like Lisa than I do Dave, even though Dave was a part of me.

AC: Do you have strong feelings about being called “she” or “he”?

LC: Well, more and more, since my name is Lisa [ahem], I am more comfortable being called “she,” and I am trying to claim cheap canada goose uk that. That’s difficult. Like for instance, my driver’s license says “male.” The state is becoming more and more narrow, especially with this upcoming national ID card. Which may completely erase everything that transsexuals have done to change their birth certificates, their driver’s license, their Social Security. all that may be out the window with this national ID card.

It’s complete BS. All they want to do is put us in little boxes and turn us into little consumer idiot robots. Unfortunately for them, I deprogrammed a long time ago [laughs].

AC: One thing you told me is that you haven’t experienced a whole lot of discrimination here in Austin, because you do live a bohemian life, and you live in the creative community.

AC: Are you afraid to leave town or take car trips into rural areas?

LC: I was for a while, but actually, no. I have done that a lot, mostly touring with bands. The big battleground for a transsexual is the bathroom. It’s all about where you go to the bathroom. That was a real eye opener. Some places I can go into the women’s bathroom and have no problem. Other places, no way am I going in there! I just go on my instincts canada goose outlet shop as to what will be safe. So far I have never been in a violent situation; I think that has to do with the way that I view it. I just try to be as casual about it as I can.

AC: Don’t you think it is kind of ironic that this whole “battleground of the transsexual” being the bathroom would have been totally eradicated if Congress had just passed the

AC: Do you find that you have to be hypervigilant, as women often have to be about rapists, you know, constantly checking to see whether you are in danger of being jumped or beaten up?

LC: My transgenderism has helped with that, actually. Whereas before, I used to look around and be constantly checking the people around me, thinking, “Is anyone looking at me? Can they tell I have earrings on?” It was ridiculous. That’s why I had to transition, because I was so fucking freaked out every time I went somewhere, ’cause I would have done something subtle, like pluck my eyebrows or have on some fingernail polish, the most ridiculous little things. Finally I said, “I just can’t deal with this anymore; I just gotta do it.”.

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