After Laverne Cox, a transgender woman, made the cut on VH1's "I Want to Work for Diddy," and a transgender contestant was selected for "America's Next Top Model," I declared August a victorious month for the transgender community. But wait, as the month comes to an end, there comes one more triumph: This week, the New York Observer named 30-year-old makeup artist Jamie Clayton "the second most beautiful girl in New York" -- and, by the way, she was born a he.
In response to the Observer piece, Gawker deemed Clayton "way better at being a girl than, um, many of us who were born as women!" Indeed, she "exercises four times a week, drinks an insane amount of water, washes her hair only twice a week, avoids the sun like the plague, always wears heels and plucks her full, caterpillarlike eyebrows twice weekly, but warns 'don't overpluck!'" She's pursued by all sorts of men -- not just "tranny-chasers" -- and has a first-date policy of simply telling men, "I was not born a woman."
And if you think it's painful, expensive and time-consuming being a girly biological girl, consider that Clayton underwent hormone treatment, breast augmentation and sexual reassignment surgery (apparently a very good one, as she can have vaginal orgasms). It has cost her a total of $50,000 to transition to her level of satisfaction.
It's refreshing to read a profile of a transsexual who "passes" that doesn't just exclaim, "Damn she's hot, I can't believe she used to be a he!" No, the piece actually treats Clayton as a complete human being, one who has had her heart broken several times and still longs for lasting love. Still, it seems unlikely that Clayton would have received such thoughtful coverage -- or any coverage at all -- if it weren't for the fact that she appears to be a very beautiful biological woman. Clayton refers to herself as a "top-shelf" transsexual -- one who convincingly passes as a biological female. It's safe to say that many transsexuals are not as lucky when it comes to having the resources and support to make such a complete transformation -- one that allows them to live the life they imagine for themselves and spares them the typical "tranny" mockery.