Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Bright Daffodil, a British woman born intersex, participant of many documentaries and interviews. Hello Bright Daffodil!
Bright Daffodil: NAMASTE Monika an absolute pleasure to meet you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Bright Daffodil: I believe myself to be a Pleidian, a star seed here in London, in human terms I’m an intersex person, a transgendered woman, but I’m at a stage in my life where gender to me is nothing more than the others perception. I don’t see myself as any gender anymore, just as a soul having a human experience.
I think I have transcended gender to be really honest. For my soul it’s easier to live a female experience however I don’t think I’m female or male in knowing my true self I am merely an organic being.
Monika: We both like the same quote “Better to be hated for who you are... than loved for who you are not.”
Bright Daffodil: Well, this quote really sums up who I am, I guess because my early life was a struggle when I was young growing up in the male gender and feeling so at odds with it. I spent many years living as gay man to hide the fact I was a trans, as I had not a clear understanding of my intersexuality.
I was prescribed the belief that a hormone problem, was just something to take medication for but not to address on a psycho-social level.
It was painful process living as male and going though a transition, but one I’m grateful for. Like all painful processes it lead me to a greater understanding of myself, because losing gender identity, by changing and transcending gender lead me to a greater place of understanding of what it means to be human, a truly beautiful gift. Seeing the world from the experience of both genders is not something most humans have an experience of.
Monika: You have been always very open about your being intersex. You gave many press interviews and took part in many documentaries, including “I’m 80% Girl, 20% Boy”...
Bright Daffodil: I believe the way forward for all gender variant people is to own and embrace their identities, personally I’m not stealth even though I could be, I feel being stealth instils a concept of taboo and shame onto our identity and once again I would like to repeat, after spending so many years being miserable, by living as male to please the expectations of family lovers friends, I feel living stealth is just as bad as not transitioning.
Only because it’s ironic, we change to be who we are then deny it again, humanity loves denial in every sense, it isn’t until we understand we are all human and lose the labels that humanity will progress into a time of more honesty with itself.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of intersex women in the British society?
Bright Daffodil: British society has changed invariably since my first attempt at transition in the 90s. In that time Gerry Springer was very famous and often had trans guests on his show, meaning most of the transphobia was a reflection of that kind of human zoo media.
Presently I think we’re living in time of ever increasing trans visibility, younger people are not living lives as gay /lesbian before transitioning but are transitioning right away, I hear gender identity services have never been so busy. There is still a lot of stigma and shame attached to the whole gender issue but I feel it’s up to us as a community to change that by respecting and supporting ourselves as a family.
Although again I have been slated for calling myself trans by people from the intersex community and vice versa. As a community I feel unity is the way forward to changing perceptions. Until we lose the victim mentality and own our cultural and psycho-social identities it’s hard to move into a place of empowerment.
I would like to see more trans people empowering themselves by educating those who may abuse them than allowing themselves to become victims. I have been the victim of hate crime and also experienced domestic violence as a woman. I reported these to the police and pressed charges because it’s the most loving thing to do both for self but also for the person doing the abusing.
In neither experiences did I see myself as a victim, because the experience enabled me to awaken another up to the fact their behavior was not serving them or others. I always try to act in love. It’s not always easy.
Monika: At what age did you re-transition into woman yourself? Was it a difficult process?
Bright Daffodil: I didn’t have a male puberty. I was going to see child intersex specialist, Dr de Ceglie at St. George’s hospital from the age of 12, but no one really explained that condition to me. I also had various surgeries, which have left me disabled now and suffering with chronic pain. I manage these by engaging in a deep spiritual practice and acknowledging my body is nothing more than a vessel.
I tried to transition at 16 but I was homeless and very vulnerable, as I grew up in care, and lost touch with support services in that time. It was pre mobile phone and Internet, and I’m from a very deprived area of the UK called Dudley. It was easier, safer and more loving to myself to live as a gay man.
My second attempt to transition was in New York City at age 19 and I lived as a girl called Hope till I was 21…This felt very much like the dark ages as trans visibility was unheard of. All the trans women I knew sold sex and did a lot of drugs. I had a nervous breakdown and tried to commit suicide in 2000, as I lost my foster parents and friend network and became homeless again. I also lost my job. All devastating results of presenting as a gender variant androgynous person. It was a very difficult time once again I resigned myself to the fact it was easier to live as a man and started taking testosterone. My goal in life was to find love and I felt it was easier to do that as a gay man than as an androgynous looking trans woman.
I had puberty around 22 years old, and got many tattoos and did weight training, and it was my form of masculine protest. I contrived a very punk rock male look in felt I could live with and spent many years doing drag, drugs and living a fashionable London club kid lifestyle. It was like a drag queen version of absolutely fabulous with lots of sex ….
Bright Daffodil: When I came to a place of acceptance and personal enquiry, after spending some time in Sydney and feeling disillusioned with my fruitless lifestyle at the tender age of 28. I believe this was my Saturn’s return.
I then stopped taking it, ditched the macho façade and took estrogen and got hair extensions to my waist, my body and face luckily changed rapidly and I found a new lease in life living as Adele. I quit doing drugs and trained as a support worker, and set up my charity project silverfish to help marginalized and homeless trans people in the London area.
I called the project after ALEX SILVERFISH, a techno DJ who killed herself during transition in 2008 due to hate crime and ongoing harassment. She was a role model to me because she would often call me out when I presented as a muscle man on the gay scene and sit on my lap and whisper in my ear, you might be fooling them but you’re not fooling me… she saw me for who I was…. She was an angel and I miss her.
Monika: Are there are any transgender or intersex ladies that you admire and respect now?
Bright Daffodil: Monika, I respect and admire all people, even those who hate me. I don’t see any spiritual difference apart from the fact we all are using different vehicles (our physical bodies) to have experiences (life).
I have done a lot of reading in my time and find there are many spiritual messengers of peace and love in the Trans community; KATE BORNSTEIN was a great inspiration to me at the age of 22 when I made a decision to live as a guy.
I have to say one of the most inspirational Trans women in my life to this day remains to be BRANDY ALEXANDER... the leading lady in Chuck Palahniuk’s book Invisible Monsters. I agree with everything she stands for, we create our own reality by own perceptions, Don’t you like the reality? Change your perception of it. Byron Katie, though she is not trans, is a very definite inspiration too.
Bright Daffodil: The hardest thing for me in coming out as trans was the fact I believed no one would ever love me for who I was, and I was looking very butch with shaved head and tattoos and big manly muscles. I felt like I would be treated as a freak.
I also felt very comfortable having sex and relationships in a homosexual context and was not sure I would feel as comfortable with guys who are into women. That’s still a big issue for me.
I am currently in a partnership with a man who has autism. We don’t have sex, and he sees me as a soul rather than a body as I do him. It’s a refreshing change from the drama inspired sexually charged relationships of the past.
Monika: What do you think about intersex stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers or books so far?
Bright Daffodil: I still get very upset when trans characters are played by non-trans actresses and actors; it's annoying. I think we’re currently a hot topic in the media and in many ways if done respectfully this is good.
People do seem more and more open towards the fact were part of life even if they don’t understand. I see more and more trans characters in every day TV, which is a positive step to normalizing a once sexually objectified identity.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think intersex women can make a difference in politics?
Bright Daffodil: I am very active in politics in so much as I believe that capitalism is failing the world and we need to revise a system, which is not working for us as a human consciousness.
I am currently writing a book about my beliefs, which some might find rather alarming others might already know. I have been researching the hidden history of humankind from ancient times to modern day, to uncover inconvenient truths and challenge them. I believe that there is no longer any form of democracy on this planet because all political parties are funded by corporations to pursue corporate agendas.
In the UK under the Tories we have a seen a huge decline in common social welfare concern. We now have more elderly people living in poverty, people using food banks, and a plethora of homeless people who are vulnerable, as the Tories cut public services to fund wars in Iraq, which none of the public want or agree too.
I think any person forms a minority who has experienced living in a minority, including those who are trans, should really start to speak up now and unite against the totalitarian tie toe towards fascism we are undertaking.
Bright Daffodil: I spent many years as a nightclub high fashion drag queen. However, I never went for the femme realness look. I have always, since the age of six, been very inspired by alternative and extreme fashion.
My idols in the fashion world have to be Alexander McQueen (I worked for him in 1999), Thierry Mugler, and London’s own Pam Hogg.
My dress sense was cultivated as one known to be sinister, cutting edge and avant-garde. I still love dressing up but take it a lot less seriously now. It’s interesting because the decline of nightlife has also seen a decline in new fashion movements and underground musical scenes.
The gentrification of London, however, seems to be inspiring a lot of new creativity, with nightclubs such as my own local community www.transister.london, Kaos, shoes, and legion, bringing forth a new wave of nu-goth looks and intelligent music. Of course, the trans and queer scene are leading the way in this as they did in the 80s and 90s respectfully. Gender queer Djs such as Bamboo Herman, Chicken, Halo-is, and promoters such as Lee Adams are real scene innovators and imbue the underground with a sense of solidarity. Gender queer and androgynous performers such as Andro Andrex, and Synth, make me proud to be part of such a creatively fluid community.
Bright Daffodil: I am love. Love is the very essence of my soul and I believe every soul, which is all part of a bigger soul. The soul is universal unconditional love, nothing more or less. We are like raindrops of love from an ocean of endless ubiquitous love, individuating though a process of reincarnation to experience life (god), and as such as humans demonstrate ourselves as love. In doing so we manifest our highest desires which are to be love, do love, have love.
Love is the purpose of my life and that love is for every sentient being. My book really gets into the great revelations. I have been so grateful to understand during my three year marriage to the ancient medicine AYAWASCA. There is nothing so relevant to the world today than a greater understanding of ourselves and what we truly are… unconditional love.
We need to come together as a global human consciousness and rethink our idea of god being something we should fear. We are all god….. And all there is love. I am greatly influenced by David Icke, and authors such as Neal Donald Walsh and Tom Hartman, whose message is the same as mine, we are all one, there are enough resources on this planet to feed the whole population and no one should live in poverty once we address the fact that religion, politics and other socially paralyzing institutions are not working for the greater good but for the PROFIT of many… great word there profit… I prefer prophet… wink.
Monika: Many transgender and intersex ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Bright Daffodil: The novel I am working on is a great gift to me because I am channelling a lot of cosmic information from a source which I would call universal love. I have desired to be an author all my life but now I understand I had to live this cheered life in order to have the material.
My spiritual enquiry with the plant medicine ayawasca is the foundation of the story of the novel in which many insights to my life not only as an intersex being but also has an empathic and sensitive human being is dispensed. I am here on Earth. I believe to spread a message through example, and that message is to understand and love everyone as a reflection of yourself… we are all one… our experience and ego may trick us to believe otherwise but I think globally people are waking up to the fact we are as a species undergoing an ascension into a possibility.
There is a possibility of an ever increasing new world order, fascist state and corporatocy. Something like we have read about in books such as 1984 and Brave New World, or a possibility that humans will start to address facts such as we use spare grain to feed cows, who are grazing on devastated rainforests to feed people who have enough food for profit, while killing the planet and allowing the 99 percent to starve. Doesn’t this strike you as a reflection of the times we are living in where humanity is becoming seduced by technology into an ever growing idea of separation and pathological narcissism?
However the party takes place over two floors and leaves a lot of room for creativity and socializing. We are using the event to fundraise for other communities.
The next few parties will be raising money for the council tenants in London who are being ethnically cleansed in the current trend of selling off social housing to developers, who then turn them into luxury flats, denigrating the local community and moving poor people are far away as 200 miles from there family friends and support network. We are queers for council housing…
We are, as a valid community, seeking to represent all communities and validate them through solidarity. This is the aim of throwing the events and being together. People create a conduit for raising funds / money for those who need it.
As I said I am writing a book, which can be seen in many aspects as an autobiography. It can also be seen as a channel of love and light (for all information is light). The same book covers many topics which people prefer to ignore because they are too painful. Topics such as the fact we live under a system of federal reserve and what that actually means, what is means to a species to live under religions which promote separatism and the notion that god is judgemental and is to be feared, and how these myths started in the first place.
This is where my book gets interesting as I discuss previous human societies and the role of women and gender variants in those submerged cultures. My book is the product of a three years intense research, experience and spiritual divination. It’s a human story…. A soul’s story and a story which I hope will inspire others into undertaking their own enquiry.
Always think positive and always treat others how you wish to be treated, even those who hate on you because they need love the most. See your gender identity as a gift, something your soul has chosen for this unique experience and insight into human ideas of separation and duality.
Male and female are just expressions of experience, experience is the expression of creation, and creation is the expression of being, so we really do have the power to change everything… once we wake up to that, we can be whomever we want to be.
All the photos: courtesy of Bright Daffodil.