EastEnders ‘Judgement week’ as Dot Cotton’s murder trial begins #FreeDot

Dot Branning, played by June Brown, 88, is finally set to face her time in court next month after being charged with the murder of her son, Nick Cotton.

“Today I was asked when I real­ized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a real­ly long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gen­der or notice it. I was think­ing about when I was in pre‑K ‚and I would dress up as Cin­derel­la and do girl things. If I decid­ed to wear a dress or role­play as a princess, my teach­ers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have every­one in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes nat­u­ral­ly to you.

Stacey Branning will be cross-examined during the murder trial.
Stacey Bran­ning will be cross-exam­ined dur­ing the mur­der trial.

My tran­si­tion has been a very grad­ual, very cere­bral process. For a lot of peo­ple, it’s very easy to reduce gen­der to bod­ies, and that’s ter­ri­ble. So to answer that ques­tion that I was asked today, I real­ized I was a woman after I was already liv­ing as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this plat­inum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still iden­ti­fied as male. I was open-mind­ed enough, grow­ing up, to think that even if my out­ward appear­ance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer the­o­ry, you real­ize any sort of con­junc­tion is pos­si­ble. There are boys who want expe­ri­ence life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

I nev­er under­stood why peo­ple would think that men couldn’t be as beau­ti­ful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be some­thing else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my think­ing allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just cov­er­ing it up with this cere­bral explanation.

There is a lot of psy­cho­log­i­cal ten­sion in try­ing to dis­cuss any­thing with gen­der identity.

I used to wear a lot more make­up. I fuck­ing love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of make­up. My eye­lin­er would like reach my hair­line. I would go real­ly crazy with it. I would try to over­com­pen­sate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when exper­i­ment­ing with make­up for the first time. Though, if I start­ed off putting on the amount of make­up I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I real­ly am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of make­up. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were play­ing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straight­en­ing my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remem­ber find­ing a Revlon retractable black eye­lin­er in the bath­room. I put it on my water­line, not even think­ing about the fact that I could get an eye infec­tion as I picked it up off the floor—it was dis­gust­ing. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more free­dom. There’s the clas­sic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’-feel. I felt like I could wear the eye­lin­er, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hard­core scene, and it wasn’t a cool expe­ri­ence. They were scream­ing at me to get off the stage and call­ing me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a ter­ri­ble wake up call to me, all because I was wear­ing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, peo­ple are already polic­ing me for not per­form­ing this gen­der that I’m pre­tend­ing to be. Obvi­ous­ly I was doing a shit­ty job at per­form­ing male. Some­times I tell peo­ple that I real­ly feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of per­form­ing male gen­der roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eye­lin­er before I got home.

I had real­ly bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wear­ing cov­er­all and that’s it. Still, my moth­er would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my make­up in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t wor­ry! I’ll nev­er wear mas­cara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tuto­ri­als lat­er you emerge in full face [Laughs].

I always admired make­up. I’d watch my grand­ma doing her make­up, and she’d always be put togeth­er. She would tell me that pho­tos are for­ev­er, you can’t take it light­ly, and you have to per­fect it. Lit­tle things like that real­ly stuck with me. With­out my mother’s per­mis­sion, I dyed my hair plat­inum blonde as a teenag­er. Hav­ing white hair changes your life, regard­less of gen­der iden­ti­ty. It is a real­ly crazy expe­ri­ence. You learn about so many dif­fer­ent sides of peo­ple and how they per­ceive you—it’s crazy. It was moti­va­tion, I guess, and it was the first instance of feel­ing like I can’t hide myself.

I was real­ly obsessed with Final Fan­ta­sy at the time, espe­cial­ly the Final Fan­ta­sy vil­lains. If you real­ly look at a Final Fan­ta­sy vil­lain and ana­lyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt con­nect­ed to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of being real­ly pret­ty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head por­tion to be on-point and con­sis­tent with how I view myself. After that, I start­ed real­ly div­ing into make­up as iden­ti­ty. Beau­ty can be a big deal for all girls, but beau­ty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in dan­ger for not pass­ing as a woman con­vinc­ing­ly enough. One time I was walk­ing with my friend and a guy was try­ing to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Make­up is much more seri­ous to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bul­lied in schools, grow­ing up, because they’re not pret­ty enough.

I real­ly feel bad for a lot of trans peo­ple and trans women who don’t have the expe­ri­ence [with make­up] before they come into them­selves and have to learn to do their make­up in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to tran­si­tion then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think peo­ple tran­si­tion­ing lat­er in life nec­es­sar­i­ly need to wear make­up to be who they are. I just iden­ti­fied with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up make­up skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lip­gloss.’ You need time to prac­tice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour make­up ses­sions. Of course, dur­ing the day I just wear tint­ed mois­tur­iz­er, con­ceal­er, and maybe mas­cara. Some­times I’ll do a wing, but just a lit­tle bit on the out­er edge. But at night…at night is when I’d real­ly take my time. I’d do my make­up from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

Bisher gibt es keine Kommentare

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Die E-Mail Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.