This past Thursday, Longwood was the host to Jeffrey Jay, a female-to-male transgender comedian and one of the three hosts on the podcast “Two Black Women.” Word of his performance brought enough people to almost entirely fill Wygal Auditorium’s seating section. The packed auditorium seemed to love his jokes. He dealt with a wide variety of subjects, from his personal fears about ghosts to the sometimes-touchy subject of his sexuality, his gender identity and how these have affected his life growing up in Texas.
He spoke of how surprisingly supportive his mother was, despite being a conservative Republican justice. He also told of his fascinating life coming out as a lesbian back when he was a woman at age 14, before eventually realizing his male gender identity. He talked about how he had to hide all of these things from his extremely right wing grandmother in order to maintain his relationship with her, and how he has had to manage explaining all of this to his inquisitive niece.
Jay also had a question and answer session at the end of his show. There were several transgender students in the audience who were ready to transition and wanted to know more about the process. One of them was female to male, like Jay, and wanted to know what to expect about taking testosterone. Jay answered that they should expect “the unexpected,” and told about how he becomes very emotional and high-strung when he misses his testosterone shot. When asked when he would be able to stop taking testosterone shots, he said that he could, but he would revert and get osteoporosis. So he will likely stay on testosterone forever. Another student asked, “What do you have?” He then went on to explain that he actually has an entirely anatomically female body, but presents himself as a male. He then summed this up by saying “So I’m a man in the streets and a woman in the sheets.” He then explained that this means he wears a compression vest in order to keep his breasts against his chest.
Jay was also kind enough to show everyone his before pictures, of him before he began transitioning. However, he was made sure to remind everyone to “never, ever ask another transgendered person to see their picture. It’s offensive and it’s none of your business.”
Jeffery Jay’s unique brand of comedy brought both laughter and insight to Longwood University. His perspective and humor made it a memorable evening that all those in the audience wont soon forget.