Meshel Laurie meets Australia’s transgender comedy superstar.

Let’s get one thing clear. Jordan Raskopoulos is not a unicorn. Although, as she tells Meshel Laurie, she has no judgement if you identify as one.

But Jordan is sometimes treated as a unicorn, because she is a transgender woman, and a member of one of Australia’s most successful comedy acts, The Axis of Awesome. They’ve had 100 million YouTube hits.

Here’s one:

Jordan has been in Axis since before, during and after her transition, and six weeks ago she”came out” as trans. And this week she is on Nitty Gritty Committee, Meshel Laurie’s podcast about the guts and glory of life.

And it’s a conversation worth hearing. Because it’s funny and frank, and you might learn something. Something like:

The whole pronoun thing sounds confusing. But it really isn’t. 

People, including Meshel, get confused about pronouns when it comes to trans people. Was Caitlin Jenner a “she” when she won the Men’s Declathon at the Olympic Games in 1974? YES, says Jordan. Because a person’s sense of gender is continuous throughout their life, not something that suddenly began at any one point. “You should always say Caitlin, and you should always say ‘she’… Using someone’s old name is called “dead-naming” and it’s quite hurtful,” says Jordan. 

A photo posted by Jordan Raskopoulos (@jordanrasko) on

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Don’t believe what you see on the screen. 

Growing up, the only representations of trans people in the media that Jordan saw were either as a joke, a punch line, or a ‘trap’ for heterosexual men. “If you look back at trans-representation in the media, during that time, what was there in the ‘90s? There was Jerry Springer… or the odd story of a transwoman being murdered and the mystery of the hormones and whatever… and movies like Ace Ventura,” Jordan says. In case you’ve forgotten, in Ace Ventura, Jim Carrey’s character kisses a trans woman and, when discovering that’s the case, scrubs his tongue and vomits.    

Nice.        

 Listen to Jordan explain what “dysmorphia” is.  Post continues after audio. 

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What does Cisgender mean? 

Cisgender means not transgender. “So rather than saying transgender people and normal people…we need a word. We need a word to say not–trans. So it’s cisgender,” says Jordan. 

  A photo posted by Jordan Raskopoulos (@jordanrasko) on

 

Some kids know that they’re transgender. Others don’t.

Meshel says her son went through a phase of wanting to be called Scarlett. Is that a sign? Who knows, says Jordan. “It’s about letting your kids be themselves and if it is a phase, then it will phase out. If a six-year-old wants to be called a particular name… I remember when I was five I wanted to be called Ray because I really liked the Ghost Busters. It’s about being loving and supporting to you kids,” she explains.    Listen to the whole podcast, here:

Don’t be so worried about saying the wrong thing to a trans person that you say nothing.

 

  A photo posted by Jordan Raskopoulos (@jordanrasko) on

People don’t know what to say sometimes. But if the intent is genuine, then that’s what matters. “If you do something offensive, and you find out afterwards you have made a mistake, admitting to the mistake and asking for forgiveness and committing to changing your behaviour in the future is what we are trying to achieve.”

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