This week I have had the joy of connecting with Marlo Bernier and hearing her answers to my questions about her career in film and tv and learning about her latest project, Myrna. Marlo is raising funds to create a television pilot for a comedy/drama about Myrna, an actress who later in life and after a full career in the entertainment business, transitioned from male to female. While this storyline has some similarities with Marlo’s own life experiences, it is not pure autobiography.
Yesterday Marlo talked about the differences between her and and her character, Myrna. Today Marlo gets more personal as she answers the final question in my Quickie Interview series.
Question: Marlo, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Here’s my final question for you, well it’s actually two in one. What part of this project feels vulnerable and risky for you? In light of the risks, why do you still pursue it?
Answer: The part of this project, Myrna that makes me feel excruciatingly vulnerable is the simple fact that I had moved on from referring to myself as a “transgender woman”, or a “trans-woman” – and that “moving-on” for me had less to do with that I had (at least for me) completed my voyage from male-to-female, than it had to do with the fact that for more than a few years now, let’s say approximately two-thirds way through my transition I no longer felt “gender dysphoric”, I was (now & at that point) feeling and owning myself in the gender I had always been, since birth. And let me clarify by stating that gender and (anatomical) sex are two completely different parts of the human equation. By that I mean, that when someone were to pose the question to me thusly; Are you the same gender you were born? I would answer, yes. If, on the other hand, they were to ask; Are you the same sex you were born? I would answer, no.
So at this point in my life and for some time now I have (gratefully) been received as a woman, no matter the circumstance. And when I contemplated bringing Myrna (the tv series) back into production, I knew that I would (again) be “leading with that foot”, and it shook me a bit, because the press, the media will be referring to me as “Marlo Bernier – Transgender Actress”, and I’m not saying that I am ashamed of this title, or label in any way. But, I’m putting myself publicly back out there for the sake of the show. Because Myrna (the character) is still in the throes of her transition and so there will be those situations within the show, within the various episodes where that issue (of being tagged and labeled) will be exposed. Shown and told with all the pathos and humor we can muster. And I’m not trying to say that I’m being all altruistic in my endeavor, either. But I do want people, our audience, to see, to listen, to comprehend this version of a person’s coming to terms with who they really are.
And at the end of the day, I will still gently, but firmly proclaim; “Though it is impossible for me to escape my past, this does not mean however, that I must continue to reside in it.”
And remember, please remember this, if nothing else, “One’s Gender Identity is invisible to everyone,…except you.”
Thank you, Peterson for talking with me about our show, about our shared respect for the craft and art of acting and for asking me some really unique and insightful questions.
Very special thanks to Marlo for submitting herself to my questions and for answering with so much heart and depth. Now I want to take the train to LA and hang out with her for the rest of the day.
Marlo’s fan-based fund raising campaign is doing very well and getting close to its target. Join in and take part in this historic endeavor. Also you can follow Marlo on Twitter: @Marlob59 and follow the Myrna TV Show on Twitter as well: @MyrnaTvShow
Do you have a suggestion about who to interview next? Let me know in the comments or find me on the many social media platforms that I haunt. 😛