Script for My Body, My Gender rogue Vagina Monologue.


We have a story in my family. My brother is young, nursing his favorite doll. I’m going to be a mommy when I grow up. Mom is proud, but corrects him: Boys grow up to be daddies. She’s only trying to be accurate, but he sets down the doll, and never picks it up again. Cis doesn’t mean simple, he tells me now, a father of two.

If I had a story like that, maybe everything would make sense. Maybe I could string this together into a narrative: beginning, middle, and end.


Two months ago, I woke up in a hospital bed with my vagina wrapped in bandages. There’s a man at the foot of my bed, a stranger.

Congratulations! How does it feel? You’re finally Miriam!
— I What? That’s… what? I’ve been Miriam.

I’ve had a recognizable vulva for 8 weeks, but that’s none of your business, and not why I’m here. I’ve used the name Miriam since 2015, and started hormone replacement a few months later. But I’ve been a woman since I grew too old to be a girl. I remember her, young Miriam, boy Miriam, not quite a boy, but sure – she’s fuzzy, third-person, with a name she never liked. A boy who never existed, and yet she’ll always be a part of me. A boy who believed what she was told about genitals and genders.

I didn’t know. How could I know? Dysphoria doesn’t come with a technical manual: transition 101. I never presented the clinical criteria. I wasn’t consistent, insistent, or persistent until I was 33. I have no hate for the dangly bits – only detached disinterest.

You go your way, and I’ll go mine.

I grew a beard. I used my beard as a beard, the way lesbians and gay boys team up to throw you off our scent. In that story, I’m the lesbian; but I’m also the beard.

Even then, I was me: a younger Miriam. Even then, I was part of this story: what it means to have a vagina. What it means for my vagina to be inside-out.

Genitals and genders. What you see is not always what I see. What you get is not what I get. There is no one way to have a genital, and no one way to be a gender.


I was originally going to read an Eve Ensler monologue titled They Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy… Or So They Tried. And I can talk about that violence – the rapes and abuse we’ve all suffered at the hands of normal men, who will go on to do great things in government.

Last week they announced that I don’t exist, and have no rights. That I don’t deserve housing, and I shouldn’t have health care. I shouldn’t have a job, or use the bathroom, or go outside, or be alive in public. Think of the women and children.

Not me.
Not us.
The other women, and the other children.


But this isn’t their monologue, it’s mine. I would rather tell you stories about the joy we have hidden in our trans bodies, the euphoria in our unexpected genitals. Not as empty inspiration, it doesn’t always get better, but to reclaim my story.

I’ve spent years discovering new ways to be in the world – to cry openly, to feel without reservation, to say I’m sorry, and I love you, and I mean it. To take back what was taken away.

I find others, discovering their gender for the first time – mothers and fathers, parents of all genders, siblings, and mentors – elders who went through hell, to make the world safer for me. We build our own families. Families of choice, filled with love and support and fear and trauma and acceptance. All of us drowning alone, but dreaming of a better world, and building it together.

It’s taken work to get here, and slowly – eventually – to love even myself. I find Mira Bellwether’s guide to Fucking Trans Women and study the anatomy of reproductive homologues – the way bodies make different shapes from the same material. I discover the vagina I already have, elongated and exposed – shuffled but not missing. And sure, tucking it back inside has been lovely, but it’s not why I’m here.

Because that girl-dick was also my vulva, my body, my female biology. I find lovers who understand that a vagina doesn’t have to look one way. I learn to be intimate again, to trust, to be touched without flinching.

Is this what they mean by gender euphoria? The joy of having a gender, of being a gender, of understanding yourself for the first time? I never thought it was possible to feel happy in a body, happy to have a gender.

My body. My gender.

theater’ orgs

Grapefruit Lab

Co-Founder: Multimedia performance laboratory & theater ensemble

The LIDA Project

Technical Director: Art theatre designed to infect the mind

Countdown to Zero

Technical Director: 10-show political theater collective

New World Arts

Artistic Director: Ensemble theater, gallery, and event space

Goshen College

Student & Master Electrician: Theater, writing, & visual arts

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Stage Management Intern: Among the oldest & largest professional non-profit theatres in the nation.

81 ‘theater’ episodes

2020

Fallout

| film

I wrote this at the start of the Iraq war (2003), and later made the short film. It’s been on my mind again during COVID-19 isolation.

Alcohol affects the frontal cortex @ Sommer Browning

| film

Sommer asked people to record themselves reading a poem from her collection, Backup Singers. I put together this video of the poem Alcohol affects the frontal cortex.

2019

Vagina Monologues @ Firehouse Art Center

| theater

I was invited to perform a Vagina Monologue, and ended up writing my own.

Celebration, Florida @ square product theatre

| theater

an un-rehearsed play by Greg Wohead

2018

My Body, My Gender

| script

Script for My Body, My Gender rogue Vagina Monologue.

Outside The Room @ Denver Center for the Performing Arts

| theater

A family struggles to find humanity and normalcy in a world made uncertain and strange after the transformation and “othering” of one of their own. This physical theatre piece imagines what happens on the other side of the iconic door in Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

JANE/EYRE @ The Bakery

| theater

We are not here to flatter egotism, or prop up humbug; we are merely telling the [queer] story. We value what is good in the book; but we believe in the existence of other, and more vivid kinds of goodness.

2017

2016

The In-Between @ Rio Mesa Center

| theater

Try to locate the moon. Look longingly at the sky. Talk to others. Don’t lose track of where you are. This is the invitation from the Warbler to the other canyon inhabitants of the audience.

2015

2014

The Post-Obsolete BookELO Conference

| project

An archival rhizome ecology in ten parts, and a reflection on the obsolescence of obsolescence – documented on the cloud, and open-sourced as a defense against post-post-obsolescence.

2013

2012

The Post-Obsolete BookSLSA 2012 – Electronic Literature and the Nonhuman

| project | Milwaukee, WI

The Post-Obsolete Book @ post-obsolete.com

| project

An archival rhizome ecology in ten parts, and a reflection on the obsolescence of obsolescence – documented on the cloud, and open-sourced as a defense against post-post-obsolescence.

2010

Missa Populi

| script

A modern, theatrical interpretation of the Catholic Mass – created by Grapefruit Lab and Teacup Gorilla.

Missa Populi @ PackingHouse Center for the Arts

| theater

Combining the sacrifice, transcendence, blood, and circumstance of the Catholic Mass with history, live music, science, dance, literature, and pop culture to find a wholly modern communion experience. What we have left is our selves, broken and battered, but surviving together.

Roller Skating With My CousinBINDERY | space

| theater | Denver, CO

Part science lab, part disco, Roller Skating With My Cousin is a lively, dark romp in which synchronized roller skaters build a tower under a star-flecked mirror ball sky.

2009

A Murder One LessBINDERY | space

| theater

She is a plain and pensive woman. He is a rather ordinary man who lives in an extraordinary house. This house does algebraic equations and plots violence. One evening, woman, man, and house collide; not all of them survive.

RAIN/ of terrorBINDERY | space

| theater | Denver, CO

The citizens are easily roused and swayed, as a culture of fear infects the city with the constant threat of execution.

2008

The Anonymous Mr. W.BINDERY | space

| theater | Denver, CO

Inspired by Georg Büchner’s unfinished masterpiece, Woyzeck, The LIDA Project reinterprets the story of a young soldier returning from the horrors of war.

(#9) The Resistible Rise of Arturo UiBINDERY | space

| theater

A parable play and fantastic spectacle, warning of the dangers of a desperate populace handing over power to a corrupt leader.

Untitled #39 | Dresden Dolls @ Bluebird Theater

| theater | Denver, CO

We created this site-specific and interactive performance as an opening act for the Dresden Dolls – performed in the lobby.

(#9) The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui @ Countdown to Zero

| theater

A parable play and fantastic spectacle, warning of the dangers of a desperate populace handing over power to a corrupt leader.

(#10) My Name Is Rachel Corrie @ Countdown to Zero

| theater | Las Vegas, NV

Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. She was killed when she tried to obstruct a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer o perated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF.)

The LIDA Project

| theater | Denver, CO

Founded in 1995, The LIDA Project is a meta-media art collective dedicated to experimental live performance.

2007

(#10) My Name Is Rachel Corrie @ Countdown to Zero

| theater

Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. She was killed when she tried to obstruct a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer o perated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF.)

Bigger Guns III @ New World Arts

| theater

A live action comedy, inspired by the movies, and created by our ensemble.

Bigger Guns III @ New World Arts

| script

An action comedy for the stage, based on our favorite movie tropes. The script was devised by the entire ensemble, lead by Michelle Milne, Miriam, Emily Swora, and Ben Jacobs. I don’t believe this is the final script…

2006

Hello and Goodbye @ New World Arts

| theater

A sister and brother dig through the rubble of their lives…

Fear/Falling @ New World Arts

| theater

OCD and love produce the same chemical in the brain…

2005

Daffodil MF

| script

a ten minute play, and short film

Sadomasochism @ New World Arts

| theater

We hurt ourselves for love…

In a Time of War @ New World Arts

| theater

Based on a series of interviews with Annie in 2003, this play was produced first by Goshen College as a runner-up for the International Peace Play Contest, and then in collabiration with New World Arts for my senior thesis production.

Fallout @ shortfilmfest05

| film

I wrote this at the start of the Iraq war (2003), and later made the short film. It’s been on my mind again during COVID-19 isolation.

2004

Criminal Hearts @ New World Arts

| theater

It’s not a great script, but it was my full-length directorial debut.

Every Other Day @ New World Arts

| theater

My first one-act play…

Every Other Day @ Pinchpenny Press

| script

a play in one act, and a short film

2003

In a Time of War

| script

Reflections of a Mennonite holocaust survivor after the war

FalloutGC One Acts

| film

Fallout

| script

a glimpse of the aftermath

Antony & Cleopatra @ Oregon Shakespeare Festival

| theater | Ashland, OR

A glittering tragedy, a passionate romance, and an internship opportunity.

2002

A Lie of the Mind @ New World Arts

| theater

Some brutal Sam Sheppard…

2001

The House of Yes @ New World Arts

| theater

The play by Wendy MacLeod.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea @ New World Arts

| theater

My first forray into professional theater, as a lighting designer for New World Arts.

New World Arts

| theater | Goshen, IN

Founded in 1998 as New World Players, we produced original & alternative ensemble theater for over a decade – along with an art gallery and event space.