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Okay, so, let me start with this.
When I was 5, I wanted to be nothing more than a Disney character.
I used to walk around the living room draped in old curtains
pretending I was the Evil Queen from “Snow White”.
I mean, the Evil Queen just because she's more fabulous than Snow White, obviously.
My heroines were Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and probably
my most favorite Disney character of all time was Ariel, the Little Mermaid.
Now as I was 5, I think her character kind of spoke to me
because she had this long, luscious hair and those big, sparkling eyes.
But as I look to it now, her story might actually also relate
a little bit to my own story, because she was a girl
who needed to change her body in order to be herself and I am a transsexual woman,
which means that I was born biologically as a boy,
but as you might see, that didn't exactly turn out the way it was supposed to.
So, actually this started when I was very young,
my earliest memory, probably, is when my mom was driving me home
from a birthday party of a girlfriend of mine and I remember telling her that
"You know, mom, that pee-pee of mine, I'm going to cut it off someday."
Since then gender has become sort of a mystery to me.
I remember looking to the world and seeing all these people
who fell so naturally into either one of two categories,
you know, male or female, and I remember being so intrigued
and feeling so astonished at how comfortable everybody always felt
with their allotted place in the world.
As for me, gender always seemed like a big insider joke
that everybody else but me seemed to get.
So, on the topic of gender let me ask you a couple of questions.
What makes a person male or female?
You know, is it just that one person has a penis and the other one has a vagina?
Or is there something more to that?
And I think, in general, the answer would be,
“Yes, the body does matter in determining what gender you are.”
I think if I would do a little experiment with you guys, where I would ask you
to put your hand on the part of your body that determined
if you were a male or a female,
most of you guys would go ahead and put your hand in between your legs,
but I think we can also look at other examples.
For example, women who undergo breast augmentations,
and say about that, that it would make them feel so much more feminine.
Now, does that mean that, you know, women with bigger boobs
are more feminine than women with smaller boobs?
I don't think it does, but I think this shows us
that there is also a realm of feeling involved when it comes to gender.
I feel that we all have a voice inside of us that tells us
whether we are male or female, no matter what,
and me, I never really had that voice, I never really had something inside me
that told me what I was, or what I was supposed to be.
So, during my process of transitioning from a boy to a girl,
I actually kept wondering about these questions
of what the body mattered to my gender and in the end I found out
that I actually wouldn't be able to say this about myself
if I didn't actually experience it, if I didn't actually change my biology.
So I underwent gender reassignment surgery,
and that was 3 years ago.
And, as I woke up from my surgery, I mean, I was in a hell of a lot of pain,
obviously, because my pee-pee had gone bye-bye.
I was left with a heavily bruised and brutally tortured vagina.
I will spare you guys the gory details, but imagine that it looked a little bit
like 2 stone-cold, raw hamburgers just slapped together and stuck to my body.
(Laughter)
But as I started my recovery, the bruising went down
and all of a sudden my life seemed to pick up where it had left off
and seemed to continue as normal.
And in this period I kept wondering to myself, you know,
“Why don't I feel different? Why aren't the questions
about gender magically answered?" And then it hit me.
I can cut off anything I want to from my body
but that doesn't mean that it's going to change anything inside myself.
Now as we look at Ariel, you know, the Little Mermaid,
and I'm sorry I keep using her as a reference point, but there we are,
she threw her fishtail in the trash
and she grew a pair of beautiful, slender, pale legs.
But it didn't actually change her, you know, inside she still was
the Little Mermaid that used to swim through the ocean.
And now, of course, just like in Ariel's case
my surgery gave me a way to live my life the way I wanted it,
because all of a sudden to the world my body seemed to match the image
that I presented of myself to the outside world.
So, to the world I seemed figured out, but to myself I wasn't figured out at all.
I had no idea, and the questions that I had remained hovering
in and out of my mind as it did before.
But does that mean that I regret getting my gender reassignment surgery?
No, the answer should be definitely, “No.”
If I had to make the decision again, I would in an instant.
You know, it might seem strange that in order to understand
that there is no such thing as being a woman, I had to become a woman.
But that way, my surgery became, not a way of getting in
on the big insider joke, but of creating a little insider joke,
for myself, for me alone.
And that was probably the point where I just gave up
on trying to figure out gender and try to answer questions
that I knew I couldn't answer.
And I started focusing on what I did know about myself,
and what I found out, kind of shocking, actually, I found out that that was happy,
I was so happy with who I was.
So gender actually didn't really matter anymore to me.
You know, whatever label you would put on me,
male, female or transgender or whatever, I would always be myself.
You know, I'm actually kind of proud to stand here before you
and be able to say that about myself,
you know, that despite everything, despite this entire process
of trying to figure out gender, which started off with me as a little boy
playing with Barbie dolls and progressed into
a very heavy gender reassignment surgery,
I can now stand here before you and say about myself, that no matter what,
I will always be myself.
Thank you.
(Applause)
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19222 分類 收藏
阿多賓 發佈於 2014 年 5 月 6 日    Rosa 翻譯
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