“Trans Race” victim Rachel Dolezal has attracted much mockery from some quarters for claiming to be a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body.
All I can say is: she should be so lucky. I personally have spent my entire miserable life suffering from a far more painful, emotionally draining, and tragically irreversible handicap. It has ruined my career, it has blighted my children’s future, it is a constant source of disappointment to my wife and could well one day lead to a very ugly divorce. I’ve had difficulty talking about it before because it’s such a sore topic. But now, thanks to the brave example of Rachel Dolezal I have been shown the way.
Today, finally, I have plucked up the courage to speak out in the hope that fellow sufferers of this awful disability might finally be able to talk openly about the misery this tragic condition has brought upon them. Perhaps we could even form a campaign group and demand government compensation.
The problem is this: I was born Trans Class.
Imagine how it feels to stare into your bathroom mirror every day and to see, reflected back, not the extravagantly be-sideburned, gimlet-eyed, red-cheeked aristocrat you know you really are, but just the pallid, gaunt features of a middle-middle-class nobody struggling to make a living, just like all the “little people”.
Imagine waking up, not in the four-poster-bed that has been in the family for generations and which its rumoured Anne Boleyn once slept in, but just a fairly ordinary pocket-sprung number you picked up ten years ago from a boring high street chain with some name like SlumberWorld or DreamLand or Bed-U-Like.
Imagine the stabbing agony you experience every day when you realise that nothing you ever do – NOTHING – is ever going to alter the fact that you will never have a foxhunt bearing your name (like the Duke of Beaufort does), that neither you nor in all likelihood your children, will ever inherit a 52 bedroom Baroque palace with 5,000 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown and swarming with unusual-looking sheep, rare-breed cattle and exotic deer which your ancestor brought back from the Forbidden City in Peking.
Imagine the horror of knowing that instead of having your every whim catered for by a retinue of liveried servants – as is your natural birthright – you instead actually have to put your leaves into your teapot yourself, then pour boiling water on it from an electric kettle, then wait for it to brew for four minutes, then pour it out into a cup which isn’t made from antique finebone china but has Mr Silly on it and came from some unspeakable supermarket like Tesco, not to mention all the other crap that ordinary people have to do because they know no better and weren’t born Trans Class like you and are therefore more dumbly accepting of their lot…stuff like putting out the rubbish once a week for the binmen, and having to floss your teeth rather than getting your cheeky chambermaid Moll to do it and having to watch television rather than having your staff watch it for you and then give you a written summary in copperplate.
Imagine sticking both arms out every morning then remembering, with a shudder, that there is no valet to slip on your frock coat and that in fact all you’ve got is a bunch of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts and the same old pair of jeans which you’re going to have to put on yourself.
Imagine….well there’s really no point because you can’t bloody imagine. Unlike me – unless of course you are a fellow Trans Class victim – you won’t have sufficient intellectual refinement or imagination to imagine, because your proletarian brain won’t let you.
So since you lack the inability to imagine, I’ll just have to tell you.
I was born an 18th century Duke with a vast estate, a stable of two dozen hunters, a bevy of mistresses, a summer “nooky house”, more estates in the West Indies (where I can assure you that the workers are all very happy with their lot and address me cheerfully as “Massa Duke, Sir”), a beautiful if slightly remote wife who is related to the King, lots of paintings (especially of me) by Gainsborough and Reynolds, yet I am trapped in the body of a middle-class, middle-aged journalist in ugly, pointless, 21st century Britain.
And it is HELL, I tell you, hell.
That is why from now on, to help my cope with my disability, I shall expect to be addressed as “Your Grace”, be given the place of honour at those of your miserable dinner parties I deign to attend, and be treated at all times with deference bordering on worship.
Thank you, Rachel Dolezal for showing me the way. You may be a horrid wretched oik from the Colonies (job going on my West Indies estates, if you’re interested) but you have enabled me to become who I really am.
After all, it’s not the body you were born into that defines you. That’s just an oppressive social construct.
What truly defines you is how you feel so I’m going to say it proud and I’m going to say it loud:
I. AM. A. DUKE.