Maddox, from Just The Way It Is, by Rory Starkman

MADDOX: Ugh. What am I doing? Okay. Dear Mom. I’m writing this letter to tell you something very important that’s going on in my life that you might not understand. To be fair, a lot of the time I don’t understand myself, but I know we haven’t been close and you want to know about my life. So, here goes. Do you remember when I was younger and I wanted to be a boy? Sure, you indulged me by shopping in the boys section every now and then, but you never really gave up on seeing me as your beautiful little girl. I was always forced to wear a skirt or a dress at fancy occasions and you always bought me tight pink shirts that I hated. But I thought you’d love and accept me more if I maintained a certain degree of femininity. I know it’s not your fault; it’s the social construction of the gender binary. Let me explain. The gender binary says you can be one of two things only; male or female, boy or girl. But it’s a social construct. We made it up! It isn’t real, but we don’t think to question it! You didn’t and I didn’t either. So I’m not blaming you. I understand that we are all just humans working with what we’re shown, how we learn, and our experiences. So Mom, what I really want to say is that I’m not a boy or a girl. I’m not your daughter. I’m just your kid and I don’t want to be gendered as a female anymore. I’m also changing my name to Maddox now and I would appreciate it if you would start calling me that. This has been slow to change and very hard for me, but the process has certainly begun and I know now that it will never end. Love you. (to Maggie) There. Now what do you have to say for yourself?

Context: Maddox is a non-binary trans identified person who spends the whole play recounting their life as assigned female at birth; trying to be a girl named “Maggie”, while discovering their own gender identity in all of its complexity. In the play, Maggie is another character and is present during this monologue to argue with Maddox’s points. The letter is equally to Maddox’s mother as well as their past self, Maggie. The monologue occurs in the show as Maddox realizes the moment when they began to have control over the body that they share with Maggie.

More information:  rorystrongman (at) gmail (dot) com

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