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Earlier today, comics creator Lilah Sturges came out publicly as trans, declaring that she will now begin openly living her life as female. She made the announcement via a lengthy and heartfelt post on her FaceBook page.
Sturges is best known in comics for her work on DC/Vertigo’s Eisner nominated series Jack of Fables. She is also a novelist, publishing the book “Midwinter” in 2009, followed by its sequel “The Office of Shadows” the following year. Some of her other comics’ work includes Vertigo’s House of Mystery (co-written with frequent collaborator Bill Willingham), Shadowpact and Blue Beetle for DC, and Thor: Season One for Marvel.
Sturges’ announcement was met with enthusiastic support from friends and collaborators both inside the comics industry and out. She joins a small group of trans creators within the industry, but one can hope her coming out heralds a greater atmosphere of acceptance and welcoming for trans creators.
Here is Lilah Sturges’ original post in full:
Dear friends and family,
Hi. I’m transgender.
I began transitioning several months ago and am now getting to a point where I’ll be living openly as female, most if not all of the time. My new name is Lilah, and I’d prefer that you call me by that name from now on, and use feminine pronouns when referring to me.
(I was unaware when I stumbled on this name that it can be spelled a million different ways, and people aren’t always sure how to pronounce it, so, you know, great job, Lilah. It’s pronounced LIE-la, by the way.)
Even though I’ve been fortunate to have the great luxury that is the support of my close family and friends, it hasn’t been easy. It’s been a painful and emotional journey to get to this point, and I still have a long way to go. In order to get through this, I’m asking you for your emotional support, your guidance, and your love. Like a lot of people, I have difficulty asking for help sometimes, especially for big stuff, but I do need help right now. I’m scared to do this.
I’d love for you to talk to me, and let me know that you support me. Please don’t avoid talking to me because you’re afraid of making a mistake. If you accidentally call me “Matt” or “Matthew” or refer to me as “he” or “him”, it’s NOT A BIG DEAL. I accidently he/him myself sometimes! You don’t need to fall over yourself apologizing. We’ll get there together.
If you’re one of my lady friends and you like to shop, I’d love for us to go shopping. Due to my absurd tallness, I have to order most of my clothing online, but what I really need to focus on buying right now are accessories, inexpensive jewelry, etc. I’m roughly as knowledgeable about this stuff as the average twelve-year-old girl, albeit SLIGHTLY more emotional (estrogen is a hell of a drug). And please, please offer to go to the bathroom with me. As I’m sure you know, the presence of trans women in bathrooms has been made into a huge deal, and I don’t like getting yelled at, especially when I really have to pee.
If you’re one of my queer friends, I’m really interested in LGBT advocacy and would love to know about projects, organizations, etc. that could benefit from my time or skills. Let’s queer it up!
If you’re a comics media people, if you’ve got a podcast and would like for me to be on it, or you’d like to interview me for your website, let me know. I’m happy to discuss the topic.
If you’re anyone and you have questions about transgender stuff in general or about my own transition, feel free to ask me (but be classy and stay out of the bathing suit area).
If you’re a friend or family member that I haven’t told in person, please forgive me. Coming out to people one-on-one takes a lot of emotional effort.
Oh, and If you’re a person who has a problem with transgender people, or with me being trans, I’d appreciate it if you’d keep those thoughts to yourself. If you have a religious objection, please pray for me.
And lastly, if you’re a fellow trans person, and you’re still in the closet or just feeling really freaked out and alone, you are NOT alone, and you are beautiful.
Thank you all so much. Like, I said, it’s been a challenging path to walk. One of the most difficult things about it has been keeping silent. What a relief to finally let go of that silence. It’s been a rough year for a lot of us; let’s work to make our 2017 a year of togetherness, love, and hope.
After her announcement, Sturges posted the following on Twitter:
I had such a happy day today. I finally feel like I’m myself. It’s an incredible feeling that I never thought would be possible for me.
— Lilah Sturges (@lilah_sturges) December 29, 2016
I feel like I’ve been fighting with one hand tied behind my back my whole life; now both hands are free and I’m ready to kick some ass.
— Lilah Sturges (@lilah_sturges) December 29, 2016