‘You were considered toxic and not part of society’: Suzy Eddie Izzard says she was ‘fought in the streets’ after coming out as transgender
Suzy Eddie Izzard has revealed the abuse she faced after coming out as transgender in the 1980s.
The comedian, 61, was speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday morning with Kate Garraway and Ben Shepherd.
She recently revealed she would be adding ‘Suzy’ into her name yet opted to remain as Eddie in recent interviews as the moniker is her ‘public name’.
Eddie, who is genderfluid but prefers she/her pronouns, first came out as trans in 1985 when she was 23.
She told Kate and Ben about how she was ostracised by society, including being ‘fought in the streets’ and receiving abuse.
Eddie said: ‘If you were trans you were considered toxic and not part of society.
‘There weren’t any conversations when I came out in ’85 so it was such a hard mental thing to do because I had to sort of go do it.
‘You had to basically go out and if people shouted at you on the street, if they fought you in the streets, you had to fight back and stand your ground.’
In disbelief, Ben asked if she was ever actually involved in a physical fight. She continued: ‘Yes. Not a huge amount of times.
‘I did have a big fight which I’ve talked about. There’s been a few fights and a lot more people shouting abuse.
‘That has got less over the years, but then if I go to other places I can get it. I just stand my ground.’
‘Everything after that is not so hard! Doing stand-up in French and German.’
It comes after the actor revealed she turned to shoplifting when she battled with establishing her gender as a teen, following her mother’s death.
Eddie explained that her mother’s death made it ‘impossible’ for her to express herself – to the point of making herself ill when she was cast as a woman in a theatre show while she was at boarding school in her teens.
She told The Guardian: ‘After Mum died, it was just me and my brother and my dad, so even to throw on a dress was impossible…
‘I’d been caught stealing makeup when I was 15… Suddenly I’m 16 and being cast as a gangster’s moll in this revue. I got psychosomatically ill’.
Despite having the opportunity to explore her gender during the school performance, she could not tackle the work through fear.
She explained: ‘They had to get someone else to do it. From the room I was in, I could hear his performance. By the time it was over, I was well again. I probably thought, ‘This is what I really want – but won’t I just sound like a boy?’”
Eddie went on: ‘When I came out I realised I didn’t look terribly … well, I kind of look like a trans person but I think the world is more relaxed about that now, and I am too. We’ve gone through a unicorn phase but we’ve just got to be people…
‘When we hit boring, that’s when we’ve made it. ‘You’re lesbian or gay or bi or trans, yes, but what do you do?’ ‘Oh, I’m a librarian.’ ‘Are you a good librarian or a bad librarian?’ ‘I’m a good librarian. I can find you all the books.’
‘Or an astronaut. ‘Are you a good astronaut or a bad astronaut?’ ‘Ah, a bad one, I’m afraid. I landed on the wrong planet …’
Last month, Eddie said that she understands there may be confusion surrounding her name and identify now but insisted that nobody could offend her.
She said: ‘So there’s now all this about people don’t know what to say – I prefer Suzy but I don’t mind Eddie. I prefer she/her, but I don’t mind he/him.
‘Nobody can make a mistake unless they call me Gregory or Sabrina and then that’s not quite right. Everything else nobody can make a mistake and they can choose.’
Eddie went on to add that it is a ‘hard time’ to be a trans person, saying: ‘This hard time with trans is just something we have to go through…
‘We are in the conversation now. And we will get through it. People get very angry on the internet and I just ignore it. I really try to be positive. I want to be an MP.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.