“Sustaidita, my love”. This is how Eugenia La Moraíta used to say that life should be. Eugenia had passed through Desengaño, Ballesta, Montera, La Casa de Campo, three or four polygons and returned to the center of Madrid in her maturity. Always a winner.
The LGTBIQ + characters of Spanish audiovisual fiction are only 7%
Sustaidita, it said. With time for the bitter, for the sweet and for that boredom that is in between, which, after all, usually occupies almost everything. Coming late to life forces you to rush it like a hungry bitch. On the way they bite into stones that break their teeth, but it does not matter, the time, when it is late, is a dealer of anxieties that does not stop, that is the primary idea, not to stop, calm is the luxury of those who are born with surnames and a patio in which to comb their hair quietly in summer.
The lives of the trans women of my generation and of the previous ones, more or less, have consisted of a half closed fog, a cold that soaks the bones; and another, much shorter, burning with sheer need. That firework-like consumption is not innate, nor, as the voices of hate say, is it the fault of hormones. It is all outburst, it is all reconstruction, it is all a legitimate attempt to leave a mark beyond misfortune, poor thing how much has suffered.
Because look what you suffer.
The actress Isabel Torres has just said goodbye to her audience, of us, of public life through a short video that he has posted on his Instagram and bursts his chest with love, grief and anger that leads to jumping bonfires and screaming against the world with the voice of a bad goblin. It hurts a lot to listen to it. It seems that his cancer is progressing irretrievably and it is a matter of a couple of months, that is what his doctors say.
Life expectancy, beyond the stabbing in the alley or the cannibalistic beating of the trans panic, is shortened by this pushing one’s existence by pushing, from achievement to achievement, from gutter to gutter, as if completing a map that ends with the nature card of a human being, of a woman, as if there were a goddess at the end that allows entry into the gynoecium. And it’s not fair.
Sustainedita. Eugenia, my moraíta, used to say that she has already gone to transvestite heaven.
Imagine a sustained life to forge a serene career, to choose paths as long as the class allows, to train, so as not to rush each option as if it were the first and last ciborium of recognition that can be accessed. To avoid having to compete against life itself from birth.
Isabel Torres, pioneer of many important things, cover of Interviú, television presenter and big woman since she got rid of herself dead of disgust in the schoolyard only had one real opportunity, one of the great ones, of which they promise memory or debacle. And he did much more than just take advantage of it. It turns out that we had a memorable actress crouched in the undergrowth of transmisogyny and gulf figurativeism that popular culture had condemned until almost no time ago the most showy of trans women. Your work on Poison, the series written and directed by Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo on the book by Valeria Vegas, recalls the dramatic asperities of an entire Lola Gaos and the well-measured exuberances of the best Victoria Abril.
The conversation about the relevance or not of who plays whom in fictions that include trans characters has to do with this. With opportunities, with equity. Until trans stories are told by trans people, there will be plenty of clichés and nuances. Why, from the point of view of the person sitting in front of a screen, you will prefer the inconsistencies of Eddie Redmayne trying to figure out the interpretation of a woman from the exaggerated blinking, the subdued puppy head tilt and the silly smile, to the real slap that an Isabel Torres, an MJ Rodríguez or an Abril Zamora can give you. Leaving for another moment what the hell is a man doing playing a woman when there are actresses. This cyclical debate, which always occurs in the wrong coordinates, has nothing to do with talent, or not only, it has to do with an incomplete image of trans lives that until now have been told by those who see them from afar and they have to imagine them. The original version was missing, that denial that can only be given through first-person testimony, that “we are not like that” that refines the narratives. The enormous gap in labor inclusion suffered by trans women is by no means alien to drama, perhaps it is an even wider and deeper gap. Solving it, achieving equity, is what will eventually relax the tensions between those who need to tell their own stories and those who end up telling them.
Isabel Torres is the living, very vivid image of this obvious truth. The embodiment of that incontestable truth. His talent went unnoticed for many years and suddenly exploded in the face of half the world. There is no use in fabled about what Isabel could have done from the privilege of normality, inclusion, equality of conditions, but it is convenient to leave it written so that whoever wants to think about it at home. Yes it is fair and necessary to celebrate the life of an exalted actress who has enriched the culture of a country in eight episodes. That is already part of the best history of entertainment and art.
Be two, four, ten or a hundred months ahead, be witnesses of the honors that it deserves to receive, that the memory of those who could not arrive applauding the one who has resounded, that we do not stop looking at it and thanking it for the open and paved road of joy that leaves.
Eternal in life, Canary Queen. Eternal in life.