'Eddie Izzard: On
being a man' (from Rant
|You're walking down the street minding
your own business when suddenly a wolf drives past in a mini metro, a cat on the wall is
complaining about laundry and there are two suspicious looking horses in a field
with guns hidden down their socks.
Welcome to the world of Eddie Izzard. A world that is full of PVC trousers and high
heeled Gucci sandals.
Eddie is a transvestite, not a drag queen. He is an action transvestite, a male tomboy - a
straight guy who likes to wear women's clothes: 'Running, jumping, climbing trees and
putting on make-up when you're up there. That's what it is!' he tells us.
Eddie is s good as he is because he has found himself. He knows exactly where he fits into
the real world. Having done this he then makes it all irrelevant and draws the
audience into his own parallel universe.
When he did his first show in a frock in October 1992 someone asked comedienne Jo
Brand how she thought people would react. She shrugged. "The same way as to me
wearing a dress, I s'pose"
He was four when he first remembers being interested
in wearing frocks. His father says: "Eddie dressed up in his mother's clothes
as a small child. It didn't worry either of us." At 15 he was caught stealing
lipstick. He lied and said it was for a girlfriend.
Eddie's take in the clothing issue?
"It's a gift, but it's a difficult gift, It's like being given a Ferrari when you're
a kid - you can't just get in and honk the horn. You've got to learn how the thing
works, you've got to embrace it. "I had to think really deeply. Why do I feel this
way? What can I do about
it? Should I do anything about it? Is it built in, or is it something I'm choosing?
Trying to work all that stuff out really was an advanced course in being truthful to
He even considered changing sex but decided that he wouldn't make a convincing
woman. He was a bloke in a frock. He had to find his own path, be his own role model.
It's not as if his choices have been easy. After one gig in Cambridge a youth jeered at
him in the street. Eddie stood his ground, gave him a load of verbal abuse and was
attacked by the bloke and his four mates. Eddie went to court in full make-up, repearted
what he said and told the judge that he'd been angry at their attitude. The men claimed
Eddie had attacked them - but he simply pointed out that if he'd been looking for trouble
he wouldn't have been wearing heels. They were found guilty and fined. Izzard had taken
the scary option and won.
He is glamorous. He is glorious. He is Eddie Izzard.