Eddie Izzard has revealed she contemplated being female at the age of five and believes she has both ‘boy and girl’ genetics.
The Yemen-born comedian, 58, previously identified as a transvestite but is now based in ‘girl mode’ and wants to be known as a trans woman.
Speaking to Simon Thomas on the Life, Interrupted podcast she admitted she leads a ‘tricky life’ and people still give her ‘rubbish in the streets’.
Eddie told how she knew from childhood she was gender fluid, and recalled a lightbulb moment that occurred while living in Northern Ireland between 1964 and 1967.
Eddie Izzard, pictured in October, has revealed she contemplated being female at the age of five and believes she has ‘boy and girl’ genetics
Having been fascinated by her mother’s clothes, she was intrigued when a new family moved to their area in Bangor and one of the boys wore his sister’s dress.
‘I must have been four or five, and there was laughter, mocking,’ she recalled. ‘I remember thinking, that sounds pretty good to me, I’d be quite happy to be a girl, what’s going on there.’
He went on: ‘Your biological body [can give] different signals as to how it is in the brain, but I do feel gender fluid – I have got boy genetics and girl genetics, so I call it boy mode and girl mode. These may not be great phrases but I can’t think of better words.
‘Man mode and woman mode doesn’t sound good so I’m going with those at the moment, but language can change over the years. I am gender fluid, I do seem to be a mixture, but I’m now based in girl mode as a trans woman. And now that pronouns have come out [it] feels like a promotion, I’m very happy with that.’
Eddie, pictured as a young boy, told how she knew from childhood she was gender fluid, and recalled a lightbulb moment that occurred while living in Northern Ireland between 1964 and 1967
She said she knew she was gender fluid before her mother passed away when she was six in 1968, and believes being trans is ‘built in’.
‘Some people say [my mother dying is] linked to being trans but it really isn’t because I knew beforehand and I don’t think it’s right,’ Eddie explained.
The comedian said she believes her mother would be ‘positive’ about her life choices
‘I think it’s just built in.’
She added that she still finds it difficult to talk about her mother’s death from bowel cancer.
‘That’s very tough,’ Eddie said. ‘They say time is a healer, I don’t think it is; time puts scar tissue over the idea but you know, if I talk about it I’m just back there and it’s rough but I am happy to talk about it.
‘She was a nurse, she was a loving person, never bloody smoked and got bowel cancer. Some people believe in a God, well, good for them but any God that said that my mum had to get cancer – no.’
The comedian said she believes her mother would be ‘positive’ about her life choices, adding: ‘I think Mum would have been cool on it.’
Eddie is currently taking part in a charity challenge to run 31 marathons in 31 days alongside performing 31 stand-up comedy shows, and spoke to Simon as she completed her 18th marathon on a treadmill.
She is raising funds for the Make Humanity Great Again campaign, which gives money to charities making a real difference to disadvantaged and vulnerable people at this difficult time – including some of those dealing with the wider effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. So far her epic run has raised £279,428.
Eddie said it’s all part of her quest to break down barriers and raise awareness of LGBT+ issues.
Speaking about her own experience, she told the podcast: ‘It’s a tricky life, people still give you rubbish in the streets, it’s still a tough fight. But I did that in the beginning of ‘85, that’s when I came out.
‘I’ve slowly, slowly been making the conversations over the decades so that people felt okay with it and trying to do good comedy, good drama, as good running as I could, as good activism as I could, just so that people would go, “you know, LGBT+ people, they really push it”.
‘I think women have to do this, I think black people have to do it, any minorities, they have to work extra hard so that they say, “well, we won’t get that white male to do this, we’ll get that other person who’s working their backside off just to get through the glass ceiling”.’
Yesterday it emerged Eddie wants to become the first transgender MP in Westminster and help Keir Starmer’s Labour Party evict the Conservatives from Number 10.
He told the podcast: ‘I wanted to get a seat as a member of the Labour Party to be an MP in the last election – that didn’t happen for whatever reason.
‘If a by election comes up that’s a good fit I will go for that, if not then the next election, but I will keep going until I get in. I’m entering the political phase of my life.
‘And then like Glenda Jackson, like maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger, I will come out again… But politics is what I’m about to go into once we get through this hellish Covid.’
Life, Interrupted is available on Global Player or wherever you get your podcasts every Monday.