There has been a lot of ads that feature transgender people lately. It’s really nice when they do it right. The latest is a Star Bucks ad where we see a transman who is called by his given name. This is how others have seen him however, this is not how he sees himself. At the end, we see what he calls himself, maybe for even the first time. I was simply beautiful. If you have never agonized over something like this, it could be very hard to understand, and the subtleties are quite pronounced.
I remember many years ago when I first tried a new name. That first time helped me understand that it could be possible to be called something else then the name I was given at birth. I hadn’t even settled on a new name yet. When you decided to rename yourself, you try different names to see if one sticks, at least I did. I tried several on to see if they fit me and my personality. One day we were at Disney World, and the E.T. ride ask you your name so E.T. will say your name. I remember it clearly even to this day. I said the name. A few moments it said it back, it was unbelievable.
I’ve thought about a name for years, even tried several but none really stuck. However, one day I tried Sophie and it felt right. It even brings a smile to my face now just thinking about it. I chose Sophie because of Sophie Zawistowski a character played by Meryl Streep. I thought that Sophie had the same type of choice that I had. Her choice was a life and death choice with no good options. At the time I felt that if I didn’t choose a name, I would find myself jumping off some high-rise bridge somewhere and if I did choose a name then I would be scorned for the rest of my life as trans. So, to me, Sophie fit perfectly. I added Marie in order to honor my grandmother and I kept my give last name.
Fast forward several years, I have become very comfortable with the name Sophie. I prefer being called Sophie than my given name. However, many still call me by my given name and I still do answer to it. But it is becoming harder and harder to not correct them. I wish this part would just happen on its own, but it doesn’t. I usually don’t even correct people when they say he. However, that is starting to change, and people are doing it on their own. I guess thanks hormones.
Changing genders is very taxing and can be difficult for everyone, however, just think about how hard it is on us. Just imagine looking in the mirror and seeing someone you don’t want to be staring back every day. Just imagine what that is like. As I have changed looking in the mirror is getting easier. Sometimes I just smile back, and other times gender dysphoria takes hold and points out the parts that still look male. I guess that I will deal with that forever.
I just want to thank Starbucks and Pantene for helping people understand our struggles. Hopefully you can start to understand some of mine. As always love, light, and peace. Sophie
Sophie Marie White, married with three kids, is a native of South Louisiana. She draws from her varied experiences as a writer, filmmaker, producer, Director of Photography, Chiropractor, EMT, firefighter, race car driver, and boxing promoter to inspire her acting and writing. She has been active in the film industry for the past 18 plus years.
Sophie began acting a little over a year ago. Since then she has been cast in several feature films, including Hummingbird and We All Think We Are Special. Sophie was also cast in several TV series including Tell Me Your Secrets and top of show, guest-starring role, on Chicago Med. In her first year and a half of acting, she has been cast in 3 television series, 14 movies, and 1 play.
She is also a syndicated writer, who writes on transgender issues in and outside the film industry. Her screenplays have won the ISA New Orleans Writers Award 2017 and have placed at Table Read My Screenplay (New Orleans, London, and Sundance), Final Draft Fellowship, ISA Fast-track Fellowship, and New York International Fright Fest.
Films she has produced from her screenplays have won or placed at numerous film festivals including AMFM, London Independent Awards, Imagination Lunchbox, and New Zealand Film Awards, just to name a few. She has even watched one of her produced films in the White House.
Sophie is a transgender female, and with her family, she’s making her way through the complicated transition process. She brings a unique voice that is extremely under-represented in the film and television industry. Her desire to share her journey will hopefully show others that there is hope, and they are not alone. Sophie tries to live up to her motto of love, light, and peace.