The stereotype of an artist living a solitary life is not exemplified in David – quite the opposite.

“At the same time, I was very busy being a father and a husband, and a provider, which I thought meant, also acting/presenting, in a very traditional sense, as a father and a husband and a provider. It wasn’t a conscious choice for me. I just fell into patterns that I had seen all my life, the way my dad behaved and dressed, the way other fathers and husbands acted and dressed. I was very busy being something very specific for other people. I really didn’t allow myself to fully express my true being. So much so that I didn’t even realize the nature of my true being! I didn’t know that anything was missing because what I was doing felt “normal,” and looked like everyone else around me. (in hindsight, that should’ve been my first clue that something was off.)”

“Then, recently, a convergence of things occurred. One, my kids are now much older, nearly 20 years old, and 16 years old. And my older child has identified themselves as non-binary. Suddenly this opened up lots of questions for me not only in terms of their identity, but also fully realizing my own. I realized that I was “being dad“, dressing and acting “like a dad“ And that my kids didn’t even need that anymore. I had put that on myself for some reason. And as my own gender expression evolved, they were completely supportive. Their generation gets it in a way that my generation still struggles to understand. Two, I very unexpectedly started a relationship with someone that I’ve known for many many many years. We were good friends, and colleagues, and suddenly the friendship turned romantic. And, I realized that this person has seen me through all the different phases of my life. He knew me before, and after, I was married. He has seen my children grow up. He has seen me in an out of drag. He has seen me at my thinnest and most physically fit and at my heaviest and most out of shape. There was never a thought to try to “be something“ for this person who already knew me so well. I realized in that moment that this relationship was the first I’d ever had where I didn’t place upon myself, the onus of “being something” specific for someone else. For the first time in my life, with my kids nearly full grown, and this person in my life, I can be whoever I want to be! I can express whatever I want to express, and I am not fearful that my self expression will in someway turn him off or drive him away.  I really have never had that in my life until the past two years.”

“Thirdly, with the acting industry, catching up to non-gender expression being the norm, I had my first audition, which specifically asked me to come dressed in a very non-binary fashion. I did so, and I remember asking my daughter, as I was leaving to go to the audition, “is this enough?“ I didn’t feel like I was being anything, particularly non-binary, I was just for the first time in my life, going to an audition in a way in which I was completely comfortably dressed. To be sure it was a very gender-nonconforming outfit. I wore 4 inch heeled boots, and a drappy kind of blouse, dress trousers and lots of jewelry. And I thought “I don’t know if this qualifies as gender fluid because this is just me.” LOL! “

“I posted about it on Facebook later that day, because that was the very first audition I had ever gone to where I felt completely like myself. I realized that whether I am wearing a suit, or a button, down shirt and slacks, or I’m in full drag, that ALL of those looks are a costume, and that my reality was somewhere in the middle.” 

“And, lastly, about a year and a half ago, my friend David Maiocco asked me to guest star on his gay pride show. He is the world’s foremost, impersonator of Liberace, and an amazing pianist and musician in his own rite. For some reason I decided to appear as Amanda (Reckonwith). I thought, “Why not? It’s for gay pride. It’ll be fun.” And it was fun. But the ripple effect of that singular performance started a change in my performance life that was actually a return to my greatest professional successes. I realized that this “thing that I do,” that I have always done, is also the thing that has brought me the greatest amount of joy on stage. When I am Amanda, I am my happiest and funniest, and most fully realized version of myself. In my mind, Amanda can do no wrong, which is extremely liberating. Whereas “David“ has always been searching for what was “right.” And in that moment I remembered a famous quote from Jane Fonda, “We are not meant to be perfect. We are meant to be whole.” “

“So, to be perfectly clear, I still consider myself a “he/him.” I’m just a he/him that does this! I’m very happy with my assigned gender at birth. I like all of my “parts.” I just choose to express myself through clothing and jewelry, and accessories, and even make up, in a way that for many people seems very gender-nonconforming, and very nontraditional. And yet for me, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to do.”

“A BIG change! And it’s about time!”

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