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A STARR IS BORN

Excerpt from the working draft of Memoirs of an Artist: My Life in Transition


Penned by Charles Burnell 201
!emoirs" #here do you begin$ % think most biographies start at birth& or shortly before"
% really don't remember that far" Certainly not enough to write about it" (his is not an
attempt at a biography anyway" #hat % am sharing with you is a collection of my
memories" !y perceptions of the experiences that % ha)e been blessed to ha)e been
conscious for" *o matter how uncomfortable a memory may be& recalling these
experiences ha)e helped me through my transition"
E)erything that % recall really happened" +r more accurately& % really percei)ed as
happening" Perception and reality walk a fine tightrope with each other" Each one take
turns being the rope and the walker& with a occasional umbrella thrown in for balance
from time to time" ,ather than changing all the names& % ha)e chosen to not include last
names& as some names are )ery common" % ha)e changed names altogether in some
instances" % am not telling with whom % did which because that spoils the game"
%t really isn't a guessing game" %f you ha)e crossed my path and find yourself in my
story& consider it a compliment that % found my memory of you" (here was ob)iously
something significant about you or % probably wouldn't remember you or ha)e chosen to
include you in this text" (hank you for being part of my life"
Born in an apparently female body& -uly 12& 1./& % was gi)en the name 0irecat 1tarr
Burnell" (hat really doesn't feel like the beginning" #hen % began consciously and
intentionally transitioning from female to male really feels more like the beginning" But
really& there is no beginning and there is no end" 1o % suppose % will ha)e to start
somewhere in the middle" E)erything has been pieces that fall together& slowly forming
the picture that % look at when % )iew all that has been my life" 1o far"
1tarting from the middle is all relati)e" #e ha)e so many starting points in our cycles"
Pi)otal points during our life experiences when the decisions we make and the acts we
take on make a lasting difference in our relati)e futures"
% think of the years that % spent li)ing with my father as my foundation years" 2e
pro)ided a solid foundation of structure" 2e taught me many basic life skills about li)ing
as an adult in 3merican society" 2e tried to teach me the basic concepts of many things"
Economics& the stock market& the )oting system& following the law and the repercussions
of not doing so& doing your own dishes and the importance of wiping down the counter
in the kitchen and how to do your own laundry" % learned how to darn my own socks
from my dad4 (he memories may be blurry and at times more of a conglomerate mess of
feelings" 1till they ha)e pro)en to be monumentally important to me& when defining
myself as a man and a father" 5rowing past the adolescent years& and becoming a parent
catapulted me forward into a stage of repression and growth so different than what the
pre)ious decade had been for me" 3s a parent % ha)e recalled many memories of my
childhood& and ha)e been amused in the disco)ery of how much % learned from my
father"
!iddle 1chool was yet another transition" 3s is customary in our modern 3merican
society& the human species must be thrown together in a )irtual cage and forced to
interact under the strictest circumstances" (he idea is as follows6 being a )ital time of
brain growth& it is the prime time to perform ritual data7dumps in the computers that are
the brains of the capti)e teens" #e expect this to be an effecti)e way to program all the
teens" (hey must be prepared for their roles as adults in a manner that supports the
economic and social structure of the 3merican culture& or they wont be able to sur)i)e"
%t is arrogant to belie)e that we can effecti)ely block the confusing sexuality and gender
role identity issues that are being aroused by the mix of bad media programming and
raised endorphines in an enclosed classroom" %t would ha)e been much more effecti)e if
they had actually taken the time to help us understand what was going on and how to
na)igate it in a healthy way" (his is a natural time for the human to be continually
distracted by the rage of pubescent hormones" #hy is it perfectly acceptable to force the
male and female species together in an enclosed room for se)eral hours per day$ #hile
pumping their brains full of contradicting media about gender roles and a mal7formed
definition of beauty and lo)e& they become more easily confused and distracted" %n many
cases& it is downright depressing" 3 bad cocktail of hormones with no )entilation might
as well ha)e been the gas chamber for me& and at times % wished that it was"
1tarting with my adolescence is an important point of reference for me" (his e)ent
represents a line of memory" E)erything before this point % categori8e as childhood
memories" !y adolescent rebellion stage really started when % reali8ed that mo)ing in
with my mother might actually be able to happen" #hen % became a teenager reality sort
of tilted sideways a little" % couldn't trust anyone" 9et& % wanted to be able to trust
e)eryone" E)erything was a contradiction" E)erything felt like % was watching someone
else's life happening in front of me e)ery day" %t feels like drawing from a past life when
% recall e)ents from my childhood" #hereas when % recall memories from my
adolescence& it feel like %'m remembering a mo)ie of someone else's experiences"