When I began to write ‚Venuswave’,
I was aware of the narrow tight rope walk which I was about to engage in. The hot topic: a bisexual female artist falls in love with a man who also wants to be a woman, especially in intimate encounters. Who of my readers would like to deal with such a bizarre love story, beyond an every day context?, I thought.
Although I had done a lot of research on this topic, I hesitated for quite some time to put this story into words. However, after Conchita had won the European Song Contest audiences reacted in a surprisingly positive way on people who had the courage to be different, to go public with an identity different from common expectations. And so I finally sat down and started to write. I told the story of photographer Nina, who is in love with lust and desire, and of Steve, who hides a dark secret and falls for Nina, and of black haired Diva Cindy, Steve’s clandestine Alter Ego. Their story begins and ends on an island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Before my first reading in a theatre at the Leipzig Book Fair I was very nervous.
The first sentences appeared like a huge adventure. While reading I discretely looked at the audience. In the first row there was a man who was obviously not at ease. He did not know where to look, embarrassed to be here. I imagined that he was about to leave. Behind him there was a couple listening to the story smiling attentively. The rest of the audience seemed torn between consent and rejection. In any case the room was quiet, very quiet, especially while I was reading about Steve’s turning into Cindy, preparing for sex. I was still insecure -would our society be ready for a transgender romance?
But then, during intermission a young man approached me. He was the first one to buy a book and he asked for an autograph.
For whom is the book?
It’s for me, he replied.
What name do you want me to write?
Andrea, he said.
I thought I had misheard, and asked again.
No, Andrea, he smiled, pulled out his mobile phone and showed me pictures of himself – as a woman.
These pictures are beautiful, simply beautiful, I said.
I am looking forward to reading, I know that this book is going to make me totally happy, he answered.
Now I know that it was good and essential to have written this novel. For people like Andrea who have the courage to break the rules and to live their sexual identity. But also for all others who are unashamed of opening their horizon concerning erotic literature.
Translation by Eva Stiegler
Photo: Claudia Charriez made it to the semifinal round on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2006 before she was disqualified because she was assigned male at birth.