“Getting Back to Me”
from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years
By Scottie Jeanette Madden
Move over Caitlyn, adventure filmmaker went from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years.
Zuzubean Press is excited to announce the Nov. 10, 2015 release of “Getting Back to Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years. The real-time account of the coming out and M to F transition of an alpha-dog.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 05, 2015
In the wake of the Caitlyn Jenner’s privileged transition in the public eye comes the real world transition of a down-to-earth trans woman in real-time. Scottie Madden uses her journal entries to shed fresh light on the trans experience as she leaves behind fear and “white male privilege” to embrace truth, grace and womanhood. Her gut-wrenching journey of love, acceptance and honesty becomes the ultimate survival show.
Scottie didn’t make it easy on herself. Like many late-stage trans women, Scottie had made one helluva guy; succeeding as husband of 26 years, the only son, the big brother to three sisters and the legendary adventurer uncle to their children. Everything in her life screamed “alpha male,” but no one could guess that Scottie, a top survival showrunner for Discovery Channel and the History Channel, known for leading übermale productions into the world’s most dangerous and remote locations was losing a lifelong battle for her soul. It takes true love from her wife of 26 years for Scottie to shake off fifty years of expectations from her family, society and herself. But first she had to face the denial that she had embraced to shield herself from the heartache of a life that would go on unlived.
Scottie shines her laser sharp instincts for the truth (finally) on herself, and reveals the inner workings of the human soul as it strives to reconcile fear, love, happiness and the truth of who we all are. Her ability to articulate the deepest murmurs of the heart translates to anyone who has ever tried to deal with the insidious malady that goes by the name of denial.
Formidable, fearless, lively, and, above all, charmingly fun, Scottie brings you along with her to the outer edges of the showdown with dangerous private truths. “Getting Back to Me” shows that love does conquer all. Scottie’s unshakable faith in love and her family, friends and community, and her belief in them to be the best that they can be, pays off in inspiring ways.
~ Sally Park Rubin, author of” The Overfunctioning Woman’s Handbook,” says, “Riveting! Tragic hero turns triumphant heroine. If you believe love conquers all, this book will inspire you to go for more of THAT. Formidable, fearless, lively, and, above all, charmingly fun, Scottie, a Hollywood survival show showrunner, brings you safely along with her to the outer edges of anyone’s ability to confront dangerous private truths…takes you on a wild ride overlooking the breathtaking canyons of the soul of a woman.”
Read an excerpt at http://www.zuzubean.com/excerpts.html
Scottie Madden is a showrunner of adventure reality TV with recent shows on Discovery Channel (“Land Rush,” “Dude, You’re Screwed”) and The History Channel (“The Ark”). She has written for children’s television (“Pug and Zero’s Field Trip”), games shows (“Duel,” “Do you trust me?” “Last to Survive”), and feature film (“the kiss”). She lives in Woodland Hills with her wife, her dog Aria and her beloved oak trees in the shadow of “dirt Mulholland.”
Zuzubean Press http://www.zuzubean.com – is an independent publisher of material that engages, entertains, illumines and inspires, based in Los Angeles.
Contact: Marcy Madden 818.489.4341 firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise for: “Getting Back to Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years By Scottie Jeanette Madden
“Scottie Madden has written an intimate, and at turns (times?) funny, outspoken memoir of personal transformation that kept me turning the page for the next eye-opening revelation.”
-Valerie C. Woods, Author, Screenwriter, Publisher, BooksEndependent LLC
“Riveting! Tragic hero turns triumphant heroine. If you believe love conquers all, this book will inspire you to go for more of THAT. Formidable, fearless, lively, and, above all, charmingly fun, Scottie, a Hollywood survival show showrunner, brings you safely along with her to the outer edges of anyone’s ability to confront dangerous private truths…takes you on a wild ride overlooking the breathtaking canyons of the soul of a woman.”
~ Sally Park Rubin, author: “The Overfunctioning Woman’s Handbook: Uncommon Sense to Deal With Impossible Jobs and Impossible People”
“OK I have goose bumps and a tear. I think I will need to read this again, so much to grasp. This is so helpful to me to understand the depth and complexity of the transformation and journey that so many face.”
Audrey, Realtor, Los Angeles
“Scottie’s words broaden our definition, understanding, and experience of love. Thank you again for your generous opening of your own heart for us all to see how it can be done – no matter what challenges we face.”
Katherine, family therapist, Santa Monica
“Thank you Ms. Madden. If only we knew then what we know now. Thank you for showing the acceptance that this era brings. It breaks my heart to know the struggle that trans people go through growing up and thinking somehow we all should have seen the pain… You are a leader with your courage and openness. You are beautiful inside and out. Once again Thank You!”
Holly, mother of three, Lake Arrowhead
“Thank you, Ms. Madden for sharing this with the world. You write so beautifully, eloquently and honestly from the heart. Your story is uplifting and inspiring, not just to those who are going through or experiencing something similar but for anyone living a life where they feel they are not embracing, loving and sharing who they really are. I found it moving and also helpful to understand your journey and your wife’s. You have inspired me to be more me and honest about who I am and who I want to share with the world.”
Danielle, journalist, Australia
“This book is truly amazing. I’m sure it will be of great inspiration to so many others that have been feeling like this without having the courage and/or opportunity and/or support to actually do something about it.”
Francesca, Music Teacher, Italy
Interview with author Scottie Jeanette Madden
“Getting Back to Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years
Can you give us a summary of your book?
This is a real-time account of my coming out. I was a respected adventure survival television series Executive Producer and filmmaker at the time, and I’ve used my journal entries as “play by play” as I left behind fear and “white male privilege” to embrace truth, grace and womanhood. You could say it’s a gut-wrenching journey of love, acceptance and honesty, where my life suddenly becomes the ultimate survival show.
I didn’t make it easy on myself. Like many late-stage trans women, I had made one helluva guy; succeeding as husband (a hopeless romantic whose gifts and affection were the gold standard for women and the bane of men), I was the “only son,” I was the “big brother” to three sisters and I was the legendary “wild uncle” to their children. Everything in my life screamed “Alpha Male,” “The Ultimate Man,” “Best Boy Ever,” “the Dude,” and “The Man.”
No one could guess that I, a top survival showrunner for the Discovery and History Channels, who had developed quite the resume for leading übermale productions to the world’s most dangerous and remote locations, was losing a lifelong battle for my soul.
SPOILER ALERT: It took true love from my wife of 26 years, for me to shake off fifty years of expectations from my family, society and myself. But first I had to face my own denial if I was going to dismantle the walls of a self-imposed prison.
In this time of Janet Mock, Jenny Boylan & Caitlyn Jenner, why did you want to write your story?
Well, it is interesting after all this time to suddenly be an “it girl” – but that’s why I knew I had to get it out there. For some, waking up in the wrong body day after day is something that too many of us simply spend a lifetime fighting down –it’s a losing battle. For most of the books by the well known trans women, their journey was obvious (both to them and the reader). A life or death push made their decision for them. But what about those out there like me, who don’t know what to do when life is looking so right on the outside but has never been right on the inside. I knew that not everyone had been able to articulate their true identity until it was too late and the die was cast. Being who you are is not a choice, but so is “not being” who you are. As a woman, I was trapped not only in the wrong body, but in the wrong-ish life…
(continued next page)
Author Interview (cont’d)
… I had to have the unshakable faith in my heart that what I was feeling was true, without God hitting me upside the head with 2×4, despite what the world was telling me about me. It was a subtle psychological “cold war” for my soul, where my sanity was questioned everyday. A war that lasted almost fifty years. I hope I’ve been able to illumine my trans experience in a way that will help the non-trans audience understand us all better and hopefully discover an example of how to face their own challenges, facades and coping mechanisms in their lives, what ever their identity, gender, or view.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I have written all my life. I talked every teacher from middle school through high school into accepted screenplays instead of term papers (not a hard sell – scripts are 112 pages vs. a mere five pages for a book report, they thought I was nuts). I created and wrote for my own children’s show for two seasons, I’ve written for game shows, feature films and television drama & documentary. All were preparing for writing the next Lord of the Rings… but “Getting Back to Me” is what came out of the lamp when I summoned the Genie. And, well, I am very pleased.
Have you always been interested in memoirs?
Ha… okay, it’s like this: I was leery of my commitment to write a “good one.” As a reality television showrunner, my stock in trade is in really getting to know a real person and then drawing “that character” of a person out through interviews – and I know when someone is not being their true self. The same is true in memoirs. The best ones light up two lives, the author’s and the reader’s. So, I was a little, shall we say apprehensive, exposing myself in this way – not because of the potential for “coloring” the experience, but for not being able to articulate the truth. And, well… failing to illumine either my or the reader’s life.
How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
This always gets me in trouble, but remember I’m a professional writer who’s used to working against deadlines. I wrote the first draft in April and May of 2015 and did the editing in June, July. Both my editor and I were “all in,” and we worked 12 hour days until the end when we were sending chapters back and forth until 3:00 am… I don’t recommend it, but when it’s time to write… you write, right?
What was the most challenging part about writing your book?
The most challenging part was trying to remain detached enough to write coherently about deeply painful moments. I will confess that I didn’t ever give myself permission to think about many of these events for most of my adult life. And I had to force myself to look unflinchingly and honestly at the people I love without protecting them. I’m sure I still sugarcoat my experiences of my father; love will do that to you. And I’m not sure if you’re ever supposed to give that up, nor if I want to, but he did raise me to be strong and tell it like it is, so… after some struggle, I was able to accomplish it.
What are your writing goals for the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months I hope to write a dramatic television series based on my book. I’ve been developing it alongside the book, with a treasured colleague and mentor. She was the one who saw the series potential and encouraged me (actually her involvement as co-creator is the best encouragement there is). Oh, and finish my cookbook. I’ve got 75 recipes; my goal is 100. So far my family is very happy with the R&D stage. (Sorry for the extra pounds!)
Which authors have influenced you the most?
That’s a tough question and sort of like the desert island games (if you could only have one food…). I’ve written fiction all my life, so I try to make anything I write a good story. My “big three” are those who’ve written books that kept me “chasing the light.” So… first up is J.R.R Tolkien. Yes, I’m a that girl. Geek with a capital G. I had blue jeans in high school and college that had permanent stretch marks in the back pocket from my ever-present and thoroughly thrashed copy of whatever one of the trinity (yes, I meant to say that) I was currently engrossed in, again. It was my security blankie and the beacon of hope that spread light throughout my darkest days.
J.K Rowling – call me a sucker for wizards & witches, J.K became my secret mentor, and like most teenage girls (of forty…) I practically inhaled both print and audio books of her saga. She showed a deft and gracious stroke of the subtlest shades of story.
And the writer who touched my heart and aspirations as writer the most is the revered Ray Bradbury – I had the great good fortune to sit at Ray’s feet (three times in three years) for an entire day while he was interviewed via satellite. He was 86 the first time, and he let us set-up cameras and lights during his morning writing session, while he sat in the center of chaos and quietly wrote in long hand on a legal pad what would be the first of his last three books. He would then turn it over to his assistant who would type it while he napped, ate lunch, and sat for rehearsal. He edited the typed material while the interviewers did their final checks, and then he set it down and stared into the camera and talked non-stop for 2 hours about the glory of the libraries. The following year, and the year after that, he did the same – same Ray NEW masterpiece… until the day he left his body. May we all have that commitment to the word!
DUDE, YOU’RE SCREWED
Written at 35,000 feet, between sleeping strangers:
Exhausted. . . been on the road for almost 3 years straight . . . not freakin’ kidding! When we tabulated my “days out of town” for our taxes last year, it was easier to add up the days I was home, fifteen! This year we’re on track for even fewer. I did eight countries on four continents in three months. It’s not a record we can be proud of, my crew is toast, and I’m feeling like I barely got them out alive. Tempers are frayed, and our sense of accomplishment is more like survivor’s guilt. It’s not how I like to run a show.
Feeling defeated when I should be elated: a hit show! Broke my second season curse and the shows are going to look amazing. We hit that magic point in a TV show’s life when the cast is getting recognized in airports – we almost missed connections as they signed autographs and posed for pictures in JoBerg (South Africa) Norway and Romania. As we say on my crew, “First world problems!”
Heck yes, I’m proud of what we built, but I can’t help feeling like this is the end. The network is in turmoil, (they never knew what to do with us, and they have a problem making “intellevision.” (Shows that require an IQ higher than a network suit.) We are one of the most expensive shows they have. My cast has not been treated well by our overlords and our pride of ownership is all we got left; it hurts my heart that we are living up to our name.
I say “my,” as in my crew, my cast, my show because, even though this show was not my idea, I can say without reservation or challenge that I am the mother bear of our little cub. I will confess that I had nothing to do with the title, “Dude, You’re Screwed” but I was the one who insured that a show where “boys will be boys” would not only redefine the survival genre, it would make for a fun ride. As comes with the territory, I take responsibility for the things that didn’t work (there were a few) as much as the things that did. I also confess to pushing, pulling, dragging and nagging, and when required, being such a pain in the butt there was no choice but to grant our wishes, so we could make a show that would be worthy of the insane effort my cast and crew put into every moment. As my dad would say, lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. So, I created and fostered a take-no-prisoners, us against the world, give-us-what-we-want-and-no-one-gets-hurt environment. . .
Did I say I was the Showrunner?
This is technically a nickname for my position. I am a Co-EP, which in reality television is the title for the one “Executive Producer” who was actually producing the television series. At the top of every show (the beginning) there is a list of Executive Producers who made the deal that made the show you are watching. These people are my bosses; I’m the one who is making the show they all promised to deliver.
I’m both the lead storyteller (creative) and business person (management) on the set. As my friend John Hudson RAF says, I’m “the adult.” It’s my name that gets approved by the network, a name built in the adventure doc-reality sect.
This probably the most übermale of the genres: remote, harsh locations and conditions that stretch personnel and equipment to their limits. In my career, I’ve lead crews into the amazon jungle (gold mining), the South Pacific (surfing), Iceland, Chile, Alaska, Nicaragua, the Arctic circle twice (survival). I’ve spent a summer chasing catfish noodlers (believe me they’re not hard to catch, the noodlers I mean) in Oklahoma’s Red River, and a hurricane season with Shrimpers on the Gulf of Mexico.
Not bad for a girl.
Wait. That was a cheap shot. I guess I’ll leave it in, because it illustrates what’s going on. . . I’m changing. I can’t even say the same jokes anymore. Count me in the-best-man-for-a-job-is-a-woman club. As cool as this whole life sounds, the glory is dimming. I don’t feel comfortable even seeing pictures of myself as a “dude.”
I haven’t referred to myself as anything male or masculine for the past year. What’s odd is that I don’t seem to have any control over what’s happening to me and, stranger still, is that:
~ I don’t want control over these changes.
~ I like what’s happening.
~ I won’t do anything to stop the flow.
I will say it hasn’t been easy these last few months. The schedule was brutal and I shined because of it in some areas, taking care of my crew (as Tezzer says, “Nobody got hurt, nobody got pregnant, nobody went to jail, it was a successful mission.”) But there were more than a few “explosions” and despite the fact that not a jury in the world would convict me (the above itinerary, plus a wife going thru chemo for the second time, and oh yeah, my gender dysphoria – the cool medical term for the psychological distress and trauma that occurs when your biology and your identity don’t match) that I’m not proud of. My rep as an unflappable Zen master; cool in the chaos, fun to be with and, more importantly, the one who brings home the story and a happy crew, was in jeopardy.
I am the showrunner for arguably the most testosterone fueled, “über-alpha-male-fest” on TV. The only thing more masculine than us is the NFL. I’ve got an active duty Green Beret Master Sargent, an RAF Elite SERE Instructor (Survive Evade Resist (as in torture) & Escape), and a former navy SEAL, now college football coach, plus a revolving cast that include a Grizzly Bear tracker and other outdoorsmen.
I wish I could tell the world that this Ultra Boys club is run by a girl.
I wish I could tell my cast & crew.
And I feel like I need to hurry. My body is trying like hell to out me. My hair is past my shoulders and I get daily flak from the “dudes” for my girlie earrings (okay, everyone gets flak from them for anything). I’ve had to wear a jog bra all season long because “the girls” have grown two cup sizes (this is without hormones) and I can’t go swimming without a shirt. The SEAL noticed and announced at every watering hole, “Why does the boss-man always wear a shirt in the swimming pool?”
At this point, I had no clue what was about to happen. I didn’t know it yet, but a lifelong struggle was ending and happening so quietly, so gently, that there was nothing to resist. Oddly, in the same way that I have been complicit in my own imprisonment, I’m looking the other way as the She in me files the bars of her cell for the jailbreak.
All I do know, as I feel the airplane cabin pressurize, is that I’m going home. Finally. It’s bitter sweet. I’m so homesick, I miss Mylove so bad, I’m literally walking into walls; you know that feeling you get when you haven’t eaten in so long that you don’t even know you’re starving? I’m numb. I’m so mentally fried, I can barely function, and I’m so sad. We’re not even thru post, the shows haven’t hit the air yet, and though I have nothing to base it on, I can feel it all ending.
As I sit on the plane, (I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made sure my seatback and folding tray table were in the full and upright positions) my head is spinning. Numb as I am, I’m also oddly disoriented. A mental picture haunts me as I close my eyes: warning lights blink dully on the control panel of a ship already underwater. . . a ghostly warning that the ship went down before anyone could respond. . . I’m drifting as the bridge fills with cold murky ocean, I can sense I should care, that something vague is wrong, but, I’m lulled. . . the sense of falling, slowly, into intense silence, threatens to. . . SHIT! I sit bolt upright. It’s freakin’ true! It really happened! Courtney outted me! WTF!
Courtney is my dear friend and the Line Producer (she’s the money girl) on my show. We’ve become very close over the last three years. I call her “Mom” and even though she works under me, she’s the inside girl for the production company. She keeps track of the money I decide we’re spending. We are a great team. She’s the one who has our backs back at HQ, while I’m running through malaria, customs and freezing cold.
But as we sat waiting for our wrap party to begin last night, enjoying a margarita and a brief moment of quiet before our crew arrived, we recounted the year that just streaked past us both; Robin Williams had just passed, (among other real events) and Courtney lamented that “The World According to Garp” was her favorite Robin movie, that she could totally relate to it. Now maybe it was the margarita talking, but I replied, “Me, too.”
(And, of course I pictured John Lithgow’s portrayal of the NFL tight end turned transsexual, Roberta
Muldoon.) What the hell am I doing? Warning lights! Sirens! Deflector Shields impotently sliding down their tracks, too late to stop the launch!
Courtney smiled as she sipped and said, “Oh I bet you did.”
GOD SHE. . . KNOWS!
DIVERT ALL POWER TO THE FORWARD THRUSTERS, REVERSE ENGINES!
I tried to be cool, but I was trapped, or was I? Is this really happening, I asked myself? Or am I freaking out for nothing. Calm down!
I croaked, “What do you mean by that?”
Courtney is a gentle soul, never confrontational, I’m the passionate one, I have to coach her to stick up for herself. She leaned in, eyes unwavering and whispered, “What do you mean, what do I mean?”
I tried to shake it off. Was I making this up? Why was the air being sucked out of my lungs?
“I mean. . . Courtney, what are you saying?”
She gently grabbed my trembling hand, “Sweetheart, I know.”
Time stopped. The shattering sound of cosmic airbrakes arresting the planet’s orbit. In an instant, everything would be flung into space and chaos.
My life had begun to revolve around this company, my new Denver family, and I loved them and loved being in charge of their most challenging, highest profile show. Only recently, had I begun to feel my place there was wobbly. I would always be the outsider; a “Hollywood” philosophy was a gamble in the Mile High City, (as it is in any city outside the 30 mile zone) and I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Because of my take no prisoner’s ethic, I could be more trouble than I was worth to some, and who wouldn’t want to step into my place, take over the coolest show in house, the crown jewel of the company, especially now, that I had figured it out for them, if I gave them half a chance?
It turned out that Courtney had always known I was transgender. She thought it was obvious and never thought she knew a “secret” about me, just who I was. Just Scott being Scott.
She said that every time she booked my air travel, it broke her heart to check the “M” box (under Gender) because it had to match my passport, even though it wasn’t true. I started to cry, which made her tear up, too. God bless this woman, I was going miss her terribly. She snuck one last comment in before the rest of our crew arrived. . .
“Besides, I thought your Google plus announcement confirmed it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“When you changed your gender on your profile to “Female” Google plus sent out an announcement to all of your contacts. I thought, good for her, she’s officially coming out.”
This is so not good. Could it be true? Why would she lie? As I sat with the shrapnel of this bomb all around me, the crew started filing in, and we had to shelve this for now.
I snuck into the bathroom and feverishly checked on my iPhone, sure enough, of the ten or so fields under profile, I had filled in only two: my birthdate & my gender: FEMALE!
I had unconsciously “ousted myself.” After almost 40 years of clandestine spycraft worthy of CIA deep cover to conceal my true identity, I had ousted myself with one keystroke. Seriously? Really? Seriously. Really.
As alarming as that should have been, I was. . . excited, and SCARED OUT OF MY MIND! I tried to talk it away, nobody pays that much attention to lil ‘ol me, right?
That was last night, and now I’m on this plane. . . buzzing. Sinking, too tired to fight and too anxious. It feels almost like excitement, but without the adrenaline. What now?
I will dive into home. Time to be with her. Time to rest & heal. Time to… Time to… be me?
That’s right, I’ve been promising myself that I would have “it” figured out by now. I have been dodging Mylove’s inquiries for months. And to keep both our sanity, it is time.
Even if I’m not ready, I don’t have a choice anymore. As we say on DYS, “That train left the dock.”
About the Author
Though this is Ms. Madden’s first book, she is no stranger to the craft, with credits for creating and writing children’s television (Pug & Zero’s Field Trip), feature film (the kiss), gameshows (Do You Trust Me? Duel, On the Cover and Last to Survive), primetime (Blood of Queens, The Other Woman, Out of the Wild, Dude, You’re Screwed), and award winning screenplays (The Babe on Sunset, the kiss). Ms. Madden balances her time between being writing and producer/showrunner in the adventure documentary world. Known for her engaging storytelling and bold visual style, Scottie has over 30 years in the trenches. Rising through the technical ranks as camera operator and editor, she brings front line experience to her work as writer, director and showrunner. Her feature writing and directing debut, the kiss, was decorated in film festivals and was featured at AFM. As showrunner, Her recent work, Discovery’s Land Rush and the legendary Dude, You’re Screwed (Suvive That! Internationally) and Nat Geo’s The Ark. Her directing credits include Hot Tamales Live! and The Best of It’s Showtime at the Apollo comedy series.
To learn more about the author, visit zuzubean.com/authors
Book Details: “Getting Back to Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years by Scottie Jeanette Madden
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Retail Price: $12.95
Paperback: 6.0″ x 9.0″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) Black & White on White paper 222 pages
Publisher: Zuzubean Press
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / LGBT
Distribution: Amazon, Amazon Europe, Ingram, Createspace
The real-time account of the coming out of a respected adventure survival filmmaker taken from her journal entries as she leaves behind fear and “white male privilege” to embrace truth, grace and womanhood. Her gut-wrenching journey of love, acceptance and honesty becomes the ultimate survival show.
Scottie didn’t make it easy on herself. Like many late-stage trans women, Scottie had made one helluva guy; succeeding as husband of 26 years, the only son, the big brother to three sisters and the legendary adventurer uncle to their children. Everything in her life screamed “alpha male,” “ultimate man,” “best boy ever,” “the dude,” and “the man.”
No one could guess that Scottie, a top survival showrunner for Discovery Channel and the History Channel, known for leading übermale productions into the world’s most dangerous and remote locations, was losing a lifelong battle for her soul. It takes true love from her wife of 26 years for Scottie to shake off fifty years of expectations from her family, society and herself.