Now that my computer and browser are behaving (for now), I wanted to share a link to a great story in the news. Earlier this year, the comedian/actor Colin Mochrie revealed to the world that he had a transgender daughter. Kinley Mochrie is her name, and she came out as transgender to her family last year.
Naturally, it was big news for the Mochrie family to take in, but there a few things that eased the shock of the change. For sure, there was understanding. Support and acceptance was there, too. So was education and keeping the lines of communication open; Colin Mochrie notes they are useful and important in helping to support a trans child during their transition.
What was also used were the lessons of improvisation. If you’ve seen any iteration of Whose Line Is It Anyway? over the years, you are well aware that Colin Mochrie is a master of improvisational performance. One of the primary concepts of improv is the “yes, and…” rule. That is, when a group of improv actors are performing together, they must always say “yes” to a situation created by their partner(s). The “and…” part comes through accepting what will come next as well as building on that in order to develop the scene. It’s that saying “yes” to new things in life — including saying yes to their child’s transition and yes to standing beside them — that has aided the Mochries through the process. As Colin Mochrie puts it, “You accept what someone has given you and you build on that.” Ah, the awesome, amazing power of improv.
Both Colin and Kinley Mochrie sat down for an interview with CBC Television’s The National last weekend to discuss the early stages of Kinley’s coming out, Colin’s indication of how his improv background helped in the acceptance stage, and the lingering fears about the ignorant crowd that they may or may not have (and in this new, frightening age, those fears are real). It’s a great interview and well worth the time to watch, which you can do so at this link.