Video: Get to Know Stephen Ira, Annette Bening & Warren Beatty's Outspoken Trans Son
At only 20 years old, Stephen Ira is lightyears ahead of his peers — in terms of maturity, intelligence and perspective. The son of Hollywood icons Warren Beatty and Annette Bening made a video as part of WeHappyTrans' 7 Questions Project, in which he talked (or, rather, speed-talked) about his trans role models, his biggest supporters and what he's doing to change the world.
Judging from his eloquence and his nuanced (almost academic) way of speaking about gender and sexuality, it comes as no surprise that Stephen is a student at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College. Throughout the entire video, he is funny, self-effacing and totally sincere (he even calls on his audience to "overthrow the cultural tyranny of irony" as expressed by the late and great David Foster Wallace in his essay "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S Fiction"). He talks about how he is privileged to be able to take hormones and being perceived as male and still "present as femme," like when he wears necklaces, ribbons and rings.
"It's nice to finally be able to have my identity be legible to people," he says.
Stephen talks fashion icons (Truman Capote) and proclaims, "Any male-identified person who wears thigh-highs or garters — the world belongs to you."
Without a hint of morbidness in his voice, he thanks writer "Auntie Kate Bornstein" "without whose books I might very well be dead." Bornstein responded to the shoutout on Twitter, calling Ira "so sweet."
Oh, and don't call him Stephen Beatty — on Twitter, he politely corrected a journalist's mistake, stating that his name is simply Stephan Ira.
Sure, he has famous parents, but for the purpose of understanding and enjoying this video, they're pretty irrelevant.
The Twitterverse poured out support, thanks and praise of the video and Stephen.
@supermattachine Also - your We Are Trans vid is amazing & you are so self aware & articulate & adorable.— Avital N. Nathman (@TheMamaFesto) July 20, 2012
watching @supermattachine talk in his WeHappyTrans video makes me want to be less of an ass in life, generally speaking— Keely (@rainydaykate) July 20, 2012