Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER Trap Door transcends with binary-breaking French patriot
by Catey Sullivan

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Had ze lived in 18th-century France, David Lovejoy might well have been one of the unsung superheroes of history. As it is, the gender-fluid actor ( Pronouns: Ze, hir, hirs, hirself ) is playing one at Wicker Park's Trap Door Theatre. In Mark Brownell's comedy Monsieur D'eon is a Woman, Lovejoy steps into the heeled shoes of a gender rebel in the court of Louis XIV.

Centuries before the world had language for those whose very existence proves that the binary is rubbish, D'eon forged a life as a woman who ( in the clothes of a man ) became a high-ranking French diplomat and a decorated war hero.

Assigned '"male" at birth, D'eon knew from childhood that she was a woman. And not just any woman: With no tolerance for dresses or homemaking or other historically female pursuits, D'eon donned breeches and set out to fight for her country. It wasn't until the final years of her life that officials stripped D'eon of her ranking and forced her into petticoats and corsets.

"The cast refers to her as a superhero of history," said director Nicole Wiesner. A superhero whose battles are waged still: "We've been having this discussion about trans people in the military for hundreds of years," Wiesner said. "There have always been people who didn't fit the binary and wanted to serve their country. It was going on in Louis's time, and it's going on now."

At 23, Lovejoy is as fluent in French as ze is adept at rocking a ballgown. Hir gender defies narrow classification. "I'm not a transwoman. I'm non-binary. And with that comes the experience of people not understanding who or what I am. In that, I relate to Monsieur D'eon," ze said.

"The part of her I also really identify with is that she had no interest in conforming to the stereotypes of what a woman was supposed to be or do," Lovejoy added. "She wanted to ... be a soldier and a patriot, and to be taken seriously," ze said.

In Brownell's history-based comedy, D'eon is guided throughout life by a kindred spirit: Joan of Arc ( played by Ty Easley, who is trans ). St. Joan isn't the only larger-than-life historical figure to pass through D'eon's life. Benjamin Franklin, Empress Elizabeth of Russia and Jean Jacques Rousseau also show up in the play ( the last with concerns that Louis's glittery court was becoming altogether too effeminate ).

Wiesner's 11-person ensemble plays roughly 80 roles among them, with Lovejoy at the gleaming center.

Lovejoy grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where ze spent seven years studying at Beverly's Waring School, a bilingual institution where lessons were taught in French as well as English. Ze arrived in Chicago about six years ago, as a theater student at the University of Chicago.

Lovejoy remains fluent in French. But it's not just language that ze shares with D'eon. The solder's struggles aren't so far removed from Lovejoy's own. Take, for example, the fixation D'eon's peers had with what was in her breaches.

"Everyone wants to know what's underneath D'eon's pants. That's still something that happens today—people reduce everything in to 'well, you were born a man, right?' Wrong," ze said.

Lovejoy started hir outward journey with nail polish.

"My first step of was when a friend painted my nails. Something in me clicked. I felt more beautiful, more like myself. So I started doing nail designs. People stared sometimes. They'd notice when I was paying for something, for instance.

"But after a while, I started feeling pride instead of fear," Lovejoy continued. "And with that pride, I started wearing make-up and skirts and dresses. The first time I stepped out in a dress, I was terrified. Then, I started seeing my clothes as battle armor. People would stare and I'd stare right back," ze said.

"The first time I introduced myself with my pronouns, I thought I was going to vomit," ze added. "But after it poured out of my mouth, I felt amazing and beautiful. And seen."

Still, the malevolent ignorance of others' assumptions can be harrowing, both emotionally and physically. Lovejoy endured a beating on the El en route to a May performance, pummeled bloody at the hands of transphobic cisgender men. Ze talks about the experience in this issue of Windy City Times.

"No matter how hard we try, people will continue to assume things about other people's gender," ze said. "Plays like this are important in part because they make the audience confront those assumptions."

"I am very proud of my gender and myself," Lovejoy said. "But I still closet myself sometimes because I don't feel safe.

"Regrettable as it is, other people can make you question yourself. We can't help but care what other people think and how we are seen in the world," ze said.

"Being seen is everything," ze said. "I will never forget telling my best friend and she said, 'I see you and you're beautiful,' and I broke down in tears. And we were both much more comfortable because we both knew who I was."

D'eon lived to be an octogenarian—a remarkable life span for someone in the 18th century.

"It was a long life, and a remarkable one. And a difficult one," Lovejoy said. "It wasn't easy, but it was beautiful."

Monsieur D'eon is a Woman continues through June 30 at Trap Door Theater, 1655 W. Cortland St. Tickets are $20 and $25, two-for-one on Thursdays. Go to or call 773-384-0494.

Also see VIEWPOINT Dont just stand there by David Lovejoy here: .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Herland 2019-03-23 - Playwright: Grace McCloud At: Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Tickets: 773-728-7529; $35-$40. Runs through: April 14 "When people ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Hands on a Hardbody 2019-03-20 - Playwright: Doug Wright ( book ), Amanda Green ( lyrics ), Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green ( music ) At: Refuge Theatre Project ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW How to Live on Earth 2019-03-15 - Playwright: MJ Kaufman At: Chimera Ensemble at the Flatiron, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets:; $23. Runs through: March 24 Those ...

Gay News

eta seeking executive director 2019-03-14 - The board of directors for the eta Creative Arts Foundation is seeking an experienced executive director with a strong background in African-American arts ...

Gay News

Ravinia Festival Experience Center, immersive-experience theater, to open 2019-03-14 - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ravinia Festival will open a major addition to the park, the RaviniaMusicBox Experience Center, later this summer. The new ...

Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Remember the Alamo 2019-03-13 - Playwright: Nick Hart At: The Neo-Futurist Theatre, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets:; $25 ( pay-what-you can Thursday nights ). Runs through: April ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Bridges of Madison County 2019-03-13 - Authors: Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown At: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston. Tickets: or 773-347-1109; $39-69. Runs through: ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Southern Comfort 2019-03-13 - Authors: Dan Collins ( book/lyrics ) and Julianne Wick Davis ( music ) At: Pride Films & Plays, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: 866-811-4111; ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Man Who Was Thursday 2019-03-12 - Playwright: adapted by Bilal Dardai from the story by G.K. Chesterton. At: Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: and 773-761-4477; ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.