Father Tony

Mark Angelo Cummings - Songs in the Key of F2M

Filed By Father Tony | April 06, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: F2M, transsexual

Within five minutes of my arrival at the Hollywood home of folk rock vocalist and acoustic guitarist Mark Angelo Cummings and his wife Violet, Mark took off his shirt to display his remarkable physique. (May all the handsome men I ever have the pleasure of interviewing be this candid!) Mark is a man who is proud of the work he has done to sculpt his body to match his soul, both of which are beautiful.

Mark is also proud to say that he is a female-to-male transsexual who began his life in Havana as Maritza Delcarmen Perdomo.

Mark is a proud Cuban-American artist who has been writing and performing music from a very young age. His new album Enslaved is inspired by his unusual journey and by his commitment to creating a world of love and acceptance for all. His music mines his belief in a universal energy and is informed by his sexual identity. His new post-transition voice and his no nonsense message and style are compared to Melissa Etheridge or Cat Stevens.

Mark's life journey is best described in terms of "gender dysphoria", the discontentment from a very young age with the sex he was born with. He gave me a rapid education about the impact of hormones on gender identity.

"My mother took hormones to get pregnant with me. This may have had an impact on the way hormones worked in my body. Even as a child, I was fascinated by the male physique. My earliest erotic fantasies, at maybe the age of eight, were male directed. I was very shy and I took a lot of teasing from other kids. I felt like a Martian. When I started dating, I found out that I didn't like it when a man would grope me or fondle my breasts. It felt weird being attracted to men but not liking what they wanted to do with me as a woman.

"When I became a body builder in 2001, I took steroids to become more masculine. I was still a female but I was trying to acquire a powerful male physique."

Mark met Violet before his transition. Violet is an attractive, athletic woman who is obviously in love with her husband in a way that transcends his physical and sexual characteristics. She smiled with amusement while Mark narrated their story.

"I met Violet in the locker room of our gym. We talked and seemed to hit it off. Afterwards, she gave me her number and I wondered if maybe she was coming on to me. She had been married to a man and I had a previous relationship with a woman.

"I had never even heard the word "transsexual". Violet and I went to Key West to have a commitment ceremony. At our guesthouse, one of the women asked me because of my bodybuilder physique if I was an f2m transsexual. The steroids you take for bodybuilding give you facial hair and I had decided not to shave in Key West. That made me look even more like a man.

"When we got home, I searched transsexual on the net and as soon as I read about it, I cried. I said 'Oh my God, that's me." I found the doctors I needed and on December 23, 2003, I transitioned. Breasts, ovaries, uterus gone."

I looked over at Violet wondering how she had felt about the operation. With a simple shrug and a smile she explained that she knew it would make Mark happy and true to himself, and that the changes in his body were not traumatic for her.

We talked about sexual attraction, fantasy and body parts and it became clear to me that I was in the presence of two very mature people who have entirely freed themselves from ordinary conventions and needless restrictions. Not only do they think out of the box, but they have long ago cut up its cardboard and put it out on the curb. Mark makes his perspective clear.

"I love Violet but if we were not together, I would probably look for a relationship with a gay man. I'll watch gay porn--with some variety thrown in for Violet--because of my fascination with the male penis and physique. Maybe someday I'll have surgery to get a penis. I'd really like to have a penis."

Mark and Violet described closing their business, a gym, and packing up their lives in a makeshift camper to begin a cross-country journey with no specific destination. This brought them to Silver City, New Mexico where they remained for more than a year. Mark was writing songs, and a book, The Mirror Makes No Sense. He is now an occupational therapist.

I wondered what was next for him.

"I want to be successful as a recording artist. If I got rich, I would use the money to educate people about transsexual issues. I would like to help children who, like me, have no one to guide them and to keep them from suicide. My real goal is someday to be able to create safe havens for people who need them."

I certainly felt safe and comfortable with Mark and Violet, and I am happy to report that Mark's music is sensational. I especially like the song "I Wonder." You can hear that song and sample many others, and see photos and video of Mark and Violet by visiting Markangelocummings.blogspot.com.

(The Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University, continues its free Third Thursday monthly event series with a special music performance on Thursday, April 15, 2010, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm by Mark Angelo Cummings.) This profile also appears in South Florida Gay News.


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Nice review Fr. Tony. His music is pretty cool. Mark also has a YouTube channel at:
http://bit.ly/aX25bf

"When I became a body builder in 2001, I took steroids to become more masculine. I was still a female but I was trying to acquire a powerful male physique."

As casually as this was posted, there must be some realistic/responsible comment regarding the use of AAS and negative affects to womens health.

Dear Dieks, on SFGN, my profiles are limited to 950 words. There are maaaaany fascinating and enlightening aspects to Mark's life that invite deeper dialogue. I hope you will go to his blog (linked above) for more on that issue and others. This profile gives just a glimpse.

Father Tony... I am actually quite familiar w/Angelo's blog/youtube/profile for several years now, from different FtM blogs/communities that I follow/read.

Again. The point of my original comment is that the "casual" nearly passe mention of AAS [[steroid]] use to women's health is a serious matter and not be ignored.

ROID Rage
Neurological Damage
Liver Damage
High Blood Pressure
Balding
Acne
HIV
Stunted Growth
Weight

And it's illegal.

Acquiring "a powerful male physique" as a woman, through dangerous/unhealthy means, can not be ignored or considered irrelevant.

"The point of my original comment is that the "casual" nearly passe mention of AAS [[steroid]] use to women's health is a serious matter and not be ignored.

ROID Rage
Neurological Damage
Liver Damage
High Blood Pressure
Balding
Acne
HIV
Stunted Growth
Weight

And it's illegal.

Acquiring "a powerful male physique" as a woman, through dangerous/unhealthy means, can not be ignored or considered irrelevant".


All Great points, but out of the entire article that was all you were able to grasp? We all do things in life that can be considered possibly unhealthy, as is the Testosterone regimen I am on now, doctor directed. As was my steroid use at the time. No doubt that placing any foreign substance in your body, including the many unhealthy foods that are hormone ridden this day and age from the air we breath compliments of the chem trails. I am a health care provider myself and rather versed on the controversy of hormonal use. So what is your point exactly? That females should not use steroids? Well, I am not a female, and was trying to achieve most of the negatives you mentioned, for an FTM, balding, and looking like a man is what we are trying to achieve. I appreciate your concern, but to tell you the truth we don't need any more big brother agenda telling us what we can and cannot do with our bodies. Things are made illegal due to whom ever is lobbying at the moment. Not because they know anything about anything or remotely care about us. If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

Regards

Mark Angelo Cummings

"So what is your point exactly? That females should not use steroids?"

Yes.
That is exactly my point.

Using illegal/unhealthy AAS [[steroids]] has very real/dangerous affects for women, for all the medical reasons listed above.

"When I became a body builder in 2001, I took steroids to become more masculine. I was still a female but I was trying to acquire a powerful male physique."

As quoted from the Original Post and interview, you still at the time ID'd as a female.

Responsible commentary/observation to those who are unfamiliar w/side affects to womens health of AAS [[steroid abuse]] is legitimate.

I have no questions. I have no interest in any control over the plans/regime you have for your own personnel self. I am merely providing the reality/consequences of AAS [[steroid]] abuse.

But thank you anyway.

Mark Angelo | April 6, 2010 2:33 PM

Was there any mention in the article that I promote the use of hormones? I was on them by the recommendation of my physician and of sound mind to take whatever substances I feel are necessary for my well being. Anyone who is about to embark in any kind of regimen should be educated enough to know what is going in their body.

As far as abuse, didn't read any of that in the article either, I think you are jumping to conclusion and over reacting a bit. I suggest a lovely stroll in the park, taking in some fresh air. Enjoying the fruits of mother nature, and worry a little less about things in life or what other people are putting in their bodies.

Life is too short and too beautiful to be focusing only on the negative. I do hope you are having a wonderful day. Spring is here and it is so filled with love and beauty.

Much Love to you and yours

Mark Angelo

Making the reality of AAC [[steroid]] abuse w/in the Female Body Building Community, is hardly "focusing only on the negative" nor was I "over reacting". Thanks... but no thanks.

Juice, gym candy, pumpers, stackers are all easily street accessible and as much as you would like to downplay the health risks involved w/using these drugs for women... it is a serious issue that is not made visible.

The casual and passe quote of "I was still a female but I was trying to acquire a powerful male physique" may not seem to you as promoting ROIDS, but it definitely never made a responsible reference to any proper medical conditions in obtaining them.

My attention/focus was drawn towards Women's Health Issues, not men's. I am merely providing the reality/consequences of AAS [[steroid]] abuse w/in the Female Body Building Community.

Because... well you know?? Who cares about women's health issues? Women's Health... It's a girl thing. :) Duh?

My, my, do we want to be a policeman when we grow up?

Stella I'm a girrrrrrrrrrrrl... so that would have been Policewoman.
Ha!

Honestly, what is exactly the "issue" here? That the facts regarding AAS [[steroid]] use to women's health being acknowledged as a realistic danger to women's health, or that AAS [[steroid]] use was mentioned in the presence of a former female steroid user, who now ID's as male?

Can't talk about those things in front of the menfolk!!!!

Pahhleeze.

I see no need to edit the original legitimate observation... it was a sloppy, irresponsible and casually/passe quote in the interview. Taking no visible responsibility as a former female steroid user.

You don't have to care. Angelo doesn't have to care. Father Tony doesn't have to care. Women's health issues are seriously invisible w/in the greater LGBTQRXY&Z "community".

But I do actually care.
So carry on Stella and drive safely.

Wow. "I Wonder" is damn good. I'll be keeping an eye on him; that's good stuff!

And, he wrote that song when he was a young teenager!

Mark Angelo | April 6, 2010 2:39 PM

Thank you Bill, I am glad you enjoyed it.

Much Love

Mark Angelo

Such a compelling story of enlightment and empowerment. No shame, no excuses, simply a life fully lived with great passion. How cool is that. Mark is truly a gifted composer, singer/musician,too. Thanks for the link:)

I appreciate your poignant narrative, Father Tony. It's refreshing and affirming to witness the FtM experience from the POV of your inspired words.