Eddie Izzard on running 27 marathons and coming out as transgender

I find Eddie Izzard to be always worth watching, whether he is doing a stand up act or not. He set himself a goal of running 27 marathons in 27 days, a total of 707 miles in all, to raise money for charity and completed in March of 2016. The target number was set to commemorate the 27 years Nelson Mandela spent in prison and he ran in South Africa. Because he could not run on one of the days, the 54-year old Izzard had to run two marathons on the last day to meet his goal

Here he is at the very end, finishing up at the Mandela statue.

In between marathons, he got his nails done and during it discussed coming out publicly as transgender 31 years ago and the absurd obsession people have with the whole issue of gender when all that matters is what one does with one’s life.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    He didn’t “come out as transgender”. He came out as transvestite. He was pretty detailed about it -- emphasising that he was
    (a) definitely a bloke
    (b) definitely not gay
    (c) definitely liked (sometimes) presenting as a woman, i.e. wearing dresses, makeup etc.
    He defined himself in his standup show as a “male lesbian”. My interpretation of this is that he’s been some form of what’s now referred to as “transgender” all along, but how he’s expressed it publicly has evolved as public attitudes have changed. The “male lesbian” line was an explanatory device for a mainstream audience not up on the lingo. He’s been “out” for a long time, but what he’s been out as has morphed as public awareness of transgender issues has expanded.
    More power to him, he’s a national treasure.

  2. Silentbob says

    @ 1 sonofrojblake

    The meaning of the term “transgender” has not been consistent. Today, it’s most often used as you expect, to refer to someone who identifies as a gender other than the one assigned at birth. But it’s also been commonly used as an umbrella term for all significantly gender-nonconforming people, including transvestites.

  3. fentex says

    I watched a documentary from his first attempt to run a lot of marathons -- as I remember it he ran around the UK in 52 days completing 47 marathons having never ran a single one before.

    What intrigued me about it was the shear bloody mindness he displayed, the discipline and determination.

    An interesting fellow, and quite clever. What ever came of his plans to enter politics I wonder? Is he bloody minded enough?

  4. sonofrojblake says

    [transgender has] also been commonly used as an umbrella term

    Yes… for a few years now. Izzard has been out longer than that.

    Re: plans to enter politics -- watch this space. He’s only 55. He has donated significant amounts to Labour and this year expressed an intention to be a Labour MP. I wouldn’t bet against him.

  5. Mano Singham says

    I agree. Izzard looks like someone who once he sets his mind on something, goes all out. So I would not be surprised if he gets the Labour nomination for a seat and then goes on to win it. He would definitely be an asset to parliament though a big loss to the world of comedy.

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