Jordan Raskopoulos: ‘Playing Warhammer prepared me for makeup’ – The Guardian

Known for her work with comedy rock act The Axis of Awesome and television show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, Jordan Raskopoulos wears many caps including those of performer, musician, digital content creator and producer.

What’s thrilling?

I’m excited about any and all beauty products. I’ve only really been wearing makeup for the last two years. I am a big fan of Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in black. That’s the best liquid liner, it’s like a little paintbrush. What I discovered when I transitioned was because I used to play and paint [miniature war game] Warhammer as a boy I am actually quite good at makeup. Having a pen that’s like a paintbrush, it’s really thick, really bright, it doesn’t budge.

Trans women who transition, even in their 20s, miss out on the adolescence stage [of makeup]. You still have it, but for me it was like three months of wearing lots of pink and figuring out you have to dress like an adult pretty quickly when you get back to your life. So you’ve got to fast-forward through the adolescence period.

There’s still some things I’m working out. I’ve got one or two looks down that I know work and I’ve just got to find the time and occasion to experiment. I’ve got an everyday look and a going out look; I can manage with that.

I am most excited about a recent book called Traitor Legions which is a rulebook for Warhammer 40,000. For muggles, it’s additional rules for chaos space marines to reflect the nine traitor legions that existed during the Horus Heresy. I am very excited because I’ve got a Death Guard army and I am very happy for specific rules about the Death Guard. I’ve been into Warhammer since I was 12 and I’m now 35. Everyone needs a hobby, right?

What I keep going back to

There’s a stay-on lipstick from Rimmel (Provocalip, 16hr Kiss Proof Lip Colour shade: Play with Fire, $10) and it stays on forever … it doesn’t budge. You’ve got to make sure you put it on right because if you put it on wrong you can’t get it off. Once it sets, it will last all night and probably half the next day. That’s the disadvantage, you’re still wearing it the next day.

I reread the Night Lord’s Trilogy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and anything by Neil Gaiman. I reread The Sandman pretty frequently. I go back and read a lot of stuff by Alan Moore, particularly [comic series] Swamp Thing when he was writing it. I like fantasy but I also like allegorical fantasy, when the characters are stand-ins for aspects of the human condition.

What’s nostalgia-inducing?

If there’s anything that evokes memories, it’s probably my mum’s lipstick because I ate it when I was a kid. That’s pretty much the only engagement I had with makeup as a child. I played around with it a little bit but I didn’t know what anything was.

I would occasionally sneak into Mum’s room when nobody was in the house and try it on and then wipe it off with a great sense of shame, so I do not have particularly fond or happy memories of makeup when I was younger. Makeup being this proto-symbol of femininity and the attitude towards masculinity, if you were male, having any interest in makeup made you less male. It was something I eschewed because I was trying really hard to be a guy.

I remember working in television early in my career and being super-jealous of female members of the cast sitting in the chair, getting their makeup done, getting their hair done to look pretty. I would sit there and get blasted for two seconds with an air brush with a bit of foundation, thinking “I want everything!”

Early in my transition, I made sure I wore makeup every day and made a big deal out of it. But now sometimes I’ll put a bit of powder on for the day – I enjoy going out at night and making a big deal getting ready for that but there’s no desire to do that every day any more.

I am sentimental about the later Wizard of Oz books, the ones after they introduced a character called Princess Ozma. Ozma is one of the only trans-ish characters I had when I was a kid. She was the princess of Oz, taken by one of the wicked witches and turned into a boy. [She was] forced to live as a boy until she became Ozma again, and lived with this double think and a sense of gaslighting. She thought she was a boy until she was rescued and allowed to become herself again. There are so few trans stories in children’s literature and so finding something to latch on to, even on a subconscious level, was thrilling.