In February 2020, his name and face rose to popularity when Alberto Fernandez gave him DNI number 9,000 with a self-perceived identity. The crack did not take long to stick its tail, since it was a Peronist president and the daughter of Jose Claudio Escribanoeditorial secretary of the newspaper The nation for more than four decades. But she has another look: “Bring up the party issue, the issue of the crack and all that crap. Many people did not validate me, many people have not even told me my name, ever. But, on the other hand, the highest authority of my country, in an official act, gives me the DNI”.
In the book It’s only life if it’s true, Isha Escribano tells her story and gives details of the most painful conversations a daughter can have, of the deepest feelings of those who wish not to wake up the next day; but above all she tells how she managed to save her life despite all that. “I never thought I would write this book. I never even thought that I was going to transition. But it was all inevitable. It is like water that begins to rise and overflows the dam. It followed a whole natural course,” he explains.
–With the presence of Qatar in the news, it seems that there is a reminder of what happens in other parts of the world with the rights of people. I tend to think that Argentines sometimes do not appreciate where we stand in relation to the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community, with an Equal Marriage Law, another Gender Law; with which Flor de la V drives intruders or Diana Zurco, the newscast on Public Television.
–I think that what you say about Argentines looking at the negative is not something pathognomonic of our people, it is one of the tendencies of the mind to cling to the negative. It is a very interesting, very curious country, and these two laws are the product of the effort and struggle of many people. you named flower of the V, whom I adore and with whom I have a friendship, and I am infinitely grateful to that heroine. That person, with her body as a bumper, has paved the way for a lot of people. I don’t even want to imagine what it was like to be her twenty years ago. He has done a tremendous thing for people’s freedoms, not just trans, gay, lesbian or non-binary people. Human rights are universal.
-She had a media exposure for the profession she chose, but you were not popularly known until the President gave you the DNI. How do you think she benefited you, or not, from keeping a lower profile? And what changed after people got to know you a little more?
–I kept the profile low because I was in full transition and I was not ready to speak. She didn’t know how she was going to talk, she didn’t know anything. There is a story that I tell in the book: a sculptor is making a sculpture and he tears it off with a piece of marble. And a creature looks at it all the time, from scratch. The pact between them is that the child can stay there watching but not speaking. After several days, the sculptor ends up making a beautiful equestrian image of this piece of marble. Then the creature expresses itself and says: “Master, how did you know there was a horse in there?” I didn’t know how I was going to speak, how I was going to be. I knew that Isha was in there, all I had to do was encourage myself to let her flourish.. So when this happens, it was the first time almost that I had a public exposure. What does it benefit me? I choose to sacrifice my private life, I do it on purpose. I did not choose my gender. Many people ask me why I decided, and it’s like me saying to you, Mariana, “when did you decide to be a cis woman?” you are Yes, one day I was encouraged to transition, I did decide to tell my story publicly as another way of making myself visible. You can inspire, encourage not only trans or LGBT people, but anyone; give them the message that you can be who you are, that you can go against all odds, that if I could, you can too.
–I understand that having found the path of spirituality changed your life. Was the interview you did with Ravi Shankar in 2001, in your work as a journalist, what you detect as a before and after?
-Yes, clearly, because I had already been interviewing teachers or referents, as Deepak Chopra either Brian Weiss. But the teacher thing was impressive. With him there was something very special. And he also provided me with techniques, a group and a context in which to walk a path.
–And from that moment it became more inevitable for you to be Isha?
No, I didn’t even think about that! For the first eight years of my spiritual journey, I kept thinking about how to stay alive. The first eight years of my spiritual path I would go see my teacher, wherever he was, as if to say: “Take my soul, here it is, take care of it, help me, my soul has no footing.” Existential pain did not enter my body and he saved my life. What spirituality gave me in relation to my transition was a strength, an empowerment to be able to face what I knew I was going to have to face.. If I had put my self-esteem, my security, in the love outside, in the “I love you”, “I love you”, “what a genius” and tomorrow that is not there, what do I do? That is why the hashtag that he used for the meditations that he guided in the pandemic was “The exit is inward.” There are techniques, knowledge, a science, the science of yoga, that provides you with everything you need to go inward.
Isn’t there a bravery there? Those who do therapy face things that those who don’t, don’t. And spirituality seems to be a step further still, it is to open up a whole other universe, right?
-Yes. It is interesting because many people believe that they begin to know themselves through therapy. And yes, that can help. I, in fact, am a doctor and a psychotherapist. But it is one thing to know the waves and another thing to know the belly of the ocean. Many people who know about waves believe that they know the totality of existence, and only know the surface. A person who has not meditated cannot talk about the nature of the mind.
-You have to cheer up.
-You have to cheer up. I also invite you not to dare, to continue that way. You also have to be brave to continue suffering in this way, or with such a degree of ignorance, depending on how you look at it. David Bowie It has a phrase that says:Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell; spirituality is for people who have already been there”. You have to be very brave to keep wanting to be in hell burning in flames. I was on fire. I had no choice but to dive.
–In the book you say that in India they say that when we die they will ask us how much love you gave and how much self-knowledge you obtained. How much love did you give, Isha?
–All that I could in each instance always. All people want to give love, because giving is our nature.
–And how much self-awareness did you obtain?
-Much. And this is just beginning.