Metro Weekly

How Mz Worthy became her true authentic self

As she returns to the DJ scene, Mz Worthy has a new identity, new attitude, new name, and a new message.

Mz Worthy -- Photo Joe Ramirez
Mz Worthy — Photo: Joe Ramirez

In the summer of 2020, the DJ/producer who goes by the name Mz Worthy was struggling with a serious case of insomnia.

“I would try and go to sleep, and I’d be like, ‘Oh my God! Am I really a girl?!?'” Recalling those heady days now, Mz Worthy can’t help but laugh. “I’d fall asleep for like an hour and a half, and then I would just wake up: ‘Is this really happening?’…. It was a lot of, ‘Yes, [it] all points to this.’ And then this other part of me [said], ‘No way! This can’t be real. This is crazy talk.'”

Ultimately, what was crazy was how long it took to get to that point.

“It definitely felt like something was different…since I was very young,” says the 42-year-old. “I felt like something wasn’t right, like the world was off. July 2020 was when it hit me. I had been dressing up in private, all my adult life. I always felt very guilty…and very ashamed of doing these things.”

For the first time that July, Mz Worthy actually pushed herself to go further — by taking a photo while all dolled up, and trying out FaceApp’s gender-swapping photo capabilities to see how she’d look with feminine features.

“I saw this picture, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s the face I have kind of always tried to imagine myself with, all my life, in a way.’ I ended up going on a cross-dressing forum and posting the picture, because I felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m beautiful in this picture.’ I felt confident with it. And people started talking to me as a girl for the first time in my life. It felt really right, and it kind of set something on fire.”

She was finally ready to come out about this to someone she knew — specifically, the one person she should have come out to a long time ago. “I went to my ex-wife and I came out to her, finally, about my dressing up. She was very shocked, first of all.” After hearing her out, her ex responded by saying exactly what Mz Worthy needed to hear.

“She was like, ‘You might be transgender.’ And it clicked: ‘Oh my gosh, this makes sense. This is why I’ve been doing all these things, why I say all of these things to myself.’ All the puzzle pieces started fitting together…. And as I came out, I’ve just been happier and happier.”

In the year since the San Francisco-based artist took her first tentative public step of coming out as Kristy, identified as a “non-binary fem” musician on Instagram, she has felt supported and affirmed by her colleagues in the club world and EDM community, including the fellow DJ/producers with whom she helped launch Dirtybird, the respected tech-house brand and label.

Meanwhile, her younger brother and sister, with whom she grew up in the Bethesda area, “have been really awesome and super supportive.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case with her parents. “I think they really have a hard time opening up to the possibility,” she says. “I really hope they can come around in the future, and be there with me, and we can have a relationship again. But it’s kind of up to them at this point.”

Last month, she officially changed her artist name, tacking on the non-binary title “Mz” to what was an old nickname “to symbolize this change.” The artist also released her first single since the transition. “Love & Give” is a mostly instrumental tech-house jam containing the lyrical message to “love yourself and give yourself.”

“It just felt like the perfect song for me to do this release and name change with, sending out this positive vibe of, ‘We all need to love ourselves, and we all just need to give ourselves, too.” Next month, Mz Worthy plans to release three more tracks, this time as a debut EP on He.She.They. She describes the growing global label and party as “very gender-open, queer. They throw big queer events over in the U.K., and they’re starting to do some stuff over here, so I’m pretty excited to have a release on their label.”

Reflecting on her situation, Mz Worthy is refreshingly frank. “I don’t know where I am exactly, internally, with my transition and stuff, but I know I’m not fully, fully free of everything.” She’s also not yet sure how she identifies, sexually speaking. “I’ve definitely always mostly been attracted to women, but I mean, in time, I’ll figure out where I land with my sexuality. I’m not really sure. I’m not sure if that’s repressed too, or not. Even a year and a half in, just the repression is so heavy. And just, not knowing for so long, there’s a lot to let go of.

“Looking back,” she says, “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I wish I had gone to therapy earlier and started telling somebody about this part of me’ — because I never told anybody about it. That was like the big thing: I never let anybody know.”

In the coming months, Mz Worthy will start touring again, DJ-ing at clubs around the country. She’s looking forward to more gigs like last summer’s street party for Denver Pride.

“It was really kind of my first time being at a super queer event,” she says. “Everybody was just so welcoming. It’s just been so amazing, the love and support from so many friends, who are queer too, just coming up and being like, ‘I’m so happy for you.’ It’s just been such a special experience. It’s just like, ‘What was I so afraid of for so long?'”

To stream or download “Love & Give,” visit www.dirtybird.fanlink.to/lovegive.

For more on Mz Worthy, visit https://linktr.ee/mzworthy. Follow @iamworthy on Instagram, and ​​@w_o_r_t_h_y on Twitter.

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