Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Choking On the Ashes Of Her Enemy

Judith is insistent.

“What do we call this person you’re dating?” she demands. I give Jessica the side-eye and say “Shim. He-she. Jessica calls D my ‘ladyboyfriend’ but ‘ladyboys’ are those other kinds of trannys from Thailand,” I add injudiciously. Jessica nods, “You just try to keep up with the kids, Judith. Just try.”

I falter. I flail. I flatline. So here is the failure of a binary system. I had a friend who said she divided the world into “fuckable” and “unfuckable.” I attributed this dichotomy to her history of incest, and it’s too subjective to be a good system, although I wonder how many of us view our world this way. I think you can split the world up into “wipers” and “non-wipers,” meaning, “those of us who will wipe and wipe until we’re absolutely positive nothing remains – even if it requires bleeding a little” and the rest of you stank pigs. But (butt!) you can’t readily identify people as one or the other; it requires the kind of census-taking I certainly enjoy, but few others seem to.

In the new, ObamAmerica, binary just won’t cut it. Democrat and Republican didn’t really work, last election. Male/female is almost quaint in 2009, a throwback to 2004 or whenever Match dot com got started. In the new millennium 5 years is last millennium’s 25. It took me a while to figure this gendered thing out, but I was one of the last kids in the 70’s to buy Earth shoes. I’ve always been that guy: by the time I’m hip to it you can count on it pretty much being over. I mean, I still have a faux-hawk.

But let’s pretend transitioning isn’t a fad. Okay, simmer down, it’s not a fad. But it could be. Look at tattooing. Actually, don’t. You’ll only bring a tear to my unicorn’s eye. No, it’s fine – not everyone is interested in “meaning” the way I am, and thank God. Even on testosterone I can devote untoward amounts of dissection to every fucking little feeling I have, only having just learned (finally!) that sometimes feelings are like cigars. You know what I mean. Nobody, not even me, is that interesting. We’re just that self-absorbed.

So what I’m suggesting (and by the way, I’m quite ill, so caveat emptor) is that you people, meaning me and all of youse, are going to have to learn to accommodate the trans.

I started, in my head at least and quite by accident, referring to Judith and Jessica as “he.” I believe this was an unintentional byproduct of changing my own interior pronoun. It occurred to me we might just refer to one another as “he/him” and simply drop the whole “female” thing from the language lock, stock, and yonic symbol. Some nuanced or sans-gender people call themselves “hir” and “ze” but I think less is more, and so would rather just cast it all out entirely, like in those futuristic novels where everyone is called “Mr.”

I truly believe we’ll have to. Bathroom protocol has got to change. There are simply too many of us; more and more are cropping up each day, like alcoholics and drug addicts, or (ha-ay!) gay people in the 90’s: everyone knows at least one. I can’t shop for gluten-free pasta in this burg without my ass bumping into a transperson, and mark my gender-neutral word, we’re coming to your town too.

Judith’s query is fair – but how to answer it? Sure, I can blithely regard myself as D’s “boyfriend,” because I believe shooting testosterone entitles me to it. Like it’s an entitlement. That’s the other thing: I wandered down the road of tranny hegemony, hierarchy recently, just for grins and discovered for myself that I could rank people. Transpeople have been doing this for years, but I hadn’t, so I tried it on. It goes like this:

You don’t “get” to use a male pronoun unless you’re on T, or going to be on T.

You’re an even better transguy if you’re not only on T - you’ve had your breasts cut off.

You’re an even superduper transguy if you’ve then gone and gotten a metoidoplasty and had all your uteruses and knick-knacks removed.

Personally, I think you can call yourself any damn thing you want. I think that’s awesome, subversive even. I think when I do get my knockers knacked off, I’m going to show up on your beach with a mother-fucking pink bikini top, how-do-you-like-them-apples?

Jaysus, I have no idea where I’m going with this. I may actually have a fever. I’ll tell you this, though, I’m becoming more and more like a guy, every day. It’d be almost creepy if it wasn’t so cool. And notice I said, “like a guy.” I got a 99.5 on my statistics test. I have the capacity to progress linearly. I enjoy looking at cars, and who knows? I might someday enjoy sports. I wish “Kinging” was a sport. Colors look different on me, and I can now use a calculator. What’s new with you?


  1. Dude, Like kinging is so a sport.
    Really identified with the trans-topology. I went to an FTM meeting in SF last week and the talk was eerily similar to your list above. Especially the part about using the male pronoun when you are not yet on T. Congratulations on the statistics grade. That course was hell.


  2. woohoo! I made a post! hahahahaha. Just to be clear:
    a) I'm totally insistent
    b) I'm totally a girl but you can call me he in your mind
    c) saw a movie this weekend that made me realize, I absolutely DON'T have to apologize for being direct, blunt, non-fluffy etc etc. Bitch IS the new black.

  3. Congratulations on your Statistics grade! Oh, and I'm a wiper too. I would like to campaign that everybody stop being stanky and practice obsessive wiping - it would create world peace, I'm sure of it.