Man. I hate to be a whiney, always touching myself, tranny, but here goes. Will you people get on board with the motherfucking pronouns?!
Do I look like a “lady?” Seriously, do I?! Why is it so challenging? Inconsistency I understand, from you who knew, back in the day, when us transguys were stomping around uncomfortably in high-heels, our conservative wool camel blazer festooned with a gaily hand-painted scarf – oh how we tried. I had capitulated to female, and wore stockings and slips and Italian leather pumps, had until too recently an array of “men’s style” women’s shirts and jackets and pants, never quite daring to surrender – lest you bust me out – to my frozen, static, wooly mammoth-in-a-glacier craving to wear men’s clothes. “Craving” doesn’t begin to express my junky’s longing, my inner-child’s forehead and hands pressed against the window, my hot-blooded, Poison-infected, David Lee Rothian pelvis-thrusting desire to put on some men’s clothes. Amongst other things.
But you didn’t know me then.
Is the ejaculate of “lady” and “miss” and “she” and “her” from your maw to the transman you’re facing…is it similar perhaps to my own mouth’s commitment to using the “black voice” when around the colored folk, or its alarmingly persistent urge to opine about the Jewish faith with the Jew? I have watched my own conversation with horror, as it veers straight to the stereotype, climbs right atop the elephant that shouldn’t even BE in this particular living room – like, I don’t even usually THINK like that and now here I am saying the most calculatedly offensive thing my subconscious can muster.
A member of my family recently sent out a mass email sharing a list of names he’d found in his local paper, and how hilarious they were. It was an appallingly racist, classist, inventory of monikers - it made me ashamed to read it – but how to explain to my family, who justly pride themselves on their civil rights activism, who have worked long and hard with marginalized communities to ensure they have the same access to literacy, to health care, to a standard of living, as the “rest of us” that they, and I can still suffer from the disease of prejudice?
The transperson evokes for many, the same dark response as the disabled do for the same. You should like to put me on an ice-float, or jettison me into space, or simply pound the living shit out of me for so confronting and confounding your sense of “normalcy,” of safety even. I say this because I had the same response, once-upon-a-time, in the Grimmer version of the fairy tale – you know, the one where Cinderella’s step-sisters actually cut off parts of their feet to make it fit into the slipper. Which frankly, is what donning a camel hair lady-blazer felt like to me.
Just this morning someone said something about partner swapping and right out of my face oozed an “ick.” “Ick” I said, to the notion of partner swapping. I don’t actually believe or feel ick around this idea but I used to, and that’s what happened to fall out of my face. Ugh. This time I mean it. Ugh for being the lazy, reflexive human.
So the barometer, as D reminds me, is “would you say that if a fill-in-the-blank were here?” I’m not interested in policing my words, nor am I interested in “correct-ness” or not “offending” someone. I’m purely in it for me. Where am I frightened, selfish, self-seeking, dishonest? Good questions from the transguy. Personal growth-like stuff.
“What are the transguy stereotypes?” I ask D, the professional gay and avowed transguy-aphile. I love being someone’s sexual exotic; I don’t understand what all the fuss is about tranny-chasers, but then, I’m the guy that used this fabulous bit of exotic evidence: “most of the guys I’ve slept with were black!” to bolster my own liberal self-worth. Like somehow that fascinating bit of sexual racism made me a more open white person.
Yeesh, what a dickhead. Sorry, back to topic.
In response to my queery, D ducks his head and says shyly “Horndog. Transmen are horndogs.” Well shit, if I could get my hands out of my jeans I might respond to that.
I want to know what all the transmen shibboleths are. Let’s bust ‘em out. I can’t wait to state ignorantly, then vilify, then boldly reclaim, whatever the people are saying about the female-to-males. Bring it. Please tell me. I’d rather, at this point, hear from you that I’m a whiny ex-woman, a promiscuous male slut, a narcissistic man manqué, than listen to one more goddamn “she” from your indolent goddamn mouth.
Oh, and transguys have anger issues: did I mention that?