I dreamed I was watching amateur porn clips. There was a woman fucking her husband. He was attending to the business half-heartedly while she whimpered, pulling him closer. At last he got up to go to another room, to find the thing or image or toy that would enable him to finish the job.
When he came back moments later, he was holding the hand of an Indian man. The woman was shaking her head and whimpering in a completely different way but the man was insistent and bade his lover to lay on his wife.
The camera pulled jarringly, abruptly close, as it will in terrible homemade porn. The man was atop his love sandwich, thrusting deep into the ass that we could now see was riddled with Kaposi’s sarcoma, buboes, pustules, lesions. It was the terrible, horrible, spectacle of desire: I choose to bareback my AIDs-ridden beloved over you, this convention. He is what gets me hard.
In envisioning a trans-world, I can’t discount desire. My desire is that we leap atop talk of intersectionality, of oppression, of convention, and try on new hats. My desire is that we appreciate gender’s layers, and wear them according to our desire. My desire, sexual at least, is for soft femmes, androgynous boi-women, and big, fat men. It wilts in the face of aggression, even if aggression is a hot woman in pursuit. I begin to feel like a long, lean and terrified hare on a field with large determined dogs – if I’m going to be a jewel in someone’s crown, I’d like to pick the crown and I kind of like DIY these days anyhow so if it’s sculpey and wrapping paper you’re on the right track. This kiss will decidedly not begin with Kay's.
“I-mag-i-nation!” I hear Spongebob marvel, and I couldn’t find a better guru for my vidya. Across his rainbow I see us swimming, pulsing and kissing like shiny fish, fish who understand: it’s all in the presentation. Sure we have a body gender, and it is defined by chemistry, by hormones, by surgeons, by everyone else sometimes if you’re me and you evidently can’t be seen with any clarity without special tranny field glasses. And even then you have to pull your eyelid tight over your eyeball.
Oh ye of weekly cocktail, ye of muscle-site injection, ye who have joined the hordes of tricksters, mudangs, berdaches and bearded ladies, and often diminishing faith! – what happens to you is out of your hands completely! Choose well, coyote-manqué, as you may find yourself estranged from everything you knew and thought you loved. Which is the point, really, isn’t it?
Lest we forget: the transgendered are the militarized dolphins, who, having acquired human technologies, can now swim off to do other forms of mischief. You carved us out of testosterone and scalpels, and gave some of us even your “privileges” but beware, Daddy. Don’t forget whom you asked to disarm the mines.
But we do forget, as we become these other beings. Particularly t-men – we forget, in the narcotic joy of becoming “a man,” we forget the greatest gift we were ever given: to have lived as a woman. We forget that it is cisgender technologies that crafted us, that our fantasies for ourselves flower from their consensual delusion of masculine/ feminine/ other. As we bend towards the sunlight of their hormones, their surgeries, their GQ and their Vogue, we may begin to mistake them for some last word, some final destination, some gendered Olympus.
Brother, it is your gift, it is your DUTY as a MAN, to bring what you know forward. This is what we have to model for our cisbrothers. We have lived in a very foreign land – some of us even adopted its customs – and at the very least we can share cuisine.
Transwomen, too – she who was once he knows: she was given the bittersweet poison, the Apple of Urge. Transwomen get this in pharmacologic purity and distillate in a way transmen may not – she bears the full force of misogyny from men and women and lesbians and “feminists,” and transmen too. My sisters bear the shame way out loud. Shit, Tranny, you and I get to share even our surgical scars! Our sisters close their legs as once I did, fearful that my stuff was ugly, that yours would reveal mine as hideous and unnatural. Our trans-sisters learn to bear the same grief and pain and blood that we carried as female-bodied men; can’t we honor them for that?
Desire asks me to become you. I desire another body, although in my mind’s eye I think it was more like Christian Bale’s, or even Russell Crowe’s, than this roughened-skinned, open-pored, bellied, hairy-assed being. Although believe me, I gladly relinquish my flawless skin, my fulsome hips – take my thighs, please, and even my pretty face I will give you, Rumpelstiltskin, to find my way home.
Desire shifts, like bodies do, with age, with experience, with hormones, in accidents and illnesses, in childbirth and with surgeries. You can’t see me because I’m never still. My longing was still for an instant, long enough for me to hear you whisper in my ear, “I want you.” I will never diminish YOUR desire, transman, nor yours, transwoman. In fact, I am kneeling before you, with so much wonder, and gratitude, and exposure. You were cast out in the snow naked, and you came back a glorious crystalline snowflake, and so I honor you. I don’t know how you did it, how you do it, woman-who-is-man, man-who-is-woman, but someday this world will know how extraordinary, evolutionary, ordinary we all are.
That is my greatest desire.