Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trying to Decide if I Should Perform This

Do you know what it’s like when your eyes hold their breath?
I’m sitting here in this blue box built for a boy who’d rather build his own--perfectly pink, plastic-people-populated and perched perpendicular to my past, our lives intersecting where mine became his. Where pink became blue before either of us had ever been born.
I have fumbled my way through a series of pendulums, dodging left and right, falling face first in the mud and failing to see them swinging right for me each time I rose my head to breathe and I breathed in genderqueer and choked on an indecision that felt like sitting on the fence.  With a post up my ass.
And I wiped the mud away and fell backwards in time through the dirt and the dust of trying to forget years of looking at my body betraying every move I made and every pound I benched and every mile I ran, and I coughed up the night I first saw my chest flattened against my skin with her by my side
And before I could inhale that moment one more time the smell of my past caught up with my plans and I puked up the five-year-old, naked and peeing outside
And in the puddle before me I saw the second-grader who didn’t understand why her middle name couldn’t be Matthew and the fourth-grader with a rope around her neck and a knife in her lunchbox and the sixth-grader with a pen in her cheek and a face that never saw the light of day again, throwing fists and throwing chairs, and locking doors and running away into the seventh-grader who found music and got lost in the notes of sad songs, black clothes, and the chorus of “You’ll grow out of it eventually”
“You’ll grow out of it eventually”
Eventually. Eventually.
Eventually if you say a word enough it stops sounding like a real thing at all, like the sound of my birth name
bleeding out the mouth of the boy whose ex-girlfriend’s lips bleed for no one not even God anymore.
(Because she’s a man now.)
I lay there night after night, sweating out the years I spent as a genetic fraud, broad shoulders tucked tight, sleeping tight, breathing tight and then
I swallowed the pink and blue and white flag-shaped pill with a capital T on the back and a blank slate on the front,
Hoping to finally be able to fall asleep with a blue blanket pulled over my head and an empty needle in the can
but then came the side-effects.
I woke up in the mud again, just like now, coughing it all up, layer by layer
Unexpected expectorant, the not-this-again guanifisan,
Warning: Never change gender on an empty stomach.
Mucus covered labels no longer stuck to the inside of my lungs, no longer clinging to my alveoli like the child who became the girl who became the boy who became the man who clung to a blanket of blue and shut out a world of rainbows
And there they were, covered in snot, just lying there.
Genderqueer. Freak. Shim. Faggot. Sped. Retard. Butch. Twink. Nerd. Woman. Princess. Liar. Tranny. Female. Male. Lesbian. Gay. Asexual. Bottom. Top. Girl. Boy. She-male. Dyke. It. Masculine. Feminine. Nothing. Everything. Whatever you want already as long as you stop asking me what’s in your pants,
 does your family hate you?
 so what are you really?
What’s in your pants?
When are you going to get surgery?
What’s in your pants?
What’s your real name?
Oh and by the way what’s in your pants?
I’m tired of picking up snot-covered pieces of the people I tried to become—the identities I snorted so that I could just learn your name before you said you only dated real men and too bad you don’t have a dick and well I can still see the girl in you and you know
Sometimes it gets really old doing trans 101 when all I want from the woman whose name tag says becky is my fucking chicken quesadillas.
That’ll be 8.66. Please pull ahead to the next window and have your genitals ready.
Here’s your receipt.
So what’s in your pants?
Four years and a lot of awkward conversations later, I can tell you that It’s pink and blue and people-shaped. No. Pink. Blue. A mixture of the two. Somewhere in between like the infinitesimal cracks between visible and invisible light, indivisible, no gender, under God, with liberty avenue and gender justice for all. A man. A-fucking man. Fucking men. Sometimes. Fucking women sometimes. Fucking sometimesmen and sometimeswomen and sometimes no times fucking at all.  

For B, Who Has Been Waiting

Peter came into Rainbow without really knowing me as Elise. (That seems so strange to write when it isn't on a medical form.) But he told me that he always perceived my energy to be masculine, and he said this and acted in ways that really made me believe it. There weren't many extraordinarily detailed conversations about the process: no Trans 101. Peter was the kind of person who educated himself on these details so that he could enter into a conversation with a trans person as an informed ally. He focused on me when he was with me, not my transition or my trans status. But what impressed me more was the he embraced genderqueer concepts in his own life. As a cisgender gay male, that's not an easy thing to do without facing some sort of backlash. The gay male community is full of bottom-bashing stereotypes and pressures of its own. I've grown to fear some of them myself.
He told me a few times how he knew there was a bit of woman inside him. That he didn't really care about his penis but found it quite useful. Peter had his own sense of style, both internal and external. The best part about that was that these things hardly ever had to be discussed. Two people who know themselves never have to defend their identities around each other. That's what was relieving. No walls.
I didn't have to prove my masculinity any more than he did. Or femininity. Or gayness. Or anything.
And that allowed us to approach both public and private interactions at a much lower level of tension.
He made me feel safe because of this. Not necessarily in a physical sense, but in every other way.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Off the Bench

I want to write about drag for so many reasons now, but I need to wait until I have all the right words about all of the pieces. These pieces are all somehow connected, and I want to see those connections clearly. I want to write about how being a drag father is an amazingly rewarding experience--how I am somehow the person people turn to when they want "expert" advice. How people know who I am without ever having met me. To be that kind of influence and feel so removed from it at times. About how I am very proud that I still believe you can never take yourself too seriously.

I want to write about autism and my job. And I want to write about my past. I have this goal of revisiting every journal entry I have ever written, typing them all out in chronological order. I've kept pretty consistent records since the seventh grade, though there are a few scattered entries before that. But I want to write in a way that exposes some of the events that made me who I am today. It has recently occurred to me that most people I know have no idea about the life I had before. I always have to remind myself that the entirety of my story cannot be read in the lines on my face. Life would be all too convenient otherwise.

I want to write about the realization I had last night. It wasn't exactly an epiphany, but I understood something in an entirely new way. They weren't just words to me anymore. I had a face to go along with them. I made a connection that just didn't exist before. Having good intentions does not make you a good person. Good actions make you a good person.

I went through my phone the other day and wrote out the hundreds of names and numbers in my phone, just in case it decides to die one of these days. I'm aware that there are ways of recovering your contacts should such a thing happen, but I like my way better. I got to revisit my relationship with each person as I went down the list, and I went through quite a range of emotions, from anger to fear to elation to grief. I saw his name in the middle of the pack. I lost my breath. I stared at the phone, then at the page. And back again. I wrote it down anyway. It was somehow important. The right thing to do.

There were living people on that list that didn't make it onto that paper. That also seemed important and like the right thing to do.

I'm looking for better words to describe what it is like four years later. More than four if you count the pre-T days. I made two videos. Neither one is good enough right now. I might need to be in a different place to get it right.

I am revisiting the idea of pursuing physical therapy/physical therapy research. I have so many questions. I have so many things to say. But again, the words aren't ready yet.

My mind is getting ready for something big. Every day, I am growing more confident overall, even with the occasional flashes of panic. I am ready to rejoin the world.