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 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?
Fine.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.