I’d say about 90% of industrial/systems engineering work boils down to this super easy exercise: stop for a minute and think about what the main objective is. Now look at what you’re doing. Is that activity getting you closer to the goal?
“Everything is brand new! For all of us!”
“I identify as a Black, lesbian woman, and outside of that, I ain’t got no answers.”
On losing a pet, resilience and vulnerability, human frailty and animal intelligence, and everything that goes into saying goodbye.
If the performer had known that I write about the horrific violence against my community by day and process the trauma of that work in my journal by night, maybe he wouldn’t have made that joke. But I bet you he would have resented the implication that he shouldn’t.
“My brain is lit like the map of a major metropolis at night. My body is, too. ‘I am at one with a sea of sensations, glitter, silk, skin, eyes, mouths, desire,’ Anaïs Nin wrote, and that’s pretty much it. Or, put another way: I have found an affirmation of selfhood, and I haven’t thought to immediately annul it.”
“Objectively, aesthetically, I find women’s clothes attractive. Just… on other women. But I’m intensely uncomfortable wearing them. There’s something about the way they’re made that make me feel like I’m on display. And that’s true, isn’t it? Women are always on display because they are always someone else’s property. Everyone else’s property.”
“In Berlin people talk about it, expats especially, in hushed, reverent tones. The sound system, which is supposed to be one of the best in the world. The DJ acts you’ve never heard of with names like Fuck Buttons. And that magical moment in the morning when the blinds at Panorama Bar are yanked open and the suddenly-illuminated, all-night revelers start to cheer.”
When I say I was obsessed with RENT, I mean obsessed. I grew straight out of American Girl Magazine into the world of wildly risqué musical theatre. My mother tended to encourage the things I was interested in, but this one… well, it baffled her a bit. How could a good church girl from the suburbs of Connecticut relate to this musical?
“Neither of us were comfy with the public spectacle of the thing, especially G. She didn’t like the thought of publicizing our private relationship. We also felt a bit blah about marriage itself, which can feel like an outdated institution. And there were practical worries, too — like how would we plan a big event, with so much on our plates?”
“I came. You didn’t. I’d kind of expected it to happen because of our connection – hoped egotistically anyway. I was disappointed but figured I’d give it time.”
“I’ve got anxiety, and lots of it. When my grandma sends me a Facebook message asking me to call home, I know everyone I love is dead. I know at least three serial killers live under my bed.”
“I put “they/she” on a pronoun button for the first time and countless people — moms, older gay and lesbian folks, and my peers — asked me to share what that meant and what genderqueer identity is because they genuinely wanted to understand ideas that were foreign and difficult for them so they could love me better.”
“My father has very few admirable qualities when it comes to our relationship: he doesn’t follow through on his promises, he doesn’t compromise, and he has a God complex. “
“That’s right!” I shouted, feeding off their energy. “Clap because I’m gay!”
“I’ve come to believe that my one wild and precious life will never be full if I don’t aggressively dismantle my childhood hardwiring, if I don’t ask the people who love me most to give me what I need.”
“Trauma wasn’t meant to happen at 9 a.m. on that August morning. Not when I was running on time, and somehow missed the long line for the day’s first cup of coffee. Nothing could have warned me that the meticulous construction of my person would be unraveled while my peers watched from their own cocoons of solitude.”
This post is 25% Mey Rude Appreciation Club and 75% “personal essays by trans women oh my gosh how do I pick only 16.” (I picked 17.)
This week, it’s a cartoon. Next week, maybe I’ll write you a poem in the sky from inside a hot air balloon! Or, you know, just use my words. It’ll be an adventure. Me, you, and my Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light, slogging through the snow and sunless days together.
“The first girl I ever kissed spent her summers on her uncle’s farm, helping him bale hay. She would come back to school with the insides of her wrists all welted-up like she had been stung by bees. I wanted to kiss each sting but I never asked.”