On losing a pet, resilience and vulnerability, human frailty and animal intelligence, and everything that goes into saying goodbye.
“As I write about my name now, I feel strength, and contentment and comfort and home. I feel more like myself than I ever have before.”
I think I’d gotten it into my head that disability is always, on some level, supposed to feel bad. Like if I fought myself all the time, I was somehow doing it right. I worried that if gave up the femininity I’d worked so hard for, I’d just be giving in. As someone who has a lot of privilege, I thought it was my job to be the right kind of woman, even if I didn’t enjoy it.
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.”
“It’s funny. We have legal documents declaring our marriage valid in two different states. We’ve been together and in love for years. But it was the birth of our daughter this daredevil, this personality, that really made our home feel like family.”
“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.”
How do you tell someone, “Hey, I’d love it if you’d slap me around and tell me what to do”?
Turns out, you tell them just like that.
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.”
“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!”
“And I thought how interesting is it that America can be this dark star, death star, and also at the same time this incredible shining light.”
“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.)
“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.”
This is a story about how the Buzzfeed series “You Do You” made me feel like someone might wanna do me.
“But, like embracing the woman I am, I couldn’t stay back from the allure of the waves. The pull of my trans-ness and queerness, of course, would always be stronger, the strongest impulses I have ever known. The sea, like them, was a place that represented a kind of forbidden love. I needed to overcome my fears or I would feel that I was holding myself back from living authentically.”