“A cultural exchange from a person with a prostate to those without.”
Ultimately, Zigzags was fueled by the nostalgia of all the places I’ve loved and left and missed. There’s a lot of flirting and parties and witty banter, but it’s very much about the necessary and heartbreaking recognition of when it’s time to move on.
A middle-aged transmasculine butch person meets a trans-exclusionary radical feminist in the vast forest of Tumblr. What happens next is both predictable and unexpected.
Growing up, I felt I wasn’t enough. Not white enough. Not Latina enough. I’ve tried to look to my mother’s story as my own missing piece. I’ve made her story into a key that will unlock a feeling of place and belonging. As a writer, I look to stories to guide me.
At my Catholic all-girls middle school, I liked to tell people I was Buddhist. It was my feeble attempt at preteen rebellion. I enjoyed interjecting, “Oh yeah? Well, I don’t believe Jesus was real because I’m Buddhist!”
I grew up in a conservative family so I never really knew the words to describe who I was but when I saw Walter Mercado in his finery and elegance, I knew I was like him.
In Ifa, a Yoruba-based religion, we believe that when we die, we are reincarnated into our same family lineage. I’ve imagined all the ways in which it would be possible that my grandmother was once my sister, or my aunt, a friend in a past life or even a version of me. We depended on each other in so many ways.
I idolized Shane, and the only trans man in the series, Max. I wanted to mirror their everyday existence. I wanted to emulate their cool. I wanted the attraction they seemed to be dripped in. I wanted the clothes they wore, I wanted my jeans to have a hole in the crotch like theirs did.
We’re always coming out. As an: anime fanatic, manga-collecting Pokémon plushie hoarder; as a giddy, youthful ray of sunshine and not just the dense, American Dream-deprived immigrant, prompted over-thinker — I realize I am more than any of these individual rooms at all times.
In the U.S., mass graves have been uncovered as developers unearth land for future projects. People claim we are experiencing the pandemic collectively — but economically, politically, and geographically, we are not. Look where we get buried. Look at who gets buried.
Often, use of makeup, especially as a way to cover up perceived flaws, is seen as a symptom of body dysmorphic disorder. But for me, using makeup is not a way to hide what I look like. Instead, it’s a way for me to be seen.
This Latinx Heritage Month, I’m calling for non-Black Latinxs to reflect on the ways in which we’re aiding white supremacy and how we can instead be accomplices for the liberation of Black people.
My acceptance of my own pain allows me to have the kind of sex that is rooted in the specificity of my body. I don’t love the idea that I’ll never fist, but I do love the idea that every act of sex I engage with is collaborative. Queerness reminds me that there is no standard way to fuck or live.
Getting top surgery with my butch identity is no longer some unattainable fantasy. Now the question firmly rests with me: do I want to go ahead with it or not?
I will never again cultivate a romantic relationship with a cis person on purpose, not in this life. I have been hurt too badly, too often, by too many people. T4T only. Inscrutable genders from outer space to the front, those that can be best described as “smell of campfire” && “a great pink shape.” && those best described as “a single chandelier earring dragging across your chest while we fuck.”
Our thighs slapped against the tarp as we threw each other across the floor. Our eyes and ears were painted in mud like two casts of the human form. The thing that pulled me into the ring that night was desire itself.
The first draft of The Ship We Built was intended as a valentine for one person. Six and a half years later, The Ship We Built has been released as a novel with Penguin Random House and continues to be a valentine – now for anybody who picks it up.
Because of the positive affirmation I received during sex, I began to believe it was all I was good for. When people wanted me, I assumed it was my job to provide joy for other people. I gave myself to a lot of people in that way. I had to remember that I had a right to pleasure as well.
There’s a difference between domination as a way to take control or claim power over another person — the way certain lovers have done with me — versus domination as a way to provide comfort and care, and to grow one’s power without harming anyone else.
This is precisely what I admire about cholas, and what I wanted to emulate for myself as a femme. These women were highly feminine, but not the dainty kind, the kind that has lived a thousand years.