Sunday, May 29, 2011

Floozies & Fairy Tales: Aftermath

I didn't take any photos of the burlesque show I was at last night--I was too busy working lights and sound--but I did get photos of a number of us performers, staff, and close friends afterwards. Not included: Pictures of lesbionic plate licking or fisting jokes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Growing Up in the Closet

TRIGGER WARNING: Frank, uncensored quotes of cissexist people and attitudes follow.

I was born in 1970. 

For perspective, that was roughly 18 years after Christine Jorgenson was outed in the press; eleven years after the Cooper's Donuts riot; four years after the Compton's Cafeteria riot; two years after Gore Vidal published Myra Breckenridge; less than a year after Stonewall.

I was too young for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but that's OK--it was still a cult favorite when I was in high school, and remember the call-outs my friends would sing in remembrance of their wild Saturday night fun: "In just seven days of oral sex, I can make you a fag, just like my dad!" And this was supposed to be a celebration of being transgender?

I was too young to remember the initial controversy around RenĂ©e Richards, but I remember Gallagher singing, years later, to the tune of "This Old Man": "He can play mixed singles by himself!"

I was too young for pornography--but driven by curiosity in the taboo, I looked at it anyway. And thus I got introduced to the litany of objectification and othering that fill cis narratives of trans women. Women with something extra. Pussy on a stick. Girlyboy. He-She. Shemale. Perverse creations of medical science with unbridled appetites for all sorts of sexual escapades. The frank if humiliating portrayals of trans women in porn was in stark contrast to the near-absolute silence in polite society, save for the occasional joke. We existed to shock, to titillate, to arouse, to satiate, to submit--but we didn't exist on our own terms, for our own reasons.

Just the bits I've mentioned so far was enough to keep me deep in the closet--worse, when my father discovered my stash of women's clothing, I pushed myself so much deeper into the closet that I refused to even think about such things, and instead weathered accusations of being homosexual--irritatingly conflated with transgender behavior--through my formative years. The most ironic insult? "You'd get laid more if you dressed like a girl!"

And of course there were movies, and the themes they draped over cis-supremacy's fantasies about how trans women were. Tootsie. (Manipulators!) Bachelor Party. (Perverts!) Soapdish. (Villians!) The Crying Game. (Vomit-inducing!) Silence of the Lambs. (Psychopaths!)

So as you might imagine it took a while to disabuse myself of all these negative images and embrace the fact that I am a trans woman. One might wonder how much better off I would have been if I didn't have to deal with such extreme cissexism. Never mind that--I wonder how many trans women would still be alive....

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Nature of Black Metal

It is all too simple to imagine black metal is only about obsessions
with darkness and evil, with death and Satan. Resist that temptation.

Despite the iconography and imagery that many (but not all) black
metal bands use, there is something far more basic at play here.

Black metal is the weed, the bramble, the creeping vine--seemingly
doomed to stay underfoot. Ah, but let the creepers find some object
that dares in its hubris to reach towards the heavens! Then its
rhizomes will probe, seeking purchase, turning tiny fissures into
gaping crevasses, drawing sap from the evergreen, climbing
relentlessly over rock, rending branches from their trunks, eroding
stone walls, inevitably and eventually leaving naught but ruin in its

Ah, but there are some things that the growth of black metal cannot
overrun. The mountain has too broad a base to be pulled downward by
mere tangles. The ocean is too vast and too briny to be drained. The
stars are too distant, with an abyss between us and them. To these,
the ancient ones that shall remain long after we and our works have
turned to dust, we bend our knees and bow our heads. Even the forest
brings us awe, even as individual trees are felled. Not that these are
any more eternal than we are, but they have earned our respect and

That is the true legacy of black metal. And those who fail to
understand surely will be choked by overgrowth.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cis Narratives Versus Reality

I've always known I was a girl.

(Er, no I didn't.)

I hated playing with trucks and I loved playing with dolls.

(My Tonka dumptruck used to carry my GI Joes around.)

The moment I heard the word "transsexual" I knew that was what I was.

(I was terrified at the possibility--I knew what people did to trans folk in this culture!)

I left home at an early age so I could be my true self.

(If by "early" you mean "after I got a college degree", sure.)

I worked as a prostitute....


...So I could afford surgery for my boobs....

(Home grown, baybee!)


(No, really, this is my actual nose, I inherited it from my mom....)

...And, well, down there.

(That's none of your damn business. In fact none of this surgery talk is your damn business, sirma'am.)

And now I'm a well-adjusted....

(Ignore these scars I got from living in a cis-supremacist world. Why change now?)


(Ignore my girlfriend while you're at it.)

...Content woman!

(Up yours!)

I'm no longer transsexual.

(Like hell.)

And I wish those troublemaking transgender people would just mind their business.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I'm Not Obsessed With Munchkin....


OK, maybe a little bit.

FINE. A lot.

Er, anyone in the Seattle area up for a game?