poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 23, 2004

The sexual wave that's crashing down on me
Is she or isn't he?
SEXPLOITS is a continuing series of adventures through Boston’s sexier side.

LATELY, A WORD has been creeping into my vocabulary, and I haven’t the slightest idea how it happened. I suddenly find myself saying things like, "There were some trannies doing spoken word." Or, "No. I hear she only dates trannies." Or, my favorite yet, "Yeah, it was just a bunch of hipsters and trannies."

When I sit back and think about it, I don’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about. Substitute the words "ice fishing" for "tranny," and I’d probably be able to speak as eloquently about sitting on a bucket in the middle of a lake as I can about transsexuals. I can’t even discern the nuances among the transgendered, transvestites, and transsexuals, and they could all quite possibly be the same as far as I know. Despite that, I throw the term around loosely because it adds an air of . . . je ne sais quoi to my conversations, much like the terms GOP or truffle oil seem appropriate in conversations about politics or food.

My ignorance became sadly apparent a few weeks ago at a family cookout when my aunt’s girlfriend broached the subject of transsexuals. She’s fascinated with the trans community, she told me, so much so that she’s looking into volunteer opportunities at trans-support centers. She was spouting book and film titles, all the while looking at my blank face for a glimmer of recognition. It wasn’t there.

"I don’t really know that much about it," I admitted sheepishly.

After a moment of nodding with her chin in her hand, and some exaggerated brow furrowing, she said only, "I’m surprised at that." Get your socially unaware head out of your bloated, drunken ass, you excuse for a sexual being, is what I think she meant.


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