Category Archives: gayz

all the arms we need!

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laying in bed with my girlfriend i run my fingertips down her arms. her bones are bumpy around her wrists. “oh, that’s because i broke this one twice and the other one three times,” she says casually. i frown at this and she breaks into a smile. “it’s okay! i mostly broke them while i was having fun!” and she’s talking excitedly about some ridiculous skateboarding accident. we are comparing feet–we both have ugly fucked-up feet. her toes are all snaggly and it’s because she broke them all, too. same thing, same luminous smile. she mostly broke them while she was having fun, so it’s okay.

and the not-so-fun bone breaks, we just don’t talk about those.

today i am sad about things that i have absolutely no control over. today i am wondering if i am just doing that classic crazy-person thing of saying, “oh, i’m fine now! i don’t need my meds!” while neglecting to remember that the reason i am fine is because i’ve been on them. wondering if i actually need them or if i just need a buffer from life. aren’t we just supposed to be sad a lot? isn’t this desire for relentless happiness so stupid and american and just generally a bad idea? doesn’t it make us bad, weak people? and don’t i not-so-secretly think i deserve to suffer?

laying in bed, my girlfriend touches my arm. i make a muscle and she whispers how sexy my strong arms are. it’s nice to have a partner who is not intimidated by my strength, both physical and emotional. who needs me to be, and stay, strong for her. my body is the strongest it’s ever been, mostly because i live up a hill. a huge one, a ridiculous one. a cliff, really, but there is a switchback road that gets one up the hill without going straight up. i’m not close with anyone who drives on a regular basis, so it’s me & my bike or me & the city steps, every day that i leave the house. i used to hate that hill so much. used to weep as i struggled up it, partially because everything made me weep when i first moved to this apartment, and partially because i just couldn’t believe that this was my life. that i gave up a sweet house on a tiny hill for this shitty apartment on this giant incline.

now i love the hill. the way the struggle makes my thighs come alive. the awe of my sweat-panted neighbors, sitting on their porch, watching me go. i love how strong it’s made me. love the way my girlfriend squeezes my muscular thighs and says that she loves them.

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i know i talk a lot of smack on fb. but sometimes it leads you to truly wonderful things…

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….like this. i found it on my old pal theresa’s fb page, but she got it off of leslie feinberg’s fb. i lived with theresa 11 years ago, when she read “stone butch blues” and it made her cry. this picture & this dedication almost made me cry. so fucked up and yet so amazing.

i have other things to say but they all seem irrelevant. let’s remind ourselves what we’re capable of, despite everything. let’s remember to fight back always & resist in any way we can. refusing to give in to despaid can sometimes be resistance. & most importantly, let’s take care of each other.

to learn more about cece, go here.

to learn more about leslie feinberg, go here.

 

STONE BUTCH BLUES DEDICATION
for CECE McDONALD
I have taken back my author rights
to Stone Butch Blues.
I am working on plans for a
20th-anniversary author edition
of Stone Butch Blues
for Spring 2013.
 A digital multi-media edition
 will be available free online.
A not-for-profit, at-cost print edition
will be available for order online, as well.
During our visit in jail,
I asked CeCe McDonald
if I could dedicate
Stone Butch Blues to her.
I’m thrilled to announce:
She said “Yes!”
When I saw this attached photo
for the first time, it was clear to me,
 that this is the dedication photograph!!
More information on novel publication as it develops.
Soon, I’ll also post information regarding translations.
FREE CECE!

 

what if i’m a romeo in black jeans

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my new friend marta wrote something really amazing and beautiful on their tumblr the other day and i want to share it with all of you. here it is: Think of people when I start to love them more like a big round dinner plate piled six inches high with delicious sauteed spinach, knowing some time in the foreseeable future the plate is going to contain nothing but a little residual olive oil, and the great nourishing food will be nowhere in sight but my belly will be full of something I love so dearly, something to fuel me another day. I think that’s a more fair way to appreciate love in this delicate life form. It’s not fair to expect people to be infinite. I think we should hug each other goodbye after every encounter with acknowledgement that we might not meet again until we’re both out there in the great beyond. I think that would be a lot more fair and a lot more healthy and a lot more honest.

 

tomorrow i am going back to philly. a city that is the source of so much of my strength and so much of my sorrow. going back to visit my chosen family. it’s the anniversary of the death of one of our own. seven years ago. those first few years we got together because–well, i don’t know why they did, but i made the journey to philly because i was still deep in grief and i couldn’t bear to be around anyone who didn’t know on the anniversary. in the past 5 years or so the grief has loosened its grip significantly. now i go back because we’re still here. we’re still alive and it’s good to make a journey across the miles to see people who love you, while we’re all still here.

these people who i have known across the span of years and years. through gritty cold winters and joyous wild danceparties. through hungry times and times with boxes and boxes of overflowing food, more than we could ever eat. through long drunken nights when all we could do to show how we felt was to take the bottle and smash it on the ground, but only when it was empty. people who don’t bail when shit gets hard. people who were my strength for so long, and even though i live far away now, even though my life was very different and i’m not that dirty, hungry, pink-haired 21-year-old anymore, i still go back.

lately i have been doing chakra-cleansing yoga in an attempt to let go of the rage and resentment that fuels my daily life. really, these past few months or so have been some of the calmest months i have ever had. usually i am consumed by anger, eaten alive by anger. anger at the world, at capitalism, at the fucked-up circumstances so many of us fight, at the unfair advantages given to the undeserving. at my family, my ex-friends, whoever i’m mad at at the moment. but for a few months i have been mostly calm, and i think it’s because i have devoted myself to lots of woo-woo spiritual practices. the anger is not gone, just managed better, and seen as part of a much larger picture. and one concept in this woo-woo-ness is that your emotions permeate every cell in your body. the anger takes over every cell. but underneath it all i have so much fucking love for the world, and for the people who mean something to me. and that’s in my cells too. and these people that i am visiting, they straddle the line between love & rage too. they were the first people i knew who blended it. who taught me how to laugh with rage & to fight with love. don’t give up & don’t forget.

i still go to philly the last weekend every january because it’s there. in my cells. nurturing me. and we will never be each others’ daily plates of spinach again. but the nourishment, it’s still there. it won’t be destroyed so easily.

 

on a semi-related note, i’ve been having a hard time sleeping. one thing that always makes me feel better is picking up my hothead paisan collection. sheer genius, i’m tellin’ ya.

 

my life in meals, as of late.

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christmas eve. oyster bay, ny.

first meal of the new year. brabec st.

january 8th, a very good day. bellevue, pa.

 

i haven’t been updating here for lots of reasons, including but not limited to not really having time/internet access. but i think the most compelling reason i haven’t been updating is this team dresch lyric: “some things are probably better kept to myself/but some scared part of me still tells everything, as if that could help.” i have spent most of my life living by the second part of that lyric, but i’m thinking perhaps it’s time to start living by the first. not saying this blog is dead, just saying i’m realizing how maybe it’s not a good idea to have so much personal info about me available online and i’m taking a step back. but i’m still out here. in case you were wondering.

just one more thing to say…

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after i wrote that post, 2 days ago, i got on my bike and headed home. i passed a shitty diner/dive bar in the neighborhood next to mine. there were a whole bunch of 20-somethings, in suits and ties and dresses, drinking beers out front. since it was 2pm on a monday, i assumed that they’d just gotten back from a funeral. as i rolled by them i made eye contact with a red-faced dude-bro, but it wasn’t meaningful, and i couldn’t read the expression on his face. i had the thought, if things had gone just a little differently on thursday, those would be your friends, drinking at your funeral.

dear friends: if i die suddenly, don’t get drunk in my honor. get sober in my honor, and finish up all the work i didn’t get to while i was here.

 

RIP paul c., 1984-2011.

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i haven’t seen you in years, but you were fucking amazing. the best cupcakes, hilarious one-liners, a perfect blend of bronx-faggot street smarts and sassy silliness. “spill that tea, girl, that shit is hot!” i hope heaven is full of fashion shows, good cookin’, and truly scandalous gossip. the world will miss you.

road full of promise, head full of doubt.

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on thursday, i had a really fucking good day, light-hearted at work, sweet people left & right, and a really meaningful convo with a young trans client that i think changed both of our lives a little bit. and after that, i ran home and packed and headed out to philly in a car full of queers. i was wearing my super fun adventure hat that i liberated from target last weekend. it’s a tiny cowboy hat that sits on a headband, cocked at an unlikely angle. every day that i’ve worn it has been fun! and this was no exception. at a rest stop in nowheresville PA a suuuuper gay employee chirped, “well aren’t you cute! i love that hat!” and it made my night.

friday i rode bikes around philly with steph & danny. we ate the most delicious sweet potato fries and read in the warm comfort of giovanni’s room, my fave queer bookstore in america, i think. maybe the only one i’ve ever been to that’s still standing? i love that fucking place. and it was so cozy, reading books with two good friends, so far away from home. the day was bright and sunny and i was kinda sad because philly brings up sad things for me, but we laughed and rode around the schuykill river, on the trail, and it was super good. that night i got real drunk and ate some delicious mexican food at carey’s mom’s house, i told stories and worked shit out with someone i love. and then stayed up until 5am dancing and talking with rob & carey. i love my philly friends, we’ve been through so much together and they really feel like my family.

saturday i puked. all day. i forget i can’t drink like i used to. i felt better around 7pm and we all went out again around 10. i didn’t drink, but i did have a random man pet my red fake fur jacket and yell, “man, i want to cover my whole house with this shit! it’s like the 70’s all over again!” he also lifted his shirt to reveal his stomach tattoo that said, “BEST FUCK EVER.” i was like, “ooo….kay.” i just didn’t even know what to do, because he wasn’t even being creepy up until that point.

on sunday we went home, but not before making a brief appearance at the philly zine fest. steph, danny & i pranced from the car to the rotunda singing “party in the USA” by miley cyrus at the top of our lungs. while we were doing this, i found a checkbook smeared with blood, with a cryptic phrase written on the back (which i’ve already forgotten.) i hugged j.bee and sari and talked to them for like 5 minutes each before i hustled myself back into the car for the long drive home. i came home to peace & quiet & it was so nice. i realized that this is the first time i’ve left town in nearly 2 years where i haven’t been worrying the whole time that my partner is cheating on me & i’m gonna come home to a shitshow. it is SO NICE to just come home to exactly what i expected. it is SO NICE to not have to worry about that.

yesterday i woke up to a text from my mother saying my dad’s dead best friend had come to her in a dream and said, “someone is trying to kill you.” it startled her awake. my mom, like me, is slightly psychic–not enough to predict things with any regularity, but enough to feel kinda crazed. yesterday i shared a meaningful handshake with a heartbroken stranger and got interviewed by a canadian journalist about riot grrrl (!!).

today is still young. something happened at work that had me crying in the bathroom at 9am about the unfairness of the fucking world. and now it’s my lunch break. the urge to write is stronger than the urge to eat, sometimes.

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last night i had a moment. dancing hysterically with steph & danny at lez liquor hour of all freakin’ places. drunk and silly and it felt like a junior high dance in the best way. it’s been so long since i have danced in public. steph said, “we can dance any way we want, because we don’t know anyone here and we don’t care what they think!” and in pittsburgh, it’s rare to be somewhere and not know anyone. but she was right! so i danced, & i thought, why do i always have the best times during the worst times? not that i was gonna question it or try to make it go away. i was just wondering.

later, we were at the bar, going to town on a vegetable-and-cheese platter that someone had left behind. at one point, i put a piece of broccoli in my mouth, and i was transported back to this place: winter 2004. sitting in a cold punk house (that has now been divided into yuppie apartments) with sharon & axi, on a torn-up couch. the only lights are christmas lights wrapped around the TV, which we don’t really use. i am secretly overly happy about this, that we are those kinds of people who use the TV as a shelf. anyway, we all had a really great conversation that lasted for hours. the only line i can remember is the one that i wrote down: “if i have to be a raver, i TOTALLY want a broccoli floret as my pacifier!” i forget who said it, me or axi.

so here i am, 2011, the stem in my mouth, the leafy part out, remembering that moment, that long-ago moment with two wonderful ladies who i never see anymore. looking at my reflection in my mirror across the bar, my eyes so huge without glasses. smushing my face up, trying to pretend that i’m a cheeky 90’s raver sucking on my pacifier just to be weird or whatever.  i thought i want a picture of this, and then caldwell came barrelling in the door with their camera slung around their neck like always. so they took a picture of me and all i could think was, oh, 2011. oh, how did i ever wind up here?

i’ve got visions of hope, the sky, and dry land.

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last week got a little better after i wrote that dramatic post. etta gave me a tarot card reading. the first card, which is the card that illuminates what’s going on with the whole situation, was the tower card. it made etta yell, “holy shit!” the literal meaning of that card is “expulsion from paradise.” and that’s how it feels, i guess.

i don’t know. i’ve been writing this entry in my head all week and now that i’m at the library, in front of a computer, it’s not really coming. i guess all you need to know is that i had a lot of really beautiful intense goodbyes this week. i am at my new place and it’s hard and sad but also good. so much light & so much space. slanty floors and dust that makes me choke, wobbly toilet and no bathtub. it’s the little things that hurt. the knowledge that i can’t go home again.

i found my journal from 1998 while unpacking and was struck by the compulsion to re-read it. that was the summer i cheated on my first girlfriend with an intense older woman, dumped my girlfriend to be with this other person, and then was promptly dumped by the older woman–who was a compulsively-lying alcoholic–for being “too fucked up” and having “too many problems.” it’s funny, the things i wrote to myself then, how they could apply so much to this vastly different situation thirteen years later. my jumbly handwriting, reminding myself that i am strong. wondering why i always want a partner so badly when they never make me happy. i wonder when i am going to learn–and what, exactly, i need to learn anyway.

my move, itself, was intense. lots of hard work, lots of love. at one point there was a cuddle puddle on my bed. i was in the middle, with 2 of my best friends on one side and my expartner on the other. i jokingly said, “it’s like i’m transitioning from cuddling with r. to cuddling with my friends, and you’re all cuddling with me at once so i don’t get too scared!” and everyone laughed, but there was a sadness afterwards.

i lost my voice during the move. the last 2 days with him. squeaking, growling, it hurt to talk but i kept doing it anyway because there was so much i needed to say. i realized that the last time i lost my voice was also in the throes of an intense breakup. and yesterday, 2 separate people i talked to mentioned that they’d known people who lost their voice in a breakup, or in a period of stress & extreme sadness. sounds symbolic.

that first night in my apartment, people trickled off one by one, until it was just me and amanda. late at night, my voice barely a whisper at that point. we had a moment of quiet, and i said, “i guess this is my life now.” amanda turned to me, grinning all big and wild, and said, “welcome!”

but where is home?

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so. i am home now, whatever that means. spent my whole time on the road crying, obsessing, feeling as though all is lost. all is not lost. i signed a lease yesterday. i’m really leaving–not going too far, 4.3 miles away according to google maps. but i’ve been in this neighborhood for 4 years & this house for 3. so much has happened,

but i’m ready to go. ready to do what i gotta do again. ready to remember that i’m not meant for safe, for easy. today i had a potentially scary conversation with someone i’d thought of as my enemy. but it actually went really well. i love taking the power out of negative situations simply by confronting them head-on. by not being afraid.

i’m thinking about detouring my travel plans so i can go to the philly naked bike ride, but, i don’t know. i was feeling pretty excited about it but last night i had a horrible dream about philly, about being in a liquor store that was held up by a nerdy nervous white dude who made it clear that he would kill us all if we didn’t stroke his ego in the exact right way. and me & the other people being held hostage, we were able to communicate without speaking because we knew that if we didn’t, we’d all be dead. and at one point i thought, “i really wish i had never come to philly.” it all felt so real. is that a sign, or just my brain being weird? it’s so hard to tell!

i’m scared to write about good things on the internet. because usually when i write about things on the internet, they contradict themselves. i know that’s ridiculous, but it’s how my brain works. but i’m feeling good right now. hopeful. peaceful. i hope that this doesn’t become untrue, simply by virtue of me typing it.

i’ve got a lot more to say, but i forget. i’m going to new york tomorrow. thinking about oyster mushrooms, about lasagna, about concrete, about forgiveness, about love. about living in a way that honors the beloved dead, that honors every good thing i have gotten to experience. thinking about cute genderqueer legos and libraries and the ocean. thinking about cities and the past. thinking about subways, and the future.