Archive for March, 2009



March 17, 2009

Tuesday, 12:30 am – Chicago’s North Loop.

Three German college boys walk behind me on a narrow sidewalk with sophomoric swaggers. One darts forward to peek under my cap, past my deep blue hood. Darts back, laughs. I hear the chatter of a language I know just well enough to pick out bits here and there. A word something like “androgyne” pops out and slaps me like a sticky wet ball of tissue. I tense a little but don’t walk any faster; a tiny part of me is grinning in anticipation, waiting for a shove, wanting to get into it, to make it real, to know I’m alive and I’m me and to prove to the assholes they don’t control me. More chatter behind me and one eggs his buddy on, in English this time.

“Go for it.”

A pause, and I’m relieved and let down all and once that he doesn’t touch me, doesn’t make it more personal, but he calls out loud enough I know it’s meant for me.

“Hey, man, can you feel your balls? CAN YOU FEEL YOUR BALLS?”

A dozen beginnings to clever comebacks pop into my head as I roll my eyes, but witty banter has never been my forte. I raise my right hand instead, never breaking stride, and flip the guy and his buddies and any more sophomoric swaggering cocks who might be nearby a deep, silent, heartfelt Fuck You. He calls again.

“Oh, a tough guy, huh?”

A smile creeps its way unbidden to my face as I descend the steps to the Red Line.

Yeah. Tough guy.

And then I got on the subway and wrote that down.


moving about in the world of boystown

March 11, 2009

A month and a half after Beginnings I made a ‘coming out’ post to my livejournal. In its entirety, here ’tis.

Those who follow my twitter page will have already heard this, but I thought I’d make a semi-public post to chronicle my important life changes. The way to phrase my “coming out” to various groups of people is something that has occupied much of my mental landscape over the past few weeks, so I think I’ll try out a few of the phrases I’ve been toying with.

I am undergoing gender reassignment.

I have decided to transition.

How would you feel about me if I were me, but a guy?

It’s a boy!

Am I going to cut my hair? No, not at the present. What kind of a man has hair that long? THIS kind. It’s Ren Faire hair, hair down to who-knows-where, hair like Samson’s, don’t you dare chop it off.

Note: This conviction only lasted another month or so, when I realized that shorter hair would help a lot in my initial transition phase.

Hi, my name is Gabriel. No, not like Sylar.

In practical terms, I’m currently negotiating the prospects of telling my employers, getting a court order to change my name, figuring out how to change the gender marker on my ID, calling up a doctor who may or may not choose to prescribe the great and revered T so my body can begin to reflect myself, and working out how to tell the extended family and so on who may have a harder time than my queer/geek friends to accept this revelation of myself as transgendered. And I’m contemplating the complicated life journey of becoming a man without having the traditional history of boyhood, but rather a rich and complex history of girlhood and all I have to say about that is…

Coming out as queer was so much less COMPLICATED.