trabulous: or, queering the fuck out of just about everything

It’s orchestra break and I’m devouring a tupperware container’s worth of kroger frozen bagged vegetables and sautéed peanuts. The scent catches winds and heads turn; I’m a delightful (/resourceful) cook – it’s true. “That smells incredible, Eli!” friend one says to friend two. “I bet she knows that already!” friend two exclaims. I look up. “Who knows that?” It’s time for the pronoun conversation. Friend two says she’s sorry, “crap! ‘He!’ I know! That’s the only part I’m having trouble with: pronouns”. You and me both, sister. I in my golden scarf and skinny jeans pull out the recently popular response of “it’s because I’m so fabulous, isn’t it?” “Yes!” she replies, “so. Fabulous.”

Alas, Elias! I am far too sparkly to be seen as a stronghold of [trans]masculinity. At 5’6″, with swooshy hair and a swishy gait – this pretty boy is just feminine enough to make even the folks with the most gay best friends drop pronouns like bombs. Un-intended destruction – or constructive criticism? Can’t I just ‘pass’ with pizazz? I’ve heard from numerous sources that friends and family slip up on pronouns when their transkin ‘act’ gender binary defying ways. In my experience, my ability to pass is shot through the moment I consider wearing pink or when my gaze drifts to the cute ass of the queer flavor of the week (this week: starfruit!).

All things considered, I’m quite the little fairy boy in bed… and in my head… and on the daily. But this reality should have nothing to do with my credibility as a transman. People have a hard time separating gender identity from sexual orientation. I’m sure I don’t help when I let my friends off the hook because they find me fabulous. At the moment though, it seems like a safe and comical way to mitigate the ostinato of incorrect pronouns. The well-meaning friends who don’t see how important it is to me that they try harder. We’re not talking about nicknames, folks. We’re talking about identity: my truth that I find to be self-evident and the pursuit of my own happiness – sparkle, swish and all.


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