“You’re so good looking you could be a girl.”

I’ve been taking stabs at a lot of art writing lately and, in conjunction with the semester swinging into full force, my real-life stories have fallen behind. Good thing I’m ultimately always writing…

I set out to Kroger from some hot Friday night action last weekend. Awhile back, I invested in an army surplus canvas rucksack to do the job and it’s since transformed into my favorite errand – food reconnaissance. Wrapped up in my bike jacket and winter gear I hunted my prey of tofu and frozen vegetables in the florescent aisles, rather unaware of my fellow hunters. I turned a corner and the face recognition center of my brain lit up: one of my professors. Feeling punchy, I snuck up to her and tapped her on the shoulder to initiate the kind of conversation that both lasts too long and make you wonder “is this person drunk?” Yes, I divined after she extensively explained her cat food purchases to me. I reminded myself that my initial tap brought me into this ridiculousness. Her neighbor was with her and it was her contributions that made the conversation priceless.

I reach into the exterior breast pocket of  bike jacket. (It blends in pretty well with the fabric if you’re drunk, I guess.)

Professor: “Wow! What did you just do?!”

Neighbor: “Well, she got her phone out of the jacket pocket.”

P: sternly “He.”

N:taken aback, deeply embarrassed, also drunk “Oh! I’m so sorry! It’s just… you had a hat on! You’re just so good looking you could be a girl!”

There you have it, folks. Men are not attractive. My professor later revealed to me that her neighbor, after some solid explanation, thought I was transitioning from male to female. This confusion delights me. It happens all the time. She claimed it was because of my “earrings” which are now 1/2 inch plugs. Fair enough (?). She also told my professor that she felt horrified at the mistake. This I don’t understand. If someone assumes me to be a female I usually (admittedly, not perfectly) take the time to correct them. I’m not terribly offended because I usually dress/ act like a fairy boy. Our society has married femininity to females; ’till death (or gender revolution) do they part.

The socialized horror of gender confusion really blows my mind. Why is it offensive to tell a man he’s beautiful? I tell the other males in my life how gorgeous they are all the time! And why is it unspeakable for females to have masculine features? Or to just, gendered qualities aside, look strong? I understand that I cannot understand this in the way most experience it because I live in the mental grand central station of gender fucking. Many of my friends and partners are genderqueer and/ or radical queers. Breathing “fuck gender” and getting little thrills out of confusing the public at large is just standard issue with our bandanas and combat boots.

(And all things considered, I’m in a sordid love affair with my gender. This is another post entirely 🙂

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