Silences Such as These (A Coming Out Story)

This is an old one! I wrote it years ago at my beloved hippie college. I was challenged by my advisory to write a personal narrative, so I wrote about starting hormones. I reflect on my life up until that point and attempt to answer the unanswerable question, which was demanded as a condition for being allowed to medically transition, “when did you first know you were meant to be a woman?” I’m still really proud of the result.

If you’re familiar with trans narratives, some of this might sound familiar. However, sadly, most trans autobiographies fail to contextualize the story within broader social histories. I wanted to talk about my identity as it both reflects and challenges a world where gender assignments are binary, naturalized, compulsory, and violently enforced. I also think about how my body interacts with the medical establishment that has been erected to maintain that very gender system.

I’m sharing my story because I haven’t posted much creative nonfiction here, and for all of the young trans folks who, like I once was, are pouring over the internet for empowering alternative ways to make sense of their desires outside of the prescribed Harry Benjamin-esque narratives of the medical-psychiatric institution.

Trigger warnings for mentions of violence and mental illness.


“The Best of Both Worlds”: Navigating the Porn Industry, Tranny Chasers, & My Own Trans-centric Sexuality

Content warning: Graphic discussions of sex, sex work, and transphobia

“The Best of Both Worlds”: Can a tranny whore also be a tranny chaser? Or: Toward a trans-centric sexuality. Or: How porn taught me to trust people and love my body.

This is dedicated to the amazing sex I had last weekend, and the beautiful women with whom I had it. Also, many thanks to Mira for clarity and critical thoughts.

Since transition, all but one of the people I’ve dated, hooked up with, or crushed on have been other trans women. I don’t care to reveal that number, but let’s just say I’ve gotten close to a lot of trans women.

Recently, I half-jokingly called myself a “tranny chaser.” My off-hand comment sparked an interesting conversation between me and a friend, who is a gay trans man. The heart of our discussion was this: I am a tranny whore.[i] Can I also be a tranny chaser?

Shemale Fan Clubs: An Introduction to the World of Being Chased

The term ‘tranny chaser’ is used primarily amongst trans women to describe cis men who aggressively seek out sex with trans women. It usually has negative connotations. The prototypical chaser is creepy and misogynistic.


All Work Is Exploitation, Not Just Sex Work

I signed up for a workshop for sex worker activists tomorrow at HIPS presented with the Red Umbrella Project. It’s called “Personal Storytelling for Social Change” and encourages sex workers to tell our stories in the face of widespread ignorance about the realities of sex work. We are claiming space within a dialog that is overwhelmingly dominated by non-sex workers, especially white, middle class, cis christians and feminists.

So, I was thinking about what I would say about my experience in the industry. Then, my Facebook displayed an advertisement for an organization called “Porn Harms.” (Targeted advertising: fail! Usually I get ads for “socially-responsible” wedding rings and trans-male top surgery. At least those are trying to pay attention to my interests…)


Reflections on Trans Day Of Remembrance, Intersectionality, and Religion

This one is dedicated to my chosen-family and my trans sisters: y’all know who you are!

We just observed another Trans Day of Remembrance. Leading up to TDOR, I led five workshops for primarily cis audiences. I will never cease to be amazed at how many cis people are obsessed with what trans people do in the toilet. And I swear, the way cis folks are interested in what’s in my pants, you’d think they all work for the TSA.

I’m almost as tired of Trans 101 as I am of TDOR itself. Don’t get me wrong: like “It Gets Better”, TDOR has both room for criticism as well as the potential for good. The statistics won’t stop going up on their own. We should be having vigils.

It’s just that… On a personal level, it’s hard to spend every day, literally every day, for over a week dwelling on death in my community. Especially in D.C., where many of our own are on the list of the murdered. It feels like only yesterday that we lost NaNa Boo.