Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

San Francisco Forty-Something

San-Francisco-Gina

San Francisco Forty-Something

San Francisco, my city. I have never been there. I met a San Franciscan last Friday in a bar, like a Catholic meeting the Pope; or a younger version of me discovering you've been to Disney World in Florida. We sit there, two forty-something cis and trans. I hang on the person's every snippet of daily existence, admiring photos on an iphone of a space age stadium. Listening to words that slip effortlessly off the tongue: Berkeley, Monterey. The San Franciscan coolly sipping on her cocktail in front of me almost shouldn't be allowed to say those names so easily.

I can't imagine living in my shimmering, golden-gated city. What did Lacan say about desire? Always circling, never touching. Reach out; it disappears.

On my one big trip to America, I sold books door to door one humid summer in Virginia. Knock, knock, slam: always failing, imagining how the perfect sale would be. Selling only the cheapest kind that any fool could sell. I slunk from one gated path to another, early afternoon was the worst with hours going by without any conversation, an Arthurian knight having somehow, accidentally, gained entry to the Castle of the Holy Grail but failing miserably to find that fucking cup while others are more successful. That summer in America I remember taking shelter in a library as things were winding down. I read Uncle Vanya, the start of a love affair with Chekhov. That, and calling home each week, realizing for the first time how much my family meant to me. On doorsteps people offered me iced water, even if they didn't want my books. One time, being hit by a car as I was cycling the wrong way up a one-way street. The woman asking if I was alright, me apologizing profusely while limping away with my bike. I crawled into a cinema another time, to watch a second-rate fantasy but I was too exhausted to stay awake through all of it. I don't remember how it ends.

We talk about these things, the San Franciscan and I, the bar is now pulsating but our table remains candle-lit and quiet. She's wearing blue and we imagine afterlives, utopian places you wake up in without memory, time does not exist, no end or beginning, just deja vu and small studio apartments with heavy locks.

2049 A.D. I'm in the city with the bay shimmering before me. I'm embracing my Made-It! moment, wearing a scarlet-and-gold T-shirt of the San Francisco 49ers. Taking trams and walking hills, never wanting this to end. An alternate dimension, though my accent isn't Californian (I was always crap with accents, even in dreams), maybe I'm still transgender or this time a cisgender woman, somehow knowing from past lives that it's important to be there, that I've made it and that life doesn't get any better. I'm ignoring all the homelessness, it's not enough to put a crimp in my day.

4900 A.D. Or watching the oceanic sprawl of a night-time city, distant sirens and honking cars and helicopters chopping cold night air overhead. They're looking for cyborgs – WHO AREN'T REAL PEOPLE – and the Cyborg Recognition Act seems like a long time ago. It's time for me to turn to my run-down car, my trench coat hiding a giant pistol. I head to my motel room with one last night of rent in my pocket, wondering if I could maybe sleep with the awful but apparently single manager, does he suspect or maybe doesn't care? Some men in their fifties have on occasion expressed an interest in fucking me. Otherwise I am going to commit my first crime because no one will pay me to do anything, WORTHLESS, but maybe I won't let the manager fuck me, but rather kill him and take everything because not every case is solved, if I leave the gun in someone else's motel room, someone with a plausible motive, or maybe make it seem like suicide because people kill themselves all the time now in golden-gated San Francisco, while there's an abandoned library nearby where I can maybe squat, underneath the section starting C for cyborg in case anybody needs to find me, or perhaps that should be C for cash (there's always time for irony), there must be writers under C that I can read while I'm waiting, Lewis Carroll or Anton Chekhov, the latter whom I've never read but always wanted to-

2018 A.D. again.

It's weird trying to imagine heaven, or even something heavenly. Barely perceptible fantasies of San Francisco transform upon closer inspection into something anxious, menacing. Someday, as a personal reward for completing my PhD, I'll visit this gleaming bay-area city, the completion of an important cycle in my life, a place I've never been to but always wanted to. Like entering a cinema for a film that's meant to be brilliant, I'll be slightly high, and also somewhat fearful.


(Image of San Francisco taken from Lonely Planet.com; image of me taken by me after my San Franciscan evening and isn't it cool how I shine with the scarlet-and-gold colours of the San Francisco 49ers?)

Transgender milestone (#5): visiting a foreign cou...
The Whiteness of LGBT+ Spaces
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Thursday, 03 December 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

November 17, 2020

If I were to detransition, this is what I would write

Warning: this is a speculative piece of writing, not an official announcement, although I have recently begun to imagine an 'ideological' detransition (from trans woman to GNC male). Here, I'm trying to articulate and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and imagining myself from a different perspective. In this post, I'm Gina v...
November 17, 2020

Trans Hell-thcare

The picture accompanying this post is important to me. I took it yesterday, 16 November 2020, unsure what I'd find. It's been nearly eleven months since I came off oestrogen for reasons I'll get into in a moment. Undoubtedly this has had an effect on me, bodily and therefore psychologically, but the accompanying selfie gives me a reassura...
October 17, 2020

What if gender-critical feminism came to power?

This scenario is inspired by a dialogue I had yesterday evening with a gender-critical feminist just before I went to bed. Here is what I dreamed: In the summer of 2021, the Conservative minister Liz Truss introduces legislation, making women-only spaces legally accessible only to those born female. This U.K. law includes a provision for funding al...
October 13, 2020

Responses to my blog post (1)

A frustrating aspect of my website is that when people write in, there's no trace of an email address so no way of getting back to people, and also no way of publishing their messages. However, I received such a nice response to my article just now that I'd like to include it here. It's from some who for the sake of confidentiality (in case it's ne...
October 11, 2020

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism Note to the reader: This post is intended as a contribution to addressing the current tensions between transgender activism and gender-critical feminism. The way I see myself in relation to female i dentity, and the ideas I express here, are not a prescription for other trans women. The t...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...