Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Naked, we press/ together in purple sleep, my/ budding breasts/ reach toward your back/ but my belly/ your ass/ put air between us/ This is our body/ ankles tangled / thigh between thighs/ under white down comforter/ pulled up around cheeks/ Warm breath on back/ against the cold/ late November open window.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Since transitioning, I've become acutely aware of male privilege. For one thing, taking the subway, or even the bus doesn't feel as safe as it once did, but that's something to be expected. I'm not by any means condoning street harassment, but let's face it, men can sometimes be creeps. I was however surprised when one recent rush hour on the M14 bus, I was forced into the realization that something as mundane as eating a candy bar could be so controversial. I should probably explain. I'm fat. I take up space. In no earthly culture could I be viewed as "thin". And so it was that one evening rush hour on the M14, while eating a Butterfinger candy bar that I was reminded by a man (who was at least once and a half my own girth,) that I was "...kinda pretty", and if only I would "... lose a few pounds, maybe [ I ] could get myself a nice guy". I won't even bother to go into the myriad replies that filled my incredulous head, all jostling towards my mouth only to get stuck shoulder to shoulder to shoulder in the doorway (chief among them, I'm a lesbian who happens to be married, thank you very much!) In fact, I was sadly unable to say anything brilliantly cutting or clever before he disembarked at 5th Avenue. Had I been quicker on my verbal feet, I might have retorted that women's bodies, indeed all bodies ought not be regarded as grist for the mill of public commentary. How many of us have looked at another woman and commented that she was too thin or too tanned, or that her breasts or ass were too small or too big? I'm not only pointing the finger at everyone else. Admittedly, I've done this too. Obviously, as a lesbian I look at other women. I am afterall a sexual creature, and it's only natural, but the problem arises when we don't only look, but feel entitled to comment, as though we've some right to lay claim to another's body. I realize that I've digressed from my original point about male privilege, or, maybe not. The fact of the matter is, women are often complicit in creating the perception that women's bodies are public property, and although men are becoming increasingly regarded in much the same way, it's usually men who are already in the public arena as celebrities. This doesn't make it alright by any means, (in fact it compounds the issue) but that's fodder for another rant; this one's about women's bodies, and our right to own our own. After all, a fat woman standing on a rush hour bus should be able to enjoy her Butterfinger, without it being an act of feminist rebellion.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
As a lesbian identified woman of trans history, my criteria for attraction/attractiveness already differ slightly from those of most of the hetero/cisexual public. That said, my wife was shocked when, during a conversation last week about "getting into better shape", I declared that I didn't want to completely get rid of my belly. The truth of the matter is, I like having a belly. I enjoy being "fat". It makes me feel feminine and in charge of my own image because, with the revolutionary act of simply accepting my body as it is, I've declared- both to myself and to the world, that the media will never dictate to me what I should look like, nor what I should find aesthetically or even sexually attractive. My body is a revolutionary act because, I declare ownership of it and responsibility for it every day. And to those who would cite the fact that I was born biologically male, rendering me incapable of understanding the angst and social pressure brought to bare on girls to conform to media imposed strictures of acceptability, I say this: I am a woman. I'm a woman who until only recently was perceived as, and expected to behave as a man, simply because, externally, I didn't fit anyone's concept of what a woman should be. Believe me, I understand the pressures of society to conform, and admittedly, I embrace some of them: I take hormones to grow my breasts. I still shave daily (because as yet, I cannot afford laser depilation) and wear makeup. I paint my nails, and do my best to maintain some semblance of a manicure which isn't easy, considering that I've got dry nails that crack and I'm a klutz. I do all these things and more, because they help me feel more in touch with my femininity, as well as helping me "pass" in the world, but mostly I do them because I like to. It's as simple as that. They simply feel right, like they're a part of me, and if tomorrow, Vogue Magazine came out in favor of absolute androgyny, and women everywhere began foregoing their lipstick and makeup for a K.D. Lang circa 1991 inspired look, I'd walk out my front door in my size 26 pencil skirt, blood red lipstick and matching nails, and- as much as I'd enjoy checking out all the hot androgynous women, I'd thank the universe for the fact that I am who I am: a fat, femme dyke who has, after years of struggling with identity and body dysphoria issues, finally come to love herself, exactly as she is.