Posts tagged "gender/sexuality"

Writing Trans Characters

When I was in my early twenties in the early part of the aughts, I gravitated towards anything with a transgender character. Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the bizarre zombie flick and Guitar Wolf vehicle Wild Zero, The Kink’s “Lola,” Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild...

A Balancing Act

As a memoirist, I often write about my family. I don’t worry too much about offending the people I write about for one simple reason– they’re dead. When you die, you lose the chance to object to what people say about you. I don’t know if I even could write as candidly as I do...
Liner Notes for the Debut Album From the Band We Never Formed

Liner Notes for the Debut Album From the Band We Never Formed

For M, J, C, and S. Track 1 There was that time we almost died, which is to say every day because that’s how life works, but in particular this is about the night we took the back way and then the dark shortcut around the back way, and the road went downhill and farther...
Lessons of the Body

Lessons of the Body

Algebra 101 There’s X and there’s Y, those star-crossed variables, exuberant arms yessing the heavens in their crazy equation in front of U and every 1 causing I, upright and uptight, to whisper to fat, unpopular O: That X, she’ll spread her legs for any 1. Sure enough, I has X’s number: Y goes into...
Go, Jim Dandy

Go, Jim Dandy

Sandy carried a vial of patchouli oil wherever she went. We walked everywhere in our Converse high-tops. She was almost always restless; I was almost always bored. In October we hitchhiked 175 miles to find a stringy college boy I had a crush on. A carload of guys picked us up and asked if we...
Landlines

Landlines

We ran for ringing phones. Loitering in front of Sbarro, sweating through our bomber jackets, our hair partially shaved and streaked blue. We looked tough in our Docs (though not so tough as we thought), and at one ring, maybe a two hundred-foot clip, we’d abandon the food court to get there first. More often...
Can You Teach Me How To Dance Real Slow?

Can You Teach Me How To Dance Real Slow?

If a DJ doesn’t like you, he plays “Superfreak” or “Bye Bye Miss American Pie.” One’s an insult, the other just takes forever. Eight-and-a-half minutes of rock-and-roll tragedy before I was born. Whatever. It’s playing when I walk into the club, and it’s still playing when I hit the floor, ready to go. I feel...
Breathless

Breathless

I was eleven almost twelve but I looked thirteen when I walked across Orlando toward my father’s apartment on Orange Avenue. (I told him telepathically I was on my way. I can’t stand living with her anymore!) I was thinking: French toast, snuggling with the funnies. I tried different ways of walking: fugitive style, fancy...
Ten Years Ago

Ten Years Ago

Senior year. A fundamentalist Baptist high school. One of those times, frequent and interminable, when the teachers ran out of lesson plans and gave us time to talk. I was reading a novel because I’d run out of homework. The classroom chatter softened for a moment, and I heard a nasal twang, four plastic chairs...
Shame

Shame

I stole another woman’s boyfriend once. Maybe he was her ex-boyfriend, or she was about to break up with him. I can’t remember now except that he came to the apartment I shared with his girlfriend, and he watched TV with me while she went out and had sex with other men. One night, the...
How to Fall in Love For Real

How to Fall in Love For Real

At twenty-two, I fell in love with the sales clerk who helped me pick out clothes at the mall. I was in love with my best friend’s wife. I was in love with everything. The sales clerk’s name was Cricket. She was six months pregnant. And for two weeks at sea, I imagined how I...
Stranded

Stranded

for Tracy This night like a photograph neither one of us can make out when I call you fifteen years later to ask if you remember the gun, the men, the comet. The two of us are on the side of Highway 82 outside of Brownfield, Texas. Forty miles from Lubbock. It’s been a day-long...

Mapping Identity: Borich’s Body Geographic

This interview was prepared by Linda Avery, Polly Moore, Jan Shoemaker, and Aimee Young (current nonfiction students in the Ashland University MFA program, Bonnie J. Rough’s Spring 2013 section) with questions exploring the memoir, Body Geographic. PM: Your voice in this book is so wise, so at peace with all the different parts of you that...
Old Habits

Old Habits

Almost midnight at ToyJoy, a funky, noisy, toy store swathed in twinkly lights and geometric neon in Austin, Texas. Leila, Burke, and I wander the aisles, shuffling sideways past other late-night wanderers and finger glow-in-the-dark armadillos, hula girls with cowboy boots and tattoos, oversized spiders that hiss and spit. Two men argue near the front...
How to Leave a Room

How to Leave a Room

When you leave a room, my mother taught me, leave no trace behind. She trained me to be in a room without making it dirty. And yet, to my confusion, she wore lipstick, applied in a thick style that changed little from year to year, a signature of sorts. In the bathroom she had her...
Cheekbones

Cheekbones

A beautiful woman once told me she thought she’d do well here, in America, since no one back there appreciated her strong, distinct features. This woman had deep-set eyes, high cheekbones, and a pronounced jaw; she looked like a younger version of my mother, right down to the over steamed dumpling of a nose. She...
The Craft of Writing Queer

The Craft of Writing Queer

When I discovered creative nonfiction I’d just turned thirty, was self-schooled in queer and activist literatures, newly in love with the woman who is still my spouse, newly sober, even newly tattooed, and recently returned to university. I’d dropped out of pre-journalism school in the late 1970s, in part because no line of study fit...

A Most Dangerous Game

You read the story in Mr. Trebor’s class and guessed the ending before you got there. You remember the teacher’s monotone voice almost made excited by the finale: the man hunts other men. You were bored. You chewed gum in your thirteen-year-old mouth and drew on your desk as Mr. Trebor read aloud. That same...