Posts tagged "gender/sexuality"
Stop

Stop

How did we end up here at the top of the stairs in Lewisohn Hall, on the night of the afternoon that we first met on the limestone steps of the campus library? After I told you that I was a public school girl from the north shore of Long Island and you said, when...
Partition

Partition

The customer pulls away the thin changing room curtain and emerges with her bright blue, almost neon, bra exposed. She asks me why the faded denim jacket won’t close across her chest, but I am no longer there. I am in the red scrape of razor burn on my neck and chin, the too-deep almost-butch...
Lunch with Norman Mailer, 1987

Lunch with Norman Mailer, 1987

The Round Table meets at Trader Vic’s. Would I come as their guest? They need a woman. I don’t know, I say: I’m no Dorothy Parker. “No,” my host agrees kindly, “but you’ll do.” Nervous, I follow him up the stairs to the Captain’s Cabin. I meet the famous movie producer, the famous architect, the...
I Know My Body Tried to Save Me

I Know My Body Tried to Save Me

Dirty, Poz, Faggot, G.R.I.D: pseudonyms for the boy I don’t want to be. Gay-related. Gay-related. I don’t want to be gay-related. I don’t want to be human-immunodeficient either. I don’t want to be in this I.D. clinic reading Tiny Beautiful Things, a book of collected advice columns, a bible that replaced my bible, turning random...
Dick

Dick

I arrive in face. The concealer and contour, still wet on my cheekbones, gives the illusion that I am a man. I’ve painted an Adam’s apple on my throat and drawn thick hair on my upper lip and eyebrows. My breasts are tightly bound, nipples pulled back under my armpits and taped down. I am...
Safe As Houses

Safe As Houses

In September you’re dating a woman who is too good for you—who is inquisitive, kind, who tells you she loves you and whose heart you break without meaning to or trying. You have a good run of it, Sundays all tangled up, meeting one another’s friends, trying to figure out what kind of gay you...
Cliff Notes for Coming Out

Cliff Notes for Coming Out

Consider that inclemency is always possible. If you come out often enough, and stay out long enough, inclemency may be inevitable. I don’t want to lie to you about this. Once, when I still lived on the West Coast, there was a frightful storm. In the aftermath, I went running down a barren road, which...
Seven Women

Seven Women

We are in our twenties, thirties, forties. Our Pantones are honey, brown, sand, cream, pink. We have children. We have stepchildren. We have no children. We are frightened that if we have children they will rip us open, and we will hate them. We are in open relationships. We are in guarded relationships. We are...
When the Uber Driver Asks, Do You Have Any Kids?

When the Uber Driver Asks, Do You Have Any Kids?

  and they always ask, the other me doesn’t say no. She doesn’t get the follow-up questions – Do you plan to, later? or, worse, Why not? Other Me doesn’t have to weigh whether to tell a lie, something easy, or to plunge into the sudden intimacy of the truth of life as a disabled...
That I May Not Thirst

That I May Not Thirst

  Birds bend around wind to hoist their bodies in the air—she does something similar. She unfurls, all red lip and ease, says, Here I am. This woman before me knows what it is to claim skies. I am not yet there. The church I grew up in taught me to fear God and then...
This Is the Room Where

This Is the Room Where

I keep my keys; where I can watch the guy across the street mow his lawn shirtless; where I learned my niece was having her fourth child; where you can find Gary’s dogeared, underlined, and deeply annotated copy of “The Federalist No. 10,” written by James Madison on November 22, 1787; where I watch Real...
My Dead

My Dead

When my grandmother died decades ago, she left her breasts to me. It started slowly, almost imperceptibly. My breasts began to swell in size and volume as if they had infants to feed. But it’s been decades since I’ve had babies to nurse, and still they grew—large, pillowy, and pendulous. I’d rested my head on...

Inside the Box: On Queering the Fragment

To preserve the author’s preferred formatting, this Craft Essay is available here as a PDF document.
Foundation

Foundation

Before dressing in layers of cotton, a dozen women stand or sit around in undies. Some dispense with a bra in favor of a white T-shirt. The air fills with chatting: a prickly why-are-you-tying-your-obi-that-way or cranky I-hope-you-made-an-effort-there’s-no-toilet. The older women agree in Japanese—soh nee. The air smells like hairspray and hair wax. Anyone older than...
Friendship

Friendship

I spent the first half of my high school’s homecoming football game in the bleacher seats stoned and sucking on Starbursts, trying to convince my salivary glands to produce any kind of moisture. The game didn’t make any sense. Sitting in the bleachers, bra strap hanging down my arm, I shivered, although it wasn’t cold...