She Lived, She Served Vegan Donuts, She Died
It’s been 84 years since I last wrote to my devoted, discerning readers. The reason for that is I’ve recently come into some (part-time) work and have been too exhausted to attempt the delicate stringing of sentences.
What kind of work, you ask? That seems hardly relevant. Certain days, behind the bar of a café, where I leave my body and input vegan Cappuccinos into iPads while coworkers ask me to turn “Dealer” by Lana Del Rey down on the speakers. Everyone there is a lesbian, a they/them, or a trans. Even the gentlemen in the back preparing the food have really dykey energy.
Other days, I work as an Art Team PA (that’s Production Assistant, luv) on various strange branded content pieces (Read: commercials for people who can afford little bronze elephant figurines and h*rsesh*t like that). Who knew I could build IKEA furniture on my own! Biggest takeaway so far: Albany is actually kind of pretty, and it had this really hot boy unloading beer crates from a truck.
Perhaps you’ve spotted me in my catering uniform—I chose head-to-toe black business casual, leaving the Monopoly Man dead and bleeding in a ditch. I recently served cocktails in the penthouse of a famous actress, where one of the guests in attendance turned out to be this gay guy that told me he had a stomachache 30 seconds into a date once and promptly ghosted me.
For InStyle, I wrote a list of LGBTQ comedians to watch instead of Dave Chapelle, following his transphobic new comedy special for Netflix, a company which has notoriously refused to sign a first-look deal with me.
For Paper, I wrote about my awkward experience attending the premiere of Madonna’s new concert film. I spent about five hours sitting in silence with a martini while Manhattan’s hottest twunks pouted around me.
Mostly I’m just trying to stay afloat and attempt happiness (make my tits bigger).
The Gym And I
Elle Woods once said that exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. If Elle Woods cut holes in the nipples of her shirt, honey, these teets would be flying free as well!
What I’m trying to get at is that I visited Crunch Fitness earlier today. I was terrified—I don’t know how to use any of those contraptions. No one ever taught me how to pull ropes and squat with a giant bar on my shoulders growing up. That’s largely due to the world correctly assuming a lack of interest on my end.
But when I enter a gym there’s definitely also a vibe of not-being-wanted pulsing through the air. For instance, when I joined Blink a few years ago and went in for my complimentary training session, the jacked man coaching me through different machines revealed his analysis at the end of the half-hour: “I’m afraid of what I see,” he grunted, even though I had completed every task asked of me at least somewhat satisfactorily, I’d thought. He was afraid of a thin twink. Him and the rest of this sick world. I never returned to Blink, but I did pay for it for another year.
American Crime Story: Pronouns
Lately I’ve been feeling like — and my mother, among others, will probably roll their eyes upon reading this — maybe I’m OK with any pronouns. Sometimes I do still feel like a boy. Sometimes I don’t. Basically, I want my gender to morph into whatever will best serve me in any given scenario. Yes, I’m an opportunist whore, and why shouldn’t I be? It’s not like I’m passing as anything but a big ole’ question mark. In the immortal words of most children who meet me: “Are you a boy or a girl?” My eternal response: “Good question. If I had the answer, I’d be happy to tell you.”
When I’m with my friends and family, sure, I’m Anne Hathaway’s niece. When I’m at a gay club, or having gay sex, or making eye contact with a gay man, I’m a horny boy in a Tim Burton claymation vehicle. When I’m interviewing for a job, I’m a they/she, assuming the company has faced some transphobia complaints and needs to hire a they/she to protect themselves from a PR standpoint. When I’m making eye contact with a straight man, I’m Mrs. Keira Knightley. I want my gender to help me be the most sexually viable, professionally successful version of myself I can be. And since even if I picked one term for myself and stuck to that, the world around me would inevitably, and understandably, be uncertain of how to treat me, I’m giving myself permission to make the most of my vibe, which these days can best be summed up as “semi-unemployed transvestite.”
I read a beautiful profile (fluke) of the fashion designer Harris Reed in The New Yorker. In it, Reed talks about his journey with gender fluidity: how he adopted they/them pronouns, but depending on where he was would be comfortable with ‘she’ or ‘he,’ and how, ultimately, he’s returned to ‘he.’ Rosalind McKever, a co-curator behind the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Fashioning Masculinities” show, of which Reed took part in, describes gender fluidity in the article as “so different from something like ‘unisex,’ which is kind of filtering and simplifying. ‘Gender fluid’ is actively moving between and across the spectrum.” That constant evolution resonated with me. Of course, Reed goes on to describe feeling pigeonholed by the terminology. The author, Rebecca Mead, explains: “[Reed] had grown concerned that the concept of gender fluidity, rather than being a liberation, might be its own limiting categorization.” The article describes backlash Reed received when switching back to ‘he’ pronouns, and his decision to stick to his guns: “I was, like, ‘I don’t owe anyone fucking anything—I’m just me.’”
Now, I’m not saying Reed and I are on quite the same trajectory in terms of our fucking labels or pronouns. I think “gender fluid” actually works pretty well for me—like the titular role in Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl, a character I’m still obsessed with and demand to play in the film adaptation, someone who (SPOILER) can change their appearance at will (genitals absolutely included) to fit any given situation.
But let me say this: I’ve grown incredibly exhausted by the conversation (which I started, and have been continuing to publicize, and which most people rightfully do not spend their time thinking about) around how I would like to be referred. The truth is, and has always been, that I really don’t know or care that much what words people would like to associate with me. My attempt at liberating myself seems, similarly to Reed, to have somewhat backfired. Almost everyone I meet, old friend or new acquaintance, has, to some degree, a certain level of walking-on-eggshells syndrome around me, fearing they’ll call me by the wrong thing. When in fact all I really want people to call me is by your name, and then to have sex with me! I’m not saying pronouns aren’t important—they are, as are any terms that help people to feel correctly seen.
But for me, in this moment, pronouns have become more of a burden than a thing that helps me feel like myself. I’m tired of people fearing saying the wrong thing, or the lurch I get even when someone says the right thing, knowing they had to consciously think and make sure to execute their words precisely to avoid feeling they’d upset me. I don’t care! I know whose intentions are there and whose aren’t. Like this man I passed on the way to the Opera who called me ‘dude’ as I stunned in a floor-length purple satin gown and smoky eye. Like… believe women, asshole.
I loved the Opera—the glamor, the champagne, my man’s tears falling in glittering droplets past his little binoculars. But it was strange—as I headed for the bathroom, I felt, given my presentation, it was only appropriate for me to use the Ladies. Yet as I waited in line, while through the Gentlemen’s lavatory men entered and exited freely, I feared one of the New York society women might turn around and ask what the hell I was doing joining their ranks. There was nowhere for me to go. I proceeded to piss in a women’s stall, and the next time I had to urinate slipped discreetly into the boy’s room, not wanting to wait in line again. That time, too, I felt like an invader in a foreign land. I’m not entirely sure what conclusion there is to be drawn from this experience. It’s hardly unique in my life. It just felt particularly poignant against the backdrop of the shimmering starburst chandeliers and velvety red carpeting of the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center’s famed fountain bubbling outside.
It’s been incredible to feel like I’m in New York again, after losing so much of the city to the pandemic for so long.
New York City/ Poop
It’s been one of the most beautiful autumns on record: the air is warm, the leaves are changing, I’ve shown up late to rooftop yoga stoned out of my mind staring at the full moon instead of doing downward dog…
I took a party bus full of twenty influencer twinks out to New Jersey to see Kim Petras a few weeks ago. I wore a tiny black dress with a giant bow on it and, after a bus ride spent staring wistfully out the window at the passing headlights (the cocktail of substances being passed around on that vehicle, combined with the overwhelming nature of being trapped in a confined space with nearly two-dozen leather-clad squealing twinks, had left me mute and frozen), we learned all too late that the concert was taking place outdoors, in the cold, rainy October air. Thankfully my heroic friend Marty rushed off to buy me merch from The Stone Pony bar of Somewhere, New Jersey, sensing my trembling and imminent death by —no, not sex— frostbite. Did I mention upon leaving the house, before any of this, I checked my thong and discovered I’d sharted, and had to change undergarments immediately?
I said in my last newsletter I’d discuss horror movies—but honestly, the real horror film is happening all around us. We have to figure out what to do with our lives for the next however many decades? Go watch Eddie Murphy’s The Haunted Mansion and then cast me as a striking-yet-troubled it girl in the next great indie film.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you at this moment. My birthday is Saturday. Eek! The power of Scorpia flows through the late November air, and I, a mere medium for her haunting allure (paralyzed by a crippling sense of dread/ wondering if a show called ‘Twinks’ would have legs on HBO Max) .