Nobody knows with certainty how endometriosis works. Nobody knows what causes it, either. Patiently, politely, I had participated in months of reckless, hopeful subservience: of lying down while doctors tested and palpated and examined and queried, but never wholly explained their method -- or my disease.
Over email, Verdell Wright, Lola Prescott, Sarah Galo and Keisha McKenzie and I talked about the impact I Kissed Dating Goodbye had on our own lives and how each of us has worked to untangle our lives and relationships from the shame of purity culture.
I’ve worked 911 for seventeen years as the first of the first responders. I’m the person who tells you how to do CPR when you see a guy drop in front of Starbucks, when no one else wants to help, when you can’t remember one single thing you learned in that class you took before you had your first kid.
In the image, Necib is poised, strong, beautiful, and unapologetic. She belongs there: both her skilled feet and her painted hands. I thought of the young athlete I'd been and wished I could have seen something similar when I was still a child.
I feel, so often, that I have lost too many years by not having come out as transgender earlier in my life, yet the past also feels brief and momentary, the present ever-present. Everything becomes a moment.
The world feels like it has gotten at once bigger and smaller, with all these transitions.
The heel is where the success—or failure—of a sock rests, at once mysterious and intimidating. Many a knitter has advanced toward the heel, wits intact, only to find the perplexing combination of knit stitches, slip stitches, wraps, and turns too much for the nerves.
Perhaps it was the Vicodin, but I faced my virginal heel experience with a casual bravado.
When we were sailing I felt borne up by wings capable of taking me much farther than I’d ever thought possible, to places where I could watch the storm petrels glide before the rising and falling walls of waves. Where a calm night’s watch was spent watching the swirling bioluminescence in our wake while trying to think of the ways and whys I could and should steer my professional life away from the noise and…
You might call it a story of blurred lines, perhaps, but the lines weren’t blurry to me. I was terrified that I would be kicked out of my graduate program because a professor wanted a sexual relationship with me and I turned him down.
What complicates the ways people respond to my height is that I am also blind. I cannot always see the double takes, the astonished gaze sweeping up and down the length of my body – though it is possible to feel these responses, or rather to hear them. A hush tends to come over a room when a blind person enters. My blindness, like my height, makes people see their surroundings differently.
1. It’s so nice to see you! (My Xanax just kicked in.)
2. My hair is different, thank you for noticing. It was time for a change (...back to the way it grows out of my head).
3. I’m very seriously considering grad school. (Tisch’s MFA program had an open reception at the MoMA one night, and there was an exhibit I really wanted to not pay to see.)
1. Set goal: vacuum the living room.
2. Vacuum. Did I say that already? Have you done it? I didn’t think so.
3. Wait—don’t get ahead of yourself! Plug in vacuum cleaner and leave it in center of living room. As a reminder.
Growing up is just a cumulative series of realizations that don’t stop until your brain does. I realized I was an atheist when I was fourteen. I realized I was asexual when I was nineteen. And I only started to realize the connections between the two when I was 28.
It wasn’t my mother's prejudice regarding her potential adopted offspring that struck me; it was this racism infecting my adoption origin story. She hadn’t waited years and years for me because there was some baby shortage in our small Midwestern town. She had waited to adopt because she wanted an "all white" infant girl.