Trans politics is all over the news nowadays. The question of which bathroom trans people should be allowed to use is causing meltdowns in state legislatures. Trans women, once misplaced inside male bodies, now appear on the covers of magazines.
People are drawing up battle lines. Conservative pundits and old-school feminists find themselves suddenly united in their opposition to trans women wanting to be defined as women. People try to negotiate the Orwellian language of trans rights, and they find themselves attacked online by armies of angry anonymous haters.
Meanwhile, trans people are still attacked and murdered for being who they are. Violent men, who can’t handle the humiliation of discovering they were flirting with someone with a penis, commit acts of despicable horror. The world seems to be turning upside down.
I’m lying in bed with Jessica. She is a trans woman who is still waiting to have her surgery. We’re drinking bourbon over ice and chatting over the news. She is in stockings and a tight dress, but she hasn’t got her cock tied down. I stroke her thigh and I see the bulge coming up.
“Aren’t you going to miss that thing?” I ask.
“It’s not me,” she says. “It responds to stimulus, and yeah, it and I have had some good times… but in the end I know that when I was young and I looked in the mirror I never saw myself. Do you know how odd that feels? Being poor, for example, you learn that you’re living without the money that other people have. Their dreams come easily, yours don’t… but at least you have yourself. You have your own self and your integrity.”
“I never felt like I had myself. But as I’ve been coming into my own… transitioning… I’m starting to chip away at this stranger, Michael (she hates the name, but uses it now for effect) and find Jessica underneath. Fuck the politics. I have to do this. I know who I am.”
Fuck the politics indeed. In the end, all the hot air is probably making things worse… even as things get better. I still make love to Jessica like a man, for as long as she still has the parts for it. When she does become 100% a woman, though, I will still lover her, as I do now, for the soul inside her. The outward appearance—although it will make her happy—is meaningless next to the uniqueness of her soul.