Thursday, June 18, 2009

Transamerican Idol

Back in college, my friend Zemkat sat a group of us down to make a very difficult announcement:

Zemkat – “I suppose you're wondering why I've gathered you here. The thing is, I have something important to tell you, and you may not initially understand, but I hope that as my friends, you'll give me the chance to fully explain myself and the decisions I've had to make. You see... I’m... I'm going to transition from female to male.”

The Rest of Us – “Yeah, we know.”

Zemkat – “And I realize that this may come as a shock, but... wait, what?

The Rest of Us – “We pretty much figured it out on our own. But hey, no big deal. We support you.”

Zemkat – “What exactly do you mean by ‘figured it out’?”

The Rest of Us – “Well, it’s just that you've been reading all those books on gender reassignment. And you've been living as a man for the past year and a half. So, y'know, we've had time to process.”

[awkward silence]

Zemkat – “Could somebody at least pretend to be horrified?”

Zemkat’s Roommate – “Okay... okay, I think I can close this. Zemkat, your... um... your ‘deviant lifestyle'... like, frightens... and... confuses me?”

[another awkward silence]

Zemkat’s Roommate - “Did I get that right?”

Zemkat – “I hate all of you.”

Zemkat’s Roommate [whispering to everyone else] - “I totally called internalized transphobia. Pay up.”

After a fair amount of seething, Zemkat finally decided that we were probably pretty cool for not flipping out. Zemkat the girl became Zemkat the boy, and life as we knew it went on.

Until last week, that is, when he came over to tell me about his latest out-patient procedure:

Zemkat - "I just got electrolysis!"

Me - "I'm sorry, but aren't you currently in the business of growing hair? What's up with electrolysis?"

Zemkat - "I got tired of shaving my neck."

Me - "You got electrolysis on your neck?"

Zemkat - "Yes! It was reasonably priced and only mildly painful."

Me - "You... you cheated!"

Zemkat - "I don't follow."

Me - "Dude, we all hate shaving our necks. It's annoying and irritating and causes acne, and that's just the way it is. It's an integral part of the masculine experience, and you weaseled out of it."

Zemkat - "I don't know from weaseling. And also, I never have to shave my neck again. Be sure to think about me next time you're picking bloody pieces of toilet paper off of your face before a performance review."

Me - You're a bad man. A very, very bad man."

Zemkat - "So do you want the number of the clinic or not?"

Me - [mumbling] "Maybe."

[Because here's the thing. I've spent a lot of time being complacent about the parts of myself I don't like, but at the same time worrying about how other people perceive me. And while I was mucking about in a swamp of self-esteem issues, Zemkat realized, "I may be uncomfortable in my own skin, but I also have the power to do something about it." He's my hero that way, and he inspires me to take control of my own life and do whatever I need to do to be happy and confident.]

Zemkat - "I can't heeeeeaaar you."

[But he doesn't need to know all that.]

Me - "I said, 'Infidel.'"

27 comments:

Pom said...

LMAO.. great story.

Missed ya btw.

Evn said...

I missed me, too! (grin)

Magaly Guerrero said...

So... did you get the number or are you still dealing with bloody toilet paper?

Evn said...

It's bloody toilet paper for now. (Geez, that would sound really bad out of context.) Zemkat also mentioned that electrolysis involves, as he put it, "burning needles," which was a bit of a turn-off.

zemkat said...

It's burning electric needles. The electricity makes them burn.

Evn said...

I'm just going to sit here and shudder for a little while. Y'all go on without me.

Cogent Ascending said...

I don't know you or your friends but the way you wrote this made me feel as if I did and laugh while drinking my morning decaf. now my key board is sticky . . . but it was worth it.

zemkat said...

Did I mention how I can also control the rate of my balding by adjusting the amount of my Testosterone injections? I did, however grow a tail last time I tried that.

Evn said...

Cogent, sorry about the keyboard. I'll buy you an unsticky one.

Zemkat, stop growing tails. I mean it this time.

Katie McQuage said...

My fav part was when we pointed out that he was also going to have to come out as a gay man.

He hadn't really gotten that far in his head yet.

Evn said...

But since that time, he's come a long way, baby.

If only he smoked. We could give him a Virginia Slim.

(*squeal* Katie reads my blog!)

Red Delicious said...

I think instead of a blog, this story should be immortalized in sidewalk chalk, which you could then get a talkin'-to about.

Evn said...

Ooooh, them's fightin' words...

zemkat said...

Rememeber when I drew all that stuff in sidewalk chalk outside Joey Millilo's dorm room in court 3 and you got in trouble for it? Or maybe you drew it. In your sleep. Naked.

Evn said...

Remember when the RAs powerwashed our rooms? Good times, good times.

Red Delicious said...

That's M-I-L-I-L-L-O, and the Strifester and I were roomies. I made a top ten list to cheer him up, "The Top Ten Things That Piss Off David Way." Among the items on the list were free love and harmony and when people mistake the wooden cork up his ass for plastic.

Court 3 was so dank...

Red Delicious said...

Also, Evn could not have written in chalk in his sleep naked because he spent most of that slumbery summer asleep in the bathroom in his underwear.

Evn said...

Geez, I only slept in the bathroom a couple of times.

You make it sound like I went to a cast party, got drunk out of my mind, beat everyone at Trivial Pursuit, burst into tears, came home, passed out and had to be undressed and tucked in by my roommate. Or something.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Sticky keyboards, bloody toilet papers and tails? This keeps on getting sexier and sexier...

knottybynature said...

I took human sexuality in college and we got to watch some of those operations.

I can honestly say that mainly, I try to be empathetic for the painstaking time and effort it takes for someone to go through these procedures to transform themselves into 'who they are'.

We had someone who came in named 'Josephine Tittsworth' (I believe that was her first name) that talked about her experiences in her transition. I think it was great that her last name was the truth of her, both post-op and pre-op. Being in a junior college, there was a lot of static talking the day before, but every person showed up to hear. If one mind was a little more open because of it, it was worth it. But no one was rude or disrespectful, which gave me hope.

Later that semester, I got to bring in my peddled wares (I used to sell Passion Parties). I mean, how cool is a class where you can bring your dildoes to school? :)

torbou: high-speeding setting for designer dildoes from france.

hermeticbear said...

I feel like pointing out that not all men have to experience bloody toilet paper and acne from shaving thier neck. I don't and never have. So, more power to Zemkat!

Junior said...

Hi Evn! Sorry I haven't commented in awhile, just wanted to say hilarious as usual and then sneak back into my corner because...

I...

don't...

Have to shave my neck... Sorry! I just don't grow hair back there! Now in between my eyebrows, that is another story!

Le Cornichon said...

I am officially a Zemkat fan, a "Zem-kitten" if you will.

WV: bodist
A follower of Siddhārtha Gautama only because he has a total gym bod.

zemkat said...

I like you too, Cornichon person.

zemkat said...

So Evn, remember when you brought that really awful gay porn called "Hot Rods" to the front desk and we were up there drinking Boone's farm "sangria"?

Anne Johnson said...

I've lived a sheltered life. I never knew men shaved their necks. I don't think Mr. Johnson has to.

Evn said...

Anne, I really thought all of us did. Not so much, apparently.