Our first post comes from Caroline who writes, “ I wanted to submit a prose piece that was inspired by and written for my boyfriend.I wrote this last summer and performed it as a spoken word piece at a queer/trans* open mic in Chicago.”
-The Legalzie Trans* crew.
Deconstruction is Sexy: An Affectionate Rant About Gender, Society, and Penis Size
I went with you to get your hair cut recently, sat in the waiting area of your “alternative” barbershop and watched the various men filter in and out, consciously trying to deny my instincts and, for once, not analyze my surroundings in terms of gender theory. When we emerged back onto the sunny sidewalk about an hour later, you were clean cut and shaven in a way that I had scarcely seen you since the start of our relationship. As we walked down the street in the direction of your apartment, you gave me a sideways look and said, “While I was sitting there getting my hair cut, I thought I looked like a girl. I could see it.” My face probably rearranged itself into a troubled expression as I interjected, “You do not look like a girl!” hasty to defend your masculinity. “…I kind of liked it though,” you continued as though I had not spoken, “I guess I thought I just looked like a pretty boy.” My face softened and I smiled, squeezing your hand tightly in mine. “You are a pretty boy,” I agreed, and I suddenly found myself reveling in the permission I had just been granted to refer to you using such a characteristically feminine endearment. In truth, sometimes “handsome” just doesn’t cut it, at least not when you’re attempting to describe such a uniquely attractive specimen of masculine form. Beautiful masculinity, gorgeous masculinity, pretty masculinity, these words are not antonyms, for I have seen them etched all over your body, staring me in the face, a lovely contradiction that perhaps shouldn’t seem contradictory at all. You’re the prettiest man I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes, when you’re lying prone atop warm, damp sheets, I can’t help but stare. My eyes drink you in and I study you in a way that I know would seem creepy were you to catch me in the act. The shape of your frame transfixes me; your neck, shoulders, and arms broad and muscular, the curve of your pelvis soft like mine, your bones being among the few features unaltered by your two years of transformative jabs in the thigh. And then you roll over and crawl out of bed, and what I see when you turn to face me sends my brain into even greater realms of mindfucking splendor. Your body is nothing but a beautiful contradiction, spitting in the face of every assumption that society attempts to shove down our collective throats as truth. Standing naked before me, you are the utter personification of beautiful masculinity; your chest, with it’s costly renovations, offsetting the perfect ambiguity residing between your thighs, that which all the money in your parent’s bank accounts couldn’t construct into something that would satisfactorily comply with society’s sickening standards of just what physicality makes a man; and indeed even if money could buy you the perfect penis, I’m not entirely sure it should. See, to me, you already have the perfect penis, and society can take their ridiculous expectations and go straight to hell. There is absolutely nothing about you that requires fixing, nothing that is lacking; it’s society that needs reconstruction. Society is in dire need of the most extensive reassignment surgery ever attempted, because the way it looks now makes me more than a little nauseous.
Someone, please enlighten me: why is penis size so pervasive? I have my theories, oh yes, but nothing that can account for this extent of societal phallic obsession. “Come here rude boy, boy. Is you big enough?” croons Rihanna from the radio, “Grow longer with ExtenZ!” tempts the television commercial, “Size does matter!” affirms the bank advertisement on the bus, featuring a prominently bulging wallet. I could go on, and on, and on, and on with examples. Sometimes it makes me so angry, infuriates me to the point that I fantasize about screaming at the top of my lungs, for everyone to hear, that my boyfriend can do more with one inch, than any cisman could ever hope to do with six. Until this moment, however, I have bitten my tongue.
You tell me it’s okay, that not everyone will understand, and I, in my frustrated state, demand to know why: why people believe genitals equal gender, why old acquaintances feel compelled to ask you if you’re, “still a girl down there”, or if you’ve, “had the surgery”. “Some people are just ignorant”, you explain. “They shouldn’t be,” I insist. We both shake our heads, and eventually the subject shifts, each of us knowing the other is equally right.
I think, maybe, I’m starting to get it though. After all the enlightening, maddening, cyclical conversations and rants, I’d like to hope that perhaps I’m starting to come to a place of peace; one that will certainly not be stagnant, an understanding which leaves space for revelation and growth, while allowing me to stay sane in the meantime. Call me conceited, but I have decided that we are singularly special, those of us that can conceptualize nonconformity, question assumptions, shrug off the normative, or revolutionize old norms to make them fit our present needs. And as we work to broaden the minds of those who surround us, those minds that can be changed, we can perhaps be comforted by the fact that at least we do get it, we do understand, and we’re not the only ones.
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