The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day…
Back in my college days, I lived on campus and ate the 20-meals-a-week meal plan at the cafeteria. It was… terrible. Seriously. I know people complain about their college cafeteria all the time, but they still gain their “freshman 15”. I lost mine. The food was disgusting. Sunday spaghetti was made from tomato sauce and Saturday’s cheap hamburgers. One week they didn’t bother ripping up the hamburgers: watery, sauce-tinted, overcooked noodles garnished with dry, leathery, two-day-old hamburger patties. It was still better than the other options. At first, they had a “make your own pizza” line, but removed it because everyone was using it, and “bread isn’t cheap.” I remember seeing a real salad in their “healthy eats” line and getting excited, because it’s hard to screw up salads, only to realize that it was literally floating in oil. The salad on the actual salad bar was not an option; it was changed out every morning, whether it needed it or not. Oh, sorry, I meant the ice in the salad bar. Not the salad, no. A student wrote his initials in the tuna and it remained for a solid week. Sometimes the salad would grow its own salad.
They had a big board set up for student complaints, and they would write responses back. Oddly enough, the board rarely had bad things to say; the manager, may he be haunted by a thousand bedbugs, confessed that he didn’t have time to answer every complaint, but he did read every one, and took the complaints into consideration. And, as far as we could tell, threw away all the ones he didn’t like.
“Bullet Points On Your First Date With A Trans Woman”
1: Since your gonna ask yes, some trans women have dicks, no, you cannot ask us about it, we will tell you if we are comfortable. So if you got buns and you don’t want none but our anaconda then save your money and run out and buy a dildo. Hit up Venus Envy*, they got you.
2: What you’ve seen in porn: forget it. If all you know of us is wet skin flicks of trans girls sucking dick you can just stick to that and leave us alone. Or at least watch good trans porn. Hit up Courtney Trouble, she got you.
3: Know your date will be cute. All trans girls are cute, I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules. So whether she’s short or tall hold her close and call “You’re so gorgeous, baby doll” cause she’ll be putting button eyes to shame.
4: If you’re going to take us out please make an attempt for it to be fun. Cause if it is you’ll see the sun rising up in the column of her chest to beam through her teeth like morning’s break. Date idea? I dunno, cheezy bread? Hit up Dominos, they got you.
5: Now, there’s a good chance your girl might be a bit awkward, cause for some of us believe that this is tough too. So if she’s shy just tell her “Boo, its ok that it’s just me and you”. She going to need to learn to trust, cause she’s probably been burned before.
6: If you’re out and someone says something, yells something, try not to start a fight. Because the wrongs of your fist won’t make it right, not tonight, bloodshed and might won’t break transphobia like an eye socket; won’t fold it like a broken nose.
7: If you’re out and someone says something, she might get quiet and even if whispered, trust, she’s heard it, tranny, heshe, shemale, faggot, and that casts her deep inside her own pit of funhouse mirror and screaming voices repeating every time those words have been said to her.
8: If she withdraws understand it’s not you, she’s just human. Realize that some of us have spent our lives standing on bridges over water trying not to dive because riverbeds looks soft like graves and quieter than the streets and schools and jobs and houses and even our own minds.
9: Hold her. Let her know its ok. Take her home but not to bed, kiss her on the head and thank the stars that she’s not dead . Cause you got a glimpse of what’s been said, and what she’s lived through and suffered through and survived for so many days to even date you.
10: Try again. It won’t always be like this. Don’t shy away just because the world is spiteful and cruel and wrong. There is so much love that can be given when we don’t give in to hate.
So hit us up. We got you.
*Venus Envy is a local feminist bookstore/sex shop. Replace with your own local awesome store.