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Read "The Late Bus"

I wrote a short story in the early 1990s--the best thing I wrote in the years before I came out as trans. I take my name Dana from a character in the story, whom I see as the original embodiment of my feminine identity. It won an award and was published in a literary mag called Crescendo in 1995. Here is the text of the story, (in two parts):

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Watch Lemonade on Vimeo!

I appear in this 2009 documentary; I tell the story of the breakdown I had at work in 2007 that led me to come out to myself as transgender.

Lemonade - The Movie from Lorenzo Mendoza on Vimeo.

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Help me buy perfume! Click my new DONATE button!

Help me buy perfume! Click my new DONATE button!

Help me buy perfume! Click my new DONATE button!

Help me buy perfume! Click my new DONATE button!

Help me buy perfume! Click my new DONATE button!

September Afternoon at Four O'Clock

September Afternoon at Four O'Clock

by Marge Piercy


Full in the hand, heavy

with ripeness, perfume spreading

its fan: moments now resemble

sweet russet pears glowing

on the bough, peaches warm

from the afternoon sun, amber

and juicy, flesh that can

make you drunk.


There is a turn in things

that makes the heart catch.

We are ripening, all the hard

green grasping, the stony will

swelling to sweetness, the acid

and sugar in balance, the sun     

stored as energy that is pleasure

and pleasure that is energy.


Whatever happens, whatever,

we say, and hold hard and let

go and go on. In the perfect

moment the future coils,

a tree inside a pit. Take,

eat, we are each other's

perfection, the wine of our

mouths is sweet and heavy.

Soon enough comes the vinegar.

The fruit is ripe for the taking

and we take. There is

no other wisdom.



©1980 by Marge Piercy

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Who am I attracted to?

I recently declared on Facebook and Twitter that I no longer have an orientation. Which has allowed me to begin answering the fundamental question of what turns me on.

1. People who produce estrogen, or take it.

2. Women who don't wear bras, whether they need to or not. Binders OK. (More than OK). 

3. Women who are not wearing clothing, or not much clothing.

4. People whose gender presentation veers from the norm for their sex.

5. Intersexed persons. 

6. Genderqueer persons.

7. Trans people who are not trying to pass, or are trying not to. 

8. Non-, post-, multi-gendered persons.

9. Narrow-waisted women.

10. Feminine men who are aware of their femininity. 

11. Androgynous persons who are aware of their androgyny.

12. Unique personalities.

13. Free spirits. 

14. Intelligent people.

15. Brilliant people.

16. Dangerously brilliant people.

17. Artists (very broadly defined). 

18. Muses.

19. Persons who are both artist and muse.


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(Drag) King for a Day

I have always been a late bloomer.
I first bloomed when I moved out
of my father's house and influence,
and changed my college major to Theater.
I loved being a theater major, and I loved to perform,
but, as an actor, I developed a few idiosyncracies:
I didn't like to memorize lines.
I didn't like to repeat myself.
"Say something once. Why say it again?"
I didn't like to be "in character";
I preferred to be "a character."
I didn't like to wear costumes.
Let me qualify that:
I preferred roles where I wore
something other than traditional
modern male attire.
But I liked even more
to be in my own clothes
when I performed.
I learned basic Stage Makeup,
but I preferred to do my makeup
so it would be more convincing
up close than under stage lights.
So I stopped performing
and pursued writing. When
I began to teach in grad. school,
that seemed to be the perfect
type of performance for me.
The last time I put on a costume
and went out in public,
I was about 24 years old.
I went to a Halloween party
as Charles Bukowski.
I became an English professor,
but after six years as a professor,
I flunked myself out of academe,
because the outside-of-class
social interactions became unbearable.
Words were more manageable than humans,
and I ended up an advertising copywriter.
The next time I put on a costume
and went out in public was 25 years later.
Halloween 2007.
Another writer at my last agency
was dressing up as the Dude from the movie
"The Big Lebowski" and wouldn't it be awesome
if I went as Walter Sobchak,
the character played by John Goodman.
Though I identified totally with the Dude,
and not at all with Walter, I said "Sure! thing."
I was a very accommodating person in those days.
I threw myself into the preparation,
bought clothes and props and makeup,
and watched the movie over and over
to get his movements down.
When I arrived at the office,
I wasn't a worker in a costume:
I was "in character."
My posture changed,
my voice deepened
to the lowest octave in my range.
I grunted and growled and strutted
and was abrasive and dumb
and spoke in perpetual insults and boasts
for the entire day.
One of the first people to see me
was the head of the agency.
He did a double-take that startled me.
At first I was flattered that my disguise
had totally fooled him.
But there was a quality
to his realization that left me unsettled
when I stepped out of character
at the end of the day
and continued to unsettle me
until the events of my father's death
two weeks later pushed it out of my mind.
Even 18 months later,
when I first told this story
—on-camera for the film Lemonade—
I couldn't make sense of it.
When I was describing my boss's reaction,
I went silent and began to dissociate,
and the director had to prompt me
back to telling my story.
But I am beginning to see it now.
It may have been that one glance.
Well, the two glances—the one
he gave to a fellow man,
and the one he gave to me
as a specific human he knew
from five years of working with me —
that revealed how far I had diverged
from masculinity, because I had built
my portrayal of Walter out of the aspects
of masculinity that I personally detested.
I saw myself as different from the average guy,
but I still believed I passed in the world as a man.
But stepping out of that role to play Walter Sobchak,
exposed it as a performance I had been giving nonstop
for decades, and one I was giving for my own benefit.
And that was the end of the performance.

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