For One Sister, Two Sister, Red Sister, Blue Sister, Black Sister, Old Sister, New Sister, True Sister, all different faggot flowers from the same faggot garden.


Lately, going out has felt like the D word. Never having enough drugs or not having the right drugs, on top of the ambivalent violence of the winter. Sure, maybe the music is cute but I can hear everyone’s conversations and see everyone’s faces. Why the fuck can I see your face right now? Please don’t look at me! I wonder if they can tell I have been thinking about the D word. Oh my god, I have been introduced to this bitch at least 10 times. I don’t know who to be mad at right now; myself, this bitch for not remembering that we’ve met before, or the friend who introduced us 10 times! At least! Who cares? That’s not really what’s bothering me. I have been looking for a fabulous reason to live after months of feeling nothing and thinking everything. The dreaded D word has been heavy on my spirit— No, not “death”... “Detr*nsitioning” (though, those D words are synonymous in some ways). I haven’t done my shot in over a month. My gender feels like disappointment. I’m only happy when my nose is burning and the beat is pumping. I’m too poor, too dysphoric, and too depressed to be expected to act like a polite, functional human being in public, let alone at a club with too many people I don’t know and too many people I wish I didn’t. I thought transitioning would make me happy but I am still so painfully sad. Toni Morrison said somewhere that happiness shouldn’t be the only goal. Maybe. This is adulthood, a continuous dissatisfaction, an undercurrent of discontent. Lord, I need to get so high, I need the music to be so good that I forget that my uber ride home is going to put my bank account in the negatives, that I forget how unsettling it feels to be in my body. I need to get so high that I forget what getting fucked feels like and what not getting fucked feels like. That I forget how deranged it feels to have a cell phone right now, where anyone can interrupt my dissociative fugue states with anything they desire at any time. I need to get so fucking high that it erases every haunting fragment of memory from my many past selves. Just leave me alone. Leave me alone at the club with the music. What about my desire to be left alone? I need the speakers inside of me. Fuck me, Bass! Fuck me! DJ, MAKE ME WET!

/ / / / / / / /

Tonight, we were sat. We were swimming, actually. We were going to Faggots Are Women. Of course, there was talk of going elsewhere, Basement or Nowadays, but none of that happened. Fuck the club. We need to evolve beyond going to the club. Tonight, we were going to the rave, in search of something the rave may or may not provide. She makes you no promises. You get what you get, drab or fab. 

One of the skills I have developed through years and years of practice is the ability to dissociate totally and dramatically at literally any second. I can be right here, anywhere, with you at any time while also being in Florida, four years ago, biking along a fauna-littered trail with bluetooth headphones almost surgically implanted inside of my ears, the sun frolicking across my arched back, my pinky finger vibrating numb, biking as if I were the only person who had ever biked on an ninety-five degree Floridian summer day, my thighs contracting and relaxing and contracting and relaxing, the pedals going round. Ah!, an empty meadow of yellow crocuses fearlessly in full-bloom, just for me! I can go anywhere at any time, somewhere long gone or not yet come. But tonight, I only wanted to be at one place. I had been fighting para/antisocial demons for weeks upon weeks and in response, I knew I needed to provide myself with a de/illusion that no one could see me, or if they did, I’d be unrecognizable, shrouded in shreds of cotton and silk, incognito cunt, mistress of disguise, get into this voodoo pussy!! I needed my beauty to escape me. Of course that was the furthest thing from what actually occurred, as I am, fortunately or un, an extremely visible person. But the disappointment in my inability to invisibilize myself soon dissipated when I saw One Sister at the door. 

“Sister!”, they yelled. 

“Sister!” I yelled back. 

Boots! One Sister, my Sissy from Philly, so vibrant and so warm, always replaces my innate sense of despair with unadulterated joy. They’re the bitch at the rave with a backpack stuffed with party accoutrements, ready to take care of anything that showgirls like me—who come to the rave quite unprepared, wearing 5 pound platform boots or a tight skirt with no give, completely unfocused on basic necessities like water or vitamin C—may need. They are a mother and make ample space for others to be mothered. Old Sister, who would arrive later in typical expected/surprise fashion, introduced One Sister and I long ago, knowing we would become great friends. Old Sister knows me so well, better than most, as to have only introduced me to two people in our three year friendship, One Sister and Two Sister, knowing that even though I am liked by many, I cannot say that I like many people. (There are many people I love and very few people I like, at least most of the time.) 

We slither through a sliding wooden, barn-like door into a large space that smelled like amyl nitrite and condensation, just like a Faggot Party™ should smell. I loved the idea of queers being herded into a barn-like structure, like farm animals, hormonal and bleating in heat. It all felt very bovine, and that felt very transsexual. There were a few people scattered about the sofa beds outlined by soft overhead lights. My sisters and I explored the first floor and discovered another nook with soft, peeling street corner couches and just off to the left, a treacherous staircase leading into a cozy darkroom where music from the dancefloor came through crisp on the speakers, almost ambient in its function. I wondered if there would be any women down here for more than an occasional peek. It was the first darkroom I had ever seen that made me, a sexually disappointed, unimpressed, poly-imprisoned gender-defector, actually imagine fucking there, and maybe even cumming, too! I would need a vagina first. And maybe that could happen here. I imagined someone tossing me onto one of these sofa beds and dilating my reupholstered pussy. At the faggot/tranny affair, where faggots are indeed women and vice versa, anything seemed possible. 

It’s still early, maybe a little after 4am. Like I said, I came to get really high, to obliterate my current consciousness and unlock a new one. And I found the key, Miss Mephy, in the hands of Two Sister, in the form of a press pill. I usually prefer my meow meow in a line cocktailed with a kundle garnish but I am not drug mommy. That would be Two Sister, one of the sisters I pulled up with. We scooped her on the way from a nearby club where she tested her stash in the bathroom stall. It’s unfortunate and also violent that the United States’ drug supply is so rampant with Fentanyl and Tranq and whatever else that it looms over the head of every drug user in the city—whether recreational, habitual, or abusive— the government holding us hostage, prioritizing and capitalizing off our willingness to die for the high rather than provide everyone with equal access to spaces, technologies, and tools to administer drugs safely and confidently. We (my sisters and I), however, are recreational/habitual drug users who do have the technology and are incentivized to use it. We are Women in STEM (Sexy Trannies Engaging in Meowings) at the rave. 

Two Sister bites half of the press pill and gives the other half to me. “I love you,” she says. “I love you, too”, I say back. We both mean it. Two Sister loves in a profound and psychic way that only women of interplanetary ancestry are capable of, too good for this world but space-time travel is costly on the body so she had to settle for Earth. She is able to see me in all of my complexities and contradictions, and make generous space for all of it to breathe and come to flesh. I like to think I do the same for her, just not as skillfully. She is beautiful in a way that gently settles over you like a cool breeze on a warm, sunny, cloudless day. Two Sister makes space for everyone to take up space, except herself, but she is working on that. There is so much space in space, enough for everyone, and she deserves some, too.

Upstairs, we took up physical space with some other sisters front right, next to the swinging turntables. I love a suspended DJ booth. It makes sense when you think about the magic made possible in those inexplicable intervals of space-time where music transcends language and ascends into the floating ether, beyond gravity’s grasp. As Toni Morrison said, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” Paurro, followed by Baronhawk Poitier (Duke of Fabbington, he DJs with a giant red telephone plugged into the headphone jack), surrendered and then rode the air, allowing everyone within earshot to do just the same. For hours and hours, the fags and the women twirled to the electric, energetic pulses of techno and deep house. I looked around at everyone, people smiling and sashaying and flicking and oohing and awing as the rickety floor shook with rhythm. Downstairs, a mysterious dust sprinkled upon the heads of the couch potatoes, trickling through the air from the ceiling, in sync with the dancefloor. You could move the particles around and make pretty pictures with your fingers, like Jessica Chastain in Interstellar. It was likely asbestos or something else the EPA should’ve dealt with decades ago, who knows? I prefer to imagine it was pixie dust, estrogen or testosterone in powdered form, molly residue, or maybe Fenty Beauty banana powder? I don’t know, there were a lot of transsexuals in there and the girls were baked down. Could’ve been anything. There were two bars, one downstairs and one up, but no one was drunk, everyone was high, another sign of a fab party. Kali Uchis once said “alcohol is low vibrational,” and she was so real for that. It’s 6am, diva. Put down the tequila and snort something.

In the external and internal fabulations that occur off a fab Mephiana cocktail, I lost track of just how long Baronhawk had sonic-fucked me, and my technopussy needed a break. Couches! Thank God! I sat there, leaving my legs behind on the dancefloor. Oftentimes, the rave involves constant travel, shifting between areas vastly different in locale, demographic, and economy, from the dancefloor, to the smoking area, to the stall. If the rave is bad, you are moving every 20 minutes. You can’t catch a vibe, nowhere is comfortable to sit, or the music just isn’t tearing. If the rave is good, you lose yourself and time in the practice/play of a DJ or in a Cigarette Conversation, where you share four cigarettes between eight people and talk through the mazes of each other’s minds. In the FAW edition of Cigarette Conversations, Black Sister, Two Sister, and I talked about everything and nothing, some of it I remember and some I do not. Black Sister is one of the smartest people I know. I am constantly surprised by him, possibly because our time getting to know each other has been meticulous and tender, so when our conversations bounce effortlessly from the iconic Mariah Carey dancefloor moment (when Baronhawk dropped BAE BAE’s certified hood classic, a jersey club edit of Mariah Carey’s certified hood classic “Breakdown”) to abolition to Bushwick gossip to HAMAS and back, I am always refreshed and curious. When I’m out, he is one of the people I go to for safety because he knows how often I feel unsafe. As we ki, Blue Sister and True Sister come over and join us. I scooch over to the other end of the peeling, pleather couch and sit next to True Sister. More cigarettes are lit. She asks how I am doing, a question I usually disdain more than any other because it requires dishonesty. I knew she was looking for the truth, though. So I gave it. She already knew my answer. She just wanted to listen. And she did. Then she spoke a truth to me so nasty and so open, I almost sobbed. She told me something that I am afraid to share because I am afraid to lose hold of it, and if I lose hold of her words I may lose hold of myself, but it was something like “I see everything you’re doing, mama. And it’s all correct. It’s all going to pay off.” True Sister is my younger sister but she is wise beyond her years, moving with rhythmic grace, holding the reigns of her own current. Her writing scares me and her euphonious laugh spreads like a butterfly net. More people came by, more musical chairs. Then I was seated next to Blue Sister. They told me, as they had before, how sexy I danced and how much they enjoyed watching me dance when I really felt it, when the music was so good that I forgot who or what was around me. I told them how much that meant to me, that as an extremely visible person who enjoys no part of visibility, I had a hard time knowing that I was always being watched, whether lovingly or maliciously, that because of biological and social structures pre-defined for me, there was no amount of smoke and mirrors to allow me to blend in or out. I said I kind of hate my body most of the time and do not feel sexy, that I don’t know how to make myself feel sexy and no one else seems to know how or care to learn either. They understood and I know they did. Blue Sister and I feel loneliness in similar ways, we just move through it differently. I implode inward while they explode outward. 

“YAYYYY”, Two Sister yelled quite loudly, though not even close to the top of her range, snapping us out of our collective rambling stupor. Old Sister had finally arrived. We all cheered, literally. Everyone adores Old Sister but not like Two Sister and I. Old Sister and Two Sister feel like those kids you went to elementary school with and saw in passing, but you weren’t in the same second grade class, even though you wished you were, and then years go by and you all go to separate middle schools but add each other on Facebook to stay in touch in hopes that maybe you will cross paths again, but then high school comes and you each have your own respective friend groups, very different from each other but admirable in their own ways, so you follow each other on Tumblr and Twitter, and admire each other’s burgeoning and individual perspectives from afar. It feels just like that except the two coolest people you never met are your best friends in real life. You plan on being around them forever, and if forever isn’t possible, then the closest thing to it. Old Sister I feel especially lucky to know because almost every flower in my garden has been planted by him. He is the soil of my community, and this party felt like an extension of that, the koi pond in my community garden. 

Two Sister and I split another mephie pressie and with that, we were back on the dancefloor, this time front left, engorged by fog so thick not even our hands were visible. Ron Like Hell was at the wheels and he was techno drifting. It’s fab techno, eyes closed, hands waving in the air techno, feet stomping holes in the ground techno, Britney Spears “Piece of Me” edit techno. Britney Spears’ MySpace club pop masterpiece, Blackout, packaged within one of the worst album covers of all time, is a tour de force. “Piece of Me,” background vocals sung by every fag’s favorite hag, Robyn, is the ultimate white girl wasted, fuck it I’m fab, it girl anthem and when I hear the breathy, nasal-y whine of “I’m Miss American Dream since I was 17,” all of sudden I am ten years old, back at the Boys and Girl Club’s after school program, my SkullCandy earbuds plugged into my iPod Nano chugging Britney into my ears in secret so the boys wouldn’t know I’m a faggot and a woman, my eyes closed as I imagined myself in low waisted jeans and a crop top, making my belly button whisper with my waist. “Another day, another drama. Guess I can’t see the harm of working and being a mama.” I turned around, gleefully screaming the lyrics out loud, and who else did I see but Blue Sister and New Sister, the conveyors of the carry, my dancefloor divas. (God, I wished One Sister was free from the door.) Blue Sister always has a good time because they make sure everyone is having a good time first, dancing with every one of their friends, looking them each in the eyes, making special, individual moments. It was my first time seeing New Sister since he was released from the hospital and moved back to the city. I remember New Sister telling me that he wishes we knew each other better and that my writing scares him. He is brutally honest and a bitch, just like me. His mother is his favorite person and his biggest opp, as is my mother. He feels like a brother to me, or who I hope I could have been if I had stayed a man. He is an educated and researched hater, a great dancer, a fab DJ, and an all around Good Faggot™. 

My personal highlight of the night was toward the end of the function, when Ronald pulled out all the stops and the meow meow began purring deep inside my freshly reupholstered and dilated rave pussy. I needed to be alone with the music so I skulked to the back right of the dancefloor, put my Margiela sunglasses on, and let the bass take control of my motor function and neurological synapses. I grabbed the wall and threw my ass back. The beat switched and I swung my head to the left, pushed my chest forward and grabbed my titty for comfort, my hips flung themselves to the right. I felt someone next to me, but not too close, and peeked over my sunglasses. New Sister, lost in his own bodily expulsion. We were parallel carrying. So fab. I put my sunglasses back over my eyes and tapped back into my physical ritual, now doubly powerful. The speaker was finally inside of me, shattering through the dysphoric dissonance.

And as if on cue, the Belle of the Ball herself, Red Sister parted the crowd, each dancer patiently waiting for their turn to bow and curtsy for the First Lady of FAW. She yelped at me sisterly and kissed me on the cheek. She was happy to see me, just as she always was, she thanked me for being a part of it. Red Sister is always so intentional when she speaks to me about me, whether brief or long. Her eye contact is fierce. It was like she knew how hard I battled to get myself out of my room, out of my head, into an outfit, and into the rave. I could tell she was happy and proud but I also knew that she had not yet realized the ramifications of what she achieved. She and One Sister had revived the DIY, warehouse rave. This was no Chocolate Factory. No, this was scary and fabulous, bursting with an irreverent potentiality, youthful, easy, yet dangerous. It embraced me and unfolded me, a reflection of the friends who put it on. It was cyan, chartreuse, and magenta. There were faggots behaving, dolls misbehaving, bisexuals bisexing, and ants puking! (Yes, Not Sister was there, for 30 mins or so. She looked how she looked, poor thing. Nobody moved. Everybody gagged, tho. Not at her, really, but mostly at the audacity of her #friends for bringing her. Whatever, she paid, or so I heard. As she should, with some of the money she allegedly stole allegedly from mostly Black queer and trans artists. Allegedly. Personally, I don’t give a fuck if you want to pussy stunt on the gram, as is every woman’s right. I just wish #y’all #nonblacks would actually take Black people seriously when we publicly and privately speak up about the ways our own #community harms us, especially in the spaces y’all correctly or incorrectly label as #queer and/or #safe. Probably too much to ask, though. I apologize. #PLUR.) It was scandalous. The there was most definitely there, and there were many. It was good, old-fashioned faggotry, in the old sense of the word that includes both gay man and Doll. It was the most fun I had at a rave or a club in months. And everyone there unanimously agreed.

/ / / / / / / /


Sometimes, I miss being a man. There, I said it. Y’all gonna jump me? I don’t give a fuck. It’s true. I was good at it. Better than a lot of men, anyways. I tore at being a man. Eventually, everything that made it so confusing to me in the isolation of my youth did get easier, although quite traumatically. You could call it assimilation, conversion therapy, or method acting. I mean, of course a woman was better at being a man than most men. The point is, in my peak years of manhood, between the ages 17 and 20, I surfed the gentle aftercurrents of the liberalization of the Black gay male under an Obama presidency and Don Lemon cooning out on CNN, protected by my Christianity and a fierce application of hetero/homo/national-normativity. I was not a faggot. I was a homosexual. And yeah, it was violent and it almost killed me. I almost killed me. But being an extremely visible trans person, Black person, woman may kill me, too. Living is deadly. All of it. So if I’m going to die anyways, no matter if I master the tools of gender or deconstruct and detheorize myself into a non-being, then I might as well die in my truest, most disruptive, destructive, and distasteful form: a faggot who is a woman.

The etymology of the word “faggot” in the English language is varied, as with many words, and has had many definitions, regionally and historically. We all know the “bundle of sticks” one and the most recent and colloquial usage, “a homosexual man, especially one considered to be effeminate.” But the other historical definitions of the word are far more interesting, predating the more common ones, defined as “a naughty or mischievous child” or “a woman, especially one considered to be troublesome, useless, or slatternly.” What is it about women and children that so unnerve the powerful (we know that those who define are more powerful than those defined)? Is there not a more troublesome, useless, more slatternly, dirty woman than a transsexual woman? A gender jacker/hacker/redactor? A man who un-mans. A man who says “no.” Live trash, die hung, bad gworls do it well. So boys, put down your masculine, homosexual urge to conquer and lay claim. Lay down your harnesses and cage your cocks. You may not be last in the Oppression Olympics, but you certainly aren’t coming in first. No one died at Stonewall. Faggots are, indeed, women.