46 thoughts on “Homophobic Cotton Ceiling Propaganda

  1. Are they about to have sex or a colonoscopy? What’s the glove for? And, as much as I hate to ask, but what kind of “upcoming events” would then be having?

    1. I made the mistake of visiting the website (minutes of my life I’ll never get back, and now I need some extra-strength brain bleach). The events are “cruising” events, basically mixers for men and transmen.

    2. Gloves are a safer sex practice for fisting, fingering, other various forms of digital to genital stimulation I can’t think of at the moment.

    3. “Are they about to have sex or a colonoscopy? What’s the glove for?”
      The rubberizing of sex has gone beyond the need for protection and into the dark territory of eroticizing domination and humiliation.
      Who could have any doubt that that creepy illustration (“Top Five Reasons”), with the black glove, illustrates the allure of subordination to power? Yeah, yeah … “sexy,” “choice,” “preference,” “play”–what-the-fuck-ever.
      We also see this a lot on TV shows and commercials now (in scenarios which are supposed to be non-sexual–e.g., doctor’s offices, airports, border stops) where snapping on a latex glove, in a threatening, smirking way, is a big joke. Body cavities–ha ha! Because violation is ever so funny …
      It’s all connected. Some of the worst things that people do to other people when they can get away with–things that have really happened and that really happen every day–are made funny or sexy. For our viewing pleasure. Life is beautiful, non?

  2. EW EW EW
    Every time I see that pic of “Jane Doe” it makes me feel unwell. Seriously, as if there was likely to be any resemblance. I actually found that really creepy and part of the disconnect that they seem to have between reality and fantasy – of course Jane Doe was sexy and pouting with big beestung lips, because that’s how they see themselves.
    It’s similar with the “Mister Sister” song – the most important thing is that you’re recognised as a “beautiful girl”. Never mind that beauty is a very rare and ephemeral thing, you are beautiful by the sheer virtue of being trans. If you aren’t “beautiful” you aren’t a woman, amirite? So obviously every trans person is beautiful…

  3. The cartoon figures in the “We are Men” graphic are disturbing and sad. They look like they’ve been just released from a POW camp or something. Scarred, bandaged, sagging, muted and hollow-eyed. The walking wounded.
    I wonder, did FTM activists create this graphic/poster? (I’ve tried googling, to no avail).

  4. “Yep, a vagina is just a hole. JUST ANOTHER HOLE GUYS. Nothing more than a HOLE.”
    Yeah, this is just awful. Not that FTM women created this misogynistic propaganda that a woman’s vagina is a hole for men to stick their dicks into. But to consciously perpetuate it?

    1. The thing is, it isn’t even a hole. The word ‘hole’ implies a sort of clinical cleanliness to me, especially when opposed to the actual transgina. It’s a wound; a gaping wound that must be maintained to prevent it from healing.

      1. Note that a vagina on testosterone is atrophied and more prone to floral imbalance and sometimes chronic infection, though it’s still not comparable to a surgical neovagina functionally or florally.

  5. “tm4m is a group for transmen who play with men (or want to…) and the men who play with us.
    Our goal is to provide information, education and support to transmen who have sex with men (both other transguys and cisguys)….tm4m grew out of community concern for a lack of resources for transmen who play with men. Transmen are not always accepted in gay male spaces and as gay, bisexual or queer men, we don’t always fit in to trans spaces. ”
    Yes, it kind of sounds like the gay male version of the “Cotton Ceiling” in which lesbians are portrayed as prudish bigots for not wanting penis on a pre-op transwoman. It’s not a penis if he says it isn’t, and lesbians need to get with the program.
    The Cotton Ceiling? Really?
    With many FTMs, a vagina is often called a “front hole” or “bonus hole”. Even if it’s just plain old penis in vagina sex, in their deluded minds, it’s some kind of queerified gay sex.
    Because of the expense and multiple surgeries, most FTMs never undergo “bottom surgery”, and even then it’s not like an actual penis on a biological male. There is scarring where the skin graft is taken from. A skin flap taken from the arm, thigh, or where ever and sewn onto the female pubic area is not a penis. It doesn’t have erectile tissue and needs a pump or some other device to become erect.
    I’m sure the “top surgery” scars are very attractive to gay men, or any man.
    This is a very good video of FTM “top surgery”. For people who aren’t familiar with “top surgery”, it basically amounts to elective mastectomies with the surgical trimming down of areolas and nipples. To me, this video looks like a form of violence being carried out on the female sex.
    The areolas and nipples are literally cut off, surgically resized, and then sewn back on after the mastectomy. Loss of sensation to the nipple area is common, and every now and then a nipple falls off.
    This is what botched top surgery looks like.
    This is “bottom surgery”. Notice the skin grafts.
    Nancy/Nathan Verhelst was so depressed after botched top and bottom surgery that she begged a doctor to euthanize her.
    I have a great idea. Ask gay men if they really think FTMs are exactly like men? Gay men are sexually and emotionally attracted to males.
    Homosexuality is based on same sex attraction not “gender identity”. Telling lesbians that it’s really not a penis if he says it isn’t is homophobic and sexist. Trying to push the idea that a vagina is just a “bonus hole” or “front hole” to gay men smacks of homophobia.
    On a related subject, if the FTM is using a testosterone gel, transference can be an issue. It can be transferred in intimate contact. So, make sure she washes her hands.
    I’m really concerned about STDs, HIV, and possibly Hep B. Think about it. Since they don’t have a functioning penis, they probably are going to end up being a bottom (receptive partner) to a bisexual man or lonely gay man. I hope they do take good care of themselves.
    Women don’t have to mutilate their healthy bodies, and a vagina is still a vagina.
    Did this website mention pregnancy? Should women get pregnant if they are taking testosterone?

  6. Thank you so much for this horror that the trans cult supporters need to see, Gallus Mag. Skylark asked great questions. Yes, they can get pregnant (as popularized in The L Word), and those STDs are a serious risk with gay men being such a high risk group.
    What a grotesque piece of propaganda. The sight of a woman holding a condom is meant to excite gay men? I wish disgusted gay men would use their misogyny instead to put an end to the trans cult.

    1. I wish they cared, as the gay male community does have the power to do something about it, if they chose to.
      *But they are still MEN.*
      Women (regardless of identity) are not a threat to MEN, at all. So gay men wont bother to fight against (female born) trans. Instead, they will find the most effective way to exploit, and degrade, those women, and probably even get paid, an orgasm, or both from this abuse.
      Even IF they decided that female born trans were a problem, and acted on it, I guarantee the solution would do nothing for women but hurt them. They could come out against female born trans, even banish them, take apart their ideology, but I am sure they would leave the male born trans alone.

      1. There are plenty of gay men who are less than enthused about women crashing their party. Some gay bars have explicitly banned bachelorette parties, and there was an article several months ago wherein a writer opined that some gay men were “mean” enough to kick a female observer out of their orgy. (The writer had brought her along to gawk, and the actual participants were not welcoming, as they had a right to be.) The consensus that I saw was that the writer needed to shut up, that those men had the right to get their freak on without a female non-participant watching. Why she even wanted to is beyond me.
        The thing is too that most people will respect gay men’s right not to be welcoming to trans men or to have sex with trans men, because the culture at large respects men’s choices.

  7. Hard to figure out how the same people who would condemn “conversion therapy” will accuse homosexuals of being transphobic for being attracted to sex instead of gender.

  8. It’s funny, the female strategy for cotton ceiling-ing.
    “More holes! Harder Bigger (fake) dicks! Little hands for fisting! Curiosity killed the cat! C’mon, gay kinksters, give it a whirl!”
    Versus the male version: Guilt tripping (your rejection hurts mah feels), Threats (I’m gonna kill mahself if you don’t do what I want), Shaming (You’re a bigot! A Transmisandrous monster!), and Lies (It’s just a very large clitoris!).
    LOL. Oh, you tranzies and your sex-based socialization.

    1. Also
      Female cotton ceiling “Hey guys we’re throwing a party to entice you!”
      Male cotton ceiling “We’re having a male-only meeting to strategize against your rejection”.

      1. Female version: it’s all about YOUR feelings, and how GOOD I can make you feel…………
        Male version: it’s all about MY feelings, and how BAD you make me feel……………………….
        Either way, male feels is everything, female feelings are totally unimportant. Sounds familar…………….

    2. Thank you! Reading the article and then the comments, this is pretty much what I had in mind the whole time. BIG difference in strategies!
      Bully the women, attempt to seduce the men.
      The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  9. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to teach FTMs to cruise like gay men. On the tm4m.org website, they have “Cruising Nights”. It says, “Come steam and cruise with us, for all types of guys into all types of guys”. Bath houses and steam rooms are notorious for anonymous sex. During the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, the bath houses in SF were closed down. Even some gay men who knew what was going on and the risks involved, admitted that bath houses were a problem.
    It’s rather disturbing and truly frightening to me to introduce FTMs to bath houses and cruising. Gay men, or men in general aren’t going to get pregnant. Men don’t have a uterus and ovaries. Many FTMs never undergo “bottom surgery” much less a hysterectomy. Since they are still female, FTMs are generally smaller than males even on testosterone. How are they supposed to protect themselves from larger men? Rape and pregnancy are real issues for any female.
    There is a real issue of HIV and STDs. According to the CDC,
    “Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.
    In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men. From 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) gay and bisexual men and 12% among gay and bisexual men overall.”
    As to the “bonus hole”,
    “Women are thought to be at a greater risk than men of acquiring HIV during vaginal intercourse for the following reasons:
    The exposed surface area of the vagina is larger than that of the penis
    Vaginal intercourse causes minute tears in the vaginal lining
    The tissue of the vaginal lining contains certain types of cells that HIV can easily enter
    Semen remains in the vagina for a prolonged period.
    HIV can also pass through the skin of the penis, and certain factors (see Important factors affecting risk, below) can increase the likelihood of this happening during vaginal intercourse.”
    Unprotected anal intercourse carries a higher risk of sexual HIV transmission than unprotected vaginal intercourse. Although either sexual partner can acquire HIV from the other during unprotected anal intercourse, HIV is more likely to pass from an HIV-positive insertive partner to his receptive partner than from an HIV-positive receptive partner to his or her insertive partner.”
    Vaginal dryness and infections are a common problem with FTMs who take “T” (testosterone). Tiny tears and abrasions increase the risk of HIV transmission.
    Because FTMs are usually smaller than males by virtue of being female, I imagine they would more than likely be a bottom, or receptive partner.
    Again, this is very frightening to me. If a FTM wants sex with a male, I suggest she stay out of steam rooms and bath houses.

    1. This is one area where I’m not going to worry about the welfare of women as much as I usually do.
      Adults are mostly free to make their own dumbass choices. If “gay” FTMs are setting themselves up for serious STDs, to a great degree that’s their own choice. Given how enthusiastic some FTMs are to appropriate the gay experience, maybe an FTM would see an HIV infection as identity validation. I’m more concerned if FTMs turn into disease vectors in some way, similar to how married closeted gay and bisexual men infected straight women in the ’80s.
      Also, gay men, as a group, more consistently use condoms than straights do.

  10. @kesher, “This is one area where I’m not going to worry about the welfare of women as much as I usually do.”
    I understand what you are saying, but I can see several reasons why it’s not a good idea for FTMs to get heavily into the cruising scene as if she is just one of the gay guys. She is not just another guy despite what she thinks. Men don’t get pregnant and she could get raped. FTMs are still female, and many FTMs are small compared to males. Does she really think she could defend herself against a small group of men? STDs and HIV are also real issues.
    It does concern me that FTMs think that they can cruise steam rooms and bath houses just like gay men and be just one of the boys. The anonymous sex in bath houses is hardly a place to find any kind of meaningful relationship not to mention the risk of HIV.
    As to the statement,
    “Also, gay men, as a group, more consistently use condoms than straights do.”
    I’m not a gay man so I can’t comment on this statement. Condoms have been known to break, and if a person is drunk or high, they could just forget to use one or not give a damn. Women have known for a long time that some men will do or say anything to avoid using a condom if he doesn’t want to use one. Some men are responsbible, but women know full well that many only think about themselves. With males and females, there still is a different power dynamic, and I can’t see many FTMs being forceful enough, or strong enough to turn down a man who doesn’t want to use a condom. If there is an encounter between a 5’4″ FTM and a 6′ 180 lb. male, who is going to win? If they are high or drunk, he is just going to take advantage of her.
    This is an article on “gay barebacking”, or unprotected sex between gay and bisexual men.
    “A new study by England’s University of Westminster found what appears to be an uptick in the number of young gay men who find unprotected sex with a stranger “exciting.”
    The study, first published in Pink News, found that 70 percent of young gay men surveyed in London said they believed sex without condoms is more pleasurable. Meanwhile, 94 percent of respondents said they were more likely to have unprotected sex with a stranger if he was good-looking….
    Conducted by New York’s Community Healthcare Network (CHN), “Zero Feet Away: Perspective on HIV/AIDS and Unprotected Sex in Men Who Have Sex With Men Utilizing Location-based Mobile Apps” found that although 80 percent of respondents said they were knowledgeable in how the HIV was transmitted, 46.4 percent admitted to having bareback sex always, often or sometimes.”
    If “gay barebacking” is going on among gay men, and FTMs think it’s a great idea to cruise bath houses or steam rooms, what makes them think that some lonely gay or bisexual man won’t expect her to “bareback”? It’s just not anal sex. She has a vagina too, so there are more avenues for HIV and STD transmission.
    It seems so idiotic and recklesss to me. FTMs are still female, and the female sex matters.

    1. I want to comment on this as someone who’s had gay sex with and without condoms, and who knows bathhouse culture. Forcing someone to bareback isn’t really part of gay mores, although obviously everything happens in this world. Men respect other men’s boundaries, so the way it works, if the bottom wants a condom, the top complies, because that’s the only way to have mutual pleasure in the slow and careful process that is anal sex. This is especially true in a bathhouse, where everything can be heard above the partitions, there are other men wandering the halls, and there’s security that swiftly kicks out miscreants. A bathhouse is actually a very public place. Of course, if an FTM elects to hook up with some random in his private home, then obviously all bets are off. I suppose she could also just willingly bareback in the vagina, but then she has a self-destructive behavior issue that’s bigger than sex. She may imagine that she has to do sordid and seedy things just like the real gays to prove that she is one.

      1. Ben X- It won’t play out like that for F2T.
        Key phrase-
        “MEN Respect other MENs, boundaries…”
        And female trans are *not* men!
        And they will be treated accordingly.
        And by accordingly, I mean treated like the female they are- used, coerced, raped, even gang raped, abused, beaten, etc.
        At best, she will expose herself to emotional abuse, danger, and disease, in order to have casual sex that is unlikely to even be pleasurable (its more for identity than gratification, IMO, as gay male sex isn’t designed to get a female off, even IF the man cared about her pleasure- LOL). At worst, well, I don’t think I need to describe what can happen to a woman in a room full of men.
        I do care about these F2T, because they are still WBW. I don’t want to see any women abused or hurt. I can only imagine the internalized misogyny, lesophobia, and self hatred that would make a woman do such a thing, so I have much sympathy.

      2. Ben X — “She may imagine that she has to do sordid and seedy things just like the real gays to prove that she is one.”
        This is exactly the impression I got from the pictures and language used in the above campaign to sell FTMs to gay men.
        It’s a campaign which is, I think, a direct off-shoot of the sex-positive campaign that has convinced many heterosexual women to align (in the name of feminism, yet!) their own sexual freedom and empowerment with straight men’s fantasies of a fungible, willing, breathing, sex doll. Her enthusiasm is required. And, once she’s completed these sex tasks, with or without pleasure, something has been “proven.” What, I’m not sure. Equality, I guess. And it has to be proven again and again–women fucking their way to fully human (male) status.
        With the FTM campaign it’s more obvious what these women-who-feel-like-men have to prove. Which is not just that they are equal to men, but that they are men. And if that means aping the sordid and seedy stereotypes of gay sexuality (as well as imitating the realities of male sexual behaviour in general), so be it. Just as with straight women (which they are) their level of sexy enthusiasm is in inverse proportion to their level of power.

      3. I’m sure there are gay male rapists whose primary motivation is abuse and so will “settle” for attacking a female victim if there are no male options (similar to how straight male rapists will attack other men if there are no females present), but I still disagree that gay men are out, as a class, to exploit and harm trans men. The vast majority of gay men who perceive trans men as women will opt to exclude trans men from sexual and romantic consideration. That’s the greatest “hurt” that most trans men will experience in the gay community.
        Trans men have much more reason to fear rape from straight men.

    2. If it is OK, I’d like to add my 2 cents as a gay man. These “FTMs” are living out an X-rated cartoon fantasy of what they think it means to be gay. They caricature gay life just as they caricature manhood and womanhood. The “bathhouse culture” is a relic. It is dying out. It dominated in certain urban centers the 1970s, as gay men (sadly) took their prior involuntary experiences with promiscuity and anonymous sex and institutionalized them. But “bathhouse culture” was destined to die out as it was forced to compete with other, better forms of sexual expression. AIDS, of course, expedited the process. While the HIV epidemic continues, as Skylark correctly notes above, it has for a very long time been confined to a minority of gay and bi men. It is still a major problem, but it should not be seen as evidence that unbridled promiscuity is the norm for gay men. On the contrary, over the course of several decades, the extreme promiscuity of the old bathhouses is now an uncommon phenomenon. In its place are a 1) moderate promiscuity, involving far fewer partners and 2) stable monogamous or highly restricted relationships, which have grown from a tiny minority practice in 1975 to a majority practice today. Why aren’t these “transmen” pursuing these other avenues? Could it be that they understand that there are very few gay men who would jump at the chance to date and marry a “transman”? Far easier to have sex without disclosing their gender identity in a bathhouse.
      As long as I’m here, I’d also like to note the latest debacle for lesbians and gays brought to us courtesy of “LGBT.” This time, the dateline is from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where LGBs fought hard to get the city to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance. Naturally, this ordinance had to include “gender identity” because LGBT informs us that gay rights are no longer worth having unless they come packaged up with transsexual pooping venue selection provisions. The ordinance was put up for a referendum vote and the opponents focused heavily on the transsexual bathroom issue, along with the dangers of allowing biological males into women’s facilities. A few days ago, the voters repealed the ordinance by a vote of 52-48%. There is absolutely no question that had it not been saddled with “gender identity” provisions, it would have been retained and all workers in Fayetteville would today have protections against sexual orientation discrimination. So we can now add Fayetteville to a growing list of disasters (ENDA, Michigan, Anchorage, Salina, KS, Hutchinson, KS) for gay, lesbian and bisexual people stemming from “LGBT”. LGBT is the source of trans activists’ power. Break it and we break them.

      1. I saw that that had happened too, Eli. It made me sick. Having to include provisions for men and boys to enter women’s facilities is going to stop lesbian and gay protection in its tracks.

      2. It’s disgusting that 48% think it’s perfectly ok for someone with a cock and balls to be allowed in women’s bathrooms.

      3. And as these cases get more and more traction places where they’ve passed such laws are going to rethink that decision as well. Think what you will of the Duggars, they have a strong following, and even worse, on this, they happen to be right. These laws, as written, make no sense and are, in fact dangerous. LGB will have to break away from T if they’re to have any chance at all.

  11. “I’m more concerned if FTMs turn into disease vectors in some way, similar to how married closeted gay and bisexual men infected straight women in the ’80s.”
    Closeted gay and bisexual men are still infecting women, and the same goes for straight men. Married heterosexual men are still using the services of prostitutes. Nothing has slowed this down. As to “disease vectors”, who are they going to infect? I assume it would be men if she still has sex with men, or either males or females if she shares needles/blood with someone. Actual female to female transmission of HIV is rare.

  12. I cracked up at the Cthulu dildo and “ME MAKE U CUM GOOD”! XD
    The cynic in me knows that trans-critical thought will become more widespread and acceptable than it is now as soon as men claim credit for it.

    1. “The cynic in me knows that trans-critical thought will become more widespread and acceptable than it is now as soon as men claim credit for it.”
      This is interesting. I agree with you that IF trans-critical thought becomes more acceptable in the mainstream, it will, of course, be men who lead the discussion and who get credit for it.
      But, this would mean they’d have to discredit a huge body of literature from Janice Raymond to GallusMag and many other trans-critical bloggers, and effectively erase it. That’s the tradition. This would mean, probably, that their trans-crticism won’t include any recognizable feminist theory on gender. Conservative and/or libertarian male critics of trans are already doing this by conflating sex and gender. How will liberal male critics (say, gay men) do this while still preserving the beloved institution of gender?
      Predictions, please! Heh.

  13. From the Advocate:
    “Show Trans is Elliot Deline’s nonfiction novel (with some photos included) about sex addiction, sex work, navigating the MSM scene, a trip West, dissociative identity disorder, and the struggle to find love, connection, and self-actualization as a non-binary trans person, described by writer Evelyn Deshane as “a cutting and private look at the life of a transgender man who dares to be sexual.” Excerpt:
    We didn’t last long at Rain. By eleven, we had smoked all Gabe’s cigarettes, he was yawning and checking his phone, and so I drove him home. After I dropped him off, I decided to finally meet up with Michael. I parked my car in the lot of Westcott Street and walked to Taps — a real dive bar, hole-in-the-wall if I ever saw one. It was nondescript and one could easily overlook it. In fact, I had for months, but Gabe had pointed it out a few days prior, saying, “Hey did you know there was a bar there?”
    In the entranceway, I showed my ID to a man on a barstool, hoping he wouldn’t ask why it said I was female. “Mistake,” I’d mumble, simultaneously ashamed of myself for being a freak and for being ashamed and considering myself a freak in the first place. The man didn’t notice, or at least didn’t comment.
    I sat at the bar, out of place. A few patrons were punks, huddled at a table in the back, but most of the people at the bar were blue-collar, nondescript white men, with one exception — a black guy, homeless or close to it from the looks of his clothes, was entertaining them loudly and wildly with a drunk story. The white men thundered with appreciative laughter. A football game was on TV.
    I ordered a pint of Guinness, and then another, gulping them at record speed due to nerves. I texted Michael under the table, telling him I was here. He said he’d be there any minute.
    A few minutes later, I looked up from my Guinness and saw a tall black man’s reflection in the mirror across from the bar. He had muscular arms — a linebacker’s build — and I was instantly and strongly attracted to him. That’s something rare for me to experience. He was wearing a T-shirt that said NAVY and the kind of sunglasses you’d expect someone to wear on a jetski. He wore the same glasses and shirt in the picture he had emailed to me. It was definitely Michael.
    I caught his eye and we both nodded. I spun around and stood up, shaking his hand jovially as if we were old pals. I could feel the other men looking at us — we were undoubtedly an odd pair. Michael stood about half a foot taller and was probably at least twice my weight. I couldn’t hold his gaze for long, and only felt more anxious when he removed his sunglasses to reveal his dark eyes.
    He insisted on buying me another drink, so I sipped on a Corona with lime, despite that I’d reached my limit. We sat in the back, parallel to the punks.
    Michael was (surprise) in the Navy. Many men online said they were in the military — whether it’s true, I don’t know. Syracuse is close to Fort Drum. He filled me in on all the missions and jargon and training. Having a change in heart, he was now going to nursing school. He wanted to save lives instead of ending them, he said.
    It turned out he had previously been in a relationship with a trans woman, but never a trans man. I guess I misunderstood his response to my ad. He said he wanted to experience it. It fascinated him. I drank faster.
    “So what do you do?” Michael asked, changing the topic.
    I said I worked at a library and was a writer. He laughed. “So you’re like a librarian?”
    “Yeah. Kind of.”
    “And what, you write like, magazines?”
    “No, fictional things. Books.”
    He laughed again. “Like mysteries?”
    “Not really.” I started to explain but Michael cut me off to swear at the referee on television. Many of the men in the bar did the same. The punks glared at them.
    Michael turned back, but didn’t seem interested in continuing the conversation. He took off his hat and scratched his bald head. He then told a long, involved story about his time spent in Tijuana, pausing only to buy me a mixed drink that I didn’t ask for. “You have to gulp it fast!” It was red, white, and blue, and tasted like a popsicle.
    “It was fun, but I don’t recommend it,” he said of Tijuana. “A man will get beat with a bat in the streets, and the cops will sit and watch. I’ve seen it happen. They just sit and watch.”
    I drove the car home on Michael’s suggestion, despite how intoxicated I’d become. It was an extraordinary machine, with built-in GPS navigation and satellite radio. I’d never driven a really nice car before, and was surprised by how much fun I was having. We opened up the sunroof and cracked the windows. We cruised down the dark city streets, talking and enjoying ourselves.
    Michael then asked if I was born female. Surprised by this, I responded yes. That had been in my ad… and I thought I had just explained.
    “What surgeries did you have?” Well, that was in my ad too, but I explained my chest and the way testosterone injections masculinized my body.
    “Well whatever you do works because you’re really cute,” Michael said, groping my inner thigh. It made me blush.
    “What is the rudest or most ignorant thing anyone ever asked you?” he asked.
    “Um.” I thought about it a second. “Well, I had a friend once in high school. I told him I was going to transition, and he asked if I would take pills and grow a penis. That was probably the stupidest question I’ve gotten.”
    Michael laughed. “I feel for you. When I was in 9th grade, I was literally the only black kid at my school in Cazenovia. Some kid asked me if black man sperm was the same as white man sperm. So I messed with him and told him mine was purple. And he believed me too.” He laughed.
    “Wow.” I laughed harder than I would have sober. I was warming up to Michael. I wanted his hand back on my thigh. I found I often fell in love briefly and intensely while in moving vehicles.
    We made out on his bed in the dark. My jeans were riding up on me unpleasantly. Drunk and free, I removed them, my T-shirt, and my underwear, grinning. Michael raised his eyebrows and grinned as well.
    In my memory, there is a blank space here.
    I sat on the toilet, naked, but nothing happened. I couldn’t pee. Minutes passed and I began to sober up. I realized he wasn’t using a condom. I also realized I was really sore and wanted to go home. I headed back in the bedroom.
    “Do you wanna ride me?” Michael was barely visible in the dark.
    “I’m going home,” I said. […]
    Michael sighed and got dressed as well. “I’ll drive you in your car.”
    “No one is available on Mondays,” the receptionist said. She was a stout woman, with curly grey hair and glasses. Probably a volunteer.
    “But you’re called AIDS Community Resources…” I said with obvious attitude. “There has to be someone I can see.”
    “Not til next week. And…” she checked a calendar, “All appointments look booked.”
    “Is there somewhere else I can go? A number I can call?”
    “Well, they do STD testing at the County Health Center, but I don’t know when. Here’s the number.”
    She begrudgingly handed it over, avoiding the touch of my hand.
    I sat in my car with my cell phone to my ear.
    “Hi there. ACR in Syracuse told me you could possibly give me a free STD test?”
    “No, I’m sorry, those are only on Thursdays,” the man said. “And we aren’t doing them this week. We’ll be at the ACR building in Syracuse next week to perform them.”
    “That’s where I am now. They said they’re booked next week.”
    “Oh. I’m sorry. Well, good luck to you, sir. Try for the following week.”
    How in god’s name was I supposed to wait that long? “Is there nowhere I can go? I’ll travel if I have to.”
    “Well, there’s Civic Center in Syracuse. They do free testing daily. Rapid Response tests are every Wednesday, noon to three.”
    I ended the call, annoyed. No one was going to tell me that?
    I drove right down the road, less than a mile, to the Civic Center.
    I walked up to a kiosk where a young woman was sifting through papers. She ignored me.
    “Hi,” I finally said, “Could you tell me—”
    “You want room eight,” she said, giving me a slightly disgusted look up and down.
    “Excuse me? I—”
    “STD testing, room eight,” she said, gesturing at a pair of teenage girls laughing and chatting as they headed down the hall. “Follow them.”
    I sat in room eight, filling out the forms. I left my gender blank until the end. I eventually decided to make my own box. Next to it, I wrote “FTM” and put a check mark. I then returned the forms and received a number.
    I sat in a blue plastic chair, avoiding eye contact with the mostly female occupants of the room, some with small children. The walls were covered in posters about abstinence. Tables were covered with pamphlets on every STD and drug under the sun, written in English and Spanish. I picked up one. “Do not have sex! It is the only sure way not to get Chlamydia.” A cheesy, patronizing video — the kind one would watch in Health class — played in a loop on the television.
    I texted Michael.
    I pressed send just as the nurse called my number.
    “So, I’ll take a swab from the tip of your penis…” the nurse said, filling out a blue sheet of paper. We were seated in a small doctor’s room. She was short, thin, probably in her mid-fifties, but looked older.
    I blushed. “Oh, I’m…well…Have you heard of transgender?”
    The woman stared a while before responding. “Yes?”
    “Well, I am that. Female-to-male. So I have a… vagina?”
    She bit her lip, thinking. “So are you female or male?”
    Well, I… have a… vagina.” Awkward pause. “I was born female.”
    “So you’re a female.” She rolled her eyes, ripping up the sheet and grabbing a new, pink one, with a drawing of ovaries and fallopian tubes. “From now on, save us time and put that on the sheet, otherwise we have to start all over. It said you were male.”
    “I put that I was FTM. That stands for female-to-male.”
    “Well, they crossed that out and checked male for you because of how you look.”
    “In that case, you’ll need to get undressed.”
    Each crank hurt like hell. I’d learned to just dissociate in these kinds of situations. And when she scraped something deep with a large q-tip, the shooting pain brought back memories of the previous night. How bizarre, to hold this pose again so soon under such different circumstances. It made the sex seem invasive in retrospect.
    “Alright, we’ll have some results on Wednesday. Then it’ll be another three months before HIV would show up.”
    “Thank you.”
    “And remember, put female on medical forms.” She loomed over me like a threat. “Until you have a penis, you’re a female. Got it?”
    ELLIOTT DELINE (born 1988) is a transgender writer and activist from Syracuse, N.Y. He is the author of the novel Refuse (2011), the novella I Know Very Well How I Got My Name (2013), and Show Trans: A Nonfiction Novel (2014). His work has been featured in the Modern Love essay series of the New York Times, The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, and Original Plumbing magazine. He is founder and vice president of the nonprofit CNY for Solidarity, Inc., and the general coordinator of Queer Mart, an LGBTQ arts and crafts fair. He currently lives in Syracuse, N.Y.”

  14. God heteros are so boring, go do something interesting with your life instead of pretending to be us. FFS….

    1. The editorial staff at the NYT appear to have lost their collective marbles.
      There are many spectacularly inane lines in that piece I could comment on, but I’m busy today, so I’ll stick with this one:
      “I don’t consider myself hip enough to be gay, and I don’t desire a provincial, suburban life, either.”
      Newflash for Elliott: that statement is homophobic. If you don’t understand why, I suggest paying a visit to the suburbs and talking to some of the many gay people who live there. Ask them what matters most to them in life. It’s unlikely to be things like validating their identities through anonymous bar sex.

  15. Um yeah. 1) there is nothing “hot” about a person of either sex who has psychological issues. And it seems obvious to me, that someone who can not accept their physical reality, rather is their gender or having too big a nose or whatever, has psychological issues. We can all debate on the theological or metaphysical reasons as to why we are in the body we are in, but reality is we are. To pretend otherwise……that is a psychological issue. 2) many people, probably most, prefer real live human beings, over plastic, inanimate objects. Attaching the plastic, inanimate object to a real live human being, doesn’t suddenly make the plastic, inanimate object, anything but a plastic, inanimate object. 3) What the hell is this even supposed to mean??? color me naïve, I guess 4) well, not everyone, probably the vast majority of people, are not into “fisting”, but for those who are, I doubt that the size of fists is the primary thing they are looking for in a partner 5) um yeah, whatever, refer to my comments on #1 about psychological issues.
    Sorry, transgenders, it boils down to #1. Most people, whether they are attracted to men, women, or both, want, a human being who is “real” and who is psychologically healthy. Healthy relationships are built on a meshing of each person’s unique souls, as well as physical attraction. While there is seldom 100% equality in relationships, for a variety of reasons, healthy adults recognize that there must be some semblance of equality & freedom for a *real* relationship. The vast majority of people recognize that there should never be sexual relations between adults and children, between humans and animals, between adults and mentally ill people, rape/forced marriage, between prison guard and prisoner, between boss and employer, between master and slave…..because of the extreme power imbalance. Healthy people don’t want a relationship with someone who is unable to accept biology and reality, because they recognize there could never be any semblance of a real relationship between someone who is psychologically healthy and comfortable in their own body, and someone who hates their own body. I believe it is true that one must first love themselves, in order to be able to love others, and a transgender who hates their own body, is not capable of loving someone else.
    Then again, if all one wants is “a fuck” and not a relationship…..well, why not stick with one’s hand and avoid all the messiness and disease?

    1. That’s what I thought about fisting as well. Presumably if you wanted something small up your bum you wouldn’t be looking at fists in the first place.

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