Category Archives: Latest News

Trauma Reawakened—Bizarro Election 2016

Trauma Reawakened—Bizarro Election 2016

The dentist recently asked after taking my Xray why my left front tooth is capped. I shrugged and told her straight away I was physically assaulted and she wisely let it go. This incident took place in 1992 in SF at Fell and Divisadero, near Haight Ashbury. I can point out to you the scar on my lower lip where the dude punched my tooth right clean through it, breaking it in half. Technically this was a road rage incident, but the assault happened so quickly (it was during morning rush hour, no less) how do you react when you’re 21 and bleary-eyed from lack of sleep? I was just trying to move my car into a metered space. I never got his plate number—I was trying to run and hide because I was afraid a bullet was going to come next. This could have happened to me in any city, but forgive me if I still cannot regard San Francisco as some queer-friendly Valhalla, that’s total bullshit to me for some strange reason.

It would be five years before I even started transitioning, so I don’t believe I was targeted for looking queer or nonbinary. I didn’t pause to ask why. But that could have been part of it, because even when I was as young as twelve and trying to fit in, I never camouflaged well enough to avoid the bullying. Big deal, whatever, this is a well-heeled path for many and my story is not unique. But a lot of shit’s coming back to the surface today and I’d be stupid not to document what I’m experiencing this morning.

Maybe a year or two after my assault I was back home in Boston, taking the subway back to my parents house where I was staying as I looked for post-grad work. I was doing my best to fit in, to be invisible. It wasn’t working out so well.

There was a Red Sox game letting out and you know how these crowds can be sometimes. The subway car was crowded so OF COURSE they weren’t going to physically assault me on the grand scale of the lovely SF incident, but I’d never endured so much verbal transphobic bile within a concentrated, 20-minute timeframe. So much of it is just not worth repeating, although I remember a lot of it. I’d get little repeats of it over the next twenty years. Made it though to…this HISTORIC day LOL.

All I could really do there on the train was pretend to continue reading. These people knew what they were fucking doing, trying to intimidate me out of existence. It’s not just death they want—it’s erasure from the planet, with no traces left behind to remind anyone that we were ever even here to begin with.


Flash forward I just survived motherfucking invasive brain surgery and I’m not going to wilt just because we’ve just victimized ourselves once more within an entirely flaccid patriarchal/hyper-materialist society. I’d thought that we could start to heal and repair these last eight years. That’s what the hope was for. But that dream, vivid and oxygenated as it was, is obviously over—what we have here now is 100% repudiation, BACKLASH from the rotten heart of bigoted mummies and their milk-white progeny. I grew up with them, so they’re pretty easy to spot.

I’m not sure what’s next except that it may be a good time to learn to keep my head down **just enough** to at least **look** like I’m just pretending to continue reading, just sittin’ here on the train, doop-dee-doo.

Oh so yeah the post-gamers with the colorful assessments they’d shared with me: I remember this one dude’s parting shot so well, because I think it could become reality soon: one of them turned to me on his way out of the sliding doors and said to me: “We will see **you** later.”

My heart was in my throat even after I finally made it to my car in the parking garage. I was convinced I was going to get it from the same crowd of bro-dudes but I was alone. My escape was narrow but perhaps only deferred by twenty years. And now this shit.

This is part of what it is to be trans, or just plain **other**, in America today, hangover Wednesday, and it is not unique. The anxiety is shared across any non-cis-het-white communities now, context may vary but the bleached heart of bigotry is pretty much the same. And our immaculate system has effectively enthroned it.

I study fallen empires prodigiously because along with being a student and librarian I also (try to) write dark fantasy and horror fiction, some of these are great sources of inspiration (the grinding, slow-burn downfall of the Byzantine Empire is darkAF). But you know what really sucks? Our nation is still very VERY young by comparison with some of the really fun ones like Rome, and we may have centuries more of this to endure.

And just to be clear, I did vote yesterday.
Many voted, it seems.
I’ve encountered them before, actually, and they’ll “see **me** later.”


Shark Blogging

Shark Blogging

Hey everyone, Happy Shark Week!

I’d heard rumblings of this celebration of our fine, finned friends (who occasionally find our human flesh and blood quite tasty), and I’ve been seeing deli sandwich promotions all over Downtown Boston. I think that’s cool on many levels!

Of course, I’m afraid of sharks, what young child growing up on Nantucket Island wouldn’t be traumatized by seeing “Jaws” (1975) and “Jaws 2” (1978)? I’m also in awe of them, however, so to me it is no huge mystery why they have such staying power in our popular imagination, and why we eventually arrived at that Showgirls-equivalent “Sharknado!” franchise–sometimes you just have to turn things up to eleven and then, in Sharknado’s case, break off the knob!

I have a guest blog post over at Shock Totem! This is a huge deal for me, I’ve been reading Shock Totem Magazine since 2011, it’s where I read Bracken MacLeod, Damien Angelica Walters, and Barry Lee Dejasu for the first time (among many others). Thanks to John Boden for asking me to participate!

The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws also includes insights from Rose Blackthorn (Thorns, Hearts and Thistles, Called to Battle: Worthy Vessel), Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels), Nick Cato (Don of the Dead, Lovers, Cinema Knife Fight), Aaron Dries (House of Sighs, The Fallen Boys, A Place for Sinners), David James Keaton (FISH BITES COP! Stories to Bash Authorities, Stealing Propeller Hats from the Dead), Bracken MacLeod (Mountain Home, White Knight, and Stranded), and Jeremy Wagner (The Armageddon Chord, and the metal guitarist for Broken Hope).

Apart from my Shark Bombs, my summer is flailing right along, deadlines close ahead for both “Imperator–Terror Lizard (Part Two)” and the Rabies manuscript (unfortunately she went off the rails a little but she’s crawling back into me, gnawing at my pineal gland). I was admitted to the Topside Summer Writer’s Workshop at Brooklyn College, where I’ll be for about a week in mid-August, writing and discussing work with over a dozen other transwomen authors with varied literary backgrounds and platforms. SO excited–it’s going to be intense.

Coffee beast.

AND HOLY FUCK it’s con season! My boyfriend Jerome and I went up to NoCon in Portsmouth NH a few Saturdays ago (NoCon is a more or less informal gathering of AnthoCon folk such as may be found in The New England Horror Writers). In the morning we were hosted by Tony Tremblay of The Taco Society, and then filming for a special edition of TacoS commenced! Patrick Lacey manned the camera much of the time, and most in the audience came up to the table for a brief interview with Tony and to read from their work.

Later that afternoon we participated in the latest sit-down of The Writers Coffeehouse (New England), hosted by Christopher Golden and James A. Moore. These discussions are indispensable for anyone even slightly interested in the art and craft of writing, and of navigating a very tricky professional landscape. Chris and Jim drive The_All_Terrain_Vehicle when it comes to insights on that front. In early July we have Readercon, which always hosts incredible, multi-track panels about reading and writing SF/F/H in all media. Then later in the month there is Necon (where do I start with that one? just click the link if you are unfamiliar).

Okay, more to come soon–I haven’t even talked about seeing Venom for the first time last month (technically, it was my first time seeing them and I’ll explain why), nor the Spoorloos debut release (my solo-acoustic/black ambient murder ballads project).

But in the meantime, strap on your Shark Bomb and remember–they like the creamy filling!

Carcharodon carcharias.