Sir, Check In Please

I just got “sirred” by the lady checking people in at the special Sleeping Car Passengers Only Amtrak Waiting Room. There’s free beverages, even. She corrected herself as soon as I turned my head, so I suppose it was just the buzzcut and my 20th Century newsboy cap.

So I’m in Chicago. & What I’ve realized I like about trains is you can feel the traveling. Instead of just being one place & then being in another, I get to see the countryside change, along with the industries, and homes, and malls. (Far too many malls, if you ask me.) Not only that, but you get to say hey to friends who live in the city you’re passing through when you’ve got a couple hours layover.

Yep. Love trains.

Intermodal Travel Day

I’ve made it back to Milwaukee again, but this time I’m just passing through the Intermodal Terminal – how great a name is that for a train/bus terminal? – right now utilizing the free wifi and waiting for my train to Chicago to board. I take a train from Chicago to DC which takes about 17 hours, and luckily I’ll be in one of those nifty “roomettes” for that trip. Then from DC to Philly.

& Whilst plenty of you think I’m insane, I really prefer nothing more than sitting and looking out a window listening to music and thinking. Writing. Reading. It’s all the stuff I do anyway, but somehow doing it while moving feels more productive.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m on my way to the Liberty Conference in Philly, and yes, I did think I would be living in NYC when I said yes. I speak at Saturday’s luncheon about How We Love You (Trans People) and then later the same day about sex being a four letter word. Do come if you can.

Sunday, I get back on the train and do the whole thing in reverse, but not in heels.


I’m not one & I don’t understand them, somehow like a teenager who doesn’t understand the boys or girls he ogles. They are a mystery: a perfect, empowered, complicated mystery.

I have had, like so many tomboys and masculine spectrum and androgyny-leaning and genderqueer sorts, the kind of frustration with femininity that is about me & about the world & its expectations, but one day while listening to a femme talk about intentionally trying to look like a dyke so that others would know she wanted to date women, I had one of those revelatory moments. I explained why I was smiling to her: that I had experienced the reverse, trying to fem up my naturally dyke-spectrum gender even though i wanted to date men. We both had a moment of why is this shit so absurdly stupid along with a little and why are there always uniforms and prescriptions that go along with desire?

I don’t know the answer but I do know I have mocked femininity like the injured tomboy I can be, but this book – so full of longing and coolness and love and desire and girlness and attitude that I feel once again something like that teenaged boi or grrl utterly confounded but this time, a little in awe.

This book Visible: A Femmethology Parts 1 & 2, edited by Jennifer Clarke Burke and published by Homofactus, is full of the narratives of the people who call themselves femmes, and they ponder such a range of questions: the obvious ones about invisibility and identity – especially relevant to readers here when that (in)visibility relates to having a trans-masculine partner — to the femininity of a self-confessed “stopped pretending to be a male to queer to femme female” trans person. They are full of gender theory, concerned about community, biphobia, butch-femme dynamics and too many other things to mention. It gives me hope that even I, one day, can overcome being a jerk and punching those girls I like in the arm instead of just telling them how awesome & fabulous they are.

Thanks femmes, for making me look again at femininity. You can read more at

Swine Flu Tweet

Something I tweeted at Ron Hogan last night is getting re-tweeted a bunch. He orginally tweeted:

Ah, Seth Godin: “More people are killed by deer than sharks, but you don’t see park rangers running around like nutcases.”

to which I replied

@RonHogan & regular flu kills 3k people annually in the US, whereas swine flu has killed 0 so far.

& then added:

@RonHogan whoops. that’s closer to 36k. via brian williams: http://dailynightly.msnbc.m…

… so the credit goes to Brian Williams for keeping his calm and putting this swine flu panic into perspective.

NYC Air Scare

Thank you, Brian Williams. The point he made tonight on Olbermann — that 9/11 was 10 minutes ago to the people who experienced it first-hand — is only too true. I have no doubt that tons of people are upping their anti-anxiety meds and having those awful apocalyptic nightmares again as a result of this stupidity.

I remember flying from Denver a few years ago & hearing a security officer ask a flyer about their anti-anxiety meds, wanting to know if they were because he was a nervous flyer. He answered something more along the lines, “No, I’m just from New York” and a moment later, in an aside to his wife, “We are all on anti-anxiety meds.”

Yeah. We are. I don’t expect ever to have the same feelings about fall that I did before 2001.


Westboro Baptist Church is going to Boston on an anti-Semitic, homophobic rant. King of astounding, but you know? I can hear Allen Ginsberg laughing:


The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
a miracle,
in imagination
till born
in human–
looks out of the heart
burning with purity–
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love–
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
–cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

–must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye–

yes, yes,
that’s what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.