“Something big is happening,” you say. You have that earnest, manic look in your eyes, the one I recognize so well. I know—I feel it too.
I felt it swelling in my sleepless limbs at Camp Trans. I felt it flood my pores when four ambiguous bodies walked through city rain singing. I felt it rush past in a blur of blinking lights when we claimed the CTA for public genderprocessing. I feel it when I wear my favorite tie, when I think without pronouns, when I speak and write and fuck however I please without regard to the directions that came with the parts.
Yes, something big is happening.
I feel it when I respond to a name I have given myself. I feel it when I find worn copies of Kate Bornstein and Leslie Feinberg on library shelves. I feel it waiting tables at a restaurant where I work in furtive femme drag, leaving desperate notes on the receipts of gender outlaws I recognize.
Ohhhh yeah—something big is happening.
This is not political change. This is not a march, a boycott, or a letter-writing campaign. This is not a meeting we can attend or a law we can pass. This is the revolution of daily life, of existing and enduring.
It’s in the little things—interactions with strangers on the bus, in bookstores and bathrooms. It’s in our clothes; it’s under our clothes. It’s in our sweat, our saliva, our bones and our blood, our hearts. Our art. It’s in our conversations and our caresses.
Sometimes I dream of a world where all genders are welcome and I feel an itch of panic swelling somewhere behind my ears. The voice of my inner monologue takes on a disconcerting bellow: You are not doing enough. You are never doing enough. You have to organize more, educate more, generate enough sparks for the BIG GENDER EXPLOSION all by your little self.
Then I remember the little explosions that we create every day, the gendersparks that we leave behind us wherever we have been. We are trembling with history that rattles in our bones like a warning. We are marking the territory of gender outlaws.
And when I witness the gendermarks scrawled on footpaths and freeways with jagged teeth and acrylic nails, I will know that you have been here.
“Something big is happening,” you say. I respond with a gesture rather than words—I can taste the revolution on your tongue.