Restless type. Mostly irony-free wingnut. Celebrator of trees. Stilt walker. Given to rare fits of poetry. Boot junkie and whiskey enthusiast. Blabbermouth with only a vague notion of TMI. Vermont secessionist expatriate. Moss sniffer. Stray cat petting machine. Alternative school graduate. Mountain admirer. Tattooed non-professional. Mild-mannered atheist and polite anarchist. Big city person with rural inclinations, or maybe it's the other way around.
My name is Nicole Cipri. I'm a writer and a wingnut, among other things. This is my tumblr, aka, a curated mess of memes and half-finished thoughts.
So today was a glorious day of people trying to shame me with their bullshit. First there was the guy who cornered my coworker and demanded to know what “the girl up front with the mustache” was “all about”, and to let him know that I was “playing” them.
Me, to said coworker: Welcome to my life for the last 15 years.
Because, seriously, the easiest way to pop a person’s belief in America’s supposed love of individualism is to make them visibly genderqueer for a day. See how much your individualism is celebrated then.
I was accused of conning people. Into what, I’m not sure. Making them believe I was a woman? A man? I don’t claim either, which I guess could be considered a lie by omission, but only if you’re already drunk and squinting at it sideways.
Wait, no, it’s still horse shit.
Anyway. After work, a few women decided to really subtly point at my hairy legs and say, “That is fucked up,” loud enough for me and half the train to overhear.
Really? Really really? We live in a country that was built by the violent subjugation of other people, that is trapped in a consumerist economy that relies on the manufacturing of cheap goods without regard to their human or environmental impact, we continually ignore the fact that our habits are on a collision course with reality, it is approximately 20394203 degrees Fahrenheit on this fucking train, and the hair on my legs is what’s fucked up?
(An amendment to that pithy definition of insanity: where you do the same thing over and over and expect everyone else to do it too.)
I know, tiny people and their tiny minds and their big fucking mouths, I shouldn’t let it get to me, etc. But the fact is: it’s hot, I have no air conditioner, my patience is already frayed, and all I really want to do is be left the hell alone.
All I really want is for people to not be rude motherfuckers unless I’ve earned it. There’s no fucking excuse for being casually cruel otherwise. I’m getting very tired of trying to avoid confrontation, which is a habit I picked up while living in the northwest. Should I get in people’s faces about this shit? God help me, should I try to educate random strangers? Is it worth it? Will it make me feel a little less powerless? Will it make me a target?
The scene: my boss is driving, I’m in the front seat, my coworker is in the backseat. It’s fuck-off-o’clock in the morning, and we’re driving to a client’s house. (I work at a cleaning service.) My boss is talking about her 14 year old daughter.
Boss: Man, did I tell you about all the “homosexuals” in Carolyn’s class?
Boss: There’s all these kids that are saying they’re bisexual and gay and stuff. Every day, someone else is coming out, it’s crazy. It’s such a fad.
Me: Maybe more kids are coming out because, you know, it’s more acceptable now. There’s more support and less chance of getting the shit kicked out of you.
Boss: Well, yeah, but still. That’s a lot of kids. You can’t tell me that the population of gays has suddenly changed.
Me: (wondering what the fuck I’m even doing in this job, because cleaning ugly upper-middle-class people from New Jersey houses fucking sucks, and the pay is crap, and I could be home in bed right now.) I’m not saying it has. I’m saying people - especially teenagers - have an easier time coming out than they did when I was in high school.
Boss: Yeah, but these kids are like fourteen and fifteen. How can they even know?
Me: I did.
Boss: … Really?
Coworker: Yeah, when exactly did you figure out you were straight, Boss?
For the record, I figured out I was queer when I started watching The X-Files, the summer I turned 13.
I mean, seriously:
Or maybe it was Xena: Warrior Princess that clued me in:
Or maybe it was when I started thinking about tongue-kissing girls I went to middle-school with. Or when I got queer-bashed at 15. Or when I got off looking at pictures of the men AND women in my mother’s book of nude swimming holes - which is all we had in the way of porn when I was a kid, so don’t you judge me.
I don’t recall it being part of a fad. I don’t recall being too confused about it either, not after, say, my tenth birthday.
My sister has pointed out that Catwomen could have been an early clue as well.