Every night Transman and sons go swimming in the neighborhood pool. For various reasons, we all wear rash guards–Transman to hide his moobs; the boys because most of their friends do (teenage boys suffer from body image issues, too). A little boy who has been hanging around with Son 2 was at the pool the other night and asked us why we wore shirts to swim. Instead of saying “Nunya!” (which translates to “none of your business!”), Transman told him a truth: “Skin cancer runs in my family.” But, honestly, Transman would love to swim without a shirt just like he did when he was a kid. One summer soon, this will be Transman:
Transman likes to think he possesses some sartorial wisdom, but it’s never actually been proven. The closest he’s come to validation was when the intern came to him at work one morning before everyone else arrived and asked, “does this tie go with this shirt?” as he gingerly fingered the tie–(which did, in fact, go with the shirt; the lad’s concerns were understandable, though: he was being bold by mixing patterns; however, he had lucked into having patterns that had echoing elements and the dominant colors in the shirt and tie were complementary.) Transman didn’t explain that, though. He just said, “Yep,” and then passed along the tip that “if you wear anything with confidence, you’ll be fine; most people don’t know what does and doesn’t match anyway. Your attitude will fool them.”
And now, a portrait of Transman as style mentor:
Transman’s got a new buddy and the situation is stra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-nge. Transman and sons recently moved into a new apartment and Son 2 struck up a friendship with the only other kid in the entire complex: the son of one of the guys on the maintenance team.
This is the first time Transman has had social time with someone who saw him as male from the start and knows nothing about his history. And, while it’s cool to be accepted as one of the guys, it’s also sort of Crazy Town.
Transman and his new pal were sitting on the porch shooting the breeze while the kids were running around. They talked about jobs, cars, school zones, apartments versus houses, and single parenting. As they talked, a car pulled up and a young woman got out and went into the apartment upstairs.
Transman’s new buddy watched her with an appreciative smile and said, “There’s all kinds of hotties moving in here lately.”
Transman made a non-committal noise and thought about how weird it was to be casually objectifying the neighbor woman.
On the one hand, it is great to be that totally accepted as another guy–even, he supposes, with the heteronormative assumption that T-man would be straight and cool with ogling the 20-something neighbor who is, in reality, young enough to be his daughter. Let’s face it, Transman is no Jack Nicholson and could not get away with being this creepy:
On the other hand, Transman is now full of anxiety about when/if his new best bud finds out that Transman did not start out life looking like a dude. This is the first time the family has sort of had to negotiate these waters. While Son 2 did nearly out him to a school chum, Transman isn’t as anxious about that environment because there seems to be less chance for real in-depth talk and probing. This new situation is on Transman’s home turf. If the kids become super friendly (likely), then the parents will be hanging out together more often–more time for discussions about family dynamics between the kids and more time for Transman’s new bud to observe him.
Son 2 has already been put on the spot by Neighbor Kid. Transman overheard the boy asking Son 2 about where his mother was and whether his parents had ever been married. Without missing a beat, Son 2 said his mother lived in the country where Ex comes from. The whole conversation was kind of sad and weird. While Transman is glad his son improvised for the sake of privacy, he feels bad that Son 2 has to be anything but honest and open with his friends.
Every once in a while Transman takes a peek at the stats page and looks at the different ways people find his blog. Sometimes, it is from references on other blogs or from social media, but most of the time it is kismet: people typing phrases into a search engine expecting to find useful information, but more often than not, no matter what they’re looking for, they find this blog.
Here are some of the things people have been looking for when they hit a pothole on the information highway, spin off the road, and wind up here:
Some version of “The Proclaimers” is the most popular search term on Transman’s blog.
Other terms that drive readers to Transman include:
“Why do whitewall tires cost so much?”
“Men in thick myopic glasses.”
“cary grant born to be bad”
“Ashley Judd feet”
“hollywood glamour hors d’oeuvres”
“Will Ferrell ears”
“Harrison ford nude” (people also want to see various parts of Mr. Ford’s body, but I shan’t list them here; buy your own anatomy book and make a paper doll of Indy.)
“Helping the single transman cook meals”
“how to get eyebrows like sean connery” is second only to “I’m sean connery chair”
“جريتا جاربو” (I would also like to find Greta Garbo)
People apparently want to see what several celebs would look like bald. There have been many searches for Slash, Johnny Depp, Robert DeNiro, and Tina Fey with “no hair” as a search term.
Transman never wants to meet the sicko who was searching for “glass clown playing tuba.”
Of course, all those people looking for “Giant Sexy Man” are thrilled to find me.
And, this may be one of the best pieces of searching/bucket list goals under the sun: ”i’m gonna get a life sized tattoo of myself only taller and more muscular”
Now, if you were the person searching for the Rachid Taha poster, here is a nifty one:
For the rest of you who were looking for bald/naked celebs, I can’t help you, but if you’re interested in finding some new reading material, check out these blogs:
Brevity magazine’s blog is the place to go if you want to know what’s going on with contemporary nonfiction–essays, interviews, and reviews make up the bulk of the content, which is updated on a near-daily basis. Brevity is a collaborative blog with guest spots by some of hottest established and new writers.
Ned Stuckey-French is a writer and scholar of nonfiction. If you’re a fan of the essay, history, or baseball, Ned probably has something for you. If you want to know more about the American essay tradition, stop by Ned’s blog and read some of his wonderful introductions and overviews of some of the giants.
The Midnight Muser has nominated this blog for the Interesting Blog Award; Transman is honored, but ultimately too lazy to follow all the rules, so he’s thanking her and telling you you need to check her out–especially if you like well-written pieces and have affection for Wilkie Collins (and, really, who doesn’t?).
You know Transman’s a sucker for vintage Hollywood, so he’s fallen head over heals for the Beguiling Hollywood blog. As the tagline says, “Want crotch shots? Go to TMZ. If you want a little historical perspective you’re home.”
Karen at Trans*forming Family always has such wise, honest posts about being the parent of a transgender child. The ups and downs of their lives as her son embarks on the journey to himself are compelling reading and, even when the going is tough, her words are full of love and support.
Gene at Thoughts, Ramblings, and Daydreams mixes writing on all kinds of topics, book reviews, photography, and slices of life on the Gulf Coast into a cool package. Some of his posts are funny, some are poignant, but all are well crafted.
David Ellis Dickerson is smart, funny, and way too productive for my tastes. I know this because we went to school together and every time I turn around, David has made a video, drawn something brilliant, or revised yet another book. Meanwhile, I’ve heated up a frozen pizza and checked Facebook (where David has posted 27 brilliant updates and links to really smart crap I should read).
Transman is so eager for real facial hair. His chin is currently taunting him. It sprouts plenty of wispy little whiskers, but it is patchy and, speaking of patches, his soul patch is taking its sweet time making an appearance–perhaps, he really doesn’t have much soul after all; those years spent watching Soul Train on Saturdays were a complete waste. Mustache? Oh, no, don’t be silly. If Transman and a Georgia peach were in a Burt Reynolds Look Alike Contest, the peach would win. At this rate, Transman couldn’t even make a convincing Shaggy or Maynard G. Krebs.
Here, see for yourself. This is about 12 days of scraggle: