Transman’s cutting back on coffee and hasn’t had any yet, so not only is he still half-asleep, he’s incapable of being funny. So, dear readers, it is with deep regret that Transman will now indulge in mundane writing.
“Why not wait until he’s more awake?” some might ask. Well, he’ll be too busy then. Plus, his kids will be awake and fighting and he won’t be able to concentrate long enough to spell the word “cat” much less write an entire blog post.
Due to his exhaustion, Transman is foregoing any attempt at organization or graceful transitions between paragraphs.
Here are some of things that have crossed Transman’s mind this week:
Transman knows it’s breast cancer awareness month and that many women and their families have gotten–or will get–bad news with diagnoses of cancer. Women who have to have a mastectomy as part of their treatment often have a hard time dealing with the loss of the breast because breasts are one of the signifiers of womanhood–they are both symbolic of sexuality and nurturing; losing a breast can make a woman feel incomplete.
When Transman thinks about those women, he feels bad that he would love to get rid of his moobs. He knows some women view his decision to transition as betrayal, a rejection of womanhood and women. It isn’t, but it is a rejection of him as a woman. These are just seeds of bigger, more complicated thoughts that Transman doesn’t quite have the words for yet.
Speaking of complicated issues and language …
Transman gets irritated when people who know that he is trans and has a male name and prefers the male pronouns continue to use the female name and feminine pronouns when talking to or about him. When this is done in public, it completely undermines his presentation as male. He is not read 100 percent of the time as male, so when people gender him female on purpose, it puts him in an awkward situation at best and a dangerous one at worst. People may not agree with his decision to transition, but calling him “she” and things like that in public now put him at risk for harassment and violence. He doesn’t quite get how relatives and friends who claim to care about him don’t get that they are the ones who are making him unsafe just with their choice of words.
And on an entirely different note, Transman can’t figure out why more people aren’t watching Hell on Wheels. Very few shows have really original writing and characters who aren’t completely predictable. This show is a fictionalized version of the race to build a railroad that connects the East to the West in post-Civil War America. The lead character Callum Bohannon, is a former confederate soldier who is morally ambiguos, but who usually takes up for the underdog, whether that is a freed Black man, a prostitute, or an Irish immigrant.
The supporting characters are all compelling–one wants to know what the repercussions of Swede’s continual behind-the-scenes meddling will be; the rising and falling of Reverend Cole as he chases his demons is tragic and funny (think King Lear for the small screen); and the viewer goes along with Elam Ferguson’s struggle to find his place as a free man of color in the West, trying to spot who is going to be an ally and who will betray him.
All the different sorts of tension and issues that are woven into the storyline give the show a continual sense of the unexpected. It is filmed well, too, with creative use of camera angles and lighting. The soundtrack is pretty badass, too. Check out this song by David Lindley: