June 25th, 2005


sf journal

the Second Ever Tranny March yesterday evening was quite fantastic although I have to say that I do weary of speakers before and after these things but one must give politicians and future politicians something to do. with my scientific crowd estimating method (1000people = there to about....there.) I figured there were close to 5000 marchers which seemed to me about four times last year's count. it's taking off! at this rate we will overtake the main gay day parade in just a few years!

it struck me how many people were there in secondhand clothes and how many of us seem to have to cobble together an image for ourselves out of almost nothing and I dressed up in my credit-card wardrobe wondering how we all got to be so poor. are there no trannies with corporate jobs or do we always lose them when we decide to transition? trust funds get taken away?

there is no simple answer I am sure but the difference in dress between the trans march and the gay march is striking. everyone looked fabulous of course--just a little worn and faded in spots.

I will ponder this more poetically in the near future. right now I have to grade papers. my favorite moment last night came when we were on our way to BART after coffee after the march and crossed paths with a group of transwomen who said "hi boys!" and we said "hi girls!" and it was very sweet. you don't get that kind of recognition every day and here is something else to ponder the extent to which you are not supposed to let on when your transdar has lit up. was there a time when gaydar required the same sort of discretion? where you weren't sure if someone wanted to be recognized?

I guess there is a question for the mechanism of recognition and the extent to which it relies upon my own representation of myself for which you serve as a mirror and the extent to which recognition is thus illegitimate and imperial. but also the extent to which recognition is necessary to relieve solitude.

but later.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake

tunnel lighting

two papers left to go. they aren't bad this time around but I can't figure out if we are actually teaching them anything or if they'd have been fine without us. this is the way composition teaching usually goes for me. I talk and talk and we give them exercises and we talk some more and make them do group work sometimes and in the end the good writers get good grades, the mediocre writers get mediocre grades, and the lousy writers--those who don't just disappear in the middle of the term--get lousy grades. what I've never really seen happen though is for a mediocre writer to turn into an especially good one. they get better, but I honestly do not know how to teach someone to write well.

it doesn't help that I think the only things you can do to improve your writing are to read everything you can get your hands on and write at every opportunity. that's it. there are no techniques that I know of that can actually make you a good writer.

of course part of what we are teaching them is how to read, and that I think we have made some progress on. it seems we have gotten them to slow down and look at what is on the page and think about their own assumptions when they judge a text. that at least is teachable and in some ways far more important than learning good writing. if I can get just one student to question the value of binary logic I feel I've done my job.
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful

weakest link

papers done. went to the store for food and returned to glance in at sandy's unscreened window--her door usually stays closed so it is usualy not an issue--and there he was sitting on the planter outside the open window. three stories up, in the back.


so he's in, her door is closed, and there is a trip to the hardware store in our near future for one more screen.

tonight I will be the only queer in San Francisco to be sitting at home instead of at the dyke march. Years ago a dyke march would have been occasion for dressing up and drugging up and drinking up and staying up all night to stagger to the big parade the next day--or not--but these days I prefer to appreciate it from afar. the crowd density in the castro tonight will threaten to collapse the whole city into just those few blocks. they certainly won't be missing me if I do not show up. whereas last night, for instance, every body was reason for celebration rather than anxiety.

for tomorrow I'm making up some fliers for the open mic I went to so religiously last year but have gotten out of the habit of attending precisely because no one ever made flyers or did any kind of publicity but goddammit if I'm going to read I want people there. I mean they might hate it but reading to an empty room is almost as depressing as playing for an empty room and it seems that just a little word of mouth will get an open mic going pretty well in this city. in any case I have to start reading again so why not invite the entire queer universe. and goodly portions of other universes.
  • Current Music
    Wiley - The Game