Posts Tagged ‘Reverend Mac


Hiding in “Mac”

Sometimes, I want to hide in “Mac”.  I want to curl up in the old boy character I created and lived as for the outside world for so many years.  Put on a suit, a tie and a pair of two-toned Stacy Adams.  Slip out of the house and head to somewhere no one knows my name.  Some bar maybe in the parts of town I avoid, where nobody has heard of the fabulous Lorelei Erisis.  I would bind my breasts like a drag king or a transman and neglect to shave.

Of course, I have no idea what I would talk about.  I was never much into sports even when I was still pretending masculinity.  In point of fact, I’m a good deal butcher as a woman than I ever was as a man.  But it might be nice to play the part again, just for a few minutes.  To escape from the burden of being myself all the time

This may seem an odd thing to express, especially coming from such an outspoken advocate of visibility.  And make no mistake, it’s not a desire to de-transition either.  The choice to be me, to stop hiding was a decision I spend very little time or energy regretting.

But I did spend some thirty-odd years playing this character called “Mac”.  And despite hiding who I was, it was not a character I disliked.  I was even proud of the man I tried to be.  And I was not so very different.  I tried to be kind, gentle, loving, forthright and intelligent.  I tried to be the best version of what I thought a man could be.  And I often enjoyed the role.

Blasphemy, I know.

I was lucky enough to know the pleasures of falling in love on more than one occasion.  And fortunate enough to survive the torments of falling out of love, at least for the most part.  At least visibly.

And I certainly never tried, even as a man, to be like anyone else.  Blending in to the crowd mattered as little to me then as it does now.  I was afraid to let the world know I was truly a woman.  But other than that, I could give fuck-all if I stood out as being different from the herd.  In fact I went to rather great lengths at times to do just that!

My parents were hippies, as I’ve mentioned before, and I was therefore minus a lot of the stereotypical “male role” conditioning.  Sports were not forced on me.  I was encouraged to cry as well as to turn the other cheek when violence threatened.  The men in my life were unashamedly sensitive and the women were proudly strong.

And there was almost never an occasion I can remember where I was required to wear a tie.  Possibly as a result of this, when I found men’s formal wear.  Fitted shirts, tailored suits, nice shoes and silk ties.  It struck me as a sort of “Guy Drag” I could be most comfortable hiding in.  It allowed me some avenue of elegance that I was yearning to express.

I discovered very quickly that people treated me rather differently when I was wearing a tie than when I was not.  Also, given that my closest friends were punks, freaks and weirdos of the most wonderful sort, it allowed me to stand out even from them.  Ironically, my conformity to a dying standard of masculinity made me a non-conformist among non-conformists.  I also still have not a single tattoo or piercing, for much the same reasons.

After a while and several different lives lived, this became my uniform of sorts.  It was comforting to me to slip on my two-tone shoes, soles worn thin by miles and miles of city pavements.  Easy to put on a suit.  It took less thought than it did for me to dress “casually”, which was always a nightmare I could not understand.

In my late teens/early twenties when I was experimenting with all sorts of things and most especially, doing a good bit of acid, I would almost always wear a tie when I was tripping.  I found that the physical act of straightening my tie had the effect of mentally pulling myself together when I started to feel sketched out.  Also, it made authority figures much less likely to question what I was doing.

I remember for a bit when I was living in Evanston, Illinois, I took to smoking a pipe.  A real, old school, “Fifties Man”, “Bob” Dobbs style pipe.  I would fill it with mostly marijuana and a little bit of strongly scented pipe tobacco.  The smell of the pipe tobacco covered up the smell of the pot and dressed like a good, upstanding, straight white guy, I would walk through downtown in broad daylight, getting pleasantly high.  Nodding to policemen and greeting passers-by.

I remember that sense of privilege.  And I remember even then thinking it was kinda fucked-up that I was treated so differently, so reverently, just because I looked a certain way.

Of course, this is not precisely about that either.  I am not bemoaning the loss of that privilege.  What was it but the social equivalent of a sleight of hand anyway?  A fantasy perpetuated by mutual agreement.  I knowingly and gladly traded all that away when I began my transition.  And I would do it again.


I do miss that character.  When times are hard, as they are now.  I want to so badly to be able to hide in it for just a few minutes.  Forget who I am.  Pretend my troubles belong to someone else.

Pull on my Stacys, straighten my tie, light a cigarette from a silver case and see where the sidewalk takes me.

How ironic that now that I’m finally not hiding alone in my room, or some anonymous crowd, all dressed up like a girl, that I find myself wanting to do the same thing again.  Except now it’s to be the character I was trying to escape.



Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
The Apartment has been vacated.
The Complex is dry.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
The Cross on Golgotha hangs empty.
There are dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
The rent check has bounced.
The Landlord is angry.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
The publicity department have all gone home.
The Television is blank.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
There is a pile of unreceived mail on the doorstep.
The litter box is empty.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.
I have seen 13 bodies all piled to heaven.
Stacked along the road.
A blind apostle.
And a limping proletariat.
I have seen the eyes of the nation gouged out by improbable circumstance.
Jesus doesn’t live here anymore.


An Old Friend

A couple of nights ago I was talking to my girlfriend, my sweet love, Widow Centauri.  We talk on the phone as often as is possible given her hectic schedule as a Grad Student and Sex Intellectual and the three-hour time difference between Coasts.
She mentioned to me that she had seen Mac, or rather, someone who looked just like Mac.  Which is a strange and difficult thing, because Mac was really a pretty unique creation.

And Mac was me.

We talked about this “Mac” character as if he had been an old mutual friend.  Not directly disassociating, but rather, distanced from this person, a friend whom neither of us had seen in a long time.

This Mac doppelganger apparently had the height, the hair, the clothes and the distinctive shoes.

It had been kind of a piecemeal look for our own Mac.  Drawn together from years of watching and learning and picking at pieces of what Mac felt it was to be a Man in the world.  Standing straight and tall because that’s what John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart would do.  Hair wild and wavy because, well okay, because frankly that’s just what his hair did and there was no use arguing.  Clothes and style a distinct distillation of Punk, Film Noir Detective, English Country Gentleman and well dressed old black men.

That last was his favorite and also where the distinctive two-tone shoes came from.  Whenever he moved to a new city, Mac would find out where the well dressed old black men shopped.  Where the shoe stores were in the run down urban parts of town.

He never wore sneakers.  Even though his primary form of transportation was his own two feet.  He liked to hear the slap of a funky pair of Stacys on the pavement.  Even when he wore holes in the soles he would simply change those out as his “beater” shoes.

His attitude and mannerisms were the result of a lifelong study of what a Man ought to be.  The best parts of what he felt it was to be a Man in the world.  He was polite, courteous, friendly, kind, well-spoken and well-dressed.  Or at least he tried to be.

It was a strange moment hearing Widow referring to our old friend.  Obliquely referencing the man I tried for many years to be.  I often miss him.  Very like an old friend.  I do not for a moment regret my choice to be who I am now.  To be the woman I always knew myself to be.  But I did like Mac.  I am even proud of who he was.  He was the best man that I could be.  And I would not be who I am today without him.

She thought it best not to speak to this new Mac.  It remained unspoken, but she has been down that road before.

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