For the past eight years, my idea of exercise has consisted primarily of lifting the TV remote, occasionally dragging my cat around on a leash, and carrying groceries from car to fridge. In the two weeks after the election, I ran forty miles. Well, jogged, really. Stumbled. Forced my temporarily-abled body over hill and dale.
Don’t congratulate me. I didn’t enjoy it; I don’t plan to continue. But I needed an outlet and I hoped I could outrun my feelings. Turns out, my legs are forty miles sorer and I’m still just as disgusted by the election outcome.
On the upside, the little oxygen that my former-smoker’s lungs managed to send to my brain as I panted my way around town led me to realize that 1) I can’t be the only piece of gendertrash looking for an outlet, and 2) sometimes I write stuff. Okay, so maybe I’m playing fast and loose with the word “epiphany,” but the point is I realized that writing is a hell of a lot more fun than running.
Enter The Gendertrash Café
The idea for a Gendertrash Café started in a classroom of millenials who had never heard the word “gendertrash” before. As I attempted to give a definition, the conversation devolved into a brief history lesson about the spelling of the word transexual, the longstanding debates over the usage of the word “tranny,” and the asterisk saga.
We talked about the inherent power in the reclamation of language, and the rejection of respectability politics. We discussed the empowerment of not taking oneself too seriously. As a trans feminine friend of mine lovingly responds when told that “tranny” is not an acceptable word for trans women to reclaim: “So, I guess ‘gendertrash’ is out, then?”
The students marveled at the frankness of the term and the history and humor it represented. They thought it would make a lovely name for a queer bar or café. We quite agreed.
But, given our lack of business experience, deficit of property, and inability to find investors who want to back a real live Gendertrash Café where we give coffee and muffins away to teens, freaks, and other outlaws (because apparently giving café vittles away for free is “bad business practice” or something), we’re making this a virtual venture.
But Here’s the Deal
I have a twisted sense of humor. And I don’t mean a look-at-me-I’m-so-edgy sense of humor.
– that I use humor to disarm,
– that laughing at too-soon jokes got me past suicidal ideation,
– that gallows humor is responsible for my continuing presence on this earth.
I value writing that can make me laugh. The deeply profound slogans used on flashing traffic signs are at the top of that list. (Current favorite: Safety starts with “S”, begins with “You.” Someone actually got paid to come up that gold. I’m telling you, these sign writers are just one step away from making it to the big time and titling porn. If anyone else collects these terrible slogans, send them to me. Bonus points if they rhyme.)
But now, more than ever, I have to laugh. Not to normalize a situation that isn’t and will never be normal, but to keep my spirits up on the way to the political guillotine. As we stare into the frightening obscurity of the next few years, we’ll have to find things to laugh about. So, we’ll need to laugh at the absurdity and we’ll need to laugh at the irony. Some days, we’ll need to laugh to keep from crying. Frequently, we’ll need to laugh at ourselves.
The Gendertrash Café therefore seeks to be a blog imbued with humor. We’ll write about the serious businesses of transphobia, racism, poverty, discrimination, and every –ism under the sun, but we’ll do it with a quirky literary smile. We’ll tell self-deprecating stories that remind us how valuable we are. You won’t have to search far to find the inherent self-care on these pages.
Calling All Revolutionaries
If you think you can help us in our mission, then we need you! Here at the Gendertrash Café we have room for all sorts. We’re calling all revolutionaries. All the SJWs. All the gendertrash and the perverts. The freaks, geeks, dykes, fags, and trannies. The dreg queens and kings of the earth. (See what I did there? #PunsOfSteel)
We’re gearing up for the apocalypse and we want your company when it arrives. So if your pen is mightier than your sword (or if you were assigned swordless at birth) make your way over to our submissions page and send us your essays, poetry, and prose.