According to my mother, Larry King was baffled on Wednesday night when talking to trannys.
TBB had a clearer vision. “Larry kept wanting to think this was about genitals, changing what’s in your pants, people who had gone ‘under the knife’ to change sex, but the guests didn’t see genitals as that important. They wanted to talk about truth, self-expression, identity and dignity. Larry was all about the weenie, and they were about integity, and that was baffling to him.”
I think my mother also got that. I noted that they were going to talk about “transgender surgery,” an oxymoron to me because gender is between your ears (“transsexual surgery” makes sense), and she was clear that the guests wanted to talk about gender, not about body changes.
Tranvestism is about changing your clothes.
Transexualism is about changing your body.
Transgender is about changing your mind.
My mother noted that therapist Michelle Carruso said that she used to have parents coming in with trans kids and telling her to fix them, but now more come in asking how to help them. “Yeah,” I replied. “In the choice between teaching their kid to deny themselves and teaching their kid how to be all they can be, one seems to me to be the better choice.”
This bafflement is all about context, of course. Carl Ballentine did this hilarious magic act where he didn’t actually do any magic, just talked about it. (A very post-modern concept, there.) Carl said it wasn’t easy, because if you don’t actually do anything, how do you know when you are done?
At one venue, the manager loved Carl and kept booking him in, even though he didn’t get any laughs.
“Do you book a lot of magicians in here?” Carl asked.
“Hell no! I hate magicians! I’ve seen too many magicians! I like you because you are funny,” the manager replied.
“Well, the audience hasn’t seen too many, so they have no idea why I am funny. Book a magician or two in, please.”
Carl reports that the next time he played there, people laughed. They had the context, they got the joke.
It’s always so much better when someone gets the joke. That’s one reason why TBB is so great, because after 15 years immersed in the whole circle of trans-gender-queer, she’s seen it all, and knows why it’s funny.
But Larry King? He’d be baffled.