On Halloween, most people want to dress up a bit wacky, get out of themselves by being odd and different for a night.
My fondest desire is the obverse. I just want to go to the local cougar bar and flirt with good looking people.
They want a night of queer desire. I want a night of normative desire, where I feel sexy and empowered in my own skin.
For most people, the thought of queer sets off warning bells. For me, the idea of normal sets the klaxons blaring in my head.
No matter how comfortable, confident and sexy I may feel, sly and alluring, the dangers of desire are wired directly into my alarm system. Getting a bit loose, a bit flirty, a bit aroused just feels like a trap, like walking onto a cleverly painted bit of canvas that will collapse under my aging feet, dropping me deep into the abyss.
ShamanGal is going to a party tonight, feeling some of the same trepidation. She is in a very different place than I am, slim, young and beautiful, going to Hollywood with a woman born female who passionately believes in feminine desire. This week, SG outed herself at writing class and the instructor was knocked back: this creature so comfortable in her skin was trans?
She is trans, of course, so I had her rehearse the safety line that could stop her “ending up like Gwen Araujo” as she feared. “Are you bisexual?” she would ask suitors. “I only kiss bisexual men. . .”
For me, though, mature and hefty with a quite husky body, that doesn’t seem as easy an option. I look around for places to get loose, alone of course, and they escape me.
I know the tales of other transwomen, the limits to their coupling behaviour. It ain’t easy.
For normies, Halloween is a time to play at queer. For queers, Halloween is often a time to dream of normal, of being ourselves in the world in a way that doesn’t relegate our identity to the status of a costume. Lie about your nature or be called a liar; the choice is often stark as we find other people who might easily decide to pound us to silence their own queer desire.
A good outfit and a drink or two and I can feel ready to be supple, playful and flirtatious.
Move towards that dream and the horns start blaring, the pounding aooo-gah of buzzers wired in so long ago and then recharged with every heartbreaking story of a transperson cut by someone who loved them and who couldn’t handle it.
Every woman wants to feel like a girl now and then, desirable and desired, hot and playful. Halloween is when transwomen often feel the call, yet it is also when we feel the terror, the fright that threads through a lifetime of denied exposure.
Buy me a drink and convince me to pleasure you tonight, using my rounded body to create friction and heat that delights us both.
But really, really, we will never get that chance.