I felt absofuckinglutely delicious as I clamored out my door with a big military pack full of fabulousness strapped to my back; my red heels tip-tapping upon the sidewalk tuned me into a strange dimension. I simultaneously wanted to growl like an African mountain gorilla and meow like a newborn kitty, but settled on turning my iPod all the way up on The Velvet’s “Sweet Jane” because, like everyone, my life was saved by rock n’ roll. I couldn’t wait a moment longer to meet Charlie at the club: I needed him deep inside me so I could ride his heartbeat as his dick twitched and we moaned ecstatically as he dug his nails into my hips and murmured, “Yes!”

As I walked onto the bus I was struck by sudden chest pains: I guess I must have smoked a few too many anxious cigarettes as I awaited the ride and fixated on my love for Charlie. Is love just a fetishization of an object? Does it matter what it is that makes one person want to give pleasure to another? The realization provoked me to worry that Charlie would one day see the degree of my insane desire and abandon me as I’ve always known love to do. I imagined our friendship turning into a restraining order and shivered.

Despite my continual best efforts I again found myself feeling like I was in a labyrinth, just another lost boy hoping to find a mysterious stranger that could help me escape before I caved to my ever growing madness.

I arrived at the club early like Heklina asked, and was offered a drink as I explained my concept for the show. I went over cues with the sound guy and showed him the URL for the video I was mimicking which would be projected behind and consequentially over me as I “lip synced.”

Charlie showed up a bit scruffy and looked ever so cute, so I pulled him into a back room and started to show him the props. All the other girls were padding their faces with powder and Charlie seemed to know all of them and introduced me as I tried my best to grin and be nice, but I felt myself caving into “what the fuck is on your lip” which made me remember my desire to live beyond winning and losing, so I forced myself to remain quiet as Mona Listen Hoe! squawked, “Bitches I’m doing Britney better than any ya’ll ok! And I’m gonna win tonight! Just don’t want ya’ll crying later or thinking it’s a surprise!”

I gazed deep into one of the other girls’ eyes as we both cringed and Vag-A-Sour stood up, laughed, snapped her fingers and exclaimed, “Girl you need to walk around the block.” Then Miss Daisy Cakes pulled back the curtain and mockingly said in a deep voice, “Good evening, ladies…” Her hair was shaved on the sides, dyed with all the colors of the rainbow and pulled up into a big bouffant; she looked like 400 pounds of vibrant plastic neon and I was desperate for her to win everything. I jumped up and introduced myself as she explained that she was going to render “Candy Says” and my heart melted into heavy cream, which of course made me feel anxious about my performance because I wanted to impress but felt like such a child.

By the time midnight rolled around the bar filled up with gorgeous men and peoples of all varieties, I was feeling hella paranoid and I was totally questioning my choice to get on stage. I didn’t want to freak out Charlie so I kept the gnawing voices inside of me, but I couldn’t stop the sporadic twitches crawling across my skin and knew any astute being would see the fear bubbling up. I was to go fourth out of the seven girls. Charlie and I sat on the bar nearest the stage and made the most of the free drinks for performers. I had my hair down and wore black fishnets with a skimpy little black dress, knee high black Dr. Martens and a jock strap so my dick and ass would bulge in the best way so I’d, hopefully, turn Charlie on. Though that wasn’t my full costume.

Part of me wanted to wear my full costume on the way to the club so I could feel and experience looking at the world through a veil, but I also felt it was a bit inappropriate and disrespectful and I had no intention of putting down wearers, I wanted to illuminate a narrative I found interesting.

“Blue! Burka Blue!”
Oh Blue!
“Blue! Burka Blue!”
Come forth!
“Blue! Burka Blue!”
I love blue.

Many Westerners see the veil as anti-western and anti-modern. I see it as a visible mark of separation from the West and that is why I feel a kinship with wearers and look to them as very sober sisters. Yes, I may be of the West but I am not only that which has created me. When France made burkas illegal, the country in effect criminalized women in order to “free them,” which is asinine. Nobody should enforce anything on anyone and everyone should choose to respect another person’s choice. It hurts sometimes. Like whenever I saw Charlie make-out with some other guy my mind would cave into a black hole. And I fucking need to get over myself. Destroy the ego and receive the world…

I think it’s beautiful that women stand up for choice, just as I think it’s marvelous to imagine what it is they are wearing beneath. As a “wish I was born in Olympia” grrrl I understand the desire to make a choice as to who can and cannot look. It’s something always playing out in my head when I’m getting fucked by some John. In my head I’m wishing it was a dick I loved inside of me as opposed to some random that chose me. If I could afford it, I’d be very selective about who I let into me. But I can’t, so I let everyone in. Except while onstage, for just a moment, I was going to choose to not give everyone access to my body.

Once I finished touching up my make-up I pulled out two oil cartridges and tied a rope to both then wound the rope around my body and pulled the burka over the whole costume. I made the burka by cutting slits in a large piece of blue fabric, then draped the fabric over myself like a blue Halloween ghost. I had the oil tied to my body in order to hide it beneath the burka, as a way of representing America’s desire to penetrate Iraq. The canisters made me look a bit frumpy, lumpy and disheveled which I felt juxtaposed me with the other performers, who were all very careful with their make-up. And Charlie, ever sweet, dutifully played the evil American by coming out midway through the song “Burka Blue” with a large pair of sheers to cut up my burka, steal the oil and then proceed to “rape me.” There wasn’t penetration; there wasn’t nudity, just the façade of one being overtaken by another.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote, “Muslim girls are often told that ‘a girl with a ruptured hymen is like a used object.’ And an object that is once used becomes permanently worthless. A girl who has lost her ‘seal of being unused’ won’t find a partner and is doomed to spend the rest of her days in her parents’ home.” That is sorta what I was hoping to remind the audience at Tranny Shack, that there is more than the club. It’s not that I hate the club, but I know how stark reality can turn and while we were busy fleeing, there are women locked away that had been penetrated. And unlike America, where Larkin Grimm sings, “I’ve been penetrated so I’m welcome everywhere I go,” there are women that cannot exist if they’ve been penetrated: sometimes they wear burkas, sometimes they’re Christian, sometimes they’re Muslim, sometimes they’re poor… As someone that has been and has penetrated, it’s hard for me to imagine, and it makes my insides freeze whenever I am reminded of these realities. And because I’ve been within devastating realities, I felt like it’s important to try and bring these stories into the world. Maybe it’s good to freeze. Ali went on to explain, “To avoid this cruel fate, Muslim families do everything possible to ensure that their daughters’ hymens remain intact before marriage. The methods vary according to the country and specific circumstances in which people live and the means available to them. But everywhere the measures are aimed at girls, the possessors of the hymen, and not at the men who could break it.” The image of a young woman locked in a room invoked a feeling within me that I wanted to stretch far beyond and spatter upon so many atrocities, one example being the American army. Whenever a missile hits, people suffer; it’s all one and the same. Penetration should only happen when consent is found.

“But can it be found communally?” I wondered, as I stood up at the end of my number. Charlie grabbed my hand and we both took a quick bow then headed off stage. Heklina and Peaches Christ immediately reclaimed the stage and made a joke about the military before announcing the next performer. Suddenly I realized “my” idea was no longer mine, as it had been unleashed upon a room full of people. I jetted to the bar and quickly waved to the bartender who knew to bring me a whiskey ginger ale. I felt a couple pats on my back as I sipped my drink, then a hot young professional looking guy came up to me and laughed as he said, “Well done.”

I felt so fucking nervous.

Charlie kept grinning and hugging people, which sorta calmed me down. But as I watched the final act, I wished I had been part of the competition. I felt like such an idiot because there was no mention of my desire to be “outside” the competition. Suddenly I realized I hadn’t made a statement, I had signed up to be defeated. When the last act ended Heklina called all the girls to the stage. She went on to explain to the audience that each performer would step forward and the crowd should cheer for who they wanted to win, as the judges (veterans of Tranny Shack) would consider the audience’s response when they decided
on the winner. It seemed like every girl got a reasonable amount of cheer, but when it came to my turn to step forward, I wasn’t sure if my ego was fucking with the noise levels so I cowered into the noise as if it were static.

When they announced Mona Listen Hoe! as the winner, I fucking cringed. I wanted to die. I couldn’t fucking believe it. All that hoe did was dance to “Baby One More Time” and then tore her wig off at the end of the number, cut herself and poured fake blood everywhere.
As I climbed off the stage and wandered amongst my peers, sippin’ my cocktail and feeling ever more confused, a fem butch lunged at me and exclaimed with utmost disgust, “You created drag that George Bush would like!” and with that, I quickly and without question, fled the club feeling ever more trapped in a body which disgusted me, and a body I didn’t want to identify with. I probably should have grabbed Charlie, I probably should have screamed, “Eat shit! Filth is my politics and filth is my life!” but instead I caved to my need for my room and drugs.

Stephen Boyer is the author of Parasite (Publication Studios), GHOSTS (Bent Boy Books), and The Form of Things (2nd Floor Projects). He curates the blog, and with the help of countless others compiled the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.