Herbal Hormone Supplements Can Change the Meaning of Trans Embodiment
Estrogen and testosterone have historically been deployed to produce gender compliant citizens. What if, instead, they were agents of autonomy?
“I was slammed as others deemed themselves ‘more tranny’ than me by following doctors’ ‘cut and paste’ solutions for making a transition.”
Clarence Harlan Orsi’s essays and fiction have appeared in The Believer, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Indiana Review, Kenyon Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, New England Review, n+1, and others. He is a graduate of the PhD program in writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a former Bread Loaf tuition scholar. He is an Associate Professor of English at Cecil College in northern Maryland and lives in Baltimore.
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Today tongzhi is seldom used in a political context, if ever: The Beijing LGBT center is called Beijing Comrade Center; 同志村, or comrade village, translates to gayborhood. So yeah, everyone knows what comrade really means—everyone except the president of China, apparently.
For me, homosexuality is an invitation to opt out, to abstain from the trappings of heteronormativity, a gift of eternal boyhood.