Wren Hanks

The Rise of Genderqueer (excerpts)


*with language taken from the Family Research Council's "Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement" and "The Living Dead" by New York Times Reporter Peter Andrey Smith

1.

We have only begun to enter this "brave new world"                    one that resists the genetic
            imprint found in every cell in the human body                              Some convince others
to see them as the other sex    No one can change his or her sex                The DNA is marked
            clearly male or female

the physical condition of their bodies                     surgical alterations to their bodies
            involving as they do the amputation of healthy body parts
souls born into healthy body parts         the state of being transgendered
            is extremely unstable

an almost phobic lack of emotional and social flexibility
a Genderbread Person          plastic and shaped by behavior            a rebel against reality
walk with me into the garden                               shine like a ribbon snake

A psychologically healthy person accepts the reality of his or her sexual identity
A psychologically healthy person accepts the reality of his or her sexual identity
A psychologically healthy person accepts the reality of his or her sexual identity


2.

A psychologically healthy person        accepts         vines blooming on a rock wall
Touch them and itch                                                 when their mouth on someone's clit
is interchangeable                                                     I pretend I understand
what it means to be human                                       putting oatmeal on poison ivy
Welcome small scoops of danger                               Welcome the hollow place
"Your chest feels solid" she says                                I am a gelatinous animal
under anyone's hands                                              Walk with me into the garden
The animals can't line up by sex                              because there are so
                                           If I were Adam I'd be so afraid of these divisions



3.

If I were Adam I'd be afraid my love of divisions
was a fetish for essentializing


(A psychologically healthy person accepts their kinks)
A
psychologically healthy person crying "I think I see God" when I tip them over the edge

But this is not about my topping skills, but this about my topping skills
(Men of the FRC, I'd school you blow for blow)

Two
psychologically healthy people holding each other close
thinking we, in all of nature, are simple



4.

A psychologically healthy person accepts their mortality
When a person dies the body begins to digest itself         Will I be necro girl         necro boy
Will it matter
                 mysterious organisms rapidly emerge
assemble on decomposing mammal flesh          cuddled by the microscopic
agents of death          those
shore-bound pirates lying in wait for the next shipwreck
There I'll be       belly turned oyster           Biologically normal persons of one sex cannot
become the other sex         but I / they can decompose
the reality of what it means to be human                 is healthy body parts
eventually          teeming with bugs           to rebel against reality
believing the body rises again                        gender & neuro-circuitry intact
the physical condition of (our) (dead) bodies          wizened strawberries , a slime trail
Instead of
                           one clear reproducible light


Wren Hanks is a trans writer from Texas and the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press). A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers fellow, his recent work appears in Best New Poets 2016, Foglifter, Gigantic Sequins, The Wanderer, and elsewhere. He's the publicist for the Feminist Press and currently lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @suitofscales.