Five Star's 292nd Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Javier Marías
This week's Five Star roundup is brought to us by a saved heart, a conversation about trans parenthood, anxiety about money, being new to fat, Facebook and social control, what to do with what nuns teach you about sex, the love of a war-torn city, the still abbreviated lives of gay men, basketball and balls, being on the cusp, and Javier Marías:
You guys, this is a bang up week. You submitted so much good stuff that I have leftovers for next week. Happy Tuesday, and happy reading!
I looked at my scars for the first time this morning, and I was simply shocked and began to cry. Look what they did to me, I thought, look what happened to me. So real, my poor heart, my saved heart.
Obviously, kids go through a lot of changes, and being uncertain about the future is part of the human experience.But I think it can be extra poignant for trans people because we’ve done so much work to make a very personal and yet very public change to ourselves.
In my imagination the barista would be attractive woman, and the debased coin would be horribly symbolic of all my sexual anxieties, and then the imaginary attractive woman would go home and write a Facebook post about the loser who gave her an ugly quarter as if it were no big deal, just, la-di-da, I'll have an Americano, even though my money is gross and full of sexual failure granules.
I used to just roll my eyes at you, calling you names when you complain about how you need to lose weight. “Yeah, Tubbo. Lay off the buckets of raw cookie dough, Fatty McFatterson.” And you’d remember I’m actually fat and smile sheepishly and stop talking about it.
But then it came to me.
You’re new here.
I’ve been writing and thinking about this [Facebook experiment] a lot. I identify this model of control as a Gramscian model of social control: one in which we are effectively micro-nudged into “desired behavior” as a means of societal control. Seduction, rather than fear and coercion are the currency, and as such, they are a lot more effective.
I finally mustered up the courage, stepped across the divide of the circle, closed my eyes, and planted a kiss squarely on Karen’s nose. My aim was a little off. She jumped up, holding her hand to her nose and inexplicably, started crying.
… My beautiful and lovely
Kandahar, I will not let the hearts inside our people break.
My peers and I are supposed to be “over” our gayness. It’s unfashionable to have gay-related “issues.” Many of us consider the gay newspaper Xtra passé. Even the gay bars are tired spaces, for the most part, and younger crowds prefer one-off parties at weird hotel bars that aren’t explicitly queer.
I partake in all this, and enjoy it. But the impulse to do away with the ghetto and focus instead on social autonomy is also a flawed, neo-liberal ambition.
These are good people, and I have just flashed a picture of a hairy pink scrotum at them.
I thought I was at the end of the world.
Turns out I was only on the edge of the world I had known.
Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five Star. Submit it by Tuesday at midnight CST to nominate it for inclusion in the next roundup.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: