Chaz Bono was on Oprah this week to discuss her transition to becoming a man. I’ve watched those specials on TV about people who feel trapped in the wrong body and I believe them. They all say they wanna kill themselves if they can’t switch so I’m gonna go ahead and say they’re telling the truth. I’ve also watched 10 Larry King shows where he’s tried to understand these people but can’t and still can’t understand who they’re sleeping with now or why. “Wait, are you gay? You were gay and you’re still gay? Why? Are you straight? Do the parts work? Who’d you like before? Men or women? Let’s take a break.” Yes, Larry, let’s do. Larry trying to understand is more entertaining than if Larry actually became a woman. I feel happy that Chaz has gone ahead and gotten the surgery that will finally make her feel like she’s in the right body. I can’t imagine feeling like you’re in the wrong body. As much as I’ve drank and smoked, I can’t even really feel my own body and that’s fine with me.
I’m Chaz’s age and I can’t imagine having the energy to have elective surgery of any kind. I’m too tired to go to Lens Crafters. I know I should. Everyday I feel like my contacts are in the wrong eyes and everything is slightly sideways, but not sideways enough for me to drive anywhere to get anything done about it. I can’t imagine telling my family that the whole time they’ve know me I really wanted to be a man. They’re pretty open minded but this sort of announcement would definitely ruin Christmas. One year, my youngest brother said he might not take anything seriously for awhile after college and instead just travel around with a backpack or bartend in Chicago for fun. I thought my Dad was going to lean over the mashed potatoes and punch him in the face. “Travel around? Whadda think, you’re Jesus? You can’t just wander around. You’re going to get a job and act like a normal person. Period.” My brother became a stockbroker.
If my brother had announced that instead of being Patrick, he wanted to be Patricia, it would have been the greatest moment of the rest of my and my siblings lives. Wow. He’s thrown down the last card! SHOCCCKING! There’s no fucking up beyond this! We’re free to have sex with a donkey! Not that we would, but that would still be less traumatic. “Hey, I was drunk in Tijuana, it was a dare, c’mon, it didn’t reallllly happen, just sorta drunken fun. I’m not marrying the donkey….or having a sex change….god, everyone relax and remind meeee to not tell you anything fun anymore.”
There’s nothing, ever, that I can think of, that would be more shocking to parents. And neither of my parents is CHER, although my Mom does have Cher ranked high on her Ipod and my father just keeps asking what kind of Indian she is. Cher made an announcement, I imagine after 65 shots of Mad Dog, saying she supports Chaz’s sex change surgery decision. My father’s announcement would have been something along the lines of, “Although my wife and I thought we loved our children unconditionally, as it turns out, we don’t. This little son of a bitch Patrick has lost his mind. When we said “our children” we meant the sex they were born so since he hasn’t kept up his end of the deal, neither are we. We are officially not talking to him anymore. We will play the Irish game of every other family member telling us about him and delivering messages on our behalf but we are done speaking to him directly. We will keep him in the will as PATRICK but no one named PATRICIA will be picking up an inheritance check which at this point, to cope with this news, will probably be gambled away at an Indian Casino because my wife and I forget all our problems when we gamble. I was going to leave him my hunting rifles and a nice lawn mower but since he’s chosen to become a woman, I’m now leaving those things to my sons who have not lost their goddamn minds.”
Somehow, my dad would also find someone on my Mom’s side of the family to blame. “Well look at your Uncle Hibby. He wasn’t right. Everyone knew he was a little fruit.” My mom would ignore these comments knowing full well his uncle Neil used to be a woman named Nellie. As his sibling, I’d go along with Patrick’s “journey” because he let us all off the shock hook and I’d hope and pray that he would not look better than me as a woman. That would be just depressing enough for me to wanna become a man.