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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I just got back from doing some errands and while waiting for the bus to pick me up when I got started, I sat on the bus stop bench next to a casually-dressed woman who was maybe sixty. She stared at me for a few moments and then asked, "Mister, could you give me some money so I can buy Chinese food?" Then the wind shifted and I was nearly knocked over by her powerful stench, a potent blend of B.O. and stale Port Authority-style ammonia piss. I politely told her I did not carry cash and then I got up to pretend to look and see if the bus were coming, but in actuality I got up to remove myself from her toxic miasma. I was actually relieved to end up standing next to some Cugine who was merrily puffing away on a Marlboro. And upon being politely denied a handout, the woman's attitude changed and she denounced me as a "motherfucker" and a "white man's nigger." Ah, the rich pageant of humanity...

In marked counterpoint to my experience with the redolent beggar-lady at the bus stop, on the way back from my errands I stopped in at a local boutique, Beacon's Closet, to visit its co-owner, my friend and fellow tokusatsu junkie, Adrian. He was not in today but on the way out I saw a young trans kid who was maybe around 20 years old. The kid's wardrobe was boldly gender-divided right down the middle, with the right half being a ratty, frilly dress and drawn-on fishnets (with the line down the back drawn on in green Sharpie), while the right side was straight-up old school punk with plaid pants. The look was completed with liver-colored Doc Martens and a beat-up leather jacket with band names scrawled all over it, and the kid rocked a black Mohawk, neatly-trimmed beard and 'stache, and black lipstick and eyeliner. I was struck by just how cool all of that was, especially in a place as sickeningly trendy as Park Slope, plus to say nothing of simply being balls-out brave as fuck, so I tapped the kid on the shoulder. The kid turned to see me, a big black dude dressed in black from head to toe and draped in black leather, so a bit of trepidation was facially registered. I then said "I have to tell you, your look is fucking BRILLIANT. Just thought you should hear it and know that your bravery is both respected and admired, and I say that as an aging old school punk and misfit of society." The kid's face broke into an ear-to-ear grin, complete with "I've been touched" tears of happiness starting to well up, and I was responded to with a heartfelt "Thank you!" (I would have taken a photo but I did not want to come off as a possible cruiser for freaks who would post the shot online in a transphobic screed of some sort. Still, the look was absolutely worth chronicling for posterity.)

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