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Imogen Binnie
“Eventually you can't help but figure out that, while gender is a construct, so is a traffic light, and if you ignore either of them, you get hit by cars. Which, also, are constructs.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“...nobody really wants to be a trans woman, i.e. nobody wakes up and goes whoa, maybe my life would be better if I transitioned, alienating most of my friends and my family, I wonder what'll happen at work, I'd love to spend all my money on hormones and surgeries, buying a new wardrobe that I don't even understand right now, probably become unlovable and then ending my short life in a bloody murder.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Maybe convincing yourself that you could never transition is a defense mechanism that enabled you to survive high school, family, work—but like most defense mechanisms, it wasn’t conscious, and like most defense mechanisms, it became a pattern you weren’t aware of, and then, like most defense mechanisms, at some point it stopped making your life easier and started making your life harder.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“It's fucking wild if you think about it, how well being totally checked out emotionally can look like normal American masculinity.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“James does what anybody would do when they see somebody they'd like to know: he ignores the shit out of her.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“...she figured out that she was such a mess not because she was trans, but because being trans is so stigmatized. If you could leave civilization for a year, like live in an abandoned shopping mall out in the desert giving yourself injections of estrogen, working on your voice, figuring out how to dress yourself all over again and meditating eight hours a day on gendered socialization, and then get bottom surgery as a reward, it would be pretty easy to transition.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Oh, Williamsburg. There was a point when you seemed like a scary, tough neighborhood, but now it's obvious that the graffiti on your walls gets put there by art students.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“She just knew that she felt weird – but literally every teenager feels weird. Who doesn't feel weird? All the music she listened to was about feeling weird. All the books she read were about feeling weird. So when she was seventeen it didn't seem strange to hang out with, like, a kid who was really into racism and another, a future truck stop mechanic, in a tent, with a ton of flannel and a bottle of Everclear or a dozen hits of acid. In a cow pasture.

That was just, like, what you did. On one level you just went along with what was going on but on another you mythologized what a cool outlier you were and so you internalized a sense of your own weirdness as a badge of pride even as you emotionally dissociated yourself from it. Everybody cool is weird. This is how she mythologized her sense of being trans without understanding that she was trans.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Because shaving and putting on a bunch of foundation every day are emotionally exhausting reminders of being trans, she gets a step removed from them by monologuing like she’s explaining them to someone.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“It’s a problem, you grow up reading about punk and grunge and earnest dude rock in all the magazines andinternalizing the idea that artifice is totally bullshit, man, and we wear these clothes because they’re comfortable, not for any kind of fashion statement, and we’re just trying to communicate, not be cool, and then you transition and realize, oh shit, there is going to have to be some intentionality in the way I present my body and my actions. I am going to have to break the patterns of clothing and voice and hair I’ve had in place all my life if I’m ever going to be read the way I want to be read. Like, it would be nice to believe that you could just exist, just be some true, honest, essential self. But you only really get to have a true honest essential self if you’re white, male, het, and able-bodied. Otherwise your body has all these connotations and you don’t get the benefit of the doubt.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“So basically, I'm like, who the fuck are you Maria Griffiths? A fucking idiot, is who.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Good work last night, whiskey, too bad you can’t make sleep as restful as you make it deep.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“...there are lesbian sex parties that happen in the city and how they will often have No Bio-Cock Policies, meaning, No Trans Women. Or, optimistically, Trans Women: Keep Your Pants On. Meanwhile trans guys are welcome to brandish whatever cocks they want. Kind of frustrating, kind of problematic... The term bio-cock has become shorthand for the fact that trans women aren't sexually welcome in any communities anywhere.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“So it's actually way easier just to humor these men who grew up watching movies where the girl doesn't like the hero until he's been persistent enough to make her like him. This is the grease that keeps the gears of the heteronormativity machine spinning, obviously, but it's just easier to slip out of an awkward situation with an awkward guy than it is to call out the misogyny inherent in what he's doing. It's a tough spot to be in, but also this is coming from an angry dyke who's also trans and who, at one point, had society try to use her as a vessel for that kinda of misogyny.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“...your kinks aren't arbitrary things your brain comes up with. They're not coincidences from childhood that you fetishize. Or: they could be. But kinks are arrows giving you directions. If you're hot for being whipped, that probably says something about your relationship to guilt and punishment, or pain, or something... It's always complicated and emotionally volatile but there's also no reason to be ashamed of it.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Irresponsibility. Maria’s never been irresponsible. When she was little, she was responsible for protecting everybody else from her own shit around her gender—responsible for making sure her parents didn’t have to have a weird kid. Of course, then they had a weird, sad kid anyway, right? Whatever. That’s when responsibility at the expense of self became a habit: she did not care about school, but she knew her parents would be sad if she didn’t go to college, since certain things are expected from you when you do well on standardized tests, so she scraped by and paid attention. Then, with drugs, it’s like, she took them all, but always in such moderation that it wasn’t really dangerous. Even when she was throwing up or incoherent, it was in a controlled situation. She never went to jail, never had the police bring her home, never got caught breaking curfew or went to the hospital or anything. And then she came to New York, paid her rent, had a job, kept her head down, had relationships with people where making the relationship run smoothly was more important than being present in it. Which did not work. It’s clear that being responsible has not been a positive force in her life. It has been fucking everything up.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“The Internet at that time was this big, exciting place where you could anonymously spill your guts about gender and discomfort and heteronormativity and how weird male privilege felt and lots of other things, except back then she didn’t really have language for it so she just went like: everything sucks and I am totally sad. Just over and over and over and over, with minor variations and the occasional cuss word.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“The problem wasn’t the coping mechanism, the problem is that the coping mechanism become a pattern of behavior, and it is really hard to just up and end a behavior pattern.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“Rocknroll and high school are kind of the same thing,”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada

Imogen Binnie
“You're not allowed in the Special Moments aisle, Maria.”
Imogen Binnie, Nevada


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