Spoiler Alert: You picked a bad week to start reading my work, Mom.

A few nights ago I dreamed I was painting a picture with my own blood. Because I'm currently employed I had all fucking afternoon the next day to think about it and decide that I really liked the idea of it and pitched it to some friends of mine, one of whom is hosting an art show in November that I'm scheduled to perform at. If this were a vlog or photojournalist essay, I would try to replicate the faces that my friends made in response to my plan, and then you would comment “OH GOD I CAN SEE FOREVER” and then I'd find you on Facebook or Twitter and by the time we realize that neither of us read the fucking book and thus our entire friendship is based on a lie it'd be too late to get a refund on the tandem bike rental. Oh, did I mention that Lisa Harney, queen of all cosmos over at Questioning Transphobia, was in that room? Of course I didn't.

A friend who had the very best intentions and certainly could not have known at the time that their insight would be used to further postpone my job search day made the comparison between my concept and that of a glorious tradition in feminist art communities. Stretch out the reveal that my friend was referring to menstrual blood art for awkward comedic effect? Don't mind if I do!

Much to my alarm, I had never heard of this phenomena until that day. How do you miss something like that? I went to art school. Is this something cis lesbians make a point not to tell trans women? Am I going to walk into a room one day to see Julie Bindel waterboarding my friends out of the corner of my eye right before Nancy Grace tears my tongue out of my head with her bare hands? And what is Nancy Grace even doing in this nightmare scenario? She's neither a lesbian nor on my list of people I suspect to be body snatchers. Must not display male privilege. Must warn others.

Like when I came out to my father, I knew nothing good would come out of researching this, but I felt I had no choice; it was either that or endure another .02 seconds of peace and quiet.

To be honest I'm surprised I made it out alive. You see, while looking at pictures of menstrual blood paintings, I triggered a defect in my genetic code. I believe that squick and envy are never to be experienced at the same time, for evolutionary reasons. It's what keeps us from going “What? Todd got fucked by a horse and now he's in the hospital? Ugh, that's terrible, oh my god, I can't even begin to imagine that...know where they keep the horse at night?” Nonetheless, while gazing upon these disasterpieces, the streams crossed in my head, and I was both disturbed by what I saw and jealous of the cis women who had the anatomical means to produce such twisted wonder.

There is a misconception (more common than it should be which is really just my way of saying “I could have gone my whole life without hearing this said to me ONCE”) that I am lucky, or at least feel lucky, that I don't get a period. I have tried, on six seperate occasions, to write an intelligent negation of this very broken and very cissexist point of view without using language that could be interpreted to mean 1) I'm fetishizing something that, in my limited capacity as a MAAB person, I understand to be very unpleasant to those who have such biological processes and 2) like I'm insinuating that my lack of this process makes me less genuine or authentic of a woman, which is USDA approved bullshit. But image and ego must a backseat take. The longer I try to voice this eloquently and without creating problems the longer it festers in me. So if you'll be quiet for a minute, and promise not to make any sudden movements towards it, I'll take my radical honesty out its terrarium and you can look at it. No petting. Okay. Here goes.

To suggest that I'm grateful or feel I've beaten the system by not having these bodily functions that our culture deems vital in experiencing and understanding womanhood is so profoundly and thoroughly ignorant that it almost qualifies as depth. SRS and HRT are not a fucking mindwipe. Even if I can afford the surgery one day, and I retain my sensation, it will be a long time before I can peace with the fact that my vagina was man-made. So slavish is my desire for “female functionality” that I've been researching the inducing and lactation, and asking various people who should be in the know whether or not it's possible for a trans woman under the right circumstances to breast feed a child, because even though I'm years and years away from that reality, I know when it comes, if it comes, I will feel left out if I can't participate in that activity. I even asked my doctor, which in hindsight was far from an appropriate response to “keep up with the weight loss, you're looking great!” I sometimes whimper and cry during physical intimacy because of my discomfort and awkwardness with my factory-installed equipment. So, I forgot what the fuck we were talking about, but fuck you, you're wrong, I don't need your help rubbing my face in it.

Okay. That was enough honesty for one day (or...month).

I must clarify that I'm speaking solely of my experience and not those of other trans folk. In a way, I hope others don't relate, because I wouldn't wish these feelings on like, 88 percent of the people I hate. Seriously, who gets their dysphoria triggered by looking at pictures of menstrual blood? I can feel your disappointment in me, mother, and I accept it.

Also, I don't find the concept of painting with menstrual blood gross. No more gross than say, drawing small quantities of my blood over a span of time until I have enough to smear a treble clef or melody to a song I wrote on a canvas and then trying to get someone to pay me money for it. It just seems less hygenic in practice, which makes less sense the more you think about it. A great alternative to losing your fucking shit, if you can't afford a cult.

I know what you're thinking: Despite my reservations, would I make menstrual blood art, if I could? I think we both know the answer to that. We wish we could un-know, but we can't.

I'm rather uncomfortable with how personal this post was. I feel I should play us out with some words of wisdom. If you take nothing else from this article, keep this in mind: if you include stuff you've made out of duct tape in the portfolio you submit when applying to teach at an art school, go ahead and click the “receive notice when this e-mail is read” option because that's the closest thing to a reply you're gonna get.

Also, it's pronounced “Mish fest”, not “Mitch fest”. Stop that. The neighbors can see you.

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