I am proud to share with you a fictional story I wrote for the Sketchbook Project. Entitled, “A Day in the Life of a Transsexual,” it is a decent humorous story about a female-to-male transsexual as he attempts to get his name changed. I’ve long be struck by how important humor has been for me in my journey. Being able to laugh about this fantastic, and sometimes strange, experiment I’m living helps. My transsexual stories incline themselves to humor. The gender binary and English’s inability to conceive of gender beyond two makes laughter paramount. In laughter there is not right or wrong. There just is.
I’ve tried to write so-called serious fiction. But, invariably I sneak in a funny line or two. In many ways getting people to laugh is harder than getting them to cry. What we each find funny is an alchemical combination of personal taste, culture and how far each of us is willing to go to push our own limits. I personally like to be pushed to a place where I think I shouldn’t be laughing at a joke or story.
Laughter is the great slayer of beloved prejudices. As someone who can have an extraordinarily constipated view of the world, laughter keeps me grounded and real.
For the Sketchbook Project, I chose the topic “things that change other things.” I’m familiar with this phenomenon, which is why I chose this topic. The good folks running the project sent me a blank sketchbook. In that sketchbook, I wrote out my story and drew cartoons to accompany the words. Sometimes creativity is more about trying and less about perfection.
If you click over to the website, the entire story has been photographed and available for reading in the spiffy screen viewer. I encourage all of you to grab a sketchbook from this great project and try your hand at sketching and storytelling.∗