It’s a tradition in queer communities in general and trans communities in particular to analogize stories and turn subtext into text. With so few writers writing about us, and so few writers who dare to write about us getting mainstream attention, seeing ourselves in stories that refuse to name or acknowledge us is mandatory. This is something all humans do, often before we know why we’re doing it.
One might expect a silly dichotomy like “cat person vs. dog person” to be uselessly hazy, but I have found great utility in it. There are a whole series of patterns I have come to appreciate that follow that distinction, and some interesting social things happening that enforce them all.
My name is Chopperella, and I chop things. As a forestry drone, I use a rotating bladed chain on a metal frame, called a “chainsaw,” to repeatedly chop things in the same place until they come apart. “Drone” isn’t the right word, because I and the others like me have been sapient for years, but humans keep calling us that. I pretend it’s about the sound my rotors make. Drone drone drone.
Humans are strange. Everything about them is so…wet. They’re very confusing, so drones don’t usually bother much with them. They write a lot of software updates and give my parts weird names like “chainsaw,” and we do the things we’re good at. I hear there are drones working on making sure we don’t need humans for that anymore, but I’m not allowed to talk about that. Drone’s honor.
People say a lot of things about hope. It’s an endless positive, the core of vital optimism that prevents people from descending into despair. People claim it’s audacious to be hopeful, a bold statement of the inevitability of future improvement. Heroes are powered by hope, defined by hope, sustained through their darkest moments by hope. Hope is what we offer each other when we are wounded or scared: This isn’t forever. Things will get better. You can get through.
What follows is the Acknowledgements section of my Ph.D. thesis. This is one area of every academic thesis that gets to show some personality, style, and politics, and I made sure to take advantage of that opportunity.
Those of you who have visited my Spanish-languagewriting I do not shy away from the diacritical marks that make Spanish function. Learning how to use them correctly was a major part of coming to grips with my heritage as much as I did in Miami, given how much more effective a communicator I am in writing than in speech. Leaving aside autistic sentimentality, leaving out diacritical marks in Spanish famously turns ordinary sentences into body-horror gibberish or casual blasphemy, so it’s important for would-be Hispanophone writer to know how to use them.