“we are not ashamed, we said” by TT Jax
There was a man on the boardwalk with his dick in his hand, but we didn’t know that.
Sunk in revelry, the tide sucked sand from beneath our feet. Dark brine currents rolled, swirling secret sea sediment in between our thighs, lifting our tits– breasts suspended, supported momentarily, weightless, lungs sharp and filling with the shock of 3 AM air– before sucking them down again, heavy, nipples stinging, sand pulled in rolling ribbons from between our toes.
Puddles of moonlight drifted slow and pendulous across the black surface like flat pale fish, blind in deep sea sunk night.
She reached for me through current and darkness, her arm warm and invisible around my hips.
What the fuck was that?
I felt it, then– the brevity of cold, slime-smooth and slippery an unseen being of the sea touched my calf, then again–
A wave broke the surface, chill spray slapping my elbow, fell to susurrations, moonlight rolling in–
Let’s get the fuck out of here–
Giggling and screaming, we ran for the shore, our clothes; sand sharp in raw crevices and shivering, we galloped onto the dock, whooping, where the man still had his dick in his hand–
He jerked energetically on his little white cock. Thanks for the show, ladies. Thanks for the show.
When her ex-boyfriend raped her, Faith didn’t tell me because she was afraid I’d kill him. I was never sure if I would have killed him. When she did finally tell me, I pretended like I would have, sure; I was always pretending to be ready to kill some man. I’d threatened my step dad’s life multiple times– the first time I was twelve, when he’d jerked the car to the side of the road, tore open the rear door, and tried to beat my sister. Another time he was trying to beat me, and I pulled a knife.
And then after we’d moved to another house– I’d stopped sleeping by then– I’d wait as he screamed and threw things at my mother, glasses of cold iced tea she’d made and the portable phone sinking surely through dry wall, guessing when to intervene.
I threatened to kill him all the time then, announcing loudly to my mother as I poured flat coke into a green plastic cup in the kitchen that I was gonna kill him if he ever hit her or my sister, speaking clearly so he’d hear me as he sat in the living room looking at internet porn on the family computer.
But he never hit any of us– this, my mother claimed, was his virtue; additionally he never drank, so already he was a step up from my father on two counts. So I never killed him.
And when he stroked his cock next to me in the car, hand bouncing ludicrously in rhythm to Cher’s “Do You Believe in Life After Love?”, I didn’t even threaten. I pressed my thighs together and stared so rigidly out the window that my neck ached the next day. When I told my mother, she said to keep my shirt buttoned up. For years afterwards I carried douches, vaginal deodorant sprays, vaginal foaming cleansers and wipes with me in my purse, believing that it was the shameful smell of my cunt in the car that had awoken his desire.
So, maybe Faith was right– if she had told me the same night that Paul had raped her, maybe I would have killed him. But when she did tell me, what we did do was go skinny dipping.
There isn’t much to do in small southern towns. The people are largely godly and conservative, the fuckable pool is small and shallow (“What, you like Converse, too?! Let‘s hook up!”), and the most hopping night spots, besides the cemetery, are Waffle House and Walmart. I used to tell people that there were three things to do in Metter: fuck, do drugs, and look for drugs or people to fuck.
When my sister and I’d moved there from Atlanta to live with our mother, wild rumors circulated that we were witches. Someone claimed to have found the bones of sacrificed animals in our firepit. Someone else noticed that my sister, Ellen, wore Converse, and they made friends. That was how I met Faith, a convoluted route beginning with my sister’s shoes.
Faith was 13, like my sister. She lived with her grandparents. Her grandfather was a Baptist preacher. She claimed to have had ass-sex with this guy who’d rode up on his four wheeler to meet her in the woods. (She lied.)
I’d never had ass sex. I was 12. I wanted to have ass sex, but I wanted to strap-on and fuck my boyfriend’s ass. I had little difficulty articulating this desire; far more trouble finding any boy willing to take it. I also had no strap-on, and the little head shop on campus didn’t sell them.
I dressed like a boy every day until Michael asked me why I always wore boy clothes. Figuring it was easier to get laid dressed like a girl, I integrated some skirts and a few fitted tops into my wardrobe. I didn’t know anything about trans people then, other than that it’s bad to be one. Like most people, I was raised with the assumption that I was straight, cisgendered.
So I was initially horrified when Joe announced that Trent Reznor, my then life-hero, was bi. Then I admitted that I’d been in love with Courtney from homeroom since the first day I saw her, even as I dated short pert Thomas (who later came out himself)– and so I came out as bi, incidentally while attending a support group the parents of William James Middle School pulled together for us after Bud shot himself in the face with his daddy’s shot gun.
Bud lived. They sewed part of his leg and his arm to his face and inserted tubes for nostrils to recreate the nose he’d blown off. For a while he breathed through a tube in his neck, and sometimes when people stared at him he’d squeeze his neck muscles and shoot the tube out onto the floor. He’d given head to a boy once, and his dad found him wearing high heels, which he never did again.
I lost my virginity when I was 13 in my boyfriend’s friend’s grandmother’s bedroom, on a cot, with all of our friends in the next room, playing NIN‘s Closer through the wall for us. The sex sucked, but when someone asked me, so, how was it for you?, I said, great! It hurt, and I smelled like pee afterwards, and I felt used.
He dumped me a week or so later.
It was Faith who introduced me to skinny dipping.
Most of us in Metter– those of us with cunts, anyway– had been raped or molested or otherwise emotionally or physically assaulted by men, and our mothers had been, too, and our grandmothers.
The boys– our friends– didn’t treat us much better than the men treated the women in our family.
So, what did we do?
We got naked.
Trespassing in apartment complex pools at night, on the roofs of buildings, the wood-fringes of the cemetery, the sea– we got naked.
We will not be ashamed, we said, breasts bare in hot summer wind astride a five story building, the tallest around. We will not be ashamed, we said, moonlight passing like nets of quicksilver over our skin, the delicate curl of purloined cigarettes burning a mist over water, faces lit by cherries hot and bright as we sucked smoke, nostrils stinging with chlorine, breasts swaying in self-created eddies.
We will not be ashamed, we said, and then we got drunk or high and fucked, to the chagrin of our boyfriends.
“That dyke bitch,” they’d say.
My unofficial title, to many of my girlfriend’s boyfriends, was “that dyke who fucked you.”
In our group of friends, there were rules to being bi. Bi meant that you admitted to desiring and even loving same-gender and/or sexed people– frequently your best friends– and sometimes you fucked them, but you did not date them. Queer relationships didn’t count– straight ones did.
The first time that I fucked girls, I was wildly and intentionally inebriated, and I fucked them with beer bottles from the back and we took polaroids and I groaned into their cunts how much I loved the taste of pussy and then I cried for hours– sobbed– and we burned the polaroids, and Bud didn’t want me to see Faith again.
We are not ashamed, we said, the sea sucking sand between our toes, tits luminescent in moonlight as a man sat on the dock, his dick in his hand.
“I am a partnered transgender man with a seven year old child living in a (very) small town in south GA. I was born in Atlanta, GA in 1983, and grew up vacillating between the respective homes of my bitterly divorced parents. Most of my writing is colored by my experiences of growing up queer in the beauty and violence of the bible belt.”