Trans Man in a Van

driving toward queer resistance in deep red america.

Ty Bo Yule

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Me and Cookie

I am a fifty-three-year-old, white, married, educated and happy Trans man living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last year I bought this sweet 1988 Chevy G20 conversion van. I named her Cookie Monster because of her royal blue velour upholstery and wall-to-wall shag carpet. My wife and I took her on a month-long road trip to California and back.

Even though we drove through Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona, I was never harassed for my gender identity or sexual orientation. We generally pass as a heteronormative couple even though I’m shorter than she is. It’s astounding what people don’t notice when they’re not accustomed to diversity. My gender journey has led me to a life of relative liberty and stability, almost entirely free from the mundane and relentless discomfort I often experienced as a Butch Dyke for most of my life.

I have the privilege of passing. This is not the experience for a great number of my Trans siblings. I often miss being visibly, identifiably Queer. I liked being a Butch. But, I don’t miss my depression. I don’t miss how exhausting and occasionally dangerous the world’s gaze can be. If America could have treated a Butch the way they treat a mediocre, middle-aged white guy, I might have been boring and content much sooner.

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Ty Bo Yule

Retired queer cult leader. Opened the last dyke bar in Minneapolis. Grew a beard at Harvard. Find the story at chemicallyenhanedbutch.com. It’s funny. So am I.