I have no cue where the keys are


Shmenn came home like she had just found a lost puppy… which basically she had.

“Chris, there’s this helpless, cute little queer who just moved in and we have to take them out for their birthday. They don’t know anyone.” She pouted her lip, she batted her eyelashes, the whole nine yards. Leave it to Shmenn to befriend a new resident on the property she worked at and think it was our job to show them the town.

“Shmenn, I don’t think that this person is going to want us to take them out. They don’t even know us.”
“Oh no, he does. I already told him we are going.” She skipped off and I had no idea what to expect for the evening.

*Theme music and opening credits play*

The night I’m about to describe to you is one of my favorite nights so far in my existence, I remember it like it was yesterday. And by remember it like it was yesterday I mean, I don’t remember much of it at all. But I have the blurry pictures and a stolen cue ball to remember it by. More on that later.

We made it downtown to the Circle, headed into one of the local bars that was located in a basement and allowed you to still smoke inside like it was 1993, and proceeded to play skee ball until this guy showed up.

Sidenote: When I met this person they went by a different name and ID’ed as a lesbian, but for simplicity’s sake we are going to use he/him pronouns and their later (though changed for privacy) name.

In walks a person very similar looking to me. Similar build, androgynous, possibly trans (but definitely pre-testosterone) individual, with a lot of swagger behind a fairly shy looking face.

I distinctly remember the fact that Shmennifer looked enthralled with this person, but also that she turned and hissed at me, “He’s not your new Shmavis, not everyone is uncomfortable with how they are, so don’t go expecting anything out of him.” Looking back that is a SHITTY fucking thing to say to someone, especially a transgender someone. And also, I know a lot of trans people will disagree (you can’t judge a book by their cover, blah blah blah) but you kind of get a feeling when you meet another gender non-conforming individual, certain vibes just roll off of them, your ears perk up, cartoon birds start to sing in the distance.

I wasn’t sure what to say so I just turned to introduce myself, he extended a fairly tattooed arm and said, “Hi, I’m Shmelly.” The rest was history.

We drank so many shots at the bar we began at that we must have consumed all the vodka in that joint, though that didn’t stop us. There were at least a dozen bars in this strip downtown and we were going to show Shmelly every single one of them.

The night comes and goes for me when I think back on it. Like I’m watching a flip book missing a fuckton of pages. I had a particularly vivid memory (and a nasty bruise) of dancing at the only club in town, getting picked up by Shmelly and toppling to the ground in a heap. We laughed our asses off until a bouncer came over and literally told us to “get our shit together” or we would get kicked out. Shmelly left the dancefloor and leaned against a booth before falling right over the back of the seat into the lap of some other patrons and was picked up by the scruff of his neck like a puppy by the man who had just reprimanded us. We both smiled and toddled away, where we were soon joined by Courtney (who had come to be our sober ride home), and I have no clue where Shmenn was but then again this entire night is imaginary to me.

At some point I think me and Shmelly made out, which became a common occurrence in our soon-to-be friendship (spoiler alert), though usually we did so for free drinks at gay bars or to confuse nosy onlookers. We visited a hookah lounge, lost Shmenn’s wallet at said hookah lounge, went to Jimmy Johns (because it’s open freaky late), and then ended our night at this bar called Zenith.

Zenith is … well I don’t know how it is because I’ve never been inside. As we were showing our IDs and Shmelly and Courtney walked on in the bouncer held me up.

“No fucking way is he going in there.” He said to my friends. And then I lost my mind.
“IT’S BECAUSE I’M GAY ISN’T IT?!” (Reminder: I’m still a very much butch lesbian looking individual at this point and also still teetering between my lesbian and trans identities). The bouncer seemed baffled and glanced from me to Shmelly and back to me. Shmelly looked like someone I’d be put in a police lineup with, but with an even gayer buzzed haircut.

“I don’t think that’s it.” Shmelly laughed, and Courtney came back outside of the bar to help Shmenn move me along as I continued to yell about discrimination at the Zenith Bar. At some point I decided that walking was too hard and I laid down on the pavement, right next to a cop car.

Courtney was having none of my shit and pulled a mom, and by that I mean she started counting down from 3 and my ass was upright before she got to 1 because nobody ever wants to find out what happens at the end of one of those countdowns. When we reached the car Courtney asked me for the keys (WHY WAS I IN CHARGE OF THE KEYS YOU ASK?? WHAT AN EXCELLENT QUESTION). I reached into my front pocked and pulled out a cue ball.

*Is that a pool ball in your pocket or do you just have a really round engorged penis?*

“What the fuck is that and where are the keys?” Courtney was pissed.
“That’s not mine.” I said confidently, as if someone had framed me, or as if I was any teenager ever found with weed that was definitely theirs.

Courtney and Shmenn left me on the sidewalk with Shmelly as they retraced our steps in search of the keys. They eventually found them (inside Jimmy Johns) and we were headed home. After we dropped Shmelly off (which was at the apartment building next to ours) I do have a vague recollection of one-eyed texting him, “I understand if you never wanna hang out with us again. What a shit show.”

*Next time on Nobody Scissors, turns our Shmelly did want to hang out again.*


What happens in Vegas gets you put in gender therapy for a year


Being trans is fun, because more than likely you’ve already come out as gay, or bi, or curious, or just not heteronormative…. but now you get to come out again. I know! Us LGBTQ people get to have all the fun. If I have straight kids I’m going to require them to come out as well, because you know what they say about assuming.

We were headed to Vegas to celebrate me and Courtney’s 21st birthday. It was just her and me and my mom and my mom’s best friend, Smucy. It was a “girl’s weekend” except I was about to fuck that one up real bad.

*Theme music and opening credits play*

Vegas was fun, great even. My mom is not like a lot of other people’s moms, she’s a “cool” mom. Okay but I mean that, she can drink you under a table, she’ll go to any burlesque show and it won’t be (too) awkward, and she’s just a riot. Mostly because she’s a great sport and lets me and Courtney make fun of her so it’s endless entertainment. Shmucy is also a good time, even if on a surface level she might not seem like she would be. To me she looks like a redheaded, older, Shmellen Shmompeo, with the exact same voice. She used to be a smoker so her voice is husky and fantastic, but besides that she is a Vegas Veteran. She makes at least one (usually two) trips to Sin City a year, and has the gambling game down. She promised my sister and I that she would take us the year we could legally gamble back when we were like 4 years old, and she made good on that promise.

So how could this go poorly, you ask?

I was not by any means ready to come out to my mother as trans. Though I had been aware of the fact that I wanted to transition for several months now I wasn’t out to anyone but my girlfriend who was on and off again about the whole thing like Rachel and Ross on FRIENDS except way worse. I was also still trying to figure out the process of how to start testosterone, if I needed to see a therapist, what was actually required of me, did Texas even believe in trans people?? etc. But even though I wasn’t ready to come out I had also told myself that if my mom ever outright asked me about how I identified I wouldn’t lie. I didn’t want to have this fake conversation denying how i really felt and then years later come out and begin my transition and my mom be like, “REMEMBER WHEN  YOU LIED TO MY FACE ABOUT THIS 546 DAYS AGO?? BECAUSE I REMEMBER!!” Moms remember that shit and I wasn’t about to let her hold that against me on top of everything else.

So we are in our hotel room getting ready to go to dinner, we had already had a few drinks (to my knowledge about a dozen mimosas, because if you start with a mimosa and drink only mimosas and end the day with a mimosa you will meet your daily required intake of fruits/veggies — you will also ingest about 3 bottles of champagne, but who’s counting). My mom was fairly drunk, I was feeling pretty vitamin-C sufficient and something possessed my mom to say something along the lines of, “I know y’all are gay, just as long as nobody wants to be a boy.”

My silence was deafening.

Courtney was cluelessly getting ready across the room as I was trying to make eye contact with every Dragon Statue in the room and not my mother. This might seem like an odd detail, but it’s not if I had told you which hotel we were staying in…but I guess it’s too late now. Anyways, Mushu wasn’t coming to life like in Mulan and saving my ass from my mother and her Hun-like rage, so she yanked me into the bathroom with a crazed look in her eyes. Honestly, she looked just like that terrifying yellow-eyed Li Shang dude except she didn’t have a falcon henchman but she did have her mom-talons clenched into my arm with all the strength of a raging fire and all the force of a great typhoon. (“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” lyrics anyone? Appropriate if you ask me).

“What do you mean?” She hissed.
“Uh… I didn’t say anything.” I shrugged.
“Exactly.” She had arms hands crossed so tightly that I got the impression that she was trying to keep a grip on something that sure as shit wasn’t this situation.
“Look, this isn’t the time or the place or the sobriety level for this conversation to be had.”

My  mom was instantly bawling. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t even said anything but I had said enough and she looked crushed. If I hadn’t been scared to actually come out and transition before, my girlfriend’s general apprehension about the situation and my mother’s sudden crisis/transformation into a simultaneous Disney villain and weeping mess was more than enough to send me into a tailspin. Mulan had failed me. Mimosas had failed me. My cool mom had failed me. Life sure wasn’t as simple as Walter Disney made it seem when we were younger — why couldn’t I just dress up like the boy I was and take my father’s place in the Chinese army and then, y’know, not go back to living life as an AFAB person. What was so hard about that? Why couldn’t I bring honor to my family and make a man out of myself. (Okay, I promise I’m done with Mulan references).

It would still take me another year and half or so to come out completely to everyone, including my mom, again. But now the seeds of this idea were planted in her brain and she was going to obsess over it for the next 18 months until one day she would call me when I lived in Brooklyn and tell me that she was scheduling a therapy consultation, just in casies. That’s the best kind of therapy, in case you were wondering, the naive hopefully preventative kind of therapy. Luckily, my therapist turned out to be super helpful and understanding and honestly a great resource at the beginning of my transition — but we won’t be meeting her until a good amount of blog entries from now. Until then, the moral of this story is that I need to work on my Poker face and I really should have picked up on why I liked Mulan so much as a kid.

*Next week on Nobody Scissors I take a complete stranger out on the town for their birthday*

Between a Rock and a Bar Bouncer

The Rock

While Shmenn was busy coming out and we were dealing with all that drama, Shmavis had gone off to Basic Training for the Army. This made me feel more isolated than ever, he was my one real ally in my transition, my rock, my Dwayne Johnson if you will.

Nothing much happened in those first few Spring months, except that I turned 21, but I don’t remember that night so the blog post would just be a bunch of:


You get the picture.

Shmavis came back in April (or it could have been May, I don’t know, time isn’t real) for a brief break after his training and before getting shipped off for more training. So obvi we had to celebrate me finally being legal and him being back by going out to the strip of bars in our college town (locally known as The Circle, because they formed a circle around the town hall) and getting Shwasted. We got dolled up (who says that?), went out and were having a great time, until we weren’t.

*Theme music and opening credits play*

I’ve been in two bar fights in my lifetime, and both have been in the presence of Shmavis and Shmavery, which is ironic because these two honestly look like the cutest couple next door you’ve ever seen. This is like saying that every barfight you’ve ever been in involved that Barefoot Contessa lady and her husband (does she have a husband?).

I was off chatting with Shmavis, smoking a cigarette, Shmenn was DD for the night and had just gone off to the bathroom, and Shmavery was at the bar socializing with everyone that came within a ten foot radius of her. She was pretty drunk because the girl is about the weight of a dandelion and drinks like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (hey! Second “The Rock” reference…he was just named Sexiest Man of the Year, after all). Out of the corner of my eye I saw her reach up and take the sunglasses off the bartender’s face and put them on, and next thing I know this 12-foot-tall sasquatch of a frat daddy was vaulting over the bar and screaming in Shmavery’s surprised, blonde, little face. As me and Shmavis made our way toward the altercation Shmenn stepped between the bartender and our friend, as she had walked up just as this had started to go down. She raised her hands in a calming motion, the way you might do to a feisty moutain lion (or are you supposed to play dead with a mountain lion? Mental note to google that later in case I ever meet a mountain lion).

Out of nowhere I see this off duty bouncer with traps wider than I am tall jumping into the scene, chokeholding my girlfriend and dragging her from the bar. Shmenn is not a small girl, smaller than this guy yes, but not petite by any means, and he was dragging her like she was one of those dogs in those hilarious videos where they refuse to walk on their leash and they just get dragged along by their owner, except it wasn’t hilarious.

My fighting instincts kicked in and I resorted to the first defense mechanism I could think of — which was apparently to mimic a baby monkey and jump on this mean momma gorilla’s  back. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do because this man’s biceps literally outweighed my entire body, and all I could think was maybe I could beat him in the head enough times that he stopped choking my girlfriend out. So I did exactly that, I pummeled him in the back of the head with my fists until he threw me down the stairs. (Before you get too worried, I was both drunk and a rugby player so I was loose and knew how to fall properly, I didn’t end up more than bruised. If you’re thinking, Chris, we weren’t worried, you picked a fight with a slab of meat, you had this coming… well, you can fuck right on off).

The good thing was, he was like an enraged bull and after hurling me down the stairs all he could see was a big ol’ red version of me, so he dropped my girlfriend on her head back at the last barstool and was bounding down the stairs at me screaming, “I don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl or whatever the fuck, I will beat your ass!” I made some jerking off motion (you know the one) and he kept hurling the “he-she” insults because we were apparently on an elementary school playground. I replied with some comment about how ill-endowed he must be to want to fight someone my size AFTER fighting with a woman. Maybe it wasn’t my best insult ever, or the most politically correct, but the steroids this guy must have been on had theoretically speaking shrunk his manhood (I mean, that’s just science) and he replenished his XP by beating up on drunk (and not at all drunk, in the case of Shmenn) people at a college bar, regardless of their size, gender, or innocence. Speaking of XP, imagine the Pokemon Machamp and that’s a spitting image of this man, four arms and all.

While I’m laughing and taunting this dude who’s name was probably Rod or Tank or Protein Shake, my friends who somehow caused the incident were walking out the front door unscathed. Shmenn was dizzy, had a large bump on her head, and I was honest to god running for my life. So maybe this wasn’t really a fight, per say, more like a hit and run. Either way, the laundry bag full of roiling testosterone fueled meat couldn’t catch me and we were across the street filing an incident report with the nearest cop on patrol.

Luckily we really weren’t that drunk so we are coherent, and double luckily the bouncer was off duty and had vocalized opinions that were easily considered hate speech so the officer was actually giving us the time of day. Our luck ran out, however, because the bar ended up tipping the guy out that night to cover their asses, and the most we could do was leave shitty reviews on YELP because bouncers can basically do whatever the fuck they want (which is appalling).

I wish I could say this was my last shitshow of a night out at those particular bars, but that would be the biggest lie I’ve told so far in this blog and I’ve told some pretty good ones so far. Just kidding this is all totally the truth. Except it’s not. Or maybe it is. You’ll never know.

*Next Week on Nobody Scissors… We celebrate my 21st in Vegas and I come out to my mom (again) on accident*