I. Machismo, the Trans Prince When I enter the room, everything feminine faints in my presence. I am a contagious plague of sexy. Every face snaps towards me like a school of starving fish praying to be reeled in. I roll with a gang ready to shin-kick the first person who dares not call me Mister. I am a gender-bending James Dean— my hair an impenetrable coat of cool. Every other butch thing wishes they were me. I'm so butch they call it courage. I strut manly and sensitive— a football team that hugs it out and sings acoustic versions of 90s alt-rock love songs. I am the coolest oppressed kid in the room— my oppression out-oppresses all the normal gay boys. My gay boy friends are bathroom bouncers, guarding the men's room door while I pee. Every cup of punch I drink is spiked with "Tonight is MY night, motherfucker!" The DJ plays all my requests. I ask any girl to dance. The room is bowing to me— they're calling me their King. II. Amanda, the Easy Target She has not been asked to dance all night. Nobody is complimenting her dress— we all just stare, waiting for an outline of stuffing. It's impossible to divorce the shape of her body from her new name, so we don't even try. She's at her third school this year— the teasing, the graffiti on her locker is painted all over her. Tonight she talks to the chaperones, holds hands with her glass of punch. In the next year she'll probably win a death threat, a nudge towards the edge of a building, the knot in her noose. In November, we will both celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance. We'll pretend we've lost the same things.