Category: scripts

Big Vagina and the conspiracies THEY don’t want you to know about

By , March 3, 2014 1:43 pm

Note: This is the current draft of a piece I performed at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis this past weekend.

The toilet paper lobby is in cahoots with Big Vagina.

I don’t mean “big vagina” as in “vaginas that are large.” I mean Big Vagina, as in capital B-Big, capital V-Vagina. As in Big Tobacco, Big Coal, Big Pharmaceutical. As in Conglomerates. Cartels. Cabals. Other… intimidating words that start with a hard-C sound. Shady backroom dealings, where mustachioed billionaires smoke cigars and discuss the course of international events. And lemme tell you, the toilet paper lobby has Big Vagina all sewn up!

That’s an unpleasant visual… I apologize.

But I know about their secret dealings because I am a recent initiate into the world of having a vagina. I possess something of an outsider’s perspective. See, I used to have a penis. For most of my life I had one, actually. But then, on December 10, 2013, a day foretold in prophecy, I stood naked atop the highest peaks and called upon otherworldly powers to make right a cosmic injustice.

Or maybe I simply went to a surgeon in Philadelphia and had some awesome fantasies while high on morphine.

But either way, my outie became an innie and I gained secret knowledge that Big Vagina doesn’t want you to have. Like Big Vagina’s relationship with the toilet paper lobby.

Let me tell you how peeing works when you have a penis: You stand in front of a toilet or urinal, you unzip, you aim, you shake, and you zip. You might wash your hands, but you probably won’t. Because – if done correctly – peeing from a penis does not get urine all over the fucking place. Continue reading 'Big Vagina and the conspiracies THEY don’t want you to know about'»

Performance piece – Penis-scanning lasers

By , December 30, 2012 10:26 pm

I performed this piece at Chances Dances on Monday, 12/17/12.

A week ago today, I was in New York City getting my penis scanned by lasers, so that a feminist, queer-positive sex toy company could give me a mold, cast from my own cock, that I could use to make candles, chocolates, and – of course – dildos.

Perhaps I should explain.

I recently scheduled my gender reassignment surgery. On December 9, 2013, I’ll be traveling to New Hope, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, where Dr. Christine McGinn will be using the powers of medical science to turn my penis into a vagina.

This is not a cheap surgery. It’ll cost $20,000 and – although I plan to fight them on this – my insurance wants to pay for absolutely none of it. They have an exclusion in their policy for any costs “for or from a gender transformation operation.” Since I don’t have twenty grand lying around, I’ve decided to hold a fundraiser for my surgery. I’m using the Kickstarter model: people can donate at different levels, and they’ll get rewards in return. $10 gets you a postcard, $15 gets you an origami vagina, and so on. The list of rewards includes artwork, salon services, sex toys, trans-positive porn, and more.

As a shameless plug, you can go to to donate.

One of the items I really wanted to offer was a dildo, using myself as a model. This was an idea that, like so many good ideas, came from a night of drinking and getting high. “Oh my god, wouldn’t it be hilarious if I made a dildo of my own cock?” As it turns out, the idea remains hilarious, even sober. Continue reading 'Performance piece – Penis-scanning lasers'»

Trans Day of Remembrance? I want a Trans Day of ACTION

By , November 16, 2012 3:10 pm

I plan to share this piece at the Center on Halsted’s TDOR event on Sunday. I hope you can make it.

I have a confession to make: This isn’t the piece I planned to perform when Precious asked me to participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Center on Halsted. I planned to perform something I had written months ago, titled “I’m Sorry.’ I shared it on this stage at Queer is Community a few months ago, and I’ve been sharing it as part of my one-woman show, Storms Beneath Her Skin, at theatre festivals and colleges around the country.

“I’m Sorry,” the piece I planned to perform, is a list of apologies. At first, it seems sincere: “I’m sorry for making you confused, and causing you to question what male and female means.” As it progresses, the piece becomes less and less apologetic and more and more angry: “I am sorry for refusing to stand silent, for being a voice of frustration and anger and depression.” The piece is cathartic to perform, and seemed appropriate for this event. As recently as Friday, that was my planned performance.

For better or for worse, I won’t be sharing it with you tonight. Continue reading 'Trans Day of Remembrance? I want a Trans Day of ACTION'»

The Blue Rose – a queer fairy tale

By , October 18, 2012 12:36 pm

Note: I work with high school students, directing a ~15-20 minute story adaptation every spring. For the last few years, I’ve been trying to find a good LGBT story to work with them, but nothing felt exactly right. I had the support of the both artistic director and my fellow teachers, but  the theatre isn’t LGBT-focused; I needed something that would work well on its own merits. A co-teacher pointed me to The Blue Rose, the original of which is available online. There are other versions out there, if you Google them. As you can see, it didn’t need many tweaks to function really beautifully.  

Sharing this with my students was an incredible experience, one I wasn’t anticipating. First, I’ve worked with many of them for years. They knew I’d been looking for an LGBT story. When I said I’d found one, the entire class buzzed with excitement – they were excited about an LGBT story, too. When they actually read through it – particularly the song near the end – it sent chills down my spine. I am so eager to work with them on this, and wanted to share the draft version with you. I know how hard it was for me to find a good LGBT fairy tale, so hopefully this will be of use to someone else. So here it is!

The Blue Rose
By Maurice Baring
Adapted by Rebecca Kling

Once upon a time there lived a wise and kindly Emperor, whose daughter was remarkable for her perfect beauty. Her smile was the most captivating in all the world; her eyes were as bright as brown onyxes; and when you heard her laugh it was like listening to a tinkling stream, or to the chimes of a silver bell. Moreover, the Emperor’s daughter was as wise as she was beautiful, and she recited the verse of the great poets better than anyone in the land. The Emperor was old in years; his son was married and had begotten a son; he was, therefore, quite happy about the succession to the throne, but he wished before he died to see his daughter wedded to someone who should be worthy of her.

Many suitors presented themselves at the palace, as soon as it became known that the Emperor desired a son-in-law, but when they reached the palace, they were met by the Lord Chamberlain, who told them the Emperor’s daughter had placed a condition upon her suitors: Only the one who found and brought back the Blue Rose should marry his daughter. The suitors were much puzzled by this order. What was the Blue Rose, and where was it to be found? In all, a hundred and fifty suitors had presented themselves, and out of these, fifty at once put away from them all thought of winning the hand of the Emperor’s daughter, since they considered the condition imposed to be absurd. Continue reading 'The Blue Rose – a queer fairy tale'»

How do we define gender?

By , July 9, 2012 5:34 pm

Excerpt from Storms Beneath Her Skin, my one-woman show currently touring the Midwest.

Being transgender is tricky to understand for many people, in part because we have such difficulty pinning down what gender means in the first place. And what does trans-ing gender mean if we don’t know what gender means?

Few people think gender is a difficult concept to understand, at least on the surface: Boys have penises and girls have vaginas. Slightly more scientific: Males contribute sperm and females contribute eggs. But ask questions, and those definitions fray at the edges. What about a soldier who lost his genitals in battle? Is he less of a man? What about a woman who is post-menopausal, or has always been infertile? Is she less of a woman?

Gender – and gendered expectations – also shifts across time and culture. The first woman to wear pants on the floor of the House of Representatives was Representative Charlotte T. Reid (a Republican from Illinois). Her appearance, in “a black wool, bell-bottomed pantsuit,” caused quite a stir, prompting newspaper stories and condemnations from other politicians. Anyone want to guess what year this was? Continue reading 'How do we define gender?'»

Re-Frame: A Gathering

By , December 14, 2011 12:54 pm

This weekend, I’m participating in a project called Re-Frame: A Gathering at Links Hall. Tickets are available here.  I’ll be one of the featured performers on Friday, 12/16, and a supporting artist on Saturday and Sunday. For those of you who can’t make it, here’s the current draft of what I’ll be performing.


All enter, chanting, Rebecca leading call-and-response. Chants include:

  • Tell me what democracy looks like / This is what democracy looks like
  • The people united will never be defeated
  • The whole world is watching

Everyone but Rebecca fades off to the sides

I’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street movement with some interest. I have friends who live in New York City who are pretty involved. I have friends in Chicago who are regularly across from the Federal Reserve Building at Jackson and LaSalle, as part of Occupy Chicago. And I love the concept of the Occupy movement: of grassroots democracy, of consensus building, of acknowledging the wealth and income disparities which have been growing in the United States for years. Continue reading 'Re-Frame: A Gathering'»

Evil Gender Education

By , June 23, 2011 5:59 pm

sue sylvester

Sue knows how it's done

A counterpoint to the good gender education posted earlier. Feedback is certainly welcome. This will be delivered as stereotypically ‘gym teacher’ as possible.

Listen up, everyone! The politicians in Washington think we aren’t doing a good enough job teaching you all what it means to be real women. Dunno if you’ve been following the news lately. The whole No Gender Left Behind Act nonsense has lotsa people up in arms, but it just seems good sense to me. Girls should be taught how to be ladies, and boys how to be gentlemen. That’s how it was when I was your age.

Like they always do, those same politicians decided your physical education curriculum would be the best place for this new knowledge. I’m no fancy man in a suite in Washington, but I think gym class should be about a good hustle. Be that as it may, this next week we’ll be having some ‘gender education’ lessons at the top of every class.

Who can tell me what it means to be a boy?

(Audience participation. The correct answer is ‘To have a penis.’ The audience is either right or wrong, but either way…)

Being a boy means you have a penis. That’s all there is to it.

Who can tell me what it means to be a girl?


That’s right. Girls have vaginas.

And how do the people around you know if you’re a boy or a girl?

No, Susan, don’t go around showing boys your vagina. That means you’re a slut. People know you’re a boy if you act like a boy, dammit. They’ll know you’re a girl if you act like one.

Continue reading 'Evil Gender Education'»

Two weeks till Fringe, and The Land of Gender

By , August 18, 2010 12:27 pm

Two weeks from today will be opening night for Uncovering the Mirrors at the Chicago Fringe Festival. Please buy your tickets today or find it in your heart to donate!

As a teaser, here’s some text from my upcoming show:

The Land of Gender, part one

Once upon a time there was a complex and mysterious land: the Land of Gender.
Gender was a dense place, thick with hidden secrets. The terrain was unknowable, the wilderness untamed: brambly groves, swirling rivers, deep canyons, towering forests. The Land resisted any attempt to understand or define it.

Explorers embarked on great journeys to survey Gender, to make sense of its breadth and variety. Because the terrain had an infinite number of vistas – expansive deserts, lofty mountains, cresting oceans – each explorer came away from the Land of Gender with a different understanding of the landscape. But none of these vantage points proved any more complete or detailed than any other; no explorer had any better view of Gender than any other.

For untold ages, attempting to put the Land of Gender to paper, to capture its shape, was impossible. Cartography was useless, inadequate. The land refused to be charted or unified by a singular map. It continued to exist in only the experiences of those who ventured into the unknowns, their disparate accounts and partial understandings.

While most explorers were content with the mysteries and fluidity of the Land of Gender, one explorer in particular wished desperately to strip the Land of its relentlessness. Where other explorers would enjoy the mysteries of the Land of Gender, this explorer found fear and panic.  And so He set about developing a map which could measure, manage, and master the Land of Gender once and for all.

Asserting identity in the hospital

By , May 18, 2010 10:03 am

I’ll be performing this Friday at Queertopia at 8PM at Winston’s Cafe, 5001 N Clark, in Chicago. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for everyone else, and the event is 21+. Below is the script I’m working on for the show.

Pantomime of a morning routine: Brushing teeth, washing face, plucking eyebrows, putting on foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, lipstick. Clothing. Earrings. Then pantomime undoing everything, disrobing, and makeup wipes to remove everything (‘rinse and repeat’) and begin again.

While going through the routine the second (and subsequent) times: I’ve been in the hospital twice in as many months, after having stayed gloriously out of the hospital for years. Both times, I was admitted to the ER with severe abdominal pain, something that has been plaguing me every 6-8 weeks for the last year or so.  The pain usually went away after a few hours, so though I’d almost gone to the ER a number of times, I’d always felt better before actually making the trip.

The first time I went to the ER , in early April, I was admitted at about 3AM. My roommate drove me to Swedish Covenant, on Foster, and they quickly admitted me – the waiting room was pretty empty. I stress about going to the hospital for all the usual reasons, but also because I’m trans: Any nurse or doctor or administrator could make my life very difficult because what’s between my legs doesn’t match most people’s concept of what “should” be there.

Within the first 30 minutes of my visit, I’d had to out myself multiple times, to multiple nurses and doctors: “I’m on Allegra. For allergies. And 100mg daily Sprionolactone, 100mg daily Prometrem, and 10mg daily Estrodial. Because I’m transgender – I’m on hormone replacement therapy.”

Continue reading 'Asserting identity in the hospital'»

Coming Out

By , October 21, 2009 1:52 pm

This is an excerpt from the script I’m working on for Trans Form, which is going up this December. Enjoy!

I’m fourteen, sitting on the chair in my therapist’s office.

I started going to therapy by choice, because the year before, at thirteen, I still couldn’t get past the panic attacks and separation anxiety that had kept me from sleepovers and overnight school trips and sleep-away summer camp for as long as I could remember. The pattern was always the same: I would get excited about staying at a friends’ house, at an overnight event at the Museum of Science and Industry, at whatever. I would go, convincing myself that this time would be different, that this time I’d be able to make it all night.

But as we started to get ready for bed, the panic would creep up. For those of you who have had a panic attack before, you know how it feels. To everyone else, it was a very physical sensation, a creeping along my arms and legs to my core, to my center. My blood would start to rush, tears would inevitably spring to my eyes, and if I didn’t go home, if I didn’t get away from whatever mundane childhood experience was driving me to a panic, I’d go into fullblown hysterics.

Finally, the summer after seventh grade, when I’d missed most of the seventh grade weekend trip to Wisconsin because of a panic attack, I decided  I would go to the eighth grade trip to Washington DC. So I started seeing a therapist. We worked for months on controlled breathing, biofeedback techniques, ways to divert my focus from panicking.

But the trip to DC is in the past. (I made it, by the way, and haven’t had problems being away from home since.) Now, I’m fourteen, sitting in the chair at my therapist’s office, across from my parents, about to come out to them.

Continue reading 'Coming Out'»

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