Dear Dispatches —


Hats off to you fellas for having developed a really supple format for accommodating dissent and conversation — I like how the questions can play out in real time.

Let me push back a bit on this, if I might. I think that the sense of what it means to be trans-gendered is part of what’s at issue for me. I don’t think it’s an “appropriation” so much as a recovery, a step into that which one always was but was prevented from being. That is, as I understand it, the experience of wishing to change genders is less a trying on of something other, as an appropriation, than a being, finally, what one is, after being many years what one was not.

Hey, I agree about Burt, as an editor. The power “to anoint and dis-anoint” — that’s T.S.Eliot-in-the-50s shit. And with The Nation editors it was worse in a sense because they didn’t even stick to their guns, but abandoned their discovery once it was deemed unpopular. The poet would have been better off remaining ignored.

But I think what was referred to as an appropriation, which is like just trying on the clothes, when it comes to the act of transitioning, is braver than that, and I was sorry to see the states or acts conflated.

Knowing you guys print stuff, this is more publicly positioned rhetoric than I would use just talking, also at the end of a too-long day. Mad respect to both of you —


T. Dixie