July Round-Up

"july" is a pretty word

Dear all,

I do hope you’ve had a good July. I did: it involved Disneyland, and sweat, and productivity, and love and friendship and sex and joy. Many of these were charted in the pieces I wrote for this very newsletter, which I shall outline below.

THE STAGE MIRROR is six months old! Which is already bonkers. One thing I have been thinking about recently is how to keep everyone informed about the various longer-term plans I have for this newsletter. Updating it is quite a lot of work, and I don’t imagine that I’ll want to do it in perpetuity - probably I will want to roll up the carpet and start talking about my newsletter in the past tense at some point in 2020. On the other hand, it has already gotten much bigger than I expected - the number of subscribers is several times the upper limit of expectations I discussed with the Substack people when I decided to do this. So I want to talk about this a long time in advance of any plans to wind things down (ie, now) so that people don’t have this news sprung on them.

One thing I’m going to do soonish (maybe this month, maybe next) is reduce the number of big public posts I write. I’ve been trying to do one of these every week for the last couple of months, and some of them (the “Seventy-One Stories” especially) have ended up taking time away from my day job. So I’m going to focus my attention on pieces for subscribers, even though (and here is something about Newsletter Economics that you may not know) this will probably lead to fewer new subscribers. I’ll still do some of the bigger/more ambitious pieces - just probably one or two a month, rather than four or five. I hope this is okay with everyone! If anyone has any objection, or else wants to encourage me to write a particular thing, please let me know. The sunglasses thing came from people contacting me to ask, so, you know, I’m good for it.

Okay, pals and palettes, here is the roster of juicy material published here in the month of July:

–“Trans Abstractions: A Conversation With Ray Stock,” in which your humble literature professor struggles with formal logic;

-“On Perkiness,” tata talk;

–“Chromosome Fairy Tales,” Goldilocks and the Three Genders, but friskier, as my therapist likes to say;

–“A Generational Provocation,” in which the nominal provocation is basically “dang Brian Leiter is an asshole”;

–“Which Is Better, British Beer or American Beer?,” a fake question for a totally bogus piece that refuses to deliver on its premise;

–“One Weird Trick You Can Play on Your Endocrine System,” I had a period in dang July, like an actual weird, body-clenching, soul-scaping period, I mean wtf;

–“Help, I’m Turning Into My Grandmother,” further revelations from the world of therapy, but also in this case an attempt to theorize a fault in my own character;

–“Seventy-One Stories about Being Trans in School,” an essay detailing the experiences of seventy-one trans and non-binary college and graduate students, who wrote to me;

–“The Mystery of Female Socialization,” a conversation with Danny in which he– attempted to say some real things and I just went into a strange Sherlock Holmes pastiche;

–“Alien Erotica: Beach Frenching,” a first pass at writing pornography, I suspect there will be more of this to come;

–“Don’t Pick Up Hitchhikers in Calabasas, Part I,” some writing from the road in Southern California;

–“Don’t Pick Up Hitchhikers in Calabasas, Part II,” the same, concluded, with a panic about Disneyland, fascism, and Nathan for You;

–“THE JAMES BROKENSHIRE TENDENCY PLAYS ITS HAND,” a manifesto for a Broken British Prince;

–“T4T Love Letters About Transmisogyny and Sin,” letters between me and Danny about transmisogyny and uh sin;

–“A Troubled Diva Writes About Sunglasses at Last,” a promise made good, but at what cost?