Ah...The Classics!



Ah...The Classics

by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
 



100 First Lines of Transgender Literature...the Classics as you may have remembered them...depending upon what you might have been consuming or imbibing at the time...

1. Call me Isadora. - Hermione Melville, Moby-Vagina

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a transwoman for a wife. - Jane Austen-Healey, Lesbian Pride and Prejudice

3. A screaming Trannie comes across the sky. - Thomasina Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow Parade

4. Many years later, as she faced a sold-out stock of wonder-bras, Colonel Aureliana Buendá­a was to remember that distant afternoon when her mother took her to discover corsets. - Gabriela Garcá­a Má¡rquez, One Hundred Days of Lingerie

5. Lolita, light of my life, name of my femme alter egos. - Valentina Nabokov, Lolita

6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way; most transfamilies are all happy and sad! - Leona Tolstoy, Donna Karenina

7. riverrun, past Eve and Eva's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. - Jamie Joyce, Finola's Wake

8. It was a bright cold day in late September and Winnie Smith had worn white after Labor Day. - Georgette Orwell, $19.84 on Sale at Sears

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was stockings, it was pantihose, it was camis, it was bra and panties, it was mules, it was pumps - Charlotte Dickens, A Dale of Two Cities

10. I am an invisible woman. - Rachael Ellison, Invisible Woman

11. The Ms Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble? —Do-you-need-advice? —Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at her desk and stared at a piece of white taffeta - Natalie West, Ms. Lonelyhearts

12. You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tammy Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.  —Marie Twain, Adventures of Heloise Finn

13. Someone must have slandered Joi K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, she was arrested for shoplifting at Kohl's  —Frannie Kafka, The Trial

14. You are about to begin reading Itala Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler booked a motel room at Comfort Inn to dress before going to her TG support group.  —Itala Calvino, If on a winter's Night a Traveler

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new at DSW. —Samantha Beckett, Murphy Bed

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that Davina Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth; I dressed every other weekend in Esme's clothes - Jane D. Salinger, The Camisole on the Guy

17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little girl named baby tuckoo. - Jamie Joyce, A Portrait of Arnie as a Young Girl

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. - Forsythia Madox Ford, The Good Soldier's Girl

19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing; —I am verily persuaded I should have had a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me, had they given me a corselette - Laura Sterne, Tristina Shandy

20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show that at the very least I looked bitchin'. - Carla Dickens, Davina Coppertone

21. Stately, plump Belle Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed, having run out of Nair - Jamie Joyce, Ursula

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness, revealing Paula in a striking Emerald green ball gown. - Edwina Georgette Bulwer-Lytton, Paula Clifford

23. One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. Well anyway, she got home from the Tupperware party and found her husband Tim in her Black Teddy. Thomasina Pynchon, The Crying of Lotte

24. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone she was not. - Paula Auster, City of Glass Slipper

25. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them fitting into their girlfriends' clothes. Wilhelmina Faulkner, The Sound and the Furry Floor Length Gown

26. 124 was spiteful...her surgery was over-priced- Toni Permanent, Beliked

27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing, and a nice heavily-boned corset for when his wife is out- Michaela de Cervantes, Dona Quixote

28. Mother dyed today. - Alberta Camus, The Strange Her

29. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu...and every winter he'd marry her all over again, every other wedding they'd swap clothes. - Ha Jin, Waiting on Customers at David's Brides

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a fashion channel. - Willie Gibson, Neufchatelromancer

31. I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man...I am pissed at my urologist- Fyodora Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground Mall

32. Where now? Who now? When now? How now, brown pencil skirt? - Sammi Beckett, The Unnamable Urge to Dress in My Mother's Clothes

33. Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. "Stop!" cried the groaning old man at last, "Stop! I didn't dress in drag beyond this tree." - Gertrude Stein, The Making of TransAmericans

34. In a sense, I am Janie Horner. - Joanna Barth, The End of the Runway

35. It was like so, but wasn't quite like that; it was actually an exquisite cobalt blue- Ricky Powers, Galatea $22.00 per Yard

36.  —Honey . . . in a chiffon that rustled. -Billie Gaddis, J R

37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself, except it was really Mr. Dalloway, although Mrs. Dalloway never looked so good!. - Virginia Werewoolf, Ms. Dalloway

38. All this happened, more or less, which was good, since he could stand to lose a few pounds to fit into the cheerleader's outfit - Katrina Vonnegut, Fashionhouse-Five

39. They shoot the white girl first. - Toni Morrison, Paradise

40. For a long time, I went to bed en femme - Marcela Proust, Swann's Full-length Slip

41. The moment one learns hormones, complications set in. - Felipa Alfau, Chrome Bustier

42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by scheduling too many procedures back to back. - Anita Brookner, The Debutante

43. I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane; caught by my mother wearing her teddy again - Valentina Nabokov, Pale Pantyhose

44. Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. - Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God Watch Them

45. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story, and on the second story was the clinic where they gave me my shots - Edith Wharton-Jersey, Edna Frome

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex's admonition, against Allen's angry assertion: another awful (re)assignment - Willa Abish, Alphabetical (Re)Assignment

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it, so he changed it to Tina Simpson - C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Cross Dresser

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish; all the while wearing satin panties - Ernestine Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea Green Gown

49. It was the day my grandmother exploded...when she found my dad in bed with Billy from down the street- Lainie M. Banks, The Crow Road to West Hollywood

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby boy, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage girl, in an operating room in Battle Creek, Michigan, in August of 1974. - Jenny Eugenides, Intersex

51. Elmer Gantry was drunk; he didn't notice her Adam's Apple - Sinthia Lewis, Elmer Gantry

52. We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to wear falls because our hair is too short. - Louise Erdrich, Tricks

53. It was a pleasure to not burn; I was doing so much better after the surgery - Rayette Bradbury, Fahrenheit 98.4

54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead, paying attention to where the Trannie Bar is when you move into town - Greta Greene, The End of the Affaire de Coeur

55. Having placed in my mouth sufficient pills for three weeks, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression as I imagined the largeness of my breasts - Fannie O'Brien, At Most- A C Cup

56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Trixie, and so my Companions always call'd me. - Danielle Defoe, Trixie Crusoe

57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street, for a good time, call 1-212-555-OOOH - Davi Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress' Son's Boyfriend's Endocrinologist

58. Mr. Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by wearing a dress. - Georgia Eliot, Our Mr. Brooke

59. It was love at first sight... My surgeon was my first - Josepha Heller, Catch Some Z's

60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings? And what if he did the same? - Berta Sorrentino, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Nice Things to Wear Under Your Boy's Clothes

61. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving...having forgotten where I left my gaffe - W. Somerset County, The Razir's Edge

62. Once upon a time, there was a man who discovered he had turned into the wrong feminine person...and he liked it! Anna Tyler, Back When We Were Pre-Ops

63. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who are trying to make out. - G. K. Chester, PA, The Josephine of Notting Hill

64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my mother gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. - Francine Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Garterbelt

65. You better not never tell nobody, special'ly Dad. - Alicia Walker, The Color Lavender

66. "To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to dye your hair at the salon" - Salmana Rushdie, The Satanic Tresses

67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they married the Rosenbergs... Marta and Sadie and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. - Sylvia Pithy, The Belle Jar of Hormone Cream

68. Most really pretty "girls" have pretty big feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden. - Donna Foster Wallace, The Bride and Bride of the System

69. If I am out of my mind, it's all right with me, thought Moses Herzocovina as he stood in the lobby of the nursing home in Rositta's dressing gown - Sally Bellow, Herzocovina

70. Francis Marion Tarwater's uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up. What that has to do with transgender issues beats me - Flannery O'Connor, The Violet Bear Dances Away

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peephole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. I dream of being a ballerina in the Moscow Ballet- Gunderin Grass, The Tin Ear

72. When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson...He was Anne Heche' - Stella Elkin, The Dick (who isn't) Gibson Show

73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World. They watched RuPaul's Drag Race while they waited - Roberta Coover, The Origin of the Brunettes

74. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him. Would this be TG if her dad was post-op? - Henrietta James, The Wings of the Dove for Dishes

75. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains and a dressing service was across the street - Ernestine Hemingway, A Farewell to Legs

76. "Take my camel, dear," said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass. I prefer Alpaca; they make nicer skirts - Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Transbizond

77. He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull...but he was so sweet when he transitioned Josepha Conrad, Lady Jane

78. The Village is a foreign country; they do things differently there. - L. P. Hartley, The Go-Go Girl Between

79. On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. An oi wore me mothers kilt whylst standin' in the fen - Rossella Hoban, Nancy Fay Walker

80. Justice? - You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law and an inability to marry if your names are Jack and Benny. - Willie Gaddis, A Frolic of Her Own

81. Vaughan died yesterday in his/her last car-crash. - J. G. Ballard, Puter Crash

82. I write this sitting in the kitchen wearing mink. - Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle Productions

83. "When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the boys themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing for spandex and nylon" - Katherine Dunn, Geek Arm-Length Glove

84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, and 726 on Cogiati...- Joan Barth, The Cotton-Flannel Factor

85. When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon. His girlfriend's name was Theodore - June Crumley, The Last Good Kiss before Surgery

86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a bottle of Premerin. - Willi Faulkner, Intruder in the Closet

87. I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot," or "That Claudius," or "Claudius the Stammerer," or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius," am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I started my RLT. - Roberta Graves, I, Claudia

88. Of all the things that drive men to be girls, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is being women. - Charlene Johnson, Middle-Age Transition

89. I am an American, Chicago born - Chicago, that somber city  —and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent...but all girl - Sally Bellow, The Adventures of Angie March

90. The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver earrings. - Clair Lewis, Babbitta

91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl's underdrawers; need I say more? But most of all, lover of my harmless and femme self. - Joni Hawkes, Second Self

92. She was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. - Raphaela Sabatini, Scara Mousse

93. Psychics can see the color of time it's pink. - Renalda Sukenick, Blow Dried Away

94. In the town, there were two boys and they were always together. - Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter S. Thompson

95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of his love for all things sweet and soft and kind - Reina Federman, Double or Something

96. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space and skirt size. - Margaret Atwood, Cats I Have Known

97. He - for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it - was in the act of slicing at the appendage that hung between his legs. - Ginnie Werewoolf, Orlando Carbrerra

98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour. They were engaged - Davida Lodge, Changing Genders

99. They say when trouble comes close ranks, so they avoided trouble. - Jeannie Rhys, Wide Sargasso Hips

100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed a parade stretched out down the street, with floats and all sorts of cool stuff, resting. - Stephenie Crane, The Red Badge of Curtains.



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