WARNING: The story’s title is deliberately provocative. Opinion varies from person to person on whether the story itself is transmisia or not. Thus, reviews and think-pieces may be transmisia, too. Read with caution.
I Sexually Identify As an Attack Helicopter (short story/novelette, only available in the collection)
Clarkesworld Issue 160 (4th January 2020)
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I’m not used to reading fiction onscreen (I’m a print-book reader), so my attention was divided.
I’m probably not the target audience, because I’m not into military fiction – speculative or otherwise.
There’s a lot of discussion about this story. It’s harmed some people, but others have really related to it. And others have mixed feelings.
Gender and sexuality are different things. But do they influence each other? Does gender affect sexuality? Does sexuality affect gender? Does transition affect sexuality, or the other way around? Is a helicopter (in the story) a gender or a sexuality, or both, or neither? Without gender or sexuality stereotyping (from self or others) – or bullying/harassment/abuse – would dysphoria still exist?
The military scenes didn’t appeal to me, but the in-between sections about gender and sexuality are interesting. I wouldn’t say I “like” this story, but it’s a spark for personal reflection. (Essays are already published). It may spark discussions, but gender and sexuality are very personal subjects, so it’s uncertain how constructive discussions will be.
We don’t know much (or anything) about the author, so we don’t know the author’s perspective. We don’t know the target audience. (Well, Clarkesworld readers. But best suited to cis, trans, or enby readers?) We don’t know what point the author was making.