Colette Arrand

107. Hitmonchan

           “Hitmonchan is said to possess the spirit of a boxer who had been working toward a world championship.
           This Pokémon has an indomitable spirit and will never give up in the face of adversity.” – Pokémon Omega
           Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

The last time a man threatened to punch me, I was the man, or something like one. This is an old trick I picked up watching football or wrestling, watching men prepare themselves to do violence to other men, hitting themselves until they sweated, bled, or cried. I punched myself once, drunk and uncomfortable, because I wanted others to feel my discomfort.

Distant in the parking lot of a Waffle House, a man is calling me a faggot with one breath and calling a friend of mine a man with the next, wrong on all counts. He’s asking what my gesticulations mean. He’s asking if I want to suck his cock. Earlier, at a house party, I smudged my eyeliner and that’s it, I’m thinking, the line between tranny and faggot, this man throwing a punch or just talking himself up. When threatened, it’s easy to push your personhood to the furthest reaches of consciousness, to ball your fists tight and pray the body, though changed, remembers how to fight. The word for me then is not indomitable, but stubborn. Even with my friend between his body and mine, I am ready to take a punch. I want a kind of catharsis. I want this man to feel.

Colette Arrand is a transgender writer living in Athens, Georgia. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Offing, The Collagist, Gigantic Sequins, and elsewhere. Find her online at