My Trans Body is an Empty House
Personal illustration for the essay "My Trans Body is an Empty House" by Paul- B. Preciado:
I live in Athens in a house that I can say is mine for the first time in over two years. I do not own it. That’s not necessary. I simply have the use of it. I experience it. I celebrate it. After having passed through three houses in different streets and neightborhoods –Philopappos, Neapoli, Exarcheia– and through a dozen hotels– I specially remember birds singing in the morning on the Strefi Hill at the Orion Hotel – I finally decided, not without difficulty, to sign a rental contract. For over a month, I lived in this empty house. Stripped of all furniture, a house is just a door, a roof and a florr. Because of the delay in delivering the bed (standard in Grece), for two weeks, I was forced to sleep in an empty apartment. During the night, my hips would wake up all swollen. ithout a doubt, the experience is inaugural and aesthetic: a body, a space. I would sometimes wake up at 3 AM and wonder, stretched out on the ground. If I was a furnish houses, why it is necessary to know our gender, know what sex attracs us. Ikea is to the art of inhabiting what normative heterosexuality is to the desring body. A table and a chair form a coplementary couple that is not open to question. A wardobe is the first certificate of private property. A bedside lamp is a marriage of convenience. A sofa facing the TV is vaginal penetration. The curtain hanging from the window is the anti-pornographic censorship that looms when night falls. The other day, as we were making love in this empty house, she called me by my new name and said, “the problem is our mind; our minds’ fight, but our souls and bodies are in perfect harmony”. A few minutes later, as my chest was opening up to breathe a few more atoms of oxygen and my cerebral cortex was taking on the consistency of cotton. I felt my body dissolving into the empty space and my mind, authoritatian and normative, almost dead, abdicating.
– Athens, 8 October 2016.