Izzy Hilton

And I’d be lying if I denied Izzy Hilton’s role in inspiring me to alter the story one more time. It happened after a poetry reading, one night, a couple of years ago. El Senor and I started talking about random things as he drove me home. Because I rarely talk about notes on things I’m working on – which isn’t to say, I don’t talk about things I’d like to write about – I spilled the beans by asking him a single question. “Do you know what a Trap is?”

After he admitted that he didn’t know, I explained to him that when I first came across the term online, I assumed it was the same thing as jailbait. I’m not Internet savvy in the lingo of anonspeak, so I only drew to that conclusion because Chris Hansen and NBC’s justice fodder television stints, To Catch a Predator. It wasn’t until I did some good ol’ research that I learned what a “trap” really was.

“Think about it this way,” I said. “What’s the last thing a guy wants to see on a really hot or cute girl?” After a moment’s beat, I continued, “Right, a penis.”

Bailey Jay: The Line Trap Years

Because the most famous “trap” of the time – possibly still is – was one known as Linetrap – who went off to be known as Harley Quinn and, currently, the porn star known as Bailey Jay – I set off to learn as much I could find out about transgenderism in popular culture, fetishism and, well, porn. Along with this came the term pansexual – the term could be blamed for my philosophy against sexual labels.

Linetrap eventually led me to seek other traps, landing in the midst of one known as Izzy Hilton – who, by the way, isn’t the lost Hilton sister as some might believe (that was a joke, by the way). It didn’t take me long to realize that Hilton’s cuteness was accredited to camera angles – as most “cute” girls are wont to use for online pics.

After I sought out all that I could about the transgender community – and the fetishism – online, I put it to rest. I started writing the “Dear Jenn” phase of the story I’m working on later that year. Several opening paragraphs later, I gave up on it and went to bed. Now I have the tendency to write my dreams, and that night it hit me right smack in the face. “Kelly needs a  penis,” I shouted – now I’m not sure if I shouted this out loud or imply in my head. It made sense, though. All that business on transgenderism wasn’t just for knowledge, it was meant to be used.

“How you going to go about that?” El Senor asked. It was true. Up until that idea, I wrote about things that made sense to me – not that transgenders don’t make sense to me, but I can never fully grasp their identity struggle, the prejudices they face, etc. Not even on the observer stance, can I know. This is one of those groups that I can’t put myself in their place.

“The main character’s definitely not going to be the transgender,” I said. “He’s definitely going to learn early in the story so it’s not too much of a shocker – for him, or the readers. I don’t want another The Crying Game, I want something a little more authentic.”

Admiral Ackbar said it best

Because I’d written a short story called “Ash Wednesday” (at the time, currently it’s called “Digging Graves”) in which I introduce the character Dick Masters as a loud, obnoxious conservative – his name was just a sad pun. In the story, the Poet kills him, asking the narrator unknown to help him dispose of the body. It seemed that Dick Masters would play a role in the new version of the Poet’s story, I decided to alter his characteristics and wondered how he’d walk into a trap that would get him killed by a nonviolent character. In the updated version of the short story, Dick Masters is already dead, leaving how it happened open for interpretation. Narrator Unknown described him as a young, feminine indie rock kid that all the girls would love. It made sense to me that if Dick Masters was going to play a vital role in the Poet’s story, he would have to have some connection to Kelly. And that role, it seemed apparently clear.

It’s not like I’m going to tell you now.

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