“OK, Julián, we’re going to go back to prepping for the next debate,” his press coordinator said into the microphone as the embedded campaign reporter for Vox limped off the stage, pressing a bandage to his face.
“I’m ready,” said the small and shiny man. He was alone on a mock debate stage, standing behind a podium, intense lights glaring down at him, an audio track of a boisterous audience playing on the speakers above and around him.
“We’re going back to the question of abortions for transmen,” she said. His press coordinator was a beautiful Latinx transbinary womxe in a wheelchair named Mariana that he met on a recent campaign stop. He could barely hear the chug chug chug of the breast pumps suckling her testicles.
“You said,” she said, “That you supported free abortions for transwomen. Do you understand the issue with this statement?”
“Yes, I corrected myself on Twitter. Transwomen cannot get pregnant. Yet. Not until single-payer health coverage pays for womb transplants.”
“And what are transplants?” Mariana asked archly.
“Vegetables or fungi assigned at birth as animals,” Julián replied.
“Very good. Now tell me what you should have said in the first debate.”
“I support free abortions for transmen,” Julián said.
“Just transmen? Some non-binary individuals have uteruses. Do you not support free abortions for them?”
“Of course, I do!” Julián said, indignant.
“I support free abortions for people with functional uteruses.”
“Functional? That’s awfully ableist.” Mariana rolled her wheelchair back and for emphasis.
“I support free abortions for anyone with a uterus?” Julián asked.
“Very good. Now, on to sexualities. How are these transmen and non-binary people who have uteruses getting pregnant?”
“Sex with men?” Julián speculated.
“Men? Transmen are men and they can’t get anyone pregnant,” Mariana snapped. She reached under her peasant dress and switched out one of the bottles on her testicle pump and packed the full bottle into a cooler.
“People with func– people with penises?”
“Then I support free abortions for gay people with uteruses and non-binary people with uteruses who have sex with people who have penises.”
“Who said that the men with uteruses are gay? A transman and a transwoman could be in a completely heterosexual relationship.”
Julián looked up in the air and did some mental calculations.
“So a transman with a working…”
“Ableist!” Mariana snapped.
“Just let me work this out,” Julián said. “A transman with a working uterus and a transwoman with a working penis and testicles in a relationship are heterosexuals and I want to ensure the government pays for his abortion.”
“And some transmen and non-binary people have sex with cismen,” Mariana said.
“Not necessarily. A cisman that has sex with a non-binary person is a pansexual.”
“A person with a penis and a person with a penis having sex isn’t a gay relationship?” Julián asked, his smooth face wrinkling with the strain.
“Or a non-binary person with a uterus. That is also a pansexual relationship.”
“So a person with a uterus and a person with a penis can be in a heterosexual, homosexual, or pansexual relationship?” Tears began to roll down Julián’s cheeks.”
“Yes,” Mariana said impatiently. “A transman has a male uterus and a transwoman has a female penis. I don’t see what’s so hard for you to grasp. And don’t forget the bisexuals. That’s a big base for you to go after.”
“What about a non-binary person with a uterus and a non-binary person with a penis in a relationship? Are they gay or straight?” Julián asked.
“Neither and both. Again, they are pansexuals. One has a theyterus and the other has a themenis.”
“OK, I think I got it,” Julián said.
“About time,” Mariana groused. She stood up from her wheelchair, stretched and sat back down.
“I support free abortions for any trans or non-binary person with a uterus who has sex with any trans or non-binary person with a penis, regardless of sexual orientation,” Julián said and issued smile #3.
“What about rape?” Mariana asked. “Are you just going to forget about rape?”
Julián sighed heavily.
“I support free abortions for any trans or non-binary person with a uterus who has sex with or is raped by with any cis or trans or non-binary person with a penis, regardless of sexual orientation,” Julián triumphantly.
“Now in Spanish!” Mariana barked.
“Apoyo los abortos gratuitos para cualquier persona trans o no binaria con un útero que tenga relaciones sexuales o sea violada por cualquier persona cis o trans o no binaria con un pene, independientemente de la orientación sexual,” Julián said, rolling his R’s around his mouth like a rich toffee.
Mariana clapped thinly.
“OK,” she said, “Now that we have those three votes all locked up, let’s take a break and then practice your answers on Medicare for All Undocumented Dead Pets.”
Julián nodded and crossed to the chair on the stage and sat it in heavily. His head and hands and feet hinged open and the rats inside working the levers came pouring out.