Introducing our newest contributor at ATS.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Most of you know me as Comrade Hermit, muckraking shut-in extraordinaire, but my slave name, my name in the straight world, the one on my birth certificate, is Nicholas Adam Reid. Growing up, most people called me Nick and for the most part that was never really a problem. Being a fluid dyke like me is tricky because there are no Barbie dolls or frilly dresses to tip you off that I’m trans. For a long time even I didn’t know. There were no people on TV that looked the way I felt so I just figured that I was a freak and that became my identity- Nick the Freak.
And in many respects I am a freak and I take great pride in that. I’m a Rothbardian-Freudo-Groucho-Marxist-Syndicalist with a library that includes everything from Che Guevara to Ernst Junger. I’m a sado-masochist power bottom with a fetish for quite literally everything. I’m a politically incorrect sex-positive transfeminist who loves nothing better than shouting theater in a crowded fire. I’ve never owned a cellphone. I’ll never own a credit card. I hate social media with a passion leftists usually reserve for Kulaks. And I’ve never eaten a green vegetable. I also have an odd affection for gangsters, outlaws, serial killers, revolutionaries of every stripe, and histories misunderstood super-villains in general. I’m a freak alright. I live for the fringe. Society is just a classy word for totalitarianism and I wan’t nothing to do with it. But my gender identity has nothing to do with my freakdom. I didn’t choose to be a mostly female butch lesbian in a mountain man’s body. Believe me, I’ve tried not to be. I’ve tried to be male. I’ve tried to be female. Both fit me like a leash. I am who I am and Nick just doesn’t feel like an accurate label for that anymore.
Being Comrade Hermit has afforded me the freedom to express myself in ways that would have quite frankly terrified Nick. But it’s also empowered me to evolve beyond Nick. It’s been a slow gradual evolution that will probably last my entire life and part of the next. I’ve trimmed my trademark beard to a fine stubble, grown my hair out and dyed it aqua blue (the warmest color.) I’m still a slob who’s naked without my sweats but I’ve taken to wearing oversize black t-shirts the length of Lisa Loeb cocktail dresses and I’ve introduced fluorescent blips of color to my goth-black canvas with nail polish and gaudy costume jewelry. Nick is still there but Nick is my past, my future is Nicky.
I first fell in love with the name Nicolette in grade school. I couldn’t have been older than 8 when my Catholic school took in a 13 year old throw-away named Nicolette. She was unlike anything I had ever seen before. She swore, she smoked, she died her hair weird colors, and wore piercings in provocative places. She didn’t take shit from anyone. They tried to tame her. They failed miserably and shipped her off to charm school. I never found out what became of her. I never even learned her last name. But she was my hero. A vibrant splash of neon chaos in a pleaded plaid universe.
But I’m not femme enough for Nicolette. The compromise of Nicky was inspired in part by two of my favorite characters played by two of my favorite actresses; Big Love’s Nicki Grant played by Chloe Sevigny and Orange is the New Black’s Nicky Nichols played by Natasha Lyonne. Both characters seem radically different on the surface, the first being a steely-eyed polygamist bitch and the second being a wisecracking jailhouse pussy-hound. But both struck me as decidedly unconventional feminist anti-heroes in decidedly un-feminist environments. The dichotomy felt like a perfect fit. So I’ve slowly began to inject myself into the universe as Nicky. At first I toyed with the idea of going by Nick &/Or Nicky and forcing people to say the whole goddamn thing like A Tribe Called Quest. I figured I might as well make my gender identity as confounding to everyone else as it is to me.
But the joke got old to me before it got annoying to anyone else. So I found myself going back to Nicky and the more I used it, the more I liked it. Nothing was more exciting to me than seeing the name Nicky Reid published on Counterpunch. So I’ve made a decision, Nicholas is dead, call me Nicky, shit, she’s the cunt that killed him. I’m not a name Nazi, family and friends will probably continue to call me Nick and I can live with that. I’m also going to continue to run this blog as Comrade Hermit, my genderfuck nom de guerre. But when I take that lingerie costume off and go back to my regular old dikey self, I’m Nicky Reid, the Hunter Thompson to my Raul Duke.
That’s my name, dearest motherfuckers, wear it the fuck out. This world needs a genderqueer Dr. Gonzo and I’m just the bitch for the job.
Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH