Feathered Bastard

Michele's Big Day: Michele de LaFreniere gets the People magazine treatment from her official hagiographer Richard Ruelas. UPDATE: De LaFreniere's still a dood!

Since I penned the entry below, the Arizona Republic has made several major corrections to Ruelas' story, including the fact that De LaFreniere has not had "sexual reassignment surgery," and is therefore still in possession of her taliwacker! Here's the full retraction, which ran on page 2 of Section A in today's paper:

Michele de LaFreniere has not had sexual reassignment surgery. She has two children, one son and one daughter. She was not a Marine, and she owned six bike shops in New York. Additionally, her ex-wife filed for divorce 18 months after de LaFreniere told her she had a strong urge to change genders.

So, the only thing newsworthy about this De LaFreniere BJ-piece was wrong. I like Richard Ruelas. But the fact that Michele de La Freniere is still biologically male casts a whole new light on club owner Tom Anderson's attempt to respond to the complaints of the female members of his club. De LaFreniere suddenly becomes a less sympathetic, and less courageous character. And what was with De LaFreniere's remembrance of thinking, "It's gone. It's over, really over," in regards to her meat-n-veg? Did she misspeak, or was she misquoted?

If De LaFreniere receives the sex reassignment surgery, no one would have a problem with her using the chicks' banos. There would be no issue. And no reason for her to be profiled in soft-focus by Ruelas for the Republic. Hmmm...Makes ya wonder, don't it?

Local transgender activist Michele de LaFreniere, the arch-enemy of Anderson's Fifth Estate and the Bad-Ass Bitch of the Ladies' Bog, got the People magazine treatment from Arizona Republic writer Richard Ruelas in Thursday's paper, with a photo right out of Victoria's Secret catalogue, if the Victoria's Secret catalogue happened to be populated by 6-foot chicas with Adam's apples.

Ruelas provides an uncritical, almost reverential portrait of De LaFreniere, who's captured by photographer Nick Oza for the story on rumpled red satin sheets, clad in leather and lace, attempting to mimic the jacket of a Harlequin romance novel. I mean the Republic really went to a lot of work to make Michele resemble a woman, though she still ends up looking like John Tesh in drag.

The piece spends very little time talking about De LaFreniere's battle with club owner Tom Anderson over her drive to use the women's room there. Overall, the profile's slanted, portraying DeLaFreniere as sympathetic and courageous, and giving short shrift to Anderson's claims that the biological babes at his club were bothered by the presence of faux femmes in the powder room. One of those long, tall, hirsute Sallys supposedly took a whiz standing up, which engendered Anderson's transgender ban. Anderson kicked the trans-folk to the curb, and a discrimination complaint with the AZ Attorney General's office followed. Recently, Anderson threw in the bathroom towel, making one of his restrooms unisex, and welcoming back the wannabe women. But, judging from the comments on my last post regarding this issue, the transgendered doods will fight for their right to potty with the natural born females.

You go girls! You've got nothing to lose but your, uh, never mind...

Speaking of which, De LaFreniere reveals for the first time ever that she's lost her manhood, and not just in the metaphysical sense. Though she's dodged the issue before, she opens up to Ruelas, claiming to have had "the surgery" in Thailand in 2006.

"It's gone," says De LaFreniere of her erstwhile rod and tackle. "It's over, really over."

No going back on that one. Or is there? One day, I'm sure we'll all have genitalia like kitchen appliances that we can plug in and out of various cavities and rev up like Black and Decker dust-busters. A Philip K. Dick-sorta world (pun intended) where you can switch genders as easily as we now Microwave our dinners. Heck, why not? As long as I get my own live-action Jennifer Love Hewitt sex slave robot with kung-fu grip, the rest of you can do whatever the hell you want.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons