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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Electrolysis, Cotton Candy, and a Kentucky Latina: Transcendent, Ep. 2 Recap

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 4:00 PM


After the previously-on, the second episode of Fuse’s Transcendent pens with a raucous scene of AsiaSF on a busy night. The party atmosphere belies the fact that, after the obligatory introductions of Episode 1, the show is laying the groundwork for some tension to develop.

But first, we get a glimpse into the ladies’s lives as transwomen in the late stages of their transitions. Bionka and Xristina, because they’ve gone through the process together from the start, visit Aeshetic Laser Concepts for an electrolysis session. It looks more like a sonogram, with goo and a gun like a SKU scanner, and not the shriek-inducing ordeal it’s usually described as.

“I got some hairs up in here!” Xristina says, demanding that Bionka photograph her.

Meanwhile, Nya encourages L.A. to audition for a spot at the club, cautioning her with an “I might be your friend, but I’m going to be a hardass on you when you try out” pep talk-slash-warning. And after Bambiana gets stood up at Manos Nouveau in the Castro, she invites Shai (her roommate) to join her at the table in sympathy. Nya and L.A. drop in for a Hopeless Romantic bonding session.

The travails of dating are what we’ve been waiting for. As Bambiana put it, “San Francisco is open-minded, but it’s still a difficult place for any transgender woman to get a real date, a real friendship, a normal life.”

At dance rehearsal, Nya “comes out” as having been promoted to manager, causing sparks of jealousy and barely suppressed dissent. Bionka flashes a smile that’s only nominally a smile, the kind where the corners of her mouth couldn’t point any further downward if she tried.

Real Talk
L.A., on her love life: “I mean, it’s nonexistent, because there’s always that awkward conversation that has to happen.”

That-Moment-When Hilarity
At the vanity, when Bambi deadpans that she’s from Kentucky and Bionka and Xristina go to pieces because they successfully shut her up.

Highlight Highlights
Bionka sports at least three different hairstyles: a blonde wig, a green ombre, and rather chaste black chignon. Yes!

Family Matters
Aunt Bambiana takes her three nephews to Pier 39. The admonition not to let them eat too much sugar cuts to a shot of them gobbling cotton candy as if an asteroid were hurtling toward the Wharf, threatening to extinguish life on this planet.

Working Girls
Nya’s dreaming about a white-picket fence, Bambiana’s yearning for “five to 15” children, and Xristina isn’t sure if she wants to be a dental hygienist or a cop. But it’s clear that AsiaSF is a merely a way-station for the ladies’ higher aspirations.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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