My beloved Pinin Farina Spider used to suffer terribly from misgendering.

Dubbed “El Pepino Grande,” or “the big green cucumber,” in English, his phallic status was rather more than obvious.

It broke his heart that people didn’t see it.

What would a gay man like his owner be doing with a female mid-life crisis convertible, anyway, he frequently asked me.

I could only shrug and apologize for the car-wash attendants who insisted on calling him a girl.

He used to love to go to Florida with me. The hot gay muscle studs at the car wash in Miami’s Little Cuba never got it wrong.

“El Pepino Grande,” they would nod sagely, rubbing hot green metal flesh with fresh wax. “Si, señor. Si.”

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.