“It’s not you it’s me”

October 20, 2010 at 5:32 am 2 comments

“Why did you turn yourself into a guy if you were interested in dating guys?” they ask. And I don’t know where to begin. Well, that’s not quite true. I usually begin by explaining that gender identity and sexual orientation are two distinct categories. That is, what I feel myself to be is unrelated to who I feel myself attracted to. Transguys can view themselves as straight, gay, bi, pansexual or any other label that’s out there. Unfortunately, for those of us who come to the realization that we may be gay transguys, the road can get complicated.

I pass well. People say I’m handsome and intelligent and sometimes I think they’re surprised that I appear to be as level-headed as I am. I imagine them going home and talking to their friends about the date they had with the transguy and then coming to the shocking realization that the transguy was actually kind of interesting. What to do with that?

One of the first gay men I went on a date with, was younger than me, cute and we really hit it off, I thought. I had also not had sex in a while so when we started fooling around, I was pretty eager to get it on. We’d talked about my physical condition, my lack of a penis, and although he seemed slightly befuddled by it, he was too polite to speak up too loudly. But my eagerness was too much for him. A few days later he wrote to tell me that he really enjoyed my company, that he was sexually attracted to me, but that he was having real trouble wrapping his head around the whole lack of a penis thing. Could we just be friends?

Because I appreciated his honesty and didn’t want to lose his friendship, I said it was OK. What I didn’t tell him is how much it hurt to hear him say that. Because I realized that if he couldn’t understand – and he was an activist who had some knowledge of trans issues – then what kind of chance in the world would I have, out there in the gay dating pool, where the majority of gay men hadn’t ever encountered someone like me.

Let me be clear – he did nothing wrong. I don’t feel offended by his close-mindedness or angry that he didn’t see the man behind the pussy. He had every right to feel discombobulated and I appreciated his honesty. But that did nothing to soften the sinking feeling that I wouldn’t ever meet someone who could love me, including my body, the way it is. I struggle enough to accept myself without having to worry about other people finding me repulsive.

Not all of us are meant to be with someone. Having friends – platonic friends – is important and I’ve had some pretty fabulous friends in my life. But every now and again I feel pangs of jealousy when I see a straight couple holding hands in the park, or a gay couple happily nuzzling on the bus. Do I wish that dating was easier, that I could just go to a gay bar and pick up some hot dude and roll in the sack? You bet. But that’s not my reality. I suppose I could lie and somehow try to fool my partner by not telling him about my past, but I’m not interested in that. If I wanted only sex, there’s plenty of porn on the internet. What I’m looking for is a grown-up relationship with all the good stuff: commitment, understanding, trust, acceptance.

Maybe, for some of us, that’s too much to ask.


Entry filed under: Gender, Masculinity, Transgender. Tags: , , , , .

Forgiveness is a process Surgery times six

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dadsprimalscream  |  October 21, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Wow, this post really makes you think. I’d never looked at it from your perspective before. I just realize (or believe) that sexual attraction can’t be strong-armed no matter how open-minded or liberal one tries to be. I can see how it would be difficult for a gay man to get over the no penis thing in bed since that’s such a strong focal point of attraction in our world… but it doesn’t make it any easier to live with on your end I’m sure.

    I suffer your opposite fate as a gay man who came out relatively late (in my early 40’s). I’m finding it really tough to develop friendships…just friendships. Sex is super easy. Even those men who SAY they only want a friendship online will assume you want to have sex on the first date.

    I think you are approaching it the right way… being honest and trying to be understanding. I want to give you a big hug and assure you that there IS someone out there for you. I hope there is… because I also want to believe there’s someone for me too.

    • 2. thekeenobserver  |  October 21, 2010 at 5:52 am

      Thanks for the virtual hug, dadsprimalscream, and here’s hoping we both find what we’re looking for!


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