it’s the last night before I have to go back into the closet, a Saturday night. glam look, almost a step off to unitarian coffee house, but no, sorority boys on comedy central. it’s not a bad film, with interesting throwbacks — wendy jo sperber from bosom buddies, neidermier and dean wormer from animal house. this time the girl likes the lead so she is willing to be bi, but he resists, and actually it’s sweet.
but it doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter. if i go out on a saturday night, am i gonna find someone to make out with? no.
the point is simple. you, s, have lead a life with partners & friends, being less than scary. me? well, at six feet and an eight of a ton, well, me be scary. too scary to trust partners. i go to gay bars and lesbians assume i am a drag queen and gays who see my shoes assume i am a dyke. right between the possibilities.
It’s now the next Saturday night, and I sit here a fuck-up, constrained as a waste of whatever can be wasted.
And yeah, I still think the difference is fear. It’s how as a big boned male, I am scary.
Gwen Smith and I chatted this week about her experience at the Gwen Arujo trial. Gwen noted that men mostly saw her as a man and women as a woman. Some of that’s the old “frog DNA” issue, where we fill in the gaps with whatever is familiar to us, no matter what the consequences, but some of that is also the notion that when we keep trans people as not being the ones who get us hot, then we have no problem with being queer. Heck, I have had the experience of men finding out about my biology and then having to claim loudly how unattractive I am. While I know that the more they protest, the more they felt, it’s cold pleasure if pleasure at all.
The last time I saw Kate Bornstein she wanted my guess as to why so few transwomen — transpeople born male — attended her college things. It was mostly dykes and FTMS and bi-women and such.
To me, the answer is the same one I have considered for years: what are the benefits of being identified as transgender? Now, for butches/FTMs there may be some benefit in being attractive to some women, femmes and bi-curious women and such, but for transwomen, there are very few benefits. You can get laid as a straight man in a dress, as a gay man in a dress, and maybe even as a passing transsexual, but beyond that, there is only the land of she-males, and that’s a very odd place. Hell, even that odd Daniel Harris spent time there and found it to be full of self-pity and loathing, as the VV says. (Harris and I had a go around years ago about trans/drag, but no one cares)
What do we get to be out as trannies, rather than drag queens or crossdressers or whatever? Who the hell knows? The Big Bitch, Sabrina, (also known as “The Other Drama Queen“) had SRS and reports that being fucked in the ass by a big black man was better than being fucked in the neo-vagina by a 23 year old boy, but she also notes that she had no real relationship with either of them.
Much of this separation has to do with the facts of the matter. Men tend to like images, and the ones of us who can and do portray those images win. It’s the same with het-women, I know, but we have much less room for variation. And women tend to have issues with men and those who have been them. They want us to play a role, and that’s weird. I know that Jake Hale wrote back in wonder after reading my tale about a woman trying to push me into a role, because it exactly mirrored his (FTM) experience.
It’s all about roles, I know that. I had one woman say to me “How could anyone ever imagine being with someone like you when they have never met anyone like you?” Most people walk in the world with a vision of what would be perfect for them, and beyond that it’s just trying to get someone to fit into that box. We don’t run to people who are clear and can bust us, we run to people who validate us in a way that feels comfortable, with whom we can share a little “Annie Hall” sickness. “My brother thinks he is a chicken. . .” and all that.
And that’s where the disconnect happens. I never was able to be a community member, never able to play along, and therefore, never able to be a suitable partner. I was never cocky enough to use my cock, and never free enough & safe enough to be pussy. I was never one of the boys, and will never really be one of the girls. That makes connection very, very hard, especially when people assume I have the experience they do of being one of the gang.
My nose gets bigger, I get older, and I know what the point is. If I couldn’t play along to get along when I was young & malleable (was I ever young and malleable?) then there is no way to do it now.
To be a prophet is lonely work. And if you have no where to replenish yourself, no safe space to be tended to, no one to remind you of your song and bind your wounds, even as you remind, bind, tend and replenish them, well. . .
It’s different growing up assigned as male. I see that when I see groups of trans-men and butches, who preen against manhood, because somehow they think being scared of it is appropriate and righteous. I remember one woman born female whose doctor husband met few trannys born male he liked, because few of them valued the hard choices he made as a man. Me, though, I was different.
To be seen as non threatening, and beyond that, as attractive, well, that has always seemed to elude me.
And, somehow, I don’t think it is ever gonna get better in this lifetime.
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