I always knew I wasn’t a straight gal.
I knew myself to have a feminine heart, yes, but I also knew that my head didn’t turn, my heart didn’t race over the presence of hot guys.
Back in the first days of the trans rush, the 1960s, having an orientation like mine would disqualify you from consideration as a transsexual. If you weren’t a real woman — and real women loved men — then you weren’t real at all.
If I had desired men, I would have been going to gay clubs from an early age. As I have told many transwomen who stated they would change their sexual orientation with their gender, if you really loved men, you would have at least tried to be a gay guy. You probably would have still come out as trans, somehow, but you would have tried.
When I spent time in the lesbian community later in life, my teenage years popped into focus. The relationships I had much more mirrored the relationships other femme women had than anything straight guys had. I wasn’t passionate to use my genitalia, and when I finally did, with a woman who I now see as a soft butch, well, it was not very good. I’ve just never been cocky enough to do that well.
I tried to be a straight guy to be in relationships with women, but it didn’t work so well. I was a great partner, but I was a desperate femme and no swingin’ dick, even for a few minutes. My manhood is a breeches role, playing the guy in public, but without the virility to pull it off anywhere else.
Even in the lesbian community, women were looking for a butch, and that was never me. There was never a time in the gay and lesbian world that I felt like anyone was looking for someone like me, that anyone would be turned on by someone like me, that someone would be satisfied with someone like me.
There was no way that I could ever sign up for any belief structure that saw men as the enemy, as the oppressors. After living embedded with the boys, though not being one of them, I see men with compassion and nuance, knowing that as individuals they also pay a huge price in what the heterosexist system demands from them. Valuing individual truth over group identity assigned by dint of some happenstance of birth is the only way I know how to see people.
I came to see myself as “double queer,” queer as trans and queer as femme. Add to that some very fierce deep and intense theological thinking and I knew that my PPP — potential partner pool — was always tiny to the point of invisibility. How could anyone desire someone like me when they never could imagine anyone like me existed?
Politically, I am bisexual, only because I know that anyone who desires me will have to accept all of me, even where I cross expected boundaries of gender. I have never been physically intimate with anyone born male, but my own appreciation for people moves beyond sex and gender to partnership and possibility. Loving beyond gender boundaries is what connects bisexuals and transpeople and it is what makes people uncomfortable with us, even those who celebrate same sex/gender love. They have internalized heterosexist separations too.
There is a reason I have been abstinent for well over a decade now, and not very active before that. There is a reason I don’t have much hope of romantic relationships in the future.
I’m double queer, and a hoot past that. Are you — or anyone else — ready for that?