A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Archive for the ‘Sexual Orientation’ Category

Day Two: The Adventure Begins.

So now I’m here, I’m settled in, and I’ve got a semi-coagulated plan for the day.  It’s tempting just to sit back, relax, finish my film project and/or wander the Castro for a day and find my feet.  But at the same time, I’m hungry, running out of money, and more or less planless, and the city isn’t going to come to me with food and options.  I’ve got to get out there and make it happen!

– First, my couch host (who is in gender studies and all other kinds of neat stuff) is going to take me to this club at his school where I’m going to meet a bunch of other trans guys.  Apparently they’re going to have a load of resources for me, so I’ve got my pen and paper ready.  Also, this is exciting for me because I always kinda felt like a unicorn in Tuolumne county.  It’ll be my first time meeting my “species”, or what have you. (I’m hesitant to lump any female-to-male gender variant individual under a single umbrella term, but that’s a rant for another time.)  The point is, I get to meet people who’ve traveled a similar path and I might be able to relate to.

– Then, I’m going over to Larkin Street Youth Services to work with a case worker.  I would immediately go to a food pantry of some sort, but it looks like all of them, everywhere, only serve people officially living within San Francisco zip codes and they require an I.D., and my current one not only expired last month but it has my Jamestown address.  I don’t know how I can update my license without an official address yet, but there you go.  I think Larkin will assign me a case worker and they can tell me how to fix my paperwork situations in the long run and where I can go for food without having to prove on paper that I exist in the short term.  (Plus, these public service places usually have something to eat.)  If they can help me figure out how to update my license and info without having an address, maybe I can get on food stamps and that’ll be one less worry in the watches of trying to start my business.

– After all that, I think there’s a free dinner at a mission somewhere on Ellis, and it didn’t say any thing about requiring I.D. on the pamphlet.  I’ll swing by there and see if I can eat.

– Finally, there’s this FTM meetup tonight that I’ve been hearing about on Facebook for weeks, and I’m SO excited to go!  I guess it’s a sort of speed dating event for gay guys who are into Trans guys, which seems ridiculously awesome to me, because I didn’t know such a thing existed.  All the gay guys I’ve ever met (I could probably count them on a hand or two) are terrified of the beast lurking in my pants.  It makes me feel disgusting.  I think, if nothing else, this night could serve as a major self-esteem repair.

Wow, I didn’t realize how freaking hungry I was.  I’m determined not to spend all my money on food, but the way the food pantry system works here in SF, until I get my paperwork straightened out I see no other option.  I just need to set aside money to change my license and keep my phone alive. Think I’m going to go down and grab some breakfast, get some cash for the transit, and buy a phone card.  Mmm, subway.  Eat flesh.

I’m going to be back very late tonight, so unless I wind up bored in a coffee shop today, there won’t be much internetting.  Maybe TOMORROW I can finish my film project and start broadcasting to Youtube, but today it’s all about taking care of business.

Be good, stay well and don’t forget to love yourself!

-Tom

WAR!

So it’s definitely been far too long since I’ve been posting regularly.  I have no excuses.  Aliens.  Aliens, maybe.  Just insert your favorite alien abduction scenario, it’ll come to you.

I felt like making note that my existence has actually caused a minor nuclear war in the interpersonal lives of some people who are technically more friends-of-friends than anything.  This fact has prevented the whole ordeal from impacting me any more strongly than a minor passing amusement.

See, my roomie’s best friend has a hyper-christian mom (that’s how these tales of war always start, I’m finding by studying my history, with some hyper-christian figure of authority).  She was spending a lot of time at my apartment to get away from these nutcases, and was considering our house a free and innocent haven.

Unfortunately, deception had to be thrown in the mix to maintain the facade of innocence.  She decided (without asking me first of course) to tell her mom that I was a girl so that she wouldn’t think I was having sex with her.  (Not sure how that really helped the situation, as I could have been a raving dyke and I don’t think my lack of a penis would have stopped me, maybe it just would have been my decency and respect for her human right to demand my refraining from rape, I don’t know, something like that.  Point is, apparently it worked.   Christian moms have mysterious minds.)

At this point in the story, I was still confused as to why my genitals were even relevant to someone who I’d never met and never intended to meet, and she probably could have gotten a similar effect by pretending I didn’t exist at all and I would have been a bit more comfortable with that.  But at this point I just continued tapping my fingers together bemusedly and said, “Go on….”  (Hopefully this was more disarming than disconcerting, but one can never tell.  Maybe I should study my human reactions more closely, but the pleasing sound of her voice getting a lot more strained and the little beads of sweat appearing on her forehead tells me I was on the right track and she was relaxing into a nice calm afternoon.)

So, apparently one afternoon recently while my roomie was visiting their family, this friend-of-a-friend had to go take a shower, and my roomie was left on the porch, cornered by terrifying zealot-mom who started interrogating her about this mysterious “Tommy” person in the house.  Here’s where the romantic-comedy-esque hilarious miscommunication ensues, as friend-of-a-friend had not informed Roomie that she was insisting that I was a girl, and my Roomie had been trained rigorously to insist that I was male.  So upon interrogation she began declaring that I was her brother, and then that no really, I was a dude, and why would you think something like that you’ve never even met him, and why do you keep calling your daughter a dirty heathen liar, and oh shit something’s gone horribly wrong here, hasn’t it?

So long story short, my very existence as a gender-ambiguous being has caused a major rift in an already shaky mother-daughter relationship and she’s on the verge of being kicked out for “lying” about me (I’m actually kind of happy that her mom was convinced that I was a dude and that she was boning me and just telling her mom that I was a chick to get away with it, all “Twelfth Night” and shit).  It’s kind of true, minus the screwing part.  I just don’t know how to support her here- one way or another I wouldn’t just be boning her because she’s a female in my house and I’m a male, end of story.  But as far as she sees it, she DIDN’T lie to her mom.  And that sucks.  I don’t know why I can’t be trusted on the sole merit of my honor, and I have to have my vagina flashed around the neighborhood just to be “safe”.  Funny world we live in.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m just going to dance into their living room wearing flaming horns and a strap-on dildo and howl and cavort like a devil-child just to give her mom a heart attack, because there’s no honest explanation of this that will save my image in her eyes.  I really don’t care what she thinks of me; she’s crazy by definition.  Mainly I’m just amused that I got to shatter a christian family by mere merit of my existence and I didn’t even have to lift a finger.  God bless America.

And so we encounter the Biggie: the Dating Problem.

So I’ve been out of a bad relationship for a couple of months now it seems, and my sex drive has had time to recover.  I’ve long since passed that point where no longer having to Report In For Sex nightly is really nice.  I’m at that level of loneliness where being low on physical contact makes me feel notably low on energy, but not yet at that point where seeing a nice ass actually makes my crotch ache.  It’s close, I can tell, because being around cute guys who trigger my gaydar makes my heart race, and porn is slowly becoming interesting again.  I figure it’s time to get back on the bike and look into dating before I get to that point of desperation that makes me do really stupid things that I’ll regret for years to come.  For once, I’d like to actually have a choice in the person I wind up in bed with rather than jump on the first piece of ass that wiggles in my vicinity.

I never really thought I’d actually descend to the level of dating sites, but two years of pondering my personal position makes me realize that I’m really only going to find a partner in a situation where it’s not awkward to say “Hey, by the way, I’m FTM” right off the bat.  And it seems like the only situation where that could seem even remotely natural is on the web, preferably on a site where that’s a quality that someone is actively looking for.

I don’t necessarily want that to be the reason someone goes after me (although I don’t seem to have the problem with tranny-chasers that most Tguys seem to have), but by the same token, I don’t want to seduce any gay men who would initially have images of penis dancing through their heads.  In short, I want you to know what you’re getting up front when you get it, without you putting in time and energy to getting “trapped”.  I don’t have any vendetta against gay guys who aren’t into the vajayjay.  I get it, you know?  Some people just can’t be aroused when their partner’s crotch has a certain setup, and I can perfectly understand that.  It takes being compatible in ALL aspects- not just mentally.  I’ve come to terms with that.

So you might understand what I’m feeling when I say I saw someone on a message board lamenting that there weren’t enough gay transmen around.  HOLY CRAP, I’m thinking, THIS IS MY CHANCE!  I click into his profile.

He’s cute, an added bonus.  Genderfucker, his profile says- one of my fetishes!  I scroll down- Drag queen?!  Where have you been all my life?  He keeps a blog.  Oh my god, a fellow writer!  I have to read this!

I click in.  First post I see is about silly lighthearted shenanigans concerning forking someone’s lawn and TPing their house as retribution for a series of pranks.  This is great!  He’s got an active social life, isn’t afraid of a little adventure, a great sense of humor and not only that, the fact that his blog isn’t only about his queerness shows a levelheaded and well-rounded person who isn’t obsessed head to toe with the “Lifestyle”.  Well-written and good grammar to boot.  I’m all a-twitter.

Next post- a reflective post on spirituality taken to extremes; well intended, humorous, kind and thought-provoking, as well as a direct reflection of my own outlook on religion.  I’m ready to propose.  I find his facebook, shoot him a friend request.  Hope springs eternal.

Next post:

“…something something something, My Boyfriend something something…”

He has a boyfriend.

My heart crashes through my feet.  I feel betrayed.  Didn’t you just say you were looking for transmen?  Clearly you already found one, or you were referencing a time you were looking for one, in a different time, in a different place.  I scan your blog frantically for some mention of polyamory, open relationships, hell, even fuckbuddies-

I stop and laugh at myself for getting so wrapped up in this.  You promised me nothing- you don’t even know I exist.  The good ones are always taken, aren’t they?  I should have known someone so cute, sweet and smart would already be involved.   Now I feel like some kind of crazy internet stalker.  I should keep looking for someone in meatspace.

But in a community where the gay men hide due to fear of being shot and I’ve met two transpeople- total-

How do I even begin?

Still in the closet?

I wanted to crosspost this over from a reply I made to a thread over at TQ Nation this morning.  It wound up running way longer than I intended, and it seemed like it’d be a shame and a waste of time if I didn’t record it in my blog.  I feel like this post pretty much sums up how I feel towards my gender these days, even though it’s not the update on my life stuff that I’ve been promising.  I’m pretty sure I’ll get to that this weekend.

In the mean time, sexy crossdressing goodness.  😉

*****

When people ask me if I’m a boy or a girl, I answer, “Yes. I am certainly one or the other.”

If you want the long answer, here it is. I know in my heart of hearts that I was meant to be a dude- to have a male body, a male voice, and male hormones interacting with my male brainwaves (male patterns of thinking + female hormones = not the most stable of situations, psychologically.) But if you were to ask me what KIND of guy I am, that’s where it gets confusing, because I know that if I had been born with all the right fixtures, I would crossdress a lot of the time.

I like the feel of a female presentation interacting on top of a male base. I like theatrics and big musical numbers and drag- I like the feel of foundation smoothed over the closest possible shave, just barely concealing the stubble waiting to apring up underneath; I like the sound of a velvety female voice coming out of male vocal chords. But when there’s not a physical male base beneath these things, it all just feels pointless. I don’t know if this makes me a horrible person, but there’s nothing about female presentation that feels attractive (at least, on me) if it “passes”, if it doesn’t have at least some physical maleness lurking around underneath. In any case that I feel people would look at me and say “that’s a chick” and not “that’s a gay man in a dress”, I would rather just present as male.

So, I have been. I’ve been presenting as male for one and a half years, 24/7. I’ve been trying to get on testosterone, waiting for my voice to drop and my stubble to start coming in. I’ve been a closeted crossdresser for all this time. Where some people in my situation (still stuck, living with my family) would be more inclined to hide their transgenderism, I proudly display my Axe body spray, my Old Spice deodorant, my suits and ties and all the trappings of maleness that visually root my surroundings to my identity and say “A Man lives here.” And in the background, I stuff away all the old flowy scarves and lace gowns and mom’s old jewelry and makeup and I hide it away in my closet and I whisper to myself, “Some day.” I become mortified at the thought of my dad stumbling across it all. It’s another gender paradox- my dad would be thrilled to find out that I still entertain thoughts of dressing as a girl. I know it pains him to see my hair cut short every couple months and see me go to formal functions in that old suit I stole from him and not that Easter dress he got for me the last time before he gave up on it. I beg to go fishing with him, follow him to the garage to get him to let me help work on the car, try to keep up when he’s talking sports, knowing all the while that each little thing like this might be helping to build my “male cred” with him, but at the same time wanting nothing more than to be on that stage in the spotlight, dripping with jewels and lipsynching “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

I know it would destroy my chances of ever being seen as his son- even little things, like expressing pain when I get a papercut, earn reactions like “A boy wouldn’t act like that.” For him, my every action is now filtered through whether or not it makes me a man. I know if his best friend Monty got a papercut, my Dad go “Ow man, that sucks.” Is it just because he can grow a beard, Dad? Is this where the difference between commiseration and discrimination lies? The ability to cultivate facial hair?

It goes deeper, it gets more complicated. I hide my relationships from him. I know that if he sees that the guy who comes over all the time is not only my “best friend”, but also my lover, he’ll have that same reaction that everyone else has. “If you’re dating guys, then isn’t it just easier to be a girl?” The answer is no, because the guys that I like to date don’t go OUT with girls. It’s the cross any gay son has to carry, if maybe there’s a little more at stake for me (because no matter what most born-male people do, their parents still probably use male pronouns- to some people’s disadvantage!), but all in all still the same- the status of your masculinity is threatened if your dad finds out you bone other guys. I don’t feel alone on this one.

It sucks that so many people still link preference to gender identity, but such is life and we all have to deal with the ugly truths. But since so many people still judge based on the kind of tail you chase, and how people in the real world judge me factors into how I feel about myself and interact with others, I might as well go into that too.

Of course, “gay” is also hard to define with me. I’ve dated girls before, although none of them were lesbians- if anything, they were bi (which is cool with me, because if you’re not bi, you’re either going to have a problem with my body or my mind, and not minding either one is always a bonus.) You have to be a really special kind of girl to catch my eye, though- it’s hard to pick the pattern out of all the girls I’ve been attracted to, but I guess if I had to say, they weren’t gender binary, either. They were none of them very butch, but never really feminine- I guess you could say, they were female bodied HUMANS. The packaging was never what drew me in, but their personality.

My preference for guys, on the other hand, is very specific. They have to be willing to bottom, they have to be comfortable with their queerness to the point that they can acknowledge they are dating a guy with a cunt, and they have to have at least a little passion for crossdressing, of course. When it comes down to it, if we were to get married and I wore a tux, if he didn’t want to wear a wedding gown, then he doesn’t make the cut. It’s a weird standard by which to measure, I know, but there’s something about a guy in a wedding dress that just tickles me up and down and all over.

Of course, everything else in between is on a case by case basis. I have a special place in my heart for the transgendered, NOT because of my crossdressing fetish (because if you’re wearing what matches up with your internal gender identity, then it’s not crossdressing to me) but because we fight a long hard battle every one of us, and the idea of having a mate who can relate to that on something more than an abstract level appeals to me.

I guess I’ve been rambling, but in summation, I’m simply this:

1) A fabulous guy with a crossdressing fetish
2) who is pretty much gay but not definitively
3) and also happens to have a cunt.

[Note the order- 1) me, 2) what I like, 3) physical. The physical bits come last out of that order, always.]

In a word?

Queer.

Flying too close to the sun.

I think things in my life were getting too good.  I was getting too nervous about being on top of things.  Nothing bad’s happened yet, but with some trepidation I stepped away from my gay little friend with the delicious cock and all the other contraband I’ve been enjoying too much.  I’ve been away from him for three days for the first time in two weeks and I’m just waiting in my storm shelter for the world to collapse around me.  I’ve spent well enough time with my boyfriend in a sort of repentence about making him jealous that I don’t feel so guilty anymore.  But still, I don’t think I can dance away from this fire so easily without getting burned.  Nothing in this life ever works out so easily.  Nothing.  Whether he wants to admit it or not, I’ve hurt him, at least as much as he hurt me, maybe more.  I know I enjoyed it more than he did.  I waited longer.  How can you fall in love with someone and wait for five years to see it come to fruition, and not feel like you’ve cheated the devil somewhere along the line?  There’s an equivalent exchange and a consequence for everything, so I must be paying for what I’ve taken somewhere.  I’m just not seeing it yet.

On other things, there’s this amazing webcomic my bf sent me that is a huge artistic statement for the LGBT movement in my opinion: Khaos Komix.  It takes a while getting to the point (at least for us), but by about part four or five, everything explodes and you’re glad you read it.

What else is there?  Oh yes, the Trans Day of Remembrance on the 20th.  I live 109 miles from the nearest event sympathetic to the holiday and I’d like to be in San Francisco (165 miles) for the big protest event, but I can hardly afford to drive to the store these days, let alone take a road trip.  I’d like to make an effort to bring my friends together and light a couple of candles, but I’m afraid their attitude is less than accommodating.  The general consensus (not spoken, but just inferred by their blase attitude) seems to be…

“Not my fight.”

I’d like to bring my friends together and try to watch “Boys Don’t Cry,” (which I haven’t seen yet, just watched the Brandon Teena documentary in 12 parts on youtube), and I hope to change that attitude.

I know that I need to spread awareness of the trans battle beyond those of us it applies to if I hope to make the world a safer place for the oppressed.

-Calvin Jack Thomas

Sometimes things do work out.

I haven’t blogged since the beginning of November.  I was doing NaNoWriMo, which by the way I fully endorse, but so much has been eating up my life that I pretty much gave up on it a few days in.  I’ve been in a happy place for a long time anyway; I figure, when you don’t have time to write because you’ve been spending so much time with your friends and loved ones, doing the things you love, that you must be doing something right, so… c’est la vie.  I’ll try it again next year, if things have settled down by then.

I’ve got a lot of things to hit on in a short time, so I think I’m going to bulletpoint it again.

– The two foster kids my parents took in have been shaking the house up and making it crazy, but it does have its uppers.  This is the biggest one so far, to me at least.  The little one, a year and a half, doesn’t talk that much, but she’s started calling me something. 

Da-da. 

It kind of blew my mind at first because I’d never mentioned anything to do with my gender to anyone in the family, particularly the baby, so I wrote it off as an isolated incident and figured it was a baby’s mistake, something she’d probably never say again.  But she won’t stop calling me Da-da, which does a few things at once; makes me realize that one day, I want to be a Daddy- I always have, to some extent- and it confirms the gender vibrations I give off to people who are too young to be biased on appearance.  So that has been really cool.

– I got to change the way at least one person views trans culture.  I was riding in the car with one of my friends, and he glanced out the window at one of the pedestrians and went, “Whoa, is that a chick or a dick?”  And my immediate response (as per Calpernia Addams’ fabulous video “Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual“) was:

“If you can’t tell the difference, then you don’t need to know.”

He looked a little shocked at me- “Well, that’s not very nice.” 

I was a little aghast.  “Since when is it our job to tell everyone else the business going on between our legs?  It’s not a matter of  ‘nice’, it’s a matter of the most personal nature.  Transpeople don’t exist to be nice, you know.  We deserve the respect everyone else deserves, too.”

He was really quiet after that, which I took as a personal victory, since he usually has a smart comeback for everything.  I think he really took that to heart and thought about it for a few minutes.  Then he changed the subject, and I chose not to press the issue.  It seemed like a damn good idea to just let it rest.  But if I can get at least one person to view gender on a strictly need-to-know basis and not as everybody else’s business, if I can avert the critical and unblinking eye of one person, and that attitude spreads, then I feel like I’ve done my part.

-And now, the big thing.  You know that gay friend of mine who I thought couldn’t see me as anything but a big, scary walking vagina?

Let’s just say things happened. 

It’s a bit delightful.  We’re kind of on a friend-with-benefits basis, which is wonderful to me.  I prefer to think that he wouldn’t become emotionally intimate with me because we’ve been friends for way too long and it would just feel odd, but he basically came right out and said he always sees me as a guy anyway.  We play video games and mess around and it’s kind of a nice guy-on-guy setup funtime type… thing.  (That sentence completely failed at not being awkward and I won’t even bother to try.) 

I almost feel weak about this, though, because I almost feel like being with a gay guy right now is less about the person and more about personal validation- “If I can be with a person who is only attracted to dicks, PERIOD, then I MUST be a guy!”  I don’t like the idea that, somewhere in my head, that’s what this is all about.  But I can’t help feeling a small amount of personal victory in this issue, either, because it does feel damn great to be with someone who couldn’t possibly see me as anything OTHER than male.

It’s also a little awkward because this is kind of an open thing involving this guy and my boyfriend.  See, at some point this summer, my boyfriend and this guy got together, and I was almost completely left out on sole virtue of having a vagina.  My boyfriend didn’t get why it hurt me so much and basically expected me to suck it up.  But now the tables have turned and this guy is waaay more comfortable with me, and is actually a little freaked out by my boyfriend, who has a lot of trouble respecting personal boundaries.  (Plus I am apparently way better at giving head.)  So now my boyfriend is butthurt, and I’m enjoying shoving it in his face just a little too much.  But it’s the first time in our open relationship that the other person actually preferred me and let my boyfriend tag along, not the other way around, and I just want him to know what the other side of the fence is like before he does it to me again. 

/end soap opera

For once, I’m on top of pretty much everything in my life, and I’m nervous that I’m getting way too happy with the power.  This isn’t me.  I’m not normally a vindictive little bitch.  But for once, the universe has fallen in such a way that I’m holding all the cards, and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.  I KNOW that this won’t last long, that I’m treading very thin ice, and that everything must fall apart sooner or later.

But DAMN it’s nice to be on top. 

(You can read into that all you want.)

Today, I’m hurting.

My gender dyphoria always ramps into hyperdrive when I hang with one of my best friends, a pretty hyper-gay guy.  I’ve spent the last two days with him.  

It’s been an intense period of gender extremes for me, since Halloween is one of those gender-free days where I can dress as a guy character and most people call me by who I’m dressed as rather than my given name; it’s like a little vacation where I can be anyone I want, as long as they’re not a girl, and that’s a vast improvement anyway.  I’d rather be seen as the most mediocre guy than the most attractive female as long as people get the pronouns right.  And dressed as the Graverobber from “REPO! The Genetic Opera”, I was pimpin’.  All the girls in my circle of friends were hanging off of me and treating me like a real man, for at least a couple of hours, and even if it was just a game to them, I didn’t care.  It made things right in my own little universe for a little while, and it was… nice.

That said, there’s nowhere that gender discrepancy is thrown into sharper relief than with a gay guy you’ve wanted to be with for years who will never be able to get past the gaping hole where you’re supposed to have a dick.  It’s funny.  A lot of people new to the trans scene don’t believe how much rejection trans people get from the gay community.  You’d think, of all people, that gays would understand what it’s like to not be accepted for who you are and what you can’t change, but as far as I’ve seen, they reject transmen with such discrimination that we’re better off looking for support among cisgendered people.  And forget it if you’re a gay transman.  Might as well just turn straight.  I haven’t yet met a gay guy who would even consider going out with someone who previously had a vagina.  It’s like just being around them would call into question their gayness or something.

My dysphoria is on the rampage today.  I’m unbelievable horny, with a side dish of angry that makes me want to rape something, sprinkled with the shame and inadequacy knowing I couldn’t without rigging a contraption that makes a mockery of what I don’t have.  I’m crawling out of my skin.  It feels like someone lined the inside of a mascot costume with superglue and put it on me while I was sleeping, and I can’t get it off.  This is a nightmare.

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