This piece was read at the Erotic Literary Salon on September 16, 2014.
New levels of open
September 16, 2014
Backstory: In April of last year I came out here as transgender, only two weeks after realizing it myself. This story continues to overshare the very rapid changes in my life as a result of this surprising revelation.
My coming out arose from work with Monica Day and Michelle Younger to set aside the masks I was hiding behind. To find the strength to actually be myself instead of the person I imagined I was supposed to be. I’ve been more-than-a-little surprised at the results. I used to consider myself almost painfully normal, if somewhat geeky. At the moment I identify as a transsexual lesbian. I was assured that expressing my genuine self would help lead to healthy relationships, that some people would see the real me and be drawn to it.
I was dubious.
I’m thrilled to report, it’s true.
Last Spring I went to the Mazzoni Center Gala for the first time, since they’ve been guiding my transition. I chatted with a young lady I knew from Women’s Way a few years ago. And our conversation kept going deeper than the casual “oh hi, what are you doing now, how’s life?” kind of thing, so I made sure to get her contact information. We soon went to a couple of shows together, very platonic, but clearly having a good time. Finally the third time we were going to go out, she broke the ice and asked “So is this a date?” I smiled, since we had both dodged the pink elephant in the room up to that point. So after a little dancing around each other, because we were both terrified of rejection, I finally summoned the courage to ask her out. She said yes.
It was a little awkward, since she’s obviously a dedicated feminist and so am I, so we had to be extra careful that we weren’t oppressing each other.
Not long after we started dating, we made an important discovery. We’re both easy. (Yessss!) We’ve been going out frequently ever since.
I got to use my favorite line of all time. We were getting intimate for the first time, slowly peeling away layers of clothing from each other between frantic kisses, and I warned her “I have to ask you a very important question.” She visibly tensed up, stopped breathing for a minute, clearly terrified what I was going to ask, and said “what is it?” I paused, mostly for dramatic effect because I had waited literally years to use this line, and asked “Is there any place you DON’T want me to kiss you?” She melted into a puddle of relief, whispered “No,” and started kissing me even harder.
We both have a penchant for terribly inappropriate pillow talk. After one of our first times making love, during the quiet cuddly afterglow, she finally had to say “Really, this is NOT part of the interview process for Women’s Way volunteers.”
As a lover she has been open with asking questions about what I want, and actively asking for things that please her. Questions that seemed really obvious to ask, but I went through several relationships without ever being that clear and open about what I want or hope or expect.
She doesn’t have a problem with my transition, in fact has been quite supportive. She’s been in relationships with men and women, so my plumbing isn’t an issue. But I couldn’t help wondering how it is from her point of view to be dating a trans woman, so finally after a few dates I had to ask. We were in a romantic Asian restaurant, and she had just mentioned past relationships, so I finally posed the question that had been nagging me for a while. I asked “So at the moment, are you gay or straight?” She smiled, looked down coyly, and replied “I’ll get back to you.”