July 6th, 2004


queer identity fatigue

Hi. I'm Eric, the same one who asked for trans student housing narratives a week or so ago. (We're still needing them!!) I wonder if anyone can relate to what I'm going through.

I'm female born, living as male, taking T, but with no surgery. I came out into the online/real life femme-butch community, which seemed to work for me because I'm masculine and attracted to strong, feminine women. My wife and I recently separated after six years together. For twenty years she was femme-identified and is now confused, but leaning toward identifying as straight--i.e. she's wanting someone with a flesh penis and not wanting someone with a vagina. (I realize this is conflating gender and sexual orientation, but I'm reporting it as it happened.) Almost at the exact same time, I have been having a coming out spurt of my own, suddenly idenitifying as an open-minded, pan-curious straight man. By "man" I mean the following.

I do not want to be treated--as my ex did--as if I know something about being a woman. Of course, I know what it's like to be treated like a woman. I know something about what people expect women to be like and do. Still, I really wouldn't know what it's like to actually be a woman, as in have that role more or less fit. I'm predominantly masculine. That's it. Move on. Seriously: having female body parts does not automatically make me a woman. That category doesn't fit for me and never did.

People, including my ex, tell me that nevertheless I can't be a man because that includes having male parts. Fine. How about then I be something exactly like a man except for having female parts. Call it whatever you like; just don't make such a big deal about it.

Ultimately, being a guy with an anatomically female body is not in itself a problem for me. The question is, how do I find a femme partner who can work with my body as it is but doesn't at the same time fetishize my body as indicating that I'm a woman?

I don't have a problem being thought of or even occasionally identifying as queer. Admittedly, I'm unusual in this one way that everyone can see, and in a few others that people cannot see as readily. I have to be political just to get my needs met on occasion and I'm big into helping other minorities of various kinds getting their needs met.

Then, recently, a woman was pursuing me for fun, getting very hot as she wove her web-- until I told her about my body. She was freaked and not at all intrigued.

Hey, I can't blame people for accepting or rejecting me sexually on the basis of their own experiences of desire. Still, my ex-wife's flip-flop tends to validate my suspicion that sexual orientation is at least partially conditioned by the myths and archetypes we are working with. Surely that can mean that if people would just get over themselves, some of them would see how hot and sexy I am as I am. Right? ;-)

I guess I'm looking for reassurance that these two women's viewpoints don't cover all the territory of desire for someone like me. Intellectually I know it doesn't, but I could still use your support in convincing myself on deeper levels. Apparently, I need to care for myself in more ways in order to attract someone who really appreciates me.
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful slightly bitter