(If you find heterosexuality gross or upsetting maybe don’t read this and definitely don’t watch the video linked to. Also if you just don’t want to know about my sexuality don’t read this.)
I got a really good comment today. It was from someone who is very like me in terms of maybe some kind of inherent gender presentation tendency and in terms of being into dudes. And then they are also someone who has made very different life choices than me. That’s fascinating. What’s even the point of the internet if we aren’t coming across people so much like us and puzzling over what’s different?
So here’s the comment:
“Do you believe transition is wrong for every AFAB? Is it a bikini vs burqa deal? Is there really no out for coming into this world as a cunted, titted, assed laughingstock and victim waiting to happen, particularly if lesbianism doesn’t appeal, even if being some guy’s trophy hole doesn’t appeal either? What about the stealth trans guys post phallo, who may be happy having escaped the execresence of girl existence? Why do only cutie gay boys who are AMAB get to live as humans who like men? Why does an AFAB have to be a lesbian in a lesbian community to be treated as human (as long as she stays in her commune). How does slapping on makeup and trying to find a straight dude give you more authenticity than shooting T as a trans man?”
I’m not going to be able to tackle everything in the comment in one post. But some stuff is easy to respond to- I know AFAB people who live their lives as men and seem pretty level about the whole thing. They’re in relationships, they own houses, they’re really into their dogs- all the outside indicators are that they have made choices they feel good about. So I have anecdotal evidence that AFAB people transitioning to live as men can lead to them having pretty happy lives.
Perhaps I haven’t been putting that out there enough on this blog. Yeah, I got trans guy friends. I’ve needed to distance myself from those friendships a little bit, but they’re good people and I’ve got every reason to think they’re pretty happy. (And yeah, duh, I know a ton of people who are physically transitioned to live as men and feel regretful about that choice, if you hadn’t put that together.)
I don’t have any trans guy friends who exclusively date men. I knew some bi trans guys in Cali. When I considered myself a bi trans guy in Cali the dating scene scared the shit out of me. I wasn’t close to passing and I really didn’t know which scared me more- the craigslist ads looking for passing trans guys or the ones looking for non-passing. The ones for passing trans guys were so over the top- like “i’ll lick your front hole and pound your back.” Which, you know, lots of people find talk like that on a craigslist ad appealing. The ones for non-passing trans guys were a lot of threesome situations. Like, couples that wanted a non-passing trans guy to play a teenage son in a role play scenario.
Being attracted to only men while on testosterone and since was undoubtedly the final straw. So many things went wrong- it turned out I didn’t want people to think I was a cis white guy when I entered the room, it turned out I couldn’t get housing with male pronouns, it turned out I really hated a lot of the social aspects of the trans/queer scene in the Bay, it turned out I realized a lot of my misery was from being so wrapped up in myself.
But it was exceptionally important that it turned out I only liked men. It was very hard to accept. The day I accepted it I was working at the clinic. I had started going for runs on my lunch break because the clinic was giving me crying fits and I was just trying to keep it together. I was running up a hill and listening to this song on my headphones: (I wouldn’t recommend my more radically feminist readers watch this video, I really think you will be out of control offended. But if you start watching keep watching through Gangsta Boo’s verse.)
I was running, and listening to the song and thinking about how great it would be to fuck to this song and I stopped and looked out over the city, and it was beautiful, lots of white houses on green hills and a big blue sky, and I thought, “oh shit, it’s definitely that I want El-P to be into fucking me because he finds me a sexy woman.” I did not want El-P ever talking about my “front hole.”
I really do not think I would’ve found this song sexy if I’d never taken testosterone. I know that sounds unbelievable. I know it’s all backwards. It’s so backwards I wonder all the time if this is a made up story I’m telling myself, that maybe I was always really straight or something, but no, I definitely was in love and lust with female people before testosterone. Also the men I liked before testosterone were not broad-shouldered rappers- they were skinny little long haired record store employees.
So like, there’s that. I’m not advocating for the moral superiority of this particular erotic aesthetic. I’m definitely not saying it’s feminist. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. Them’s the facts about the inside of my head. I am NEVER advocating for the moral superiority of the inside of my head.
I haven’t written about this because it is a part of the inside of my head that I think could be very upsetting to a lot of my readers, and also it’s gross. I used to be very, very into talking about the details of my erotic landscape, because I thought it was really radical of me. But actually springing your sex life on people who didn’t ask is totally gross.
So does slapping on makeup and chasing straight boys make me more authentic than you? I mean, I’m not you. I can’t tell you what would be the most authentic way for you to be in the world. I’m not writing about your life when I write on this blog. Sometimes in my life I come across people who I suspect are making mistakes like the ones I’ve made. It is true that fundamentally I don’t know what they should do with their lives.
The parallels between transitioning and moving to SF are numerous. You don’t know what it’s really like until you do it. If you do it you should save up a ton of money first. You shouldn’t count on being able to find a job. You’re gonna meet a lot of people who don’t realize they came from rich families and then a lot of people who are living on the streets. Most people who are thinking of moving to SF should stay home and work on themselves.
And then some people absolutely should move to SF. It’ll be the start of their lives. I can’t predict who those people are and who the people who should not are. All I can do is talk about why I shouldn’t have moved to SF in case someone whose thinking about it is all “whoa I could see myself running up a hill to keep from crying and realizing I wanted El-P to bend me over.”
I also haven’t written about the changes in my own erotic landscape because with this stuff I don’t know what self-love is. That’s the real question behind the comment, and also this whole blog/my daily life. How do you know when you’re being self-loving? I thought I was being self-loving transitioning, and now I think quitting was a self-loving choice. Lots of people would say being turned on by a song about sucking dick is definitely not self-love, and I’m pretty convinced by those people. And yet, them’s the facts. I don’t know if the makeup I wear is self-love. I know that for me, shooting up testosterone ended up being not self-love. I feel you on feeling like the only clear self-love choice is a lesbian commune, and also being like, but…. there’s this dick over here though. Maybe we’re both super fucked up. Maybe we’re both doing pretty well.
Maybe it’s always hard to be born female in a patriarchy and we’re just all trying. Maybe what we have in common is the important part, and maybe it’s really almost impossible to speak across the different choices without pissing people off. I don’t know. Let the soft animal of your body loves what it loves? Ha, a lesbian wrote that, we’re definitely fucked. Oh well, take care.