It’s odd, how our view of things change during transition. Not just the emotions, or the physical changes… but the social interactions especially with men, now that’s something to behold.
Growing up in a man’s skin, trying to walk, talk and act like a man under the influence of Testosterone, I never really had any idea how hard it was to be a woman. You hear all these feminists (oh, sorry, “equalitarians”) talk about how they’re treated badly, how they struggle in this society run by men. You see these crushing stories of woman being raped and then blamed for the way they dressed, you see some random girl throwing the finger at some stupid douche that whistled at her… but unless you’ve been in their place, it’s really hard to really understand that.
And I still have trouble really comprehending the extent of the “problem” that women have to deal with. I’m not pretty enough (yet! 😉 ) to receive the attention of random men on the street. I haven’t seen any difference in the way I’m treated by the men around me – probably because I stay mostly cloistered at home, but still, I go out in restaurants and stores and it’s escaped my attention…
Well, almost. There is one area where I’ve realized there’s been a major change, where there’s a complete shift in behaviour that still strikes me as unbelievable. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with dating women before, and I’ve talked about it a little in previous posts. I still have that issue, mind you – if you ignore last week’s drama-prone story, I’m still actually out there kinda looking, and it’s not looking good. But only with women.
At the beginning of my whole story with Z, there was a little even that just… happened. I was feeling down (the emotional roller coaster was in a low peak) and this guy I met at the Trans Pride a few months before tells me that from my posts it’s obvious that I need to talk to someone, and he has shit to talk about too, so let’s meet for dinner and a few beers… I really, honestly thought nothing of it, and he tells me it was the same for him. But in the end, after half a dozen beer each and a whole lot of talking, I ended up taking a taxi back to his place and… well, having sex with him, there’s no other way to put it. This guy, he has a way of making women feel like they’re the center of the universe, like there’s no one else he’d rather be with. It was a really enjoyable evening, which actually led to its own drama with him, me and Z, but that’s another story altogether.
It felt very different, being courted by a guy, being kissed suddenly in the middle of a conversation, spending a night with him in bed. The difference was in how… easy it had all seemed. Not to say I didn’t have an internal dilemma about it, that I didn’t hesitate… but it seemed like nothing to him, like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Ok so enough about this first guy. Fast forward a couple of weeks. I’m hanging out with a female friend and another friend of her’s – an ex-boyfriend, actually. We’re chatting, eating, doing a bit of platonic cuddling. As it turns out, I spent an hour that evening talking about my night with the guy above, and the week following that event. Yes, an hour to resume just a week of drama in my life. Now the ex boyfriend is a little sad (especially after my story) because he just broke up with someone, he’s depressed.. thus the aforementioned cuddling. I feel that there’s a way that he’s looking at me, and the way he’s enjoying the cuddles maybe a little too much.
Well, I decided to test myself, to test the changes in my life and how people reacted to me, so I asked him a question. I was very forward about the fact that it was just a curiosity, that I wanted an honest answer just because I wanted to know – nothing else. So I told him, if I asked you to come back with me to my place tonight… would you?, not really expecting a specific answer… Well, he answered Yes.
It wasn’t as much of a shock as I expected. After all, I had seen hints of what to expect that evening. But still it felt strange that I could get this guy in my bed if I really wanted, no questions asked, no further challenge. I didn’t, mind you, because it truly was just out of curiosity. But it served to prove my point to myself.
This point is that when you’re a woman, however you look, there’s always going to be men around you who will be interested in you. You don’t have to work for it, you don’t have to fight for it… you just have to, like, be there. It may seem like an oversimplification, and there are cases where I’m wrong of course… but I’m pretty sure this is right in most situations.
So what did I learn? The lesson here is that there’s one thing that I’ve never had to do as a guy, that all of a sudden I have to learn to do at an increasing rate: Say No. I’ve never said no to a relationship with a woman before. Maybe it’s a sign of how much of a loser I really was – after all, all 12 of the partners I had in my pre-transition life expressed interest in me, I never rejected anyone knowingly – but it’s also a clear indication of how things have changed forever. Other women around me, they’ve had years of experience rejecting guys. I had to learn the hard way that hoping in a taxi with a guy I met once in my life at a random event, may not have been the best move I ever made. I was lucky that time – but the lesson was well learned.
Ladies, what’s your feeling on this? Especially if you’re born female, I’d like to hear your input, but I’d also like to hear from men and other trans people what they think of all of this. Perspective is everything!