lgbt all at once
It’s (barely) still pride month so this is partially still ‘topical’ but this is moreso me grappling with the constantly expanding and shifting nature of human identity and airing it out in a blog post.
I’m a transgender man. This is who I am. And I can’t really see a future for myself where I’m not. it’s hard to see myself as anything but an (admittedly weird) male. I’m on HRT with absolutely zero plans of stopping as of now, it makes me feel alive and truly like myself. But there’s a part of me that has a lingering sort of sadness around the complete ‘totality’ of this identity, and how in transgender spaces you are usually expected to reject past iterations of yourself.
For context, when I first realized I was some kind of queer, I was about 11 or 12 and I thought I was a lesbian. I don’t remember an exact moment I can mythologize for you in some nice neatly wrapped story, it just sort of became an aspect of my self-perception that yeah, along with this and this, I’m a lesbian too.
I also figured out I was some kind of gender-queer because this was the onset of puberty and I had been having a lot of strong feelings which could be described as dysphoria to the more knowing eye. But this was also around the time when transmedicalists were everywhere and I had it in my head that to be transgender, you had to have been born day one protesting your genitalia to your parents and have it be your every waking thought. And you couldn’t be both of these things, at least in the online spaces I was in at the time but it was also generally the LGBTQ zeitgeist among kids my age about having these very compartmentalized identities. You were this and that and that meant you couldn’t be that or this. which seems counterintuitive to queerness as a philosophy in my opinion but that’s besides the point.
Eventually, I started to ease into ‘nonbinary’ because that felt more like an acceptable departure from ‘lesbian’ and I was even seeing people that were allowed to be both of those at once. But I decided I liked being a man, felt most familiar, comfortable, and whole as a man and since then that’s who I've been. At that point, ‘lesbian’ had been almost totally ditched, and I had a resentment toward it almost, like I was foolish for ever thinking that about myself. No, I was born this way and the transmedicalists just wanted to pigeonhole me into that identity (I pigeonholed myself, but again that’s beside the point). As I began to socially transition and find a new home in my identity, I found that I also did have an (extremely repressed at that point) attraction to men. So that did completely throw that old idea out the window. “I guess I’m bisexual now,” I thought, and then proceeded to never think on it much again because I didn’t actually care that much.
Fast forward to now. I’ve finally begun medical transition and I feel so happy, so full of optimism with the road ahead of me and how it is being constructed by every minute change in my body, which I am growing more and more connected to after years of dissociation. “Yes,” I think, “I’m finally becoming who I am!” It’s a happy story that’s been told thousands of times but needs to be told again I think. Just another example that hope is real. May everyone who reads this have the immense joy and privilege of becoming themselves. I mean that.
But now more than ever, I’ve begun thinking back at that younger version of myself. He pretended to be a man at school to maybe be funny, she was beginning to understand her attraction to women, they were suffering immensely with no real life support and was left to the chaotic expanse of the internet to provide a modicum of comfort. (I don’t know what to refer to my younger self as really… sorry. I think he would appreciate being called a ‘he’ in earnest though). I don’t want to reduce the entire concept of lesbianism to a ‘stepping stone’ to my ‘real self’, things like Alison Bechdel’s cartoons and drag kings and butches were where I first saw this part of myself. Reading the experiences of lesbians, how they felt like predators, like outsiders for who they were, it was no surprise that I thought myself to be one too. And you know what? Maybe I still am. I still certainly feel like my attraction to women is in some way queer. I’m not bisexual, I’m half a lesbian, half a gay man, and fully me haha. Watch me be LGBTQ all at once motherfucker!!!!
I guess here’s to say not to shun your past self. Be more forgiving. Maybe they were right about some things, who knows? And also that labels are a trap too.
Also, while I didn’t think it to be super fitting with the general “story” of this post, the past year I’ve come to discover myself as some flavor of aromantic as well, which has honestly been a weight off my shoulders. I thought I would have to ‘get in a relationship’ to prove some of these facets of my identity (which yeah typing it out comes across as insane) for the longest time when in actuality I had more or less zero interest in that mode of human interaction and looking back at some stuff I had said in the past it really was a shocker that it took me this long to realize. I am however extremely happy in what can loosely be described as a “queerplatonic relationship”, “moirallegiance”, “quadrant vacillation”, “Stop saying homestuck words at me or I will shock you with a cattle prod” with my dearest companion and favorite person in the whole wide world. Hi Keaton :D
Catch you later!