A couple of important things to note about me after reading about Brianna…
First, I’ve never been to a gay club, or a trans club, or any other type of underground club. I’ve never even been curious or tempted. In fact, I’ve hardly ever even been to a bar except to either see a band or play in one. The club scene does not interest me.
Second, I have no interest in casual sex or random sex or dangerous sex or anal sex or any such things which appear to reverberate through the club scene. I have, at times, had interest in role-play sex, generally with me forced by a partner into the submissive or feminine role. For the most part, this has passed as I’ve come to realize that it was a proxy for needs that I have but have been unwilling to face. Similarly, I’ve long been interested in bondage sex but for a similar reason. Like all of my sexual activity, I consider this a private matter and not for exploration with strangers or even friends who may share such an interest.
Third, I have a fundamental discomfort around gay men. It’s not unlike my discomfort around men in general, but it’s more pronounced. As a man, I am uncomfortable with the idea that another man might be attracted to me. I don’t really know why. There’s a very real chance that this is caused by a latent homophobia of some sort. I am, after all, straight, and not attracted to men, or aroused by the sight of two men engaged in sexual acts. In fact, it kind of grosses me out (especially anal!). The only time that the thought of being engaged in sexual activity with a man does not gross me out is when I’m imagining doing so as a straight woman with a straight man. I find that to be a very erotic idea. To some people, this dichotomy would likely seem disingenuous, but I know it to be true.
Fourth, I don’t really have any discomfort with lesbian women, and I’m really not sure how to interpret this fact. The sight of two women engaged in sexual acts is not repellent, but actually can be erotic (at least in the fantasy world). But my genuine experiences with lesbian women are most definitely not a source of erotic interest. And I do not (and really can not) imagine myself as a woman engaged in sex with a lesbian woman (at least not one with whom I was not already in love before transition).
Fifth, the thought of two women in an intimate emotional relationship is quite lovely, while I find the thought of two men in such a relationship discomforting. Weird double-standard, I know. The best option, to me, is a man and a woman having an emotional relationship to fuel a physical relationship. I think that being straight means that I feel comfortable with matching the halves — interactions between a man and a woman. I’ve done that from one point of view, and know how well it works. But I’d really rather do it from the other point of view because I think that would actually work better for me. (Please note that this is not an attempt to judge anyone else’s preferences, but only to understand my own.)
Now, I must also admit that I have some discomfort around transgendered women, but that it’s a rather different sort of thing, and not directly related to their gender decisions. It mostly has to do with an empathy toward the discomfort they tend to project, often because they’ve chosen clothing that doesn’t fit or look good, wear too much make-up, and/or seem to be overcompensating, and thus drawing more attention to what they are not than to what they are. They rarely seem comfortable, and I pick up on and internalize that. (This is a horrible generalization, I know, but life has often been hard on these women, and it shows.)
So I really do understand at least one reason why people will one day be uncomfortable around me (there are certainly other reasons), and I would seek to avoid that problem as much as possible by choosing clothing not to over-accentuate my burgeoning femininity, but to look attractive and not like I’m trying too hard. (This is part of the reason that I favor a very long and slow transition instead of the overnight, “now I’m a woman” approach.) One day, I dream of looking attractive and completely passable in a dress, and I probably won’t wear one in public until that day has arrived (if it ever does).
Finally, while I would never rule out befriending a transgendered woman (or man), I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of support groups or other social events intended strictly for t-people. For one thing, working out my problems (or even admitting them) in public is just not who I am. Because a “lone wolf” approach is something of a masculine attribute, I allow that that might change, but it’s hard to imagine.
Beyond that, I see my gender journey as one not to be limited by such a closed social loop — especially one inside of which I would likely be horribly uncomfortable. I want to be a woman in the world, not in a closed society of others born similarly misgendered. This is not a criticism of those who get something from such a process, just an honest admission that I don’t see myself as getting the same sort of strength from it.Recognizing these things about myself, hard as it may be to admit, is about maintaining as honest a transition as possible And, of course, I acknowledge that I may change my mind. That’s a woman’s prerogative, after all.