Gay For Me
Hi folks! ::waves:: I'm DC Juris. I'm a transgender fella who writes GLBTQ and het romance – mostly fantasy and contemporary. I live in Upstate NY with my Hubby, three dogs, three cats, and an army of sock monkeys, of which Caesar and Leo are the leaders. I wanted to tell you a little tale today. Stop me if you've heard this one…
Picture it – Late summer 1999 in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The sun is shining, you're driving home from work and can't wait to get home and get online to talk to your long-distance friend. She's the love of your life, although you're only barely aware of it at that point. Months go by, the year rolls into another and another, and it's February 10, 2001, and you're standing at the airport with your two preteens, waiting for this woman to get off the plane and join you in your life. That same year, you ask her to marry you. Though after your divorce you'd vowed off marriage and relationships, you've realized that this person – this woman – is the person you want to spend your life with. The person you wish you'd spent the past 13 years with.
Fast forward to 2008. Your wife starts hinting at things you've suspected for a while: not being comfortable in her skin, not wanting to look feminine. By the end of 2009, your wife is now an out-and-proud transgender male, and you're married to a man.
Think it's far-fetched? Think it can't happen? Think it can't work?
It's not. It did. It does.
That's what happened to my husband. He married a woman on 10/31/03, but he wakes up next to a man these days. And he's okay with it.
Now, believe me, it's not all hearts and flowers and pooping sunshine. There have been, and will continue to be, plenty of bumps along the road. Plenty of words spoken too hastily on both sides. Plenty of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
From the start, my husband knew I wasn't like typical women, and frankly, that's what drew him to me. I was more of a tom-boy. I owned maybe one dress, and had not one pink thing in my arsenal. I didn't like the shows all the women he knew liked. And, God help him, I couldn't cook worth a damn. As the years went by and it became clear that he loved me, the person on the inside, I was finally able to be free to be myself. No more acting one way around one person and another way around another person. No more putting on clothes I hated just to please my family. No more having to remember to be "lady-like" all the time. I could just be me.
Me turned out to be a dude. Well, I'd always known that. I can remember being in Kindergarten and wondering when I was going to get facial hair and muscles like the High School boys. When would I be able to join the football team? When would girls start to notice me? My tender brain didn't quite understand that I was a girl, and those things wouldn't happen to me.
My parents didn't have a lot of money, so I ended up with a lot of hand-me-downs, most of which were "boy clothes." I loved them. Overalls, jeans, turtlenecks – WOW! I only had to wear frilly things for special occasions, like Easter. It seemed, even back then as a kid, like a fair compromise.
Then, something awful happened. Puberty hit with a vengeance. During 6th grade, I went from being a flat-chested little gender neutral kid to a full-blown C cup princess. You cannot imagine how devastated I felt. You really, really can't. I wanted to die.
My parents decided that "boy clothes" were no longer appropriate. I was thrust into a world of panty hose, high heels, short skirts, shorts that showed my ass, shirts that hiked up over my tummy, and make-up. I was mortified, horrified.
I spent the time from junior high to graduation playing dress up like a drag queen. That's how I felt. Every day I would put on those clothes I hated, plaster on a fake smile, and pretend to be something I wasn't. That was life until I met my husband.
A lot of people have come and gone from my life, but I can honestly say the very first person who looked at me and said, "I love you" and really meant that they loved me was my husband. He accepts all my quirks with a calm grace. And he has set aside all his previous conceptions about gender roles, and made a real, concrete effort to accept this change in our lives.
Understand, my husband isn't gay. He's not attracted to men. They don't turn his head. But he's attracted to me. He understands that what I wear doesn't affect who I am on the inside, and neither goes a gender label. After trying to raise two boys with a woman who mentally and emotionally abused him (his first wife) he's come to realize that, when you have a good thing, details don't matter.
Once, he said to me, "I never want to be something that holds you back. I want you to grow and blossom and be who you are meant to be, and I want to be there for it. I can't do that if I close my eyes and let should and shouldn't be in control. At age 20, if you asked me if I could see myself married to a man, I'd have said hell no. Gay is cool, but I'm not into that. But you know what? I'm into you. And if that means people think I'm queer? Well, there are a lot worse things in the world than being queer."
Yes, yes there are.