I don’t just blog about things. I also talk with friends about issues that interest me. Which is why the following exchange arose.
Hot on the heels of discussing what could count as funny, we got on to the subject of when it was appropriate to “out oneself” as trans. I know I’ve been on a journey as far as this is concerned. From early days, when I would regularly more or less apologise for any confusion…to lately when I just let it ride.
I don’t pass astonishingly well. On the other hand, I do identify as female…so I’m not going to go out of my way to set myself up for comment. I call myself Jane: introduce myself as “Ms”; and tick the “F” box on questionnaires.
I’m pre-op but…may be post-op a lot quicker than I originally thought. However, as various persons have commented to me along the way, it is really no-one’s business but my own what I happen to have in my knickers.
Well, except…if you happen to be in the business of finding a sexual partner, then I’d suggest it is probably sensible to be upfront about that particular issue at some point before you end up in bed with them.
Our conversation drifted on. We got on to meeting someone in a club and going home with them. Would it be relevant then? Yes? Well, maybe not. There is no way anything is going to happen sexually “below the belt” for me right now. No touching. No viewing. No stripping off. Nothing. Nada.
Kissing and cuddling really is the limit, which probably underlines just how teenage I feel about this whole process.
Whereupon the conversation travelled a notch further. What? Did I mean I would happily go home with someone from a club and then NOT “put out”? Er, yes. Because…there’s no rule saying you have to, is there?
Much tutting on their part at my presumed innocence and the suggestion I’d just be asking for “a slap”…quite irrespective of the fact that they might be offended by my being trans in the first place. (But if we’re not doing anything of that sort…?).
I was flabbergasted. In various ways. First, and maybe this is why I had the more than occasional difficulty living as a bloke: I always sort of assumed you COULD go home with women after you met them and just be friends. In fact, I much preferred that mode of interaction, and over time it did piss me off that the relationship dynamic seemed to insist on our doing something above and beyond having coffee and chatting.
Far too many late-night encounters seem to have turned erotic when I would much rather they hadn’t.
But second this idea that I “would be asking for violence”. What? I am still trying to get my head around that: no, not just the statement; but the fact that i am so obviously inhabiting a different planet from my conversation partner. Whatever happened to “right to say no”? Bodily autonomy?
The irony, of course, is that this conversation took place not with some caveman-like bloke…but with a woman. Am I really so out of touch?