My girlfriend and I don’t go out often, but when we do I’ve noticed on multiple occasions we get treated differently. This should come as no surprise as I’m sure many readers have felt the same way a time or two. Mainstream America isn’t fully embracing of a lesbian relationship. Especially, in a situation where one of them is Trans, like myself. I have also pointed out to her that many times we seem to be treated or looked at as a heterosexual couple.
I am 6’2” compared to her 5’5” frame. I have broader shoulders, and whilst my girlfriend believes hers are wide as well – they are quite appropriate to match her frame. Her choice of clothing would indicate she is more athletic of us, where as I tend to choose clothing that compliments my lifestyle as a female. My preference is to wear more feminine items from my hair down to my feet.
Sideways glares and poor treatment are probably due to my girlfriend being seen as a female (She is Cis), and myself being viewed as a transgender person only. You may be imagining this coupling differently in your mind, so I wanted to add a frame of reference. I already stated that I am tall while she is not. Naturally, I stick out like a sore thumb when the two of us are together.
Imagine a bar graph showing differences between control groups, the tallest part of the graph always sticks out to the viewer before the smaller part does. Immediately the viewer wants to see what the graph is even about, because the difference in the bars are so skewed. This is like us!
I prefer to go out with my makeup done, but lately, it has been way too hot for me to even worry about it. Recently, I have been taking care of my four youngest children alone, and when I find the time to go out of the house – there is no time for me to get myself ready to the standard I desire.
Fortunately, my girlfriend loves me for the woman I am so the way I look has not bothered me lately. Because of the above factors, and the occasional visible facial hair growth, I don’t necessarily blame others for automatically misgendering me. I mean, technically they used to be correct.
I have a deeper voice than most females, including my girlfriend. I have worked very hard at making my voice higher than what it used to be, but I feel it will always be mistaken for a male’s voice. Never having the pitch and inflection of a woman will always be a burden for me to bear. I hate when I have to talk to anyone over the phone as I am always called “sir” even when they learn my name. Even after I’ve mentioned it a time or two!
Sometimes, I’ll blow it off, but seriously, how many guys are named Jocelyn. And if there are guys named Jocelyn, which is highly unlikely, how many would have the middle name, Marie? I am not the type of person who ever wants to start arguments or confrontations where they could be avoided, but even I have my limits.
However, getting upset at the other person is not the way I prefer to handle any situation. I choose to educate. Transgender related education is truly lacking in society. Most ignorant people learn from electronic mediums such as Google, YouTube, or media outlets that don’t often show LGBTQIA situations in a favorable light.
I have talked to many people that I have encountered about my experiences as a transgender woman, and informed them that they are welcome to ask me any questions that they may have. This is especially important to me because there are not many people out there willing to ask questions and be enlightened about this. I believe that as a transgender woman, advocacy and information is essential to being accepted by society, or at least those who may encounter people like us on a regular basis.
Opening up to questions can have its downsides. I have found, as I am sure other trans-women have, one of the first questions people seem to want to ask is, “So, are you going to have the surgery?”
“Uhm, which surgery is that?” Is my usual response.
I mean, there are several surgeries one can opt to have! Some transwomen/transmen may not wish to have any surgeries at all. I’m sure in some cases it’s a sly way to ask if I’m going to have the Gender Confirmation Surgery (ie. GCS, Sex Change). It’s rude to me that some people what to know what’s in my under garments! It’s no one’s business!
At the same time though, I think this curiosity is fueled by society’s lack of understanding about what it’s truly like being transgender, or how many possible procedures there are, and how personal preference as well as individual gender dysphoria play a major role in what route any transgender person(s) might take.
The people who do not immediately ask what’s in my panties, or assume what is or is not already in them seem to ask the same question with a wary self guarding whisper…”What do people call you?” Well, I have heard people call me many things. Asshole comes to mind. Annoying is another. I have heard several people call me a freak or a faggot. However, my favorite is when people call me by my name, Jocelyn. That’s what I want people to call me. I mean, Ma’am, or Ms Abrams, or even Marie are acceptable.
I should ask them, “What do people call you?” I wonder how they’d respond. After all, it is a ridiculous question once someone ALREADY knows you name.
Acquaintances close to my girlfriend have asked how things “work out” for us in the bedroom. Is this an acceptable question? What if I asked every heterosexual couple about their sexual habits in the bedroom? When I was married to a woman for a number of years I don’t remember being asked once how it worked for US in the bedroom!!!!
Back then those conversations were avoided simply because I was viewed as being a straight male in a “traditional” relationship. I’m offended! I mean, really, imagine the fun I could have had answering those types of inquires. Perhaps, it’s just my sick sense of humor coming out!
When I first started transitioning my ex-wife asked me about potential relations in the bedroom right after I had revealed to her, and the world I was a woman. Would I be comfortable using the “member” that I had been given with my anatomy? Would I prefer and/or be more comfortable not to? Would I be open to using a “strap-on” and being the giver? Would I now be the “receiver?”
It was strange hearing her ask me those types of questions, since I hadn’t really thought of asking myself. I mean, I always imagined those questions could have been answered in the moment. Not pre-decided based upon my sexual identity. Obviously, there were things I needed to ask myself due to the changes I was going through.
You’re most likely reading this and wondering the same thing! Go on, admit it. It’s fine, I’m used to it. I will say this, I am not “straight” and I am not strictly a “lesbian.” I am currently in a long-term lesbian relationship with my girlfriend. I hope to soon be her wife and she mine. We do things as any couple would. Believe it or not, we even argue sometimes. She has no problem introducing me as her girlfriend. All this before my “bottom surgery” which is scheduled for September 10th, 2019.
She was actually there by my side during the consultation with my plastic surgeon regarding the upcoming surgical procedure. She has never viewed my as anything other than the woman she loves. And she loves me completely!
But the facts are: Yes, we have a healthy and very fulfilling love life both in and out of the bedroom. Yes, we go out together in public. No, we have no real consideration for what other people may think when they see us together. We are a couple. We are women. “Which one of us is the ‘man’ in the relationship?” Neither. We are both women, that’s kinda the point. So, if you ever notice a couple like us and have questions. Be polite, turn your curious glances into a conversation. Who knows? You might just meet some really amazing and loving people.