For 15 years, before coming to terms with my transsexuality, I identified as a “hella butch lesbian”. I tried every which way to live as butch, attracted to women…but that identity as a woman never fit well. Much of this overlapped the Bush presidency, and it was fucking hard. Just think how much harder it could have been trying to transition back then!
I see myself, first and foremost, as a straight man. It’s hard going to LGBT events that focus on same-sex or “same gender loving” relationships—but hey, it’s for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in same-sex relationships, not transsexuals in relationships where each parter lives as different sexes. It’s hard attending trans-focused events when they mostly focus on trans women or non-binaries, especially on life pre-op or when people don’t easily “pass” as their “preferred gender”. People not within the community see me as a member of this demographic; the transgender community tries to claim me as a member, despite trying to rewrite my narrative to suit their agenda. Gay- and lesbian-focused events hate that transgenders are trying to make it center around them, and not solely on same-sex relationships.
I walk between worlds, often unable to fully live within either, often feeling isolated from or unaccepted by either. Even my AFAB, but masculine, siblings whom I personally know—I often feel alienated from even them, because our experiences, objectives, and identities are so different. A fish out of water, no which way I turn.
Still, two things keep me connected to the LGBT community. I have identified as “hella butch” for over 15 years, and that will always be a part of my story. My sex change is the other big part. I—usually—don’t care how others see me, because I define myself, and how I live myself. I will not simply become your friend because we are family, but if we have other things in common, I’ll find ways to be your friend. And despite all our differences, I will find my way in this world, and find my place in both the straight and LGBT worlds.