There’s pressure from cisgender, straight society for me to blend in and live in stealth. Sometimes that pressure separates me from the LGBT community.
For 15 years, before coming to terms with being trans, 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!
Being a trans man, who’s straight (i.e. as a man attracted to women), 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 trans folk in relationships where each partner lives with different gender identities. It’s sometimes hard attending trans-focused events when they mostly focus on trans women or non-binary folk, focusing on life pre-op or when people don’t easily pass. And it’s hard trying to date cis, straight women who want to date cis men, and cis lesbians who want to date cis women. It feels hard feeling rejected by both worlds at times!
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 transition is the other big part. I 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. I will not date the first person who finds me attractive, as I’ve had my share of chasers.
I’m trans, but straight. I have community, and am part of it.