Um, so, I’m going to write something about sexual orientation and my trans experience so far. This will not be X-rated, I hope.
So far as I can tell, I’ve always been what I always thought of as bisexual.
These days, I’m more inclined to think of myself as polysexual, by which I mean that I can find myself attracted to people before I know what gender they are (or present as, or identify as or whatever) – so “bi” seems very, well, binary, digital, and my sexual orientation is definitely analogue (though not retro). Specifically, I’ve been thinking of myself as polysexual ever since I fell for a trans man online on first seeing his smile – and I currently have a shocking (and comfortably unexpressed) crush on a young trans woman, which kicked in the first hour we met, during which I really enjoyed the not knowing and not caring :).
But for the sake of oversimplicity here, let’s call me bisexual. Since I was old enough to be aware of attraction, I’ve always liked both men and women – I totted up once all the people I’ve ever fallen in love with (since I tend only to let myself be attracted to people I can also love/be loved by, probably an abuse thing). There were a lot of them, over 70, and the men/women fell pretty much 50/50. This amused me.
Anyway, over the years, I spent quite a long time trying to just be a “gay man” for a mixture of very weird reasons (including need for approval/tribe, and fear of women at the time), but I finally just let go into being bi about 15 years ago.
So. A very brief history of my transition again: I first allowed myself to know I wanted to transition when I was 23 back in ’86, but then I repressed it again. Every few years it would pop up again, and I’d swat it back down. Two summers ago I made friends with a lovely woman who introduced me to a male friend of hers, who used to be her girlfriend. This was the first time I’d knowingly met anyone trans, and it started a long, slow earthquake in me. A few months later, I met the aforementioned trans-man-with-the-amazing-smile, and we got together a few times – but I realised something very significant as a result of our getting naked together [warning: what I’m about to write may make some trans men uncomfortable, but I’m just telling what went through my mind at the time, so please bear with the un-PC terminology…] – I realised I was jealous of his fanny (for Americans, I mean pussy). This is what finally freed me up to begin my transition. For the first time, I could really see what was wrong and how to right it.
Now we get to the point of all this. Sometime early last year, I had a week where my sexuality rebooted, and when it was over, I felt that instead of being a bi man, I was now a bi woman. And what marked this so clearly for me was that the kind of men and women I was attracted to, and the way in which I was attracted to them, seemed to have done a huge but subtle shift. It feels too obvious to write this, but too true not to: I’m now attracted to men as a woman, not as a man, and how it makes me feel (and whom I’m attracted to) is very different. Interestingly, my feelings for women haven’t changed so much as they’ve bobbed up to the surface like a huge iceberg (if an iceberg was hot!) – I’ve never been able to deal with my attraction to women because I was trying to be attracted to them as a man, and now that’s fallen away. I’m going to have to wait until my body catches up some more, before the women I’m attracted to (who are pretty much all dykes) are going to fancy me back, but the journey has commenced.
I’ve just been re-watching the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and noticed that the Boreanaz-factor has undergone a major shift too. The old bi me was never able to find the older, chunkier, Angel-spinoff Angel attractive. Now it’s him I’m attracted to, and the young, skinny version just annoys me. This seemed significant enough for me to end up writing all of the above.