She sat them down just before Christmas and told them she had made the decision to become a woman.
They were understandably upset and confused, and now eight months later, some of them are still struggling. Mostly because they had no hint of this previously. To me, I suspected some four months ago, but we have only been acquainted for three years, not fifty, so I simply shrugged when I heard the news and congratulated her.
Over coffee, I shared the news of this person’s transition with my BFF. One of my BFF’s questions was, “So is he… she… a lesbian now? If he’s now a woman, does he… uh, she… go for guys or girls?”
I have to admit I don’t know. It’s a bit of a personal question, isn’t it?
I guess the whole thing comes down to the fact that transitioning from one gender to another has nothing to do with sexual orientation. In my opinion, your sexual orientation is what you like in other people. Your gender is what you feel on the inside of you.
But no matter what her preference in other people, asking is one of those no-no questions. It ranks right up there with asking a gay couple who is the bottom in the relationship. You just don’t ask. If they are happy to volunteer the information, then okay, but otherwise, what they do in the privacy of their bedroom is up to them.
I’m always bemused at the thought that people feel they have to right to ask those sort of questions. The only time I’ve ever had to answer questions about my own sex life was when my father demanded to know if I was still a virgin after meeting my new (and first) boyfriend (cringe! Thx Dad!), and when my doctor was trying to work out the due dates of my children. In a way, I’m lucky to be heterosexual.
I often wonder how hard it is for some guys to come out to their family. A group of us mothers met over the recent school holidays for a play-date in the park. While chatting, two mothers admitted they were already wondering about their sons, as both boys show a determined liking for fairies, glitter, tutus and dresses. Since these children in question are only four, I’m a little sceptical, but I do wonder about mothers who suspect their child is gay from a young age. It is probably easier for those boys.
I would have to imagine it is the “manly men” who have trouble telling their family. These are the ones whose family would say, “But you don’t look gay!” Just like my transitioning friend, whose family said, “But you don’t dress like a woman!” Well, no. She doesn’t because her genitalia and society said that it was wrong to wear her hair like that and paint her fingernails. She has finally gathered the courage to give a middle finger to the world and break out the nail polish and hair spray (along with pantyhose, high-heels and lipstick!)
Dreamspinner have a new Anthology coming out – it’s called A Taste of Honey. It’s about bears. No, not real bears, or shifter bears, but men who call themselves bears. It’s a form of recognition of a certain type of gay man – one who is happy being hairy and having a real body, not necessarily one that is muscled or svelte. Yes, you heard right. They are big and hairy and gay. And most importantly – happy to be this way.
There may be a small offering in this Anthology from me, but I’m more interested in the other stories. I already know what my story is about. I want to know about the others! I wonder if any of them tackle the issue of manly men coming out to their family? I can’t wait!
Anthology from Dreamspinner
Link for pre-release order
Bear Chasing, by Renae Kaye
Skinny, geeky, and socially awkward, Neil lives with his sister and spends most of his time on the computer. When three guys move into the house across the street, Neil is fascinated, especially with big, hairy Brett. One morning, Brett leaves Neil with a single word: woof. Neil is excited and uncertain about the unfamiliar term, but Brett is there to introduce Neil to a world he never knew existed.