Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Me? I'm a Straight Lesbian

Okay, I know everyone doesn't agree with me on this, BUT, it is MY OPINION that those who hurl "you've killed my loved one," to anyone who is transitioning, is WRONG about that. The "killing off" of that person is the person doing the killing, not the person who is transitioning. THAT IS DIFFERENT than deciding that one cannot face being viewed as, oh, the horrors of it all, a lesbian! Give me a break. Lesbians are people too! If people could get over labels, most people would get over themselves and their fears of being labeled. Okay, I get it that some folks think they can't have sex unless it's between a man and a woman, including the penetration stuff. I don't think there are that many folks out there that haven't heard of masturbation, sex toys, and all the other ways that one can come to orgasm with the person you love without a penis being involved.

We are often asked, "are you a lesbian now?" by students. My answer is what I titled this piece - "I'm a straight lesbian." That usually gets a laugh, and then Angela and I can talk about labels and how they don't always fit everyone. Labels are okay if you are talking about large groups in general; but when you are talking about specific people, it's usually better to talk about the person and not label them as one thing. Saying that Einstein was only a (pick one) scientist/mathematician/physicist wouldn't exactly fit the bill would it? He was much more. So too are your friends and family. I don't introduce my friends as "this is Josey, she's a heterosexual." I introduce her as my friend, and then I tell more about how special she is. What she does in bed with a partner/lover/spouse NEVER shows up in the conversation. Why should it? Why should anyone care what she does, or what I do, in the bedroom. I don't want to know what my friends, or yours, do in their bedrooms.

I married straight. My spouse became a woman. Now I certainly appear to be a lesbian. But to merely say we are two lesbians negates the 35+ years we were married as husband and wife. David didn't die, and we are still married, and we are still as much in love as we were when we married. David became Angela, took hormones, had some parts rearranged, and now she is who she should have always been. I'm glad I wasn't so worried about being possibly being viewed as a lesbian that I would have lost my spouse, who happens to also be the person I love more than any other.

I was called a lesbian when I was younger because I stood up for homosexual friends, one of those times was just months before I married David. Those folks were wrong then, but I didn't care. "Sticks and Stones my break my bones, but words can never harm me" is something we all learned when we were kids. I still believe it's so. My lesbian and gay friends are as dear to me as my heterosexual friends, and I don't give a fig what any of them do in their bedrooms. I don't introduce them as my lesbian or heterosexual friends, I introduce them as my friends. I also don't care if folks consider me a lesbian, because that doesn't begin to define me.

I'm sorry if your spouses can't see their way clear to get over the fact that others might view them as lesbians. I'm sorry that the only way they think they can have a "marriage" is to have penetrative sex with a man. That's THEIR choice though, not the Ts.

We used to be afraid to tell anyone there was CANCER in the family! We used to be afraid to let our children play with a kid who's parents were divorced. We were afraid to have someone of another race move into the neighborhood. Very few women worked. Now, wearing pink to support cancer research is popular, and everyone talks about it, openly! Now, more than half of marriages fail, and one parent families are the NORM; noone worries if their kids play together anymore! Diversity rules in neighborhoods, schools, and the workplace now. Women are half the workforce. Aren't all these changes better? I think they are.

Don't be afraid to stand up and say, Gays are people too, and I'm proud to be part of an accepting family. If you are worried, have qualms, or are afraid about having a T or a gay in your family - get yourself to a PFLAG meeting! That's Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (plus Ts and Bis and Questioning, and all the other letters in the alphabet!)

If you are afraid of what people might think - think of those who wouldn't stand up against the holocaust! "They came for my friends and I wouldn't stand up against them; they came for my neighbors, and I wouldn't stand up against them; when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me." Think about it.

There are still pictures of David in our house; there are also pictures of Angela in our house. We still talk of David, and we still use he and him when we talk of those times. David never died, he's part of Angela, he's part of our family, and he's part of us. Now she's Angela and we use she and her. We don't worry if someone sees us as lesbians, or as just a couple. We're still married, we're still spouses, and most important, we're still in love with the same person we origionally married more than 42 years ago.

I know this isn't the way it works for some folks, and I understand; but I hope, someday, it will be that way for everyone who wants it to be.


Windrider said...

Well, I for one find your blog inspiring. I come away from it saying "I want what they have too!" You're a visible reminder that not only can I survive my spouse's transition, but *we* can survive too.

Heather said...

This is such a great post. I have been saying the same thing about this topic for a long time now and it's nice to see others on the bandwagon too. Keep up the good work!