I have begun to shed my femininity again. It always begins with my hair. The act of cutting my own hair comes too easily — the scissors are right there, sharp and waiting. It took me months to return to this point. I told myself I’d get my hair cut by a professional at an actual salon (my mom’s preference, for sure) once I moved back to California for the summer, and that I’d just have to deal with the shoulder length curls — my definition of long hair — until then.
There is a phenomenon in trans culture that I’ve been aware of ever since I started watching transitioning videos on Youtube in my mid-teens (not so long ago, but it feels like an age – it feels like the glaciers have moved half a continent since then).
Technically, when I was fifteen and in denial about the crush I had on my best friend, the subject of whether or not I liked her as more than a friend was brought up to me; but it wasn’t a statement, someone trying to get me to see how in love with her I was. Actually, it was posed to me in the form of a question, twice. (once by a friend of mine, and the other by my mom). And I vehemently denied it both times.
It was 1987, the height of the AIDS epidemic, the US government turning its back on gay and bisexual men, the visible formation of ACT UP, and the coming out of an 18-year-old Catholic, suburban, queer kid with as many hormones as he had guilt.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I wrote and published a lot of fiction. Well, “smut,” actually — erotic fiction, although, truth be told, I prefer the term “smut.” My smut appeared in Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines (all of which I also edited for a time) and elsewhere.
It was 1992 when I hit puberty. The Internet was just becoming a thing. The only exposure I had to homosexuality or even the concept of homosexuality was basically the TV show “Will and Grace” and perhaps reruns of “Three’s Company” – not that “Jack” was actually gay. I grew up in a very religiously conservative household and community.
In This new century we hear about people coming out and how greatful they are to be themself but not everything goes as planed listen to my story and learn.