Blogging from the bread isle.

This is Kass. 

I haven’t updated in a while because I’ve been really busy with school, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t plenty on my mind to write about. Most of the time when I’m thinking of things I would like to blog about its in really inconvenient places like the bread isle at the grocery store. 

Its been several months since Wes started T. Some of our biggest challenges have been mourning the loss of his family relationships and me learning how to see myself in the world now that the world sees me as a straight woman. 

With Wes’ family things were always complicated, from the beginning they didn’t support us. As a matter of fact in the first month of our relationship I went to visit him (we were living in different states at that time) and they kicked him out of the house while I was there, and that was how we ended up living together. Ever since that morning when I watch the person I love pack his things into my car as his parents watched from the kitchen window there has been a rage that smolders toward them. And just when I think that it may be extinguished because there is some kindness or a brief moment of fake tolerance, they fan it into a fire that promises to never die. So. When Wes started T his parents had already refused to come to our wedding, and they had not spoke in several months. But I thought at the very least they should know what was on the horizon. Wes was very kind, he made them a video, sent them an email, and some information on what they should expect. He told them he loved them. And they were silent. It was weeks. And then his mother text him, but as usual it was only to quiet her own guilt or need for attention. Her texts are always the same variations of “Im praying for you, Mommy loves you baby girl.” How do you even respond to that? He ignored it for a while but then hoping maybe that was her way of reaching out responded with “I love you too, please use my chosen name and pronouns.” And her response was that god had made him a specific way. Later that night we sat in the car and talked about the text conversation. Again the rage rose up in me because I think it is so arrogant for someone to tell another person what god made them to be. HOW THE FUCK DOES SHE KNOW HOW GOD MADE HIM. I’m not a religious person. But if there is a god that made my husband I truly believe that he was made to be FtM. for real. Here’s why. In a different life (lets pretend his mother had her wish), if my husband was a cis gendered straight woman, his impact on the world would be so limited. He would be a white middle class straight cis gendered woman. Trying to make connections with marginalized groups of people when you are part of the white privilege is pretty much impossible. There is a trust that develops between groups of people who understand that you know where they have been. And maybe in this alternative life my husband wouldn’t even care about helping other people because he wouldn’t have experienced any discrimination, or fear of harm, or lack of rights. Maybe in this alternative life my husband would be completely happy in his little world of ignorance, just going through the motions. Just taking up space on the planet. I think that is a sad existence and that there are enough people just taking up space. Why is it so out of the realm of possibility that if there is a god that creates people that my husband would be created to be exactly what he is, a person that is kind and wonderful and on so many levels can relate to people who have been where he is, they can relate to having hard talks with friends and loved ones. They can relate to feeling different, and being “the only one”, and just needing someone who supports you. They can relate. I don’t know if his parents will ever understand the gift that they brought into this world, but very often I am thankful that I have someone who is so special and amazing. 

So. In the beginning I was really struggling with my identity, because I had started a new job right before Wes had started his transition and we had agreed that it was the best thing to start the job calling Wes by his chosen name and pronouns. The job before that had ended badly with me throwing a legal pad at my boss and walking off the job after months of blatant targeting. While the marriage amendment was up for debate here some of my coworker frequently stopped by my desk to tell me what they thought of gay marriage and what the bible said about it. I grew up in a very religious home and was in a boarding school for a while where we had to attend church daily and read the bible cover to cover so I was always able to quote scripture to them. This earned me the reputation of being pushy and forceful and my boss told me I had to respect their opinions. Which I did not. So. Going into this new job we decided rather possibly face the same situation again, and have to find a new job again, we would just proceed with the new name and pronouns and not explain. It was a shock to me. After we were married the straight women in my office would tease me about the possibility of being pregnant, and try to relate to me about husband/wife issues. Some of it I could totally understand, normal everyday relationship things like the division of household chores, or finical things. Other things, I felt really clueless. They would talk to me about sex. Straight women would talk to me about blow jobs. Now I really love my coworkers so most of the time I would just laugh, because I literally did not know how to respond. And sometimes completely by accident I would say “yuck”. And then I would think, “Shit, that’s not what a straight woman would have said.” 

One evening Wes and I were in the grocery store and Im not sure how it came up, but I ended up talking to another customer. One of my favorite things about being a lesbian, especially after years of fighting for equality and visibility is being able to have a sort of secret code with other queer people. When you meet them, even if you don’t know them you can instantly identify yourself simply by saying something like “My partner and I drink that coffee all the time.” or “My wife loves that bread.” Well, that night I had come across a gay man in a store, or a man that I thought was gay, and would have been easily been able to identify by introducing myself. But when I said husband he got the same glossed over look I would give straight people when they would identify themselves. I wanted to say “No, you don’t understand, Im a lesbian!!!!!!” This feeling got worse over the next few months, but then I was able to come out to more people at work. One person in particular has really helped me accept that nothing about who I am has changed at all. I felt for a little while that I had lost myself. 

One more short thing. My husband and I often talk over a coffee before he goes to work while we sit in the car. One morning he said trans men don’t like to date lesbians because lesbians won’t date men, but will date trans men because they view them as still being women. I want to clear something up. As a queer woman, and I know I can’t speak for every lesbian in the world, but I would bet that a good many lesbians who date trans men date them because the experience is different than with cis gendered straight men. Trans men understand the queer experience, cis gendered straight men do not. At least that is my perspective.

 

Thats all for now. 

❤ Kass. 

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2 thoughts on “Blogging from the bread isle.

  1. My spouse deals with all this same stuff all the time. Transition messes with the identity of the people around you.
    We still have strong ties with the queer community though. Many of our close friends are FF or MM couples. A very few of our straight friends have apparently figured nothing out. When we have a party, it is half gay, half straight, half black, half white, half Hispanic. We are able to bring many sorts of people together that don’t always cross paths. Haters are not invited.
    Anyways, I think that you could probably find a way to be more part of whatever LGBT community exists in your area, and not feel like your queer identity is being lost. Push come to shove, you still have more in common with LGBT people than straight people. When the bigots and haters come to town, they will be after us too, and we will need the solidarity of a queer community.

  2. Hi Kass! It’s really cool to hear an update from your perspective. Re: lesbians dating trans men, I think you’re right–trans men, in general, have experiences very different from cis men, and those experiences connect us to the whole queer spectrum. Part of how I understand this is that the words we use, and the lines they imply, are just one way of capturing the variety that’s going on. People in other times & places have used different words, which drew different boundaries. I do think some queer women view trans men as “not quite men” and are open to dating us for that reason, and that is disturbing to me. But that certainly doesn’t describe all lesbians who are with a trans man. I hope you and Wes find ways of describing yourselves and socializing that work well for both of you!

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