Monday, 11 January 2010

Sexual Identity, hormones and body-morphing.

There is a path it runs from A to an uncertain letter of the Alphabet, Angela and I (and her daughter) are following this path. Everyday she becomes slightly different in her appearance and in her social and sexual expression.Her beard is history, her natural dark blonde hair is long (and ready to be highlighted and styled Miss Messie Jessie!), her skin is softening up and becoming less furry, her boobs are slowly taking shape, her gestures and speech patterns are more womanly, she can and does cry like a woman... With each shift - I also have to adapt, both of us keenly analytical and vigilant to the changes. Hence this blog, so I can track and diarise these changes and my own emotional growth. As more and more of her true gender is revealed and authenticated so I too have to change.

About five or six months into our rather sexually charged but emotionally reluctant and hesitant relationship, we were very aware that Angela was not a mere transvestite or humble cross dresser, that with increased opportunities to dress as female, she felt she was psychologically female. her real self was stripping off all the defensive layers that had she had accrued, her male self was the construct around Angela and not vica versa. It was he who was the artifice, only Angela was real. When we originally forged our bond, our connection was really based on avoiding loneliness and highly charged lesbian flavoured hetero sex, (she would be en femme when we made love), but the mode would be in essence based around penetrative sex and oral sex. I feel a weird guilt now looking back admitting it was the best sex I had ever had... it stills feels taboo to say as a woman you like sex. As that part of our "love" has now subsided as she becomes increasingly feminised through the use of feminising hormones and anti androgen's, I have to take charge and negotiate the mazes of my own passions.

It is critical i share this, immense range of feelings and my response to these changes, as my whole identity, my self labelling has to shift.

As our relationship commenced, I saw her as a perfect package of male and female, but in those early days the boy in her was more prominent, she was more boyish in her mannerisms, as well as her interests. I adored the man who had come to my home and told me I was worth more and who had never been disloyal to me and my constant cylonesque companion. For all I gained each day in my beautiful Angela I lost the special boy who had touched me so deeply with his honesty. This was truly a sacrifice for me, willing made but still a perceived loss.

When we discussed the imminent use of hormones and Angela transitioning, I would be dutiful and encouraging, but felt fear, at the loss of her sex drive and erectile functioning, I did not know any other real women who would be able to share this experience with me, I was pleased for Angela's happiness but was suppressing my own disappointment, that something like sex was critically such a self definition to me, there is something shameful as a respectable female in admitting that you love sex, and have deep physical desires for someone, that it is cruel to say to your lover. "Can we not keep this one thing"? People who I confided in, well meaning transsexual women, would talk to me about sex toys, plastic cocks, extended foreplay, a surrogate (yeah right that's helpful... stand in line boys, it's a tough job but someones got to do it!) but what I grieve and fear is the loss of an intimate and mentally involved love making process, that has been the norm for most of my life. The process not a singular act. Thoughts of leaving her over the issue of sex tortured me, but the more they came, the more I knew I could never ever leave this woman who somehow was deep inside of me and such a support to me. I could not bear to be without her in my life. As she became more female the more we loved each other, the more she seemed able to emotionally love me, (her boy mode is emotionally autistic I think). I am sure I can adapt but it will take time, intelligence and love, but it is difficult to push away a physical longing. It as been suggested to me that the desire for penetration is not the same as the desire forheterosexual sex...this suggestion is a mantra of hope for me, and one for me to contemplate.

We have a scenario we paint, a vision of the future that we sometimes giggle about, where our rather straight laced, sensible and serious daughters are driving us out for the night, whilst we are in the back of the car being tut tutted by them - as their two eccentric lesbian parents from Hell. I never envisaged myself as an elderly dyke, the nice old Lezzer next door? I have had lesbian relationships in the past but I lacked a commitment, I hurt the women I was involved with (I'm sorry). it was a side to me but not my identity, I never felt like a proper lesbian. When I talk to strangers, i am conscious that it is disloyal to Angela to refer to her as HE, and on a train recently struggled to tell two chatty and effervescent young people that I was going to meet my female partner. For the first time in many years I hid my queer nature, in my mind the lesbian self-label was sticking, but I felt closeted about it in the company of heterosexual people, I do not want to explain myself but I also do not want to feel social discomfort.

Angels' transition forces me now to ask "Who am I now?"

I am forced to adapt, re-channel my sexual energies and develop a new socio-sexual identity. My love is transforming me as she transforms.
We are chameleons.


May i say quietly to you
as you lie in my arms
tall and satinned
long limbed
and the moonlight on the snowy lawn
lights my study
and the books bear witness
to us
as queer women.
I run my fingertips over your spine
then theirs
may I say quietly to you
that "Angel, the sacrifices hurt me
but the boons of love make me rejoice"
closing my eyes just breathing
less of you is more of you
We are inside looking out
I will say quietly to you
"thank you Chikka
for our beautiful contradiction"

1 comment:

  1. Sexual Identity, hormones and body-morphing.

    It is a strange progression of our lives in that we are now in a juxtaposition - before Angela hid her trans self from the world and Tillie had been an 'out' lesbian. Now Angela is out and it is difficult for Tillie to admit she has a female partner.

    Why is that? Surely it is for more embarassing for Angela being out and getting snide comments about 'being a man in a dress' than for a girl to admit having a female partner.

    Could this be the effect of middle age and suburbia on our lives making us want to fit in and gain acceptance? If so, how strong must Angela and all transgendered individuals be to go out into the world and face the cold, freezing truth, to risk their health with a cocktail of hormones - so strong that breasts grow, genitals shrink and bodies reshape and to face the pain and gamble of the unskilled surgeon's knife?

    This is not a comment on Tillie's confessional fears, but more about how we all, sooner or later have to face up to who we are:- saint or sinner, Transgendered, Gay, Bi or Les. Its how much of the pretence you can take before you crack and shout "I AM WHAT I AM AND I AM GOING TO BE WHAT I AM!"

    Life becomes so much simpler then.

    With Love