I Ain't Sorry
I want to clarify something that’s crucial to understanding my story. I want to clear the air with all the guys I’ve been involved with that might be mad at me, and with the friends that may be upset I didn’t tell them sooner. I have never blatantly lied about being transgender. Whenever I have been confronted or asked, “Are you transgender?” I have always found a way to work around it in conversation. I don’t feel omitting the truth is lying, especially when it comes to one's safety. For me, as I’ve said before, there were no transgender icons for me to look up to during my transition. When I started dating at the age of 18, I had been transitioning for less than two years, and I was scared. In order to survive in this world full of ignorant and unkind human beings, I needed my life to feel as “normal” as possible, and I needed to be treated as a biologically born female. If I were an out-transgender person in college, I could have been bullied, beaten, or worse. When it came to dating, especially at Hofstra on Long Island, it wouldn’t have gone well if I was “out” about my “unordinary” life. Additionally, most people wouldn’t have treated me like any other girl, which was the only thing I truly wanted (besides a vagina) at the time. If I was “out” who knows if I would have been invited to parties or have had the social life I craved. The college guys around me were definitely closed-minded and I felt that being transgender would have made them feel uncomfortable around me. I wanted the college experience my peers were having. Why should I have been denied that just because I was born in the wrong genetic body?
In the past, whenever I would interact with someone new I’d think: “It’s none of anyone’s business that I am transgender.” Some people feel I should state immediately that I am transgender when I meet someone, at least when they’re someone I may date or hook up with. But here's the thing, few people introduce themselves and say, “Hey, I’m straight, or a recovering alcoholic, or anorexic, or have a disability that you can’t see, etc.” Conversations don’t happen like that; so why would I disclose something that most people not only weren’t educated about, but about a life I didn’t associate myself with at the time?
Everyone has their own struggle in life, and some are more profound than others, of course. Being transgender is a struggle many people consider to be on the more intense side of the spectrum, but why does it have to be? Just because transgender has a stigma from our society, does not mean I owe anyone any sort of explanation or that I should be treated any lesser than anyone else. If you like me, then you like me; and this should be the mindset when it comes to dating me (or any transgender person). I can see why some men would have liked to know prior to hooking up that I was transgender, but was it really any of their business? Should it even of been that big of a deal? Debatable. In my opinion, it isn’t and it shouldn’t be.
I wasn't comfortable telling anyone about my past and in the beginning of college I would hook up with guys that probably wouldn't have been okay with me being transgender. Eventually, I matured enough to only pursue or entertain men who I thought wouldn't have an issue with my “situation.” I filtered them out by reading their energy; I would ask them questions about their views on topics like politics and religion. Straight men are attracted to me. If finding out I’m transgender doesn't affect how attracted they are to me, it’s typically the thought of their family and friends finding out, judging them, and thinking they're “gay” that makes me “undateable”; which is one of my many issues with society's views on dating a transgender individual. If a guy is attracted to a woman, no matter what she’s been through, he is straight. I am a woman. If you are a man and you are attracted to me, you’re still a straight man. Period. No questions asked. My whole mindset has been “well you would never know if I didn’t say something, so why is this detail about my life going to change your attraction towards me?”
It has never been my intention to hurt, trick, or upset anyone I have gone out with or hooked up with. Now that I have realized I don't want anyone who doesn't want me as I am, I see the importance of being open with someone on the first date; more so because I'm comfortable telling someone now. It’s a turn on if guys are cool with it. If you’re cool with my situation, you’re a cool AF person. Not everyone discloses everything about themselves when they’re making out in a club or bar, or even on a first date. Now that I have been telling guys on dates, some of them literally have not believed me. I had a boyfriend who I never told until almost a year after our break up, to which his response was “that doesn’t change anything for me.” *swoon.* Another ex of mine hadn’t known until after he read my first blog post. He messaged me on Facebook and said “You know if you'd said it from the start I’d have been okay with it right?... Oh my god I would've been very proud and probably supported you to be open about it... Does it sound strange if I find it sexually intriguing?” Because he knew me, and saw who I was in real life, it gave me a chance at a relationship.
Prior to coming out to the world with my first blog post, I didn’t tell dates before I met them that I am transgender. Because I feel so naturally feminine in every way, if I were to tell a guy who I just met or was talking to on an app that I was transgender, he might have freaked out. He may have not wanted to date me or much worse- threatened or harmed me. Obviously, these guys are transphobic and I want nothing to do with them. Often people have misconceptions such as all transgender people have dicks, or weird surgical vaginas, or are hairy or have all this facial work done, the list goes on. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things, but they are not me. I would never have had a chance with most guys if they had known prior to meeting me that I am trans, but now I don’t want a chance with them anyway. If you want me, I might want you; if you don’t want me, you’re replaceable. If a guy finds out later on, or I tell him during the date, but he has been with me in real life and seen the person that I am, he is much more understanding and often wants to continue to see how things go. Until this point guys have either said that they just “aren't into trans girls,” or that they haven't ever given it a thought, but that they “wouldn't mind seeing how things go.” Either way both conversations usually end with telling me I am beautiful and that they respect me, which is a better response than I could’ve hoped for.
I have never felt bad about not telling people I’m transgender, even the ones that I've been intimate or in a relationship with. If it was right to tell that person it would’ve happened in a moment where my whole self just knew it was time. I would say it like word vomit, but like, pretty vomit (like that time my vomit was legitimately pink at post-prom senior year down at the Jersey Shore). And those moments do happen, but when the timing is right.
Before this year the timing was never right for me to come out. I might not have ever come out if the transgender movement hadn't taken the media by storm. I chose to come out when I did because 1. People are more understanding and somewhat knowledgable about what transgender is and 2. I was tired of living what felt like a double life. I couldn't keep track of the few friends I had told and those I hadn’t, and it was becoming exhausting. I started to become more comfortable with people knowing about me than not. Another reason I wanted to come out so publicly is I want to help transgender people feel more comfortable, and I want to help non-transgender individuals understand us better. Like I said in my first post, my soul was put into this body, in this life, for a reason; and that reason is changing how society perceives and treats the transgender community.
For me, life is all about the adventure I am on and the paths I’ve chosen to take me to the next phase of my journey. Finding oneself, and their purpose in life is probably one of life’s greatest challenges. I was lucky enough to discover my true identity at a young age, but I didn't realize my purpose for many years later (almost nine to be exact). There was no right time until last week to reveal my entire self to everyone. I didn’t feel safe enough and on a personal level, I was not ready. I want to delve deeper into finding one’s true self in an entirely separate post, but I think it is important to touch upon this following my first post because that is something I want to inspire in others.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their love and support surrounding the launch of my website. The kind words, shares, messages, etc. are truly, truly appreciated and I am so happy to see the amount of support it all has received. I hope you will all continue to share my story and this website so we can all help to make a difference in this world.
I know this is the first step towards my dream and to quote Maya Rudolph, "To have your childhood dream realized is a really big deal." And I’ve finally had my childhood dream realized. V big deal.
That’s all for today.
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner