Tuesday, December 8, 2015

12-8-2015 Entry: Trans* Dating Rejection

Hello my lovely readers. I come to you tonight filled with discouragement. Something happened to me last night that I knew would eventually happen, and almost always happens to trans* people when they begin dating after their transition, but I guess I wasn’t as prepared for it as I thought I was. I thought that I had defended myself against it. I thought that my open approach to dating, whereby I disclose right from the beginning that I was non-binary and that I was both male and female would prevent this from happening, but I was wrong.

Perhaps I should have known better, and perhaps this is the consequence of not using a label that doesn’t entirely suit me or my needs, but would give a greater indication to a would-be suitor of my situation.

You see, my darling friends, last night I was rejected simply because I was assigned male at birth. Now, on the surface that doesn’t seem all that shocking or unexpected. Who among the cis population actually considers trans* individuals as viable partners, sexual or otherwise? I would probably guess that very few do. Most, however, are not only not interested, but can sometimes be completely grossed out by it. I’m a girl with a penis. That’s the stuff of the crude channels on pornhub that people don’t typically frequent unless they are in the mood for something totally out there.

I honestly expect to be rejected by approximately 98% of females simply because I am transgender. I expect to be rejected by approximately 98% of lesbian women because I don’t have a vagina. In my mind, the only demographic of individuals I really have much of a shot with are those who fall outside of the straight/gay/cis binary. I’m talking about the bisexuals, the queers, the heteroflexible/homoflexible, the sapiosexuals, the pansexuals, the transwomen, and the transmen (I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, but you get the idea).

Whether that perception is true because of my experiences or my experiences have occurred because of that perception is unclear, but that perception has matched my experiences thus far in the dating/sexuality world. The only people who honestly give me the time of day are those that fit into those categories. I have been given a handful of phone numbers from OKCupid matches and all of them have been queer, bisexual, pansexual or transgender. Cis lesbians? Nada. I’m lucky to even get a response from a damn cis lesbian, let alone have a connection followed by a phone number.

If I’d been rejected by a lesbian who figured out that I was a pre-op transwoman (aka a person with a penis), then I could have seen that coming. I mean, lesbians, with rare exceptions tend to prefer pussy. It’s just that simple. No pussy? No dating. And who could blame them? What lesbian wants to fuck, for all intents and purposes, an anatomical male when they can get an anatomical female?
My profile on OKCupid even specifies that if they are a lesbian, they had better be pretty open minded because while I may appear female, and may be mostly female on the inside if we must place me on a binary, I’m still very much a male in a lot of ways; physically being one of those ways. Sure, I have breasts, but they are barely noticeable most of the time. Sometimes they appear more significant than others, but they could easily be mistaken as a strange fat distribution on a guy much of the time.

So, were I to be rejected by a lesbian, I wouldn’t be surprised. If anything, they would reject me far before any sort of emotional investment had occurred so it wouldn’t even be that bad. They would likely not even message me, but that’s not who I was rejected by. No, my darlings, I was rejected by perhaps one of the safest bets (at least in my mind) that I could think of. I was rejected by a person who identified as (in this order, no less): Non-binary, genderqueer, and pansexual. Yep, that’s right, someone who is attracted to people with no regard to gender, who was outside of the binary themselves, and who seemed to reject the notion that gender was even an important thing at all… rejected me because I was assigned male at birth.

Allow that to sink in for a moment… no, it’s okay… take your time, because it took me awhile to process it too.

I mean, what in the fuck? What the fucking fuck? Can you even really, truly identify as pansexual:

not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity

If you are going to reject someone because of their biological sex and gender identity???
Okay, I know, I can almost hear some of you out there saying, “But Emma, they have the right to say no to you, even if you don’t think they should.” And you would, of course, be right, except you don’t know the whole story.

Again, if this person had rejected me right away by ignoring my messages or by telling me they weren’t interested right away, I wouldn’t be writing this entry right now. I wouldn’t be sitting here, drinking alone, feeling sorry for myself and having flashbacks to the rejection I felt from my wife who just left me (in no small part because of my sex/gender). I wouldn’t be thrown back into the dark realm of divorce trauma, feeling discouraged and miserable.

No, instead, I am here, sitting in that place of malcontent (which has been with me pretty much ever since this happened) because they did the rejection far later in our interaction. So, this is how it went down. They found me on OKC. They visited my profile. They “liked” my profile (for those unfamiliar, this isn’t something you do all that often, it’s sort of the equivalent of a wink on a comparable dating site that expresses your interest in the other person). I got a notification, so I went to go look at their profile.

I really liked what I saw. Their description about themselves and their interests were very promising. Our match percentage was close to 90%, which is well above my typical minimum for even considering a person. Their pictures were great and they were totally beautiful, at least to me. Their identification of non-binary, genderqueer, and pansexual seemed amazingly promising. They were also in a polyamorous relationship with their spouse and were looking for a secondary partner to befriend and have an ongoing sexual relationship with. Their astrological sign was Pisces.

All of these things combined were really promising to me, especially because they had liked me first. They had the potential to understand me on so many levels by being non-binary/genderqueer themselves. They had such potential to be completely okay with my situation because they were pansexual, so my gender/sex wouldn’t be an issue. They were looking for almost exactly the same level of relationship commitment that I was (aka, ongoing and emotional, but not exclusive or committed). The only piece of this situation that gave me pause was the fact that they were a Pisces. My ex was a Pisces, and I kind of made an unspoken rule to myself that I wasn’t going to date another Pisces.

Why I made that rule, I cannot say, but it just felt too raw still to delve right back into the chaotic and emotional realm of Pisces. My ex had shown me just how truly sudden, jarring and painful the Piscean escapism could be. She fucking took off, like practically overnight. I wasn’t about to put myself at that kind of risk again (and I was fucking right to have made my rule, as you will see). I decided, against my better judgment to say fuck it, why not try it? This person wasn’t going to be my wife, so what was the risk, really?

I decided to message them first and basically told them that they were fascinating because they too were non-binary, and that they were very attractive. I explained that we seemed to be looking for the same level of commitment and that I wanted to talk with them if they felt so inclined, which I figured they would as they had “liked” me first. I was right about my hunch. They responded and were very flattered by my kind words (I wrote more than I just told you, but it’s not important) and how forward I was about my desire to talk with them. They replied that they were also very interested and after a few messages, we decided to take our conversation to texting.

I gave them my number and they texted me within a few minutes. This was promising. They were not fucking around and I appreciated that. My other polyamorous romantic interest is so busy that it has been somewhat slow going. This person didn’t seem interested in delaying getting to know me. We texted one another for quite awhile and the nature of the messages were slowly escalating in their level of flirtation. I was excited because it was almost like instant gratification, which is often very exciting, especially when it happens so infrequently. All of my experiences thus far with online dating have been an exercise in patience. The number of messages back and forth can get to be a bit exhausting, especially when they often lead to nothing at all.

This person, was anything but that. They were so interested and flirty. It was wonderful. I felt so flattered and excited. Now I had two polyamorous pansexuals who wanted me. Maybe things aren’t so bad after all… wrong!

The conversation was escalating so quickly and in such a positive direction that I was easily starting to see how this person and I would be meeting (and possibly sleeping together) in no time at all. They had no interest in delaying things because they thought I was dead sexy, and not in the Fat Bastard from Austin Powers kind of way. They wanted to go from texting to talking on the phone with me, which was almost a first, really.  Because of this quick escalation in how flirtatious, fun and personal the conversation was going, I decided that I had better make sure they knew that I was not just non-binary, but that I was a pre-op non-binary transwoman.

/queue the tires-coming-to-a-screeching-halt sound effect.

That’s when it all fell apart. “Um um, I’m so sorry” they began as they quickly backpedaled from our escalating flirtation. They told me that they didn’t care about me being a male assigned at birth, but their husband felt uncomfortable with them sleeping with people like me.

I just couldn’t believe it. This person who was so hot for me a few moments ago, who told me that they were so attracted to and turned on by queer/non-binary people that they wanted to talk to me on the phone now didn’t want anything to do with me? I don’t know if they were telling the truth or if it was just a convenient lie to cover up how fucked up their own actions were, but I’m guessing the husband bit was more of an excuse than an actual reason.

Regardless, I was rejected by yet another goddamn Pisces because of my gender/sex combination, and it hurt. It fucking hurt and it still does. Most of this pain really isn’t their fault, it’s my ex’s fault for her decision to fucking destroy our marriage in the way she did, but that doesn’t change the fact that this really sucked.

I did my best to dust myself off gracefully in front of this person who’d just gone from red hot to ice cold, and said that it was probably best that we’d figured out it would be a problem now before things had gotten too much further. They apologized again and said that if their husband wasn’t uncomfortable they would totally be interested, but they had to respect their husband’s comfort. I told them that of course his comfort had to come before mine, and they thanked me for being understanding.

And that’s more or less how it ended. There was some discussion about how they hadn’t been able to tell from my photos that I was a male assigned at birth, which slightly softened the blow, but I left the interaction feeling worthless and disheartened. All the pain I’ve been trying to recover from and work through from my divorce all came flooding back so vividly. It was like I was experiencing it all over again. The rejection, the sorrow, the feelings of non-existent self-worth, and the belief that I will forever be alone because who would ever want someone like me, all came rushing back.
Like my ex, this person had gone from being there for me and wanting to be with me one minute to not wanting to be with me at all and fleeing as quickly as possible the next. The worst part was that of all the people who should have been okay with the fact that I was a transwoman, this was the ideal candidate. If even my ideal candidate can let me down so horribly and so suddenly, then what hope is there for me with anyone else?

This is why I’m sitting alone on my couch, listening to the clock on the wall tick the seconds away while I drown my sorrows in a glass of gin. This is why I have cried no less than six times today already, and why I feel so totally alone. The last 24 hours have been the first time I’ve honestly considered suicide in a few weeks, and I’m not sure I’ve made up my mind about whether or not I’m going to do anything about those suicidal urges.

I keep thinking that I don’t want to live anymore. I keep telling myself I don’t want to go through this pain anymore. I don’t want to be rejected for who I am when it’s the only thing that’s ever made me even remotely happy. Yesterday afternoon I was on top of the world because I felt so at home in my body, and I felt so happy with my reflection. I was so happy with the way I looked in my cute outfit and the way I sounded as I did voice exercises in the car. I felt so happy to be the person I was and not 12 hours later I lay in my bed, crying myself to sleep because I had been so fundamentally rejected again because of this person I was.

I feel so broken. So shattered to pieces. I should be happy, I should feel accomplished and amazing. I was asked to consider sitting on the Twin Cities Pride board of directors this morning. I was offered the opportunity to do a second interview for a job I really want. I finished one of my two graduate classes which I will likely get an A in. I have so many lovely friends and such wonderful opportunities coming my way and yet all I can do is sit alone on my couch with tears dripping down my cheeks because I feel so brokenhearted and worthless.

I miss my wife. I miss seeing her and talking to her. I miss lying next to her in bed. I miss kissing her goodbye in the morning and telling her I love her. I miss the way she used to look at me with the love that was so obvious in her eyes. I miss the way she used to just say my name for no real reason except that she liked to say it. I miss the weird faces she would make at me when she was feeling peculiar or wanted my attention. I miss knowing that she would always be there for me because she promised to love me and be with me forever.

People want you to get over a divorce so much faster than is even really possible. I’m sure some of you right now are out there thinking that I shouldn’t still be sad about how she left me, but I can’t help myself. I have fought the urge to text her or call her every day for the past week. I have wanted nothing more than to see her face again, to reach out to her for comfort or love, especially now after this rejection, but there is none to be had. She doesn’t love me or wish to comfort me anymore. She’s just somebody that I used to know…

I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. I just want to crawl into a dark hole and just stay there for a while. The thought of dating is just excruciating right now. Oh, and as I was just reviewing this entry for errors, I got a message from another person on OKC that I’d been chatting with and kind of hitting it off with. She basically just shut me down and said she wasn’t interested. When it rains it fucking pours, doesn’t it? Fuck it, I’m going to bed now. Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today and I’ll have something fun or exciting to write about instead of something miserable, disappointing, and heartbreaking.

-Emma

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