the first night i had sex with a woman, I cried myself to sleep.
i'd been wanting to sleep with a woman for years. I'd dreamed about it. but the reality was so far removed from my hopes for the experience. it created a phantom limb that never existed, an amputation of a psychic need instead of fulfillment of a physical reality. because there was never a situation where i'd had the need for one, it was latent.
even though I was using the strap, I would never have a real dick.
until that night, when I drove myself home listening to the same melancholy music i'd listened to all summer, pulled into my driveway, looked at myself in my mirror, looked into my own eyes, and climbed into my bed, all wrong.
then, laying as I had been, hips facing up to the ceiling, i thought about what i could have been and what I could be.
i started crying. boys don't cry.
boys who aren't seen as boys can cry.
the next woman I slept with, i got drunk to do it. i wore a different strap, one that went into me and felt more like an extension of me than some leather strapping a giant schlong to my pubis. $108 was a low price to pay, considering the alternative. I didn't cry those times, and I didn't care whether it was because of the alcohol or the decrease in dysphoria. I was still working with purple plastic. we hooked up a few more times, we were never exclusive. after a few weeks she said she was going to start going on dates with men as well.
still, it was less bad than anything with a man had been.
after her, i swore not to date any more cis people. one person smelled exactly like my dead grandmother; another (a masters student) was impressed by my ability to read. i broke my promise, i found a lovely man who treats me wonderfully. he respects my identity linguistically.
he is very straight. he sees me as a woman underneath the psychological detailing I've added.
he treats me so kindly. he texts me good mornings and writes cards for every monthly anniversary; he buys me joke gifts; he holds me and says nothing when i cry; he celebrates every little success i encounter; he looks at me with such love, compassion, and understanding that I finally accept that I am a person in the eyes of another. i hold him; i make him coffee; i show him what i create; i ski with him; i paint for him; i tell him things i don't even realize i want to say; i have let him further into my psyche than anyone else has made it. it would cut deeply to lose him.
the way he loves me shows me that a man is a good thing to be.
ultimately, the boyfriend he is is the boyfriend I want to be, and he would not want that kind of love. when I am around him, i am simultaneously the happiest and saddest I can be. i love what we create in each other and yet I know it cannot last if I am to emerge. I create things to lose. he shows me that men don't just destroy out of their own pain, and to be a man I will have to destroy. it isn't based in pain, because this is much more painful. i guess it is an act of pre-joy. I shake with fear; I am brimming with hope.