Ok, due to popular demand, i should probably just tell a little story. I like to call it “The boy in the photo” <or> “My first blowjobs”
July 1st, 2002 (yes, do the math – I was that old)
I’m getting off a shift at the pizza delivery place in Madison, WI, and i decide to swing over to my friend’s house. So i’m driving over there, and I notice that the woman in the car next to me keeps looking over and smiling at me. She’s cute, early 30’s, I don’t think much of it. A half mile later, I pull up to another light, and look over, and she’s still smiling. Traffic gets a little bit entangled, and she ends up pulling in front of me. We get to another light, that i’m turning right at, and as it turns green, knowing that she’s looking in her rear view, i give a little wave, and as she goes straight, she waves back behind her. So, I go to my friend’s house, but he’s not home. I pull out of the driveway, and as i do, she pulls past again – but from the direction she’s coming she must have turned off from where i saw her, and circled around to look for me. So, she drives past, and i’m sitting there in the middle of the street, facing the other way. She’s at a stop sign a third of a block away, and we’re both looking in our mirrors, obviously waiting. So I say, “fuck it” and put my car into reverse – she does the same. We get window to window, and talk for a bit – just “Hi, what’s your name” type of stuff. She has this cute southern accent. We park, and I walk up to her, with this new confidence, and say “So what was it?” She responds “You’re cute, honey!” with that accent. We exchange phone numbers and plan on going to see the fireworks together on the 4th.
We met at a bar, I had a couple drinks (she said she was a recovering alchoholic, so she didn’t drink), played some pool (she was pretty good), kissed a couple times, and then we went to the fireworks. So, laying on a blanket in the dark, we were making out pretty intensely till the fireworks were over. We packed up the blanket, got in the car, and then we’re stuck in fireworks traffic – pretty much standstill. People are walking by the car with lawn chairs and stuff, and we’re messing around inside. It was dark, and the windows were a bit condensed, and we were pretty brazen given the circumstances – anyways, she unzips my pants as we sit in traffic, and starts to go for it. Now, this would be my first ever blowjob, and i didn’t want some moron kids walking by to mess it up, so i told her to wait. Soon enough, we get to the open roads, and well, I don’t tell her to wait anymore. I drive her back to her car and we finish in the parking lot. I tell her I’ll call her, and drop her off.
She invites me to her apartment, which is in a pretty shitty part of town (actually a bunch of apartments I’ve delivered pizza to before). She’s wearing a really hot short little dress when I get there. Now, the whole time, I’m thinking, “This is too good to be true – there’s got to be a catch here somewhere – attractive, sexually adventurous, not commitment-minded women don’t just appear in my life like this,” so i’m trying to figure out when the other shoe is going to drop. Anyway, she gives me a little tour of the apartment – and when we go to the bedroom, there’s a picture of a seven (or so) year old boy on the dresser. So I’m thinking, “That’s it! She has a son! I can deal with that, she knows I’m going to grad school in florida in 2 months, she’s not looking for a commitment.” I was so relieved. So, after the tour, we start making out on the couch for a bit. The phone rings and she picks it up – her mother apparently. I’m sitting on the couch, listening to her talk about prescription drug amounts or something with her mother, and, well, it’s difficult to explain how I realized it. I’m sitting there, and it just seemed to come together. I realized that she was either androgynous, a hermaphrodite, a transsexual, or that there was something else going on with gender identity and sexual orientation. I don’t know how to effectively convey this realization, but…well…I had it. Anyway, she comes back over, we are kissing, and as she straddles me on the couch, I ask her if there’s anything she wants to tell me. I can tell that she’s terrified, and I kiss her for reassurance. She says “Yes, there is. I’m a transsexual.” I look at her for a second, and she says “Do you know what that means?” I say “I think so” because my mind was trying to sort all this out. She says “I was born a man”. I nod, and we sit there for a while, kissing occasionally, talking about how that’s affected her life. She told me about almost getting strangled to death in a hotel room by a man when he found out, and how her older brothers are so protective of her, hell, she was even on Jerry Springer once – told me about the “script” they set up for her, and how much they paid her, and the limo picking her up and stuff. So, I had a decision to make. I wasn’t repulsed by this at all – I know a fair amount about gender identity disorder, how her female identity isn’t some sort of gay confusion and all. I was able to treat her like a woman, so it didn’t seem like a problem, and when she led me into her bedroom, I had to make a decision – make a judgement about this situation and back away, or experience it, given my new knowledge. I followed. Sitting on the edge of her bed, watching her go down on me, well, it was a tad confusing, but mostly just really enjoyable. We laid and rested for a bit afterwards, but I knew that I needed to figure out how I felt about the whole thing, and told her as much. I said I would call her, and left.
The immediate response:
I didn’t know how to feel exactly – I needed to talk to somebody about this. (Now think, guys especially – who could you go and talk to about something like this, especially right after you yourself found out?) I called my best friend Paul, who was with some of my other friends at the UW Union, drinking beers and playing cards. Now, all my friends knew I was going to her apartment, thinking that I was going to lose my virginity. I get there, and sensing something, my other friends clear out for “another pitcher of beer” and Paul and I can talk. On the drive over, I knew that I couldn’t handle telling everyone what happened, at least not right away – but I couldn’t say nothing either – and I needed a story that made my “failure” to have sex not my fault. So I thought of one. I sat down with Paul and quickly said “Ok, here’s the story. I went to her place, we were messing around, and when I was on top of her, she looked up at me with this longing, pleading look, and said ‘hit me’. So, indulging her kink, I slapped her. She didn’t even flinch – her eyes stayed on me, and she said, ‘No, HIT me’ like she wanted me to punch her in the face. I couldn’t participate in that with a clear conscience, so I left.” Then I told him what really happened. My friends came back, I told them the fake story, they all felt sorry for me, and I bought some time.
I didn’t sleep well for two nights afterwards – I barely slept at all. I knew that I didn’t want to see this woman again, and I could not figure out why. My liberal Madison upbringing said that just because she’s a transsexual doesn’t mean that I cannot be with her – that I shouldn’t reject her because of this characteristic, I should just treat her like any other woman. I spent one long night in my parents’ basement talking with Paul about this, trying to figure out what was keeping me up – what it was that I couldn’t figure out. Finally, I realized – it wasn’t the idea or the fact that she was a transsexual – it was that I could tell that she was born a man. Seems like a small distinction, but let me explain. The idea that this woman was not always a woman doesn’t bother me fundamentally – I harbor no “ick” factor to that idea. However, there were small signs that something wasn’t right as far as my identifying her as a woman – little seams that were showing, even after 10 years of hormone therapy that caused her voice to change and her breasts to grow – even after living that much of her life as a woman, there are things that cannot be concealed, things that looking back I realized and was ignoring, things that compromised my identifying her as a woman, and that was a problem. It’s not that the potential looming pseudo-homoeroticism frightens me, I have been (on a couple rare occasions) attracted to men, but the attraction there and the attraction to women are very different, and never the twain shall meet. When I figured that out, I was able to sleep, and then able to tell my friends (after the disclaimer that I couldn’t handle any jokes about it, so they just need to listen to what I have to say and be my friend about it.) Since then I’ve had to develop much more of a sense of humor about it, and it’s amazing – no matter how many times I tell this story, the jokes manage to still be new – there seem to be very few repeats, which I find remarkable, given the narrow subject matter.
Finally, the most humbling moment of my entire life:
So, I knew that I didn’t want to see her again, and I told her I’d call her. I knew that I had to tell her how I felt – it was only fair to her, she was a good person, and I’m a big fan of treating people like human beings. I called her, we chatted for a second, and I said that I didn’t want to see her again. She responded, in all seriousness, “It must have taken alot of courage for you to call me and tell me this”. That was the most humbling moment of my entire life. This woman, who has the courage to live her life as a woman, as she is supposed to, who is brave enough to deal with the close-minded, ignorant world every single day about her status, is saying that I am brave just for making a phone call to treat her like a worthwhile human being, even in rejection. It makes me realize that unfortunately, most people would have treated her very, very badly in this situation, and I’m sure she’s seen every possible type of negative response possible. That saddens me.
I’ve seen her around the city a couple times since then, we always just share a little smile and wave – she has seemed happy both times, which makes me smile.
Also, in case you hadn’t figured it out – the boy in the photo was not her son, it was of a young boy named Christopher, who grew up into this woman. That’s my favorite part of the whole thing.
So, that’s my story (or should I say novel?) If you got this far, congrats – tell me what you think!