The Free Xone 2:
Coming in to My Skin & Coming Out as a Queer Femme


The story of how I came to be who I am today is a little twisted. Nine years ago, I was outted as a lesbian to my parents by my girlfriend at the time. A month later, I was outted to my school by someone I considered to be a trusted confidante. Despite the torment I endured both at home and at school, I was never ashamed of who I was. When the chips fell, I didn’t give a damn who knew I loved women. All that mattered was that I could finally be myself.

Now, let’s fast forward two and a half years, to when I met the person who began the process which led me to who I am today.

I’d met a woman (at the time) named ‘L’ who was thirty-eight years old, twenty years my senior. She was then known as a very butch leather dyke in the BDSM community. With ‘L’ my interest in BDSM flourished in an experience that was so eye-opening and life changing that it is hard to even begin to describe.

Half-way through our short romance of nine months, ‘L’ disclosed to me that she out-of-place with regards to her gender. She told me that she always felt like a man trapped in a woman’s body. Though I have always been a very open-minded and accepting person, the idea of her transitioning didn’t phase or shock me in the least. My issue was, “How will I identify?” That was the question that plagued me in the months that followed her disclosure to me.

I didn’t want to be labeled as bisexual, as I didn’t like the stigma attached to that word (a stigma that even I, myself hold on to), nor did I feel like it would accurately depict my sexual orientation. Though I knew that it would also be impossible for me to flat out say I was a lesbian as well. So where did that leave me?

For a long time I felt like my sexual orientation was an enigma. Like there was no accurate way to describe myself – to me.

Though ‘L’ and I parted ways, for reasons completely unrelated to her transition, I was still perplexed by what my sexual orientation really was. You see, I am very much a black and white person when it comes to me. The outside world is a different story, but when it comes to Ms. Honesty, I like clarity.

Fast forward again, this time five years, to when I met Chase. Chase was daunting. A beautiful mind, an amazing view of the world, but faulted none the less, as we all are. Though presently Chase is still pre-op and has yet to begin taking testosterone or T, he still prefers to be referred to in male pronouns, as that is what makes him most comfortable.

In the eight months that Chase and I were involved, he had come to the realization that he was not comfortable identifying as a female, and began exploring more with regards to gender bending and transgender life. Chase and I had several discussions about his considering transitioning, as well as gender bending. He was always afraid that I would be embarrassed or, paranoid, or closeted when it came to who he was, and what he was choosing to do. I never blinked an eye, nothing about Chase’s transition bothered me, my main concern was that he was happy and learning and growing, and I was willing to be there every step of the way.

I think the best thing about my involvement with Chase, was watching him come in to his skin, which in turn helped me come into mine. The emotional, mental and physical processes that one undergoes when gender bending or deciding to undergo gender re-assignment is an intoxicating experience to witness.

Almost instantaneously, I was comfortable with me, I was comfortable living in a gray area, and I was comfortable with referring to myself as a ‘Queer Femme’. When I refer to myself as such, I don’t feel like I am bound by the social paradigm of sexual orientation and gender theories. Yes, I still love women, but, I love FTMs more.

Sometimes, I sit and reflect on how I evolved from a pride flag waving, pussy loving lesbian, to a sexually diverse queer femme. My experience, though miniscule in the grand scheme of transgender identity, has been very eye-opening to me. I’ve learned that even when it comes down to my orientation, I still blatantly cross the boundaries of what is considered to be the ‘norm’. I’m still proud of who I am , and inevitably, I am ever-changing as is the world and most importantly, I still don’t give a damn what anyone thinks!

Copyright © 2007. Used with author's permission.

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