IT’S PRIDE! HUMANS WELCOME (Down for transitioning gender, be back soon)
I have always been the black sheep of the family—the black sheep at work; the black sheep among friends—however it was cool all those times. What I didn’t expect was to feel like the black sheep at the LGBT Pride Parade. A black sheep with leprosy.
Seems unfathomable, right? I mean, it Pride Parade, where everyone and every type is welcome. Here the colors bend to however you choose to express them. So how come I’m walking down the strip feeling like a leper? Maybe it was the group of gay men who laughed and pointed out how my binder was showing. Wow, how did I miss that? I mean, it flesh-colored. So it should have been as invisible as Harry Potter’s cape of invisibility. That would have been one of the coolest things I might have said, but there was something happening I wasn’t aware of yet and I was feeling vulnerable. So instead I gave a more lethargically response, “Big deal, so you can see my band-aid,” and kept walking.
Was it the next gaggle of young people that made me feel rejected? How the teeny waist girls in their short shorts and bikini tops laughed and pointed. A nudge to their counter-part boyfriends who clapped their hands over their mouths as they joined in the snickering. I kept un unsure if it was my non-invisible bindings that peeked out from under my muscle tank or the well-groomed, black goatee I was sporting.
I reached the end of the strip and displays of rainbow flags so I did a 180 and sent myself right back into that valley of hell. One girl came up to complement my hair but did a double step back and a big OH when I turned around to say thanks and her eyes landed on the manscaped chin.
I stopped at the local LGBT Youth Center, which happened to be on the same street. It was being used as a bat cave for the FTM. Unconsciously possibly. I found about a dozen of them hanging, hiding rather, inside the center. I don’t think any one of them was old enough to drink. They didn’t even notice me as I slipped back out.
At this point even the slightest odd glance my way with anything but a smile felt like sand paper. About half way back down the strip I ended up heading back to my truck to take the binder off. Not because of them, but because it was new and starting to hurt really bad. But not before running into the same group of rude boys one more time and one had to make a new flippant comment so I would hear as they passed: that I will never cut it as a guy and I should just give it up.
This stuck with me as I suffered my way back to my truck. No, I don’t pass a guy because I was born without my penis appendage. I am transitioning, but I don’t pass as someone who has been on T forever because I haven’t been. For some, I may never pass until I have had every flipping surgery there was because of my race and culture. It felt like there was some unspoken rule that if you are transitioning you need to stay in your closet and don’t come out until we can’t tell you apart. I also didn’t pass for a lesbian (or dyke either). Their faces said as much when I passed them too. No, instead, I was more like the bearded chic with a big neon flesh colored binder on to hide his tits.
I turned the corner escaped the crowd and reached my truck. Relief. Freedom, with a less crushing sports bra but not before I had bruised my diaphragm some. Still, I could breathe again. And I loathed this body all the more for it.
I returned to the parade route with hours still to go. I found a tree to keep me company and I watched the crowds slowly pour in, including the increase of freely expressed bending of rainbows and ways to wear them. I noted how they came in groups.
—Clusters of women who like women. They often slowed to chat with other groups of like-minded/bodied girls.
—There were the straights. They too seemed to come in big groups or broken convoys. The straight girls taking advantage of the liberties to wear the least amount of clothes possible to turn their straight (or bi or curios) male companions on.
—There were the families, coming in as their own tribe and staked out how spots along the bike rack route.
—The gay men came in smaller groups. 2s, 3s, rarely over 4. And many of them walked by as if the entire get up was solely for them, this was their red carpet.
— A number of queer, queens, drags, transgender girls (male-to-female), and cross-dressers. They were easy to spot–they were the social butterflies that waves and smiled and complimented everyone along that way.
I never saw anyone who was recognizably transitioning. A few of the ladies of the Isle of Lesbos may have had a compression vest on under their black t-shirts, but no signs of testosterone therapy.
But was I really the only FTM there? Not at all. I mean I couldn’t possibly be, there were still the six or so hiding in the youth center, but any one else was either transitioned to a point they were passing and couldn’t be picked out of the crowd, or they hadn’t started hormone treatment and weren’t sporting a dead giveaway goatee as I was.
I got tired of people watching and decided to walk around again. Another walk through the valley of death. Nothing bad this time, but I felt separated. Like a ghost unseen. My invisible Harry Potter binder was finally in functioning order (back out at the truck). Now I was just half of nothing, instead of half of a transitioning Frankenstein.
I stopped in a bakery and bought a brownie to compensate for a much needed hug. They didn’t have milk. Such blasphemers. I sat down to nibble and was visited by the resident dog. A man came out from the back and must have said or asked the counter-lady something. She told him “He bought a brownie.” The guy (apparently the owner) leaned into her and said, “SHE. That is a SHE.” The woman looked at me then to him, “Are you sure?” He didn’t even look my way. “SHE!” Then he turned and disappeared into the back again.
I put my deflated hug in my pocket and left.
I went back to the tree and tried my best not to cry. What sucked most was I was alone. Everyone else had come with friends, partners, whole tribes of back up while I stayed in the grass alone. It wasn’t all for not trying. Which knowing what effort I had gone to seemed to make this feel far worse than it should have. I had run an add for several weeks on Craigslist and even a post for the local prides Facebook group.
Gay Transmale looking for friends to hang out with at the Pride Parade. It sucks going places alone and parade are best with friends. Even new ones. You can be any gender, age or sexuality. I’m only looking for people to hang out with. Not looking for a hook up.
I got all kinds of offers for a ‘gay’ hook up, completely dismissing the transguy part and the ‘not a hook up’. Straight guys answered apparently only looked at my non-passing photo and where looking for a chick hook up. I got a couple of offers to suck my dick NSA (no strings attached). If only. But once corrected I was born-female-transitioning-to-male, I may as well said I was a leper. All talks were dropped. No one wanted to go with me anymore.
It feels the same now that I am here, making me realize I had shown up with open wounds ready for salting.
The girl groups looked at me and summed me up in a matter of seconds and turned to look the other way. (Honestly I wouldn’t know what to do or talk about around a bunch of girls anyways, unless we were talking about dick). Not a hot topic with the Lesbos ladies.
The guys won’t talk to me, because to them, I’m not a guy. To them I must be some weird throwback to the girl’s club.
It’s hard not to cry.
There was still another hour before the parade starts and I was thinking, if I leave now, I can beat the traffic, stop at the store and buy a thing of milk, and go home and flirt with severely depressing ideas.
I just want to be one of the guys again. Except now I am transitioning without passing as transgender or either or. The world now only sees a bearded chic and there is no place for that.
I did end up leaving. I cried and bled inside, all the way home. I went into the bathroom and entertained dangerous dark thoughts while I took the razor to my chin and shaved off the goatee. The job only takes about five or six swipes and the worse I could have done is nick myself.
Is it anyone’s fault for not making me feel like a part of the rainbow? No. I’m certain this is all on me and how I let it all affect me. Nevertheless—
My message to you is this: There is a T in LGBT. It would be nice if it didn’t feel like LGB—-T.
An anonymous gay guy, born without his penis