January 2000

The Gay Food Chain

Once again I'm late in getting my column in, on the other hand if I keep writing stuff like this Jeff is going to make me sit out a month. Before we get started, I want to welcome one of our newest writers, Zoe. If you read my column last month, you know all about her. If you didn't read the column, well here's perfectly good reason to (if you can't tell, I'm the queen of shameless plugs).

So, last month shortly after I'd finished the last column (so this would actually be November I'm referring to), I was at work on a Saturday (the joys of a 24/7 environment...but it was overtime) and a friend of mine from work and I started discussing all the guys we'd had sex with. Then it hit me, the idea of "sleeping for status" and the concept of the "gay food chain", then of course "gay poker" (I'll see your Wall St. Banker and raise you a firefighter); well the gay poker bit was something I just thought of, but it seemed funny so I thought I'd throw it in the column.

Before we go any further, I know what you're thinking...what is a transie doing writing a column about "gay stuff". Do I need to remind you? I didn't get this fabulous overnight, I was gay too once you know. On top of which, if I get a bitchy e-mail this month, my next column is going to be about PMS (comes the last week of every month, like a girl's best friend) and other "women's problems". Just see if I'm joking...

So, back to the column. Not that I'm a whore, but for the sake of the column, I've slept with 5 High School students (to be fair, one graduated from high school the week after we slept together; oh yeah and one was my best friend IN high school; that and the important distinction THEY WERE ALL OF LEGAL AGE); a bartender (who picked me up, points for me); a teacher; someone unemployed; a DJ; a security officer (points again); a (male) nurse; a web designer; an office boy; an autoworker; a retired lawyer (my onetime sugar daddy); and a Ph.D. student (my ex-boyfriend). I was pretty proud of myself (once again, I AM NOT A WHORE) Well, my friend William starts rattling off interior decorators, lawyers, accounts, MBAs, etc. Somehow he's got more status then me.

Status gained by sex is a really weird concept. I mean, we're all having sex; the majority of the population enjoys sex (even if it is just with ourselves). Yet the one thing we don't talk about is...SEX. Yet somehow, who we've slept with and who we know does a lot for our image. I guess the same is true for the str8 world too, though. I am just amazed at how much of our lives are defined not just by the type of sex we have and who we're having it with; but also their social status and then of course ours too. It just makes everything so "classist".

I mean, one of the things that "we" (the community) were about was breaking down barriers and here we've thrown up one of the biggest of all. We see it when we go to the bars, at least around here (Michigan) you do. I admit, when I lived in Florida and when I've been to gay bars in Toronto you don't see it as much; but it is still there. Take for example, an average night at the bar. I go out with my friends, I sure won't go alone, because if I go to the bar and don't know anyone, I'm just going to stand there. Besides, speaking as a transie now, you're overlooked if you're not 110%. So I go out with my friends, and I look at guys (and girls too) and now instantly one of the things I have to ask myself is "will my friends approve?" I'm lucky, my friends are easy going; a bar disaster will soon be forgotten and only joked about politely. But there is a real problem out there, a one-night stand is over quickly, but friends are forever.

This is the part where someone e-mails me and tells me my friends must be really something else, their friends aren't like that, and they certainly wouldn't hang out with them if they were. But we all know that's not true. I figure it's like this, a string of bar disasters and you're branded for life. Who we choose to sleep with IS in part dominated by not only "points" which explains such conquests as the gay firefighter, and social status (which is the turn on over lawyers); but connections. I mean have you ever slept your way to dinner reservations at the trendiest restaurant in town. I'm sure someone has. I was out car shopping last week, and I thought nothing of having to sleep my way to an employee discount (benefits of living in the "Motor City"). I didn't have to, but I certainly would have if the situation required it. And keep in mind, I AM NOT A WHORE. But I didn't flinch at the thought of sleeping with someone for what it could get me after the fact. I know I'm not alone in this.

So yeah, the gay food chain is simple. As I've written I think it's more like the sex food chain. It's more like a means to and end. Sure he can be cute, but put two guys next to each other at the bar. Who are you going home with? The to die for cute unemployed guy or the average looking lawyer? Probably the lawyer. Not so much because he's a lawyer, because this really is just a one night stand; but for the fact that you can brag at work on Monday about how you slept with the lawyer. So sure sex is supposed to be about what feels good (we like to refer to it as "what feels natural") and who its "natural" with; but some times its just about what you get after the "deed"...whether you realize it or not.

I promise next month will be about trans issues, unless I think of something better. If you got anything in particular you'd like me to write about drop me an e-mail (katie.b@ivillage.com). If you just want to tell me how much you love my columns, drop me an e-mail. If you want to tell me how much you hate my columns, drop me an e-mail (but send it to HyperGrrl@chickclick.com, I don't read that one) If you've got a marriage proposal, well I'd need to run that one by my girlfriend...


Katie is a 25 year old, pre-op Male-to-Female transsexual living in the Metropolitan Detroit area. She spends her free time mostly with her girlfriend (also a pre-op transsexual). The rest of the time, she spends ungodly amounts of time doing "nothing" on the Internet (and gets paid for it too); collecting stuffed animals for her desk at work; and basically figuring out her life as a lesbian tomboy.

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