September 1998


This really isn't a good title for this column, all things considered, but I just couldn't think of a better one. Well, if I'm writing this, the obvious answer is that Alex didn't leave me dead in a ditch somewhere (either that or I'm REALLY talented). In fact things went really well last month with Alex, so well that I'm going back up there for Halloween.

So where does that leave Duke and me (well, not another column obsessing about my boyfriend that's for sure)? Duke and I are doing just fine and in fact just had our first argument. Well, we both ended up crying and telling each other we loved each other, so I'm not sure it was really an argument. In fact I don't remember being upset with him at all, just afraid that he was going to leave me. Enough about Duke, this column is about Alex and me (well Duke too, I guess).

I came back and Duke was jealous and I felt guilty. Mind you nothing happened between Alex and me; I never really even saw him all that naked. I guess Duke was jealous because he felt threatened by Alex and I was guilty because I didn't call Duke at all when I was gone. See perfectly reasonable... Luckily for us that was kind of the source of our first argument, and it's not an issue any more...thus the topic of this column. See how nicely that works

So Alex called me at work the other day because he really needed someone to talk to. Next week (two weeks ago by the time you read this), Alex starts taking hormones...female hormones. Was this a big shock you ask? No, I knew before I ever met him that it was only a matter of time before he did. You see, Alex isn't gay; he's transsexual. Of course, it was much easier and raised fewer eyebrows for me to refer to Alex as gay (he is in a weird sort of way, he says he's still attracted to women) then TS. Funny, it's OK to be gay; but its still weird to be TS. I should know, I think I am too. No this isn't just Alex rubbing off on me, it's the story of how we met and became "sisters"

Alex and I first met when I joined an e-mail list he was on called AntiJen. Alex is also on AOL and would do what he could to meet (on-line) all the new AOL people who joined the list. Well one day it was my turn and we just started talking, and talking, and talking. Before I knew it we were meeting a couple of times a week on line just to talk. About whatever, mostly our TS issues. It turned out we had a lot in common. Then came the day that he gave me his phone number and we talked for the first time on the phone together. It was a great experience, and now we talk usually at least once a week to eachother. He's a great person and I love him to death, as a sister. I love my boyfriend too, just as much, but I'm in love with Duke and just extremely close with Alex.

I'd love to say more about Alex, but I don't want to get too specific and say too much about him. It's his choice to tell you more or not tell you more (if only I can get him to write for Oasis). So enough about him, lets talk about me

I did get one piece of fan mail last month, it was from a guy who lives near me who was confused. You see he had read my profile and read my column and the two didn't agree with eachother. So for the fan (who will remain nameless) and the rest of you, here is the explaination. I used to remember how to be a girl, it's who I was. Before I started grade school, I played with other girls, dolls, and make up. No one told me I couldn't or shouldn't. I learned very quickly once I started grade school that because I looked like a boy, I was expected to act like one. For the sake of surviving, I learned how to very quickly and did a good job of it. Sure I didn't like sports and a lot of other rough housing, but I did manage to find perfectly acceptable other ways of being a boy. Puberty was a nightmare. A body I didn't like already, was becoming even more of a body I didn't like. I withdrew and became an outcast.

Then came high school, I went to another school in a sense to start over again. By December I had fallen in love with my best friend, I think I had our wedding planned by the spring. I wanted to be his wife. I was terrified of anyone discovering my secret. I became ultramasculine in an attempt to hide the truth. All the while, I felt more and more like a stranger in my own body. By my junior year, I had decided I was going to start taking hormones my senior year in high school and get the operation when I was 19. Well if you haven't guessed, it didn't happen. To do that would have meant facing the truth; as much as I wanted to, I guess I wasn't ready too. I sealed my fate by getting myself accepted to college as soon as I could.

I guess I thought if I could keep my mind off it, it wouldn't come true. All I needed to do was find the right woman and I would be cured. When I got to college, instead of date shopping, I spent all my time (not just my free time, all my time) reading anything I could on the "condition" and the treatment (hormones) and the operation. You can guess where it got me, I came with in one semester of getting kicked out. I wasn't ready to face that either, so I stuck my nose in the books and stayed in school. I guess I should have known the end was coming when I half seriously look at not going back to school in the fall. You see that summer, I had made up my mind. I was tired of acting like a boy, it was time, or so I thought. I went back to school anyways. I wrecked my first semester back mostly because I was so obsessed with not being TS. I gave up on school somewhere during the second semester and out of not wanting to go home, stayed for the spring term (we had three terms a year). Somewhere, during that first semester, I figure I "made" myself gay. Yes I made myself gay, I decided I couldn't stop being attracted to guys, it must be because I was gay. Instead of fantasizing being the woman in the relationship, I replaced that with being a man. It worked, sort of. For once in my life I could express my sexuality and it wasn't so freaky and I found it appealing. I suppose maybe it was a way to hide from myself, whatever it was, it worked.

I've been "gay" since I was 20 and it's been almost 4 years now. I can't say that I don't like it or enjoy it. I guess the story goes something like this. I started thinking about how "everyone else" got to grow up gay and I had to grow up TS. I liked being gay, but I just felt like something was missing. I really had been searching for it since I was 20 (go figure). I guess 20 becomes 6, when you realize that you seem to have forgotten what its like to be "yourself" and you start to wonder.

I don't know what the answers are, I've been seeing a therapist since April trying to figure it out. All I want is to be myself, somehow I will figure out who and what that is. I know what my options are, and I just have to figure out which is the right one for me. I have a pretty nice life with Duke, that I would love to hold on to, but at what cost?

In the mean time...until next month...

Eric (or whoever I am)

©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.