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Katie

December 1999

TRANSatlantic Queer

I'm going to let you in on a little secret…as I am writing this it's November 26th. Of course if you're reading this for the first time in January then you know that Jeff didn't let me slide on the deadline of the 15th of the month before. So either way as a public service announcement, ALL COLUMNS MUST BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THEN THE 15TH OF THE MONTH PRIOR FOR INCLUSION IN THE FOLLOWING MONTH'S OASIS. Maybe that really means something, maybe it doesn't. (sorry for letting your little secret out Jeff)

Anyhow, I AM NOT A NEWBIE (heck, how could I be? I'm on a first name ba-sis with the editor). For those of you that remember, it was about a year ago that I left off. Of course at that time I was writing under a different name and actually thought I was a gay man, go figure. So rather then bore you all with the misad-ventures of a gay man turned tomboy baby dyke (well I do still like guys, but I am NOT bi), and if you can't figure out the mechanics, well, um. I'm not going to bore you with everything I've been doing over the past year (which would take yet another year to get caught up on and you see where that would get us) so I'm just going to pick up with my life in November, 1999.

So to answer the first question for everyone who still hasn't figured it out, how does a fabulously gay man become Katie the tomboy baby dyke (who sleeps with men)? Simple, ungodly amounts of hormones, among everything else. I had two choices in my life, I came to a point where I realized I could live my life as a femme gay man, a total queen if you will or try living my life as a tomboy, a girl silly. If you think that's mind blowing, wait until you hear the rest of the story. So, deeper and deeper into therapy I sunk and more and more feminine I became (big difference between that and "femme"). The more I explored and played with the role, the more I realized I was ever so much happier as a tomboy (yes, a girl, silly). As I said before, I left my columns off about a year ago. Its been a year, I'm developing a body I'm happy with, I AM the person I always wanted to be. And oh god yes, am I EVER a tomboy! Just ask my girlfriend…

So the second part of the equation, how did I get to be a baby dyke (who sleeps with men)? Rather mind blowing really (at least it was to me). I remember right around the time I started taking hormones, I got this huge crush on a friend of mine, another transsexual (oh yeah quick vocab lesson, transsexual, transie, and TS all mean the same thing; MtF and FtM should be obvious, think gender) I thought at first it was the usual vanilla male-male attraction I was used to all along. The only difference, is while she was still for the most part male looking, that was the only male thing about her (and even at that, she's naturally built like a girl). My god, I was becoming a lesbian before my own eyes. I dismissed it at first as NOT A LESBIAN CRUSH. Later when I caught myself openly flirting with my brother's date (he wasn't paying attention to her, someone had to) I finally realized I really was a lesbian after all.

Believe me I have ABSOLUTELY no attraction to women as a man (not that I am one anymore) but that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to them. How can I really be a lesbian if I still like men, and believe me I love my ex-boyfriend to death. I guess I can't, so I adopted the label QUEER. Well its not like I made it up, but I didn't feel like I fit any of the other labels so I guess that was the one that fit the best. Why didn't I chose bi? I don't think my attraction to someone is based on their gender like it used to be. How can I apply a label to myself that implies my attractions are based in gender, if I don't think they are?

So that's how you get to be a tomboy baby dyke after having grown up as a gay man all those years. I happy as can be after all this time and can get back to writing columns for Oasis (now if only I could get paid for it). Why did I leave? After I came out to my boyfriend, I went through a lot of issues with him, I tried writing my column a couple of times and it just came out sounding whiny.. After a couple of failed attempts, I just pretty much gave up. It was a friend of mine who talked me into coming back. It turns out she (now) had read all of my columns and had totally identified with everything I wrote. Its scary, if you read my columns and her website, they're almost identical; what's even worse is I first met her (online) 6 months AFTER I stopped writing for Oasis.

So here I am, back again, new and improved. I wouldn't be the woman I am today and have the friends I do if it wasn't for the internet (or for that matter have met my girlfriend). So now for the TRANSatlantic Queer part of it, I just got back from the United Kingdom. I owe a lot to my TRANSatlantic friend, Zoe (who writes for Oasis, so I can use her real name). While I didn't go for the sole purpose of meeting her, had it not been for her I would never have gotten my finances even reasonable in order to go (yes, she was my motivation for going) or been able to stay with and meet British residents like I had wanted to. I was not a tourist, and I would totally recommend it to anyone.

Had it not been for Zoe, I wouldn't have started writing for Oasis again (you can thank her later). So yeah I waited until now to write the column, so I could go to Britain and tell you about all my TRANSatlantic adventures, and instead I bore you with an explanation of my life. Well maybe next month will be better. Maybe not.

I have a family of my own now, of sorts, 6000 miles away and I owe it all to what turned out to be a dorky piece of fan mail and a girl who cared enough to write back. Thank you, Zoe. Zoe also reminded me that even when my columns are their dorkiest, I still touch peoples' lives and that more then anything else is what brought me back to Oasis. Send me fan mail, or don't, but I know now that fan mail or not, someone out there (I'm sure besides Zoe) is a bit different because of something I wrote. That alone is its own reward (as if that's not a plug to write for Oasis).

Until next time…

KATIE
katie.b@ivillage.com

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Katie Baker is a 25 year-old, pre-op Male to Female Transsexual. She currently resides in the Metropolitan Detroit area where she is employed by a large interna-tional communications carrier as a Client Support Representative Her interests in-clude reading, writing (of course), travel, and her girlfriend.


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