Saving myself for no one

The concept of sexual intimacy is not lost on you or me. However, somewhere along the line – growing up in a Christian household, trying to be a good, heterosexual boyfriend to the few girls who gave me a chance, my admittance of being of an agnostic, free-thinking perspective, and embracing my identity as a pansexual transwoman – I lost sight of what I should and should not deserve. Rather, I never had much of a chance to really explore the idea of engaging in sexual intimacy. For specific reasons, I just accepted that my time had not come.

My long-standing belief has been that one should reserve sexual intimacy for the person they have committed themselves to in a monogamous, romantic relationship. I have since realized that this line of thinking has been the last bastion of traditional, Christian-centric thought that had somehow survived through everything that had drastically shifted in my lifestyle. The idea had been deeply engrained into me, despite being “born male”, and the shame of contradicting this thinking loomed near whenever temptation arose. My parents being religious & fairly traditional led me to put my own romanticized take on it, believing that if I remained patient & virtuous, one day I would be able to entrust my body to the person I believed was “the one.”

I recently read a novel that turned me on (pun intended) to the very common practice of two characters meeting one another. After their initial meeting, both of them recognized their instinctual attraction to one another over time with each chance interaction feeding the heat between them. Eventually, one makes a move and the other is equally overcome with ferocious passion. For some reason, the timing in which I was exposed to that story – right around when I turned thirty – caused me to have an alternative perspective. Prior to turning thirty, I would have asked “who could possibly jump into bed with someone who clearly had no romantic intentions to remain faithful to them”? However, in the face of physical aging, sparse intimacy over my lifetime, and the high level of self-love I had cultivated as the woman I was born to be, what I read now appeared almost natural and sensible as my former mindset seemed almost something an insane, brainwashed prude would do.

#1: I can be shallow as fuck about looks.

#2: I am light-years from being a “prude”.

“Turning 30” has been a recurring theme in this blog as of late and sexual expression is not excluded from it. As I often do, I wondered why only I had to be the one sexually frustrated, swearing off intimacy just because “the one” hadn’t come along. I could count on one hand how many times I had believed I would marry someone. This romanticized notion of keeping myself “pure” for “my first time” when I was already perverted, unabashedly playful in my sexuality, and near legitimately considered a succubus among my close friends rapidly became outdated through rigorous self-assessment.

Being met with my cold logic quickly turned to frustration. I was three weeks into being 30 and had yet to experience unrestrained intimacy followed by sharing a bed with my partner. Like an ignorant, virgin teenager, I was still wondering how people [read: my friends] have sex and if there were any steps to follow for a successful romp. And then I was smacked in the face with the truth: This was all my own doing. I repeatedly declined the idea simply because no romantic commitment would follow when there were multiple instances where sex likely would have been welcomed.

Another hard truth washed over me: The combination of my past upbringing and now my present life as a transwoman had somehow made me believe by default I should never feel safe experiencing sexual intimacy other than with someone who had confessed their love for me. An amalgamation of anger and sadness careened through my body. There had to be a way to rewrite this automated preset equation that I had left unchecked in the midst of my gender transition.

I want to be a good woman.

Only sluts sleep around.

How do you take love out of sex? I’m so clingy. I’d fall in love with them and get hurt.

Will I ever be loved?

But…

…why I should starve myself.

I’m desirable. Beautiful. Lovable.

If sex with someone I trust could make sense…

Experiencing intimacy with someone I feel comfortable with isn’t shameful.

Yes, I want to be loved. Sex doesn’t equal love. It never has.

I won’t be young forever. Live your life. 

Fuck who you want.

So I did.

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A Transwoman’s Respect For Her Father

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Gendo Ikari meme created by Ren

My father and I have always had a unique kind of relationship. One driven by our individual aspirations and spiritual/philosophical insights. In my youth, he endeavored to imbue me with as much knowledge of “family” and “being a man” as he could. In college years after my parents divorced, we would often be cheering each other on towards achieving our goals in life. I know he did his very best to be a good father, and after learning why he left my mother I don’t fault him for making that choice.

In truth, more times than not, his good intentions for me weren’t always the best. He often assumed that I needed advice when I rarely did and I would counter his advice with what I’m already doing to keep everything in balance for my life. In reality, I probably learned how to debate and play “devil’s advocate” because of the intensity of our discussions at times. All I really wanted was for him to hear me and not believe that somehow my thinking was flawed due to my age, but that seemed nearly impossible. Even still I took away that he always said that he would be here for me.

When it comes down to it, he is someone that believes he always in the right and will rarely accept anything beyond his own Christian beliefs. More times than not, I only took bits and pieces away from our discussion while he probably took nothing of what I had to say. He is a mix of old school and new school influences, except he hasn’t taken the time to grasp the extent of how much times have changed. Relying on the past to counter my forward thinking only results in us butting heads – I understood him, yet he didn’t understand me. At least, we were still talking.

So when he found out via Facebook with the rest of my 300+ “friends” that I was transgender which resulted in him not speaking to me for three months, I could have felt betrayed. Instead, he became a hypocrite in my eyes. When he finally called me, I laid into him and, by doing so, opened up a dialogue for potential understanding of what he was trying to cope with. Over that conversation and the next, his willingness to accept me at the base level seemed like he would come around in time.

Our next conversation was a complete 180. He was no longer listening to me and began doing what he did before – using his past experience to vilify my present lived experience which he couldn’t possibly comprehend without living my life firsthand. I go into more detail in this post, but overall it was a table-flipped mess that I had no desire to salvage.

I haven’t spoken to or interacted with my father since that conversation eight months ago.

So, besides my opening paragraph, what positive things could I say about him on this Father’s Day? A few things actually. Every year, I always remember the advice he gave to me as a young child while playing a fighting game.

Always stay on your opponent. Corner them until they can’t do anything but accept defeat.

This advice I have applied into every aspect of my life. My resilience and resolute attitude to learn and lead have served me well and continue to evolve as I take on more life-altering challenges. I don’t know the meaning of “give up” and I’m very grateful for that as a pillar in my personality.

As for something more recent, despite him tearing down the foundation of our relationship as who I am now, that exhausting conversation eight months ago opened my eyes to how much I had unconsciously disregarded my blackness and history. As a black woman, I see so much value in my race now than ever before. There is power in not allowing myself to fold under society’s perspective of being a minority. In loving myself more and more each day, my Black heritage is now something I carry with pride. The idea of being a “strong black woman who don’t need no man”, oddly enough, is pretty accurate to me these days. 🙂

Even though I’ve lost what seems like my entire father’s side of the family to “old school” thinking and lack of education of transgender matters, I don’t hate him. I did enough of that as a teenager. As an adult, I accept him and his inability to adapt and respect me just as I have done with my mother. All that matters now is that he can be a father figure to those in his life who value him. I will continue to thank and respect my father for the good he has given me and continue to move forward, regardless of him ironically (and almost hypocritically) distancing himself from the child he worked so hard to be close to all those years.

Because reasons…

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Art by Ori Kintahumi
“Everything happens for a reason…”

For a long time, I believed this. I think it became even more apparent to me once I began taking Christianity seriously during my late teen years as my life and emotions seemed to be crumbling around me. Now that I have gone through a number of various life changes and experienced a bit more, relying on this belief isn’t entirely beyond me. Yet, accepting my existence and path in life as completely in the hands of a higher power has no room in my current form.

To simply rest on my laurels and say things like, “Well God simply didn’t want that for me because there’s something better for me” is relinquishing one’s own free will and responsibility to actively do their part in shaping their future. Some may find comfort in the idea of blaming God for shit not going their way and find peace in that. However, those same people turn and blame God for misfortunate events that were actually out of their control. Why? Because it’s easier to blame a higher power than to simply say “This happened. I have to accept it and move on.”

This convenient double standard of conveniently having a source of blame is what I find most issue about regarding the kinds of Christians I was around for most of my life. That is not to say this is the reason I have gradually become more of an Agnostic than anything. Rather, I acknowledge that Christianity aided me in controlling my emotions – most notably, my anger and sense of abandonment regarding my father – and brought me to a place where I could put myself second to equip me to inspire & help my fellow man. Christianity even helped me recover from the most scarring betrayal of my existence. Though, as may be apparent in my blog entries years back, I became torn between believing in a fluffy, kind God that graced an ordained human with spiritual insight to guide other humans…or having enough faith to believe in my own ordinance of free will to guide and inspire myself and others if given the opportunity.

Things do, in fact, happen for a reason, but telling someone to “just have faith” or “trust God to work it out” is basically telling someone to look the other way and pray something good comes from what little they have or haven’t already done. Anyone can have faith, but having faith does not require a god or a religion. As I’ve admitted to my mother more than once, I now see Christianity as a moral compass for those who can recognize good from evil for themselves, but choose to rely on scripture written by the hands of man bestowed upon them by a being beyond their own understanding for wisdom.

Personally, I have no qualms with anyone who truly needs wisdom in this way, but I now trust in my own heart and knowledge. There are enough matters in this world to fear. A million ways to die that are out of our control. Submitting to being a follower of organized believers, fearing for my soul because of what a heavily edited tale of [oftentimes dated] life lessons is not how I wish to live out my atom-sized existence in this expansive universe.

To believe I can shape my legacy, influence my path, and learn from the negatives has freed me to live in a greater, more spiritual sense of valuing my own existence above all. Acknowledging the power I wield to influence all I can and to let go of that which I cannot. Life is too short to simply discard what doesn’t align with the rules of religion. I have more interest to amass knowledge about the different ways people believe than to ascribe to a singular belief system.

Perhaps I’ll share about how my artist friend of over ten years observed about how time has changed me. That, without a doubt, happened for a reason.