Thursday, September 29, 2016

If at First...

by Giselle Renarde


I don't remember meeting my girlfriend. That sounds terrible, but she doesn't remember meeting me either. We know how we met, but neither of us remembers specifically what day of the week it was or what the other was wearing. It if had been love at first sight, we would have remembered. There would have been sparks.

Maybe I've told this story before. In fact, I'm sure I have in one way or another. You know by now my girlfriend is trans. You also know she's not out with her family. With them, she presents male. That's how she looked when I met her.

We didn't take much notice of each other until we fell into conversation. I noticed she took particular interest in gender and gender identity. In fact, she brought up trans topics so often I thought she was a trans man for a while.

She tested the waters with me by saying she looked good dressed as a woman. She didn't come right out and tell me she was trans.  Even though she knew I had a lot of trans friends and acquaintances, she still didn't know if she could trust me.  She didn't want to lose the friendship we'd built.  She couldn't have known, back then, that I don't hold myself at any one end of the gender spectrum. I'm not sure I could have articulated where I was coming from, but I think our individual journeys with gender brought us closer.

I can tell you everything about the night I met Sweet presenting as a woman. Every detail.

I'd been out with a friend and came home to about 16 voicemail messages. First, Sweet was inviting me to a movie. Then, as it got later, "Maybe we could get together. I just want you to SEE me." To this day, Sweet never thinks to call my cell phone. She'll just leave a series of messages at my home number.

As soon as I got home I called her back. "It's late," she said. "I'll come to you... if that's okay."

We live in different cities. It wasn't exactly a short drive. She didn't knock at my door until one in the morning, and when I opened up it was to a striking redhead wearing a long green skirt, short-sleeved blouse and sandals. I can see her in my mind. I can see the scene so easily.

"This is ME," she said. And I knew what she meant.

That's when the spark happened. That's when I fell for her. I don't want it to seem like it was necessarily her physical appearance that changed things so much. It was more like an unveiling. She wanted me to SEE her, and I did.

****
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6 comments:

  1. A lovely memory. I wonder whether all real love begins at the point where we truly see the other person as well as we see ourselves--or, most likely, even better.

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  2. Some people will read your post the wrong way, but it seems so true to me... you didn't really connect with Sweet when you met her presenting as male because that wasn't really her. She was playing a part, wearing a mask.

    This story also makes me realize how much more complicated love and lust must be when being trans is an issue. (And you've captured that beautifully in some of your stories, I must say.)

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  3. What a sweet story. Your 'love at first sight' occurred as soon as you saw the real Sweet. Has she ever articulated when she fell for you? Bet that was sooner. ;>)

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  4. Thank you for posting this true story, Giselle. I've sometimes wondered what it would be like to date any of the transpeople in my community (MTF or FTM), but I'm never likely to find out. Spouse and I are both cis women, together since 1989, and monogamous. We go to a lot of drag shows, and I know there is some overlap between queens and transwomen, despite the famous song, "I'm Not a Fucking Drag Queen." (A few that we know have transitioned -- and continue to perform, no longer in "drag," unless glamorous gowns, jewellery, and makeup count as such.) Male bodies, per se, have never turned me off, but I don't honestly know if I could accept a discrepancy between the outer appearance and the actual plumbing. (I probably shouldn't get started on interesting quirks I've discovered under someone else's clothes, including one inverted nipple that reliably popped out when she was aroused, as well as various scars, birthmarks and tattoos. None of these turned me off.) You've reminded us that it's never only about bodies.

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  5. This is a great story, and thanks for sharing it. Sacchi's speculation feels true to me, that maybe the moment of falling for each other is that moment of really seeing that you've described in such a beautiful way here.

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