As I’ve rightly said before, dating is a maze of unknowns. I recently met a very attractive guy at a party where we shared a few chuckles and a few drinks and decided that we’d like to see each other again. Now anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m attracted to a certain type of man- usually the burly brooding bear type- and he was all of the above.
We chatted casually via text for a week before embarking on a first date. Our date consisted of the usual ice breaking banter and slowly threaded onto deeper more personal topics- like dating history and what, if anything, we were looking for. Then suddenly my charmingly handsome date dropped the “I’ve got something to tell you” bomb. I put on my best nothing phases me face and listened intently for what was to come.
As if sitting on the receiving end of such a declaration isn’t nerve racking enough, he asks me to guess what it is. Not one for games but I decided to play along in an effort not to seem like a total prude. He said it had something to do with the night that we met. Naturally I had no recollection of what he was referring to because I wasn’t paying that much attention to him prior to us making eye contact. But then I remembered something. When I first spotted him I found myself second guessing whether he was gay or not despite the fact that he was at a gay event mainly because he was surrounded by women. Of course I soon brushed it off and thought that perhaps he was one of those guys with more lesbian friends than gay guys. It was a passing thought that I didn’t read into too much.
So I started guessing.. Are you straight? He shook his head- no. Are you married? No again. At this point something told me that this might be something a bit more serious than what I expected. I half expected him to say that he had a prison record or disclose a positive HIV status- things that I may have had some exposure to and would be happy to overlook.
But to my surprise he revealed that he was a trans-guy. Silence. I haven’t had much exposure to the transgender community so shamefully in that moment I had to give it some thought to figure out what exactly he meant by the term trans-guy. This was definitely the result of a lack of knowledge and possibly denial. The word trans in itself to me meant that some sort of transition had taken place at some point. And then he clarified- he was born a female and transitioned into a male.
A definite surprise to me, I was filled with questions, questions that I would never ask out of fear for being ignorant and stereotypical. I figured that the past didn’t matter and all that did was the person in front of me. He revealed a few more details about himself and his life, including the fact that he was married before and gave birth to two beautiful kids. The remainder of the night went off without further surprises and I found myself just as much attracted to him as I was before he revealed his truth.
We never went on a second date because he ended up reconciling with an ex but we decided to be friends. The entire experience made me realize that it isn’t enough to simply put my hand up and say that I support the transgender movement. Or to think that there would be tell-tale signs that someone is transgendered. As a community I’ve realized that we need to support each other and that means spending a little time learning about and understanding what makes us unique.