Unrelated to anything before this point in my life, I’ve been put in a position to question a lot of things lately. Thinking hard and deep about myself, my life, my transition, and my current path. I’ve really been fighting things about myself to chase this view of masculinity and heteronormativity I was always taught was “correct” or “acceptable”. I’ve always kept this attitude of “I don’t like guys and if I do, I certainly won’t admit it where too many can hear me.” vibe. But the signs were pretty much all over.
My Facebook is made up of mostly queer/bi/gay men of leather and some women, a handful of trans-people. But the majority of people I click best with and get along with are male identified. We connect better, we see things the same, we share the same kinks and fetishes. It’s been this way for years. I think there’s been a very small amount of partners that I’ve met who were fully femme and female. Thinking back on my dating trails, I’ve had more trans and male identified partners than I have female. That’s not to say I do not enjoy women. That’s just how it’s been and when I first came out as trans, I was quite literally what we call here in Long Island a “circut fag.”. Club kid, snappy dressed, leather bound beneath his pink button up, “Bitch, I love your hair.” kind of gay. Can you imagine? Things began to change when I met Sara, my ex from Syracuse. She was a strict D/S girl. Daddy’s girl and my first taste of D/S with a woman who identified as a “queer femme chick”. She was poly, preferred transmen and cismen (but did not date them. Sex only), feminist, and very radical. She did not have rigid ideals of masculinity, but being with her got a certain reaction out of people in society. I was the “straight guy”. I was “normal”. We blended in. We “made sense”. The fact that I pass really well and always have was always a benefit in this.
Then I met Amanda. She was your all-american girl according to society’s standards. Raised evangelical christian, petite, not insanely intellectual, submissive in nature, and a people-pleaser. All the guys wanted her and all the girls wanted to be her. People literally fawned over her in public and all the guys who’d never in their lives want to befriend me suddenly wanted to chill with me and rub elbows. I was suddenly the “guy with the hot girl. He must be awesome because look how average he is and how HOT his girl is.” Male privilege never felt so fucking good. I was drunk off of it. We had “attractive” friends that were literally something out of a music video. All the guys were hot, buff, but average minded. All the girls were attractive, came from money, but didn’t have an insane amount of substance. The few cool ones in these groups were few and far between, I normally gravitated towards them where Amanda did not. Mostly because it would put her in an unfavorable place with her friends. I never cared. I was on top of my game. I was happy. Or so I thought.
I remember with ALL OF MY PARTNERS from Sara to Shelby, there was always a part of me that craved a masculine presence from them on some level. I LOVED their male sides a lot more than their female sides at times, not always but at times I needed that and made it very clear I wanted it. It never mattered to me that it was something they didn’t wish to openly advertise to people. It was a part of them, I enjoyed it thoroughly and allowed them to express it freely. Because I loved all of them. There’s always something much less inhibited and raw about the masculine mind-frame. Something that the female mind doesn’t always offer and in fact, rarely does. Make no mistake, I love women. I crave them as much as I do transmen and gender-fluid/flux partners. I am just now much more ready to accept the fact that I’m not as straight as I have been leading on or trying to emulate. I am very much a queer identified transman. I can be highly masculine most of the time, but I can also be a bit more femme or bottomy. I do not really like to use the term femme as I don’t believe there’s ever been a time recently where I felt comfortable being “femme”. I use the term soft. Because deflection first, acceptance later.
I have always struggled with my sexual identity. I had a trans partner named Eliott when I lived in Syracuse. He moved from Massachusetts to live with us. I recall we went out to the Carosel Center Mall one day and held hands as we walked to the comic shop. He was wearing a t-shirt that said “Tranny” on it and I absolutely hated the fact he would billboard himself that way. Thinking back, that was just a bit transphobic considering he was just expressing himself. But I still have an issue with those kinds of t-shirts, regardless of your identity. For my own reasons that mostly come from “are you sure you need to advertise your identity to validate it?”. Again, just my opinion. However, I remember when we passed the food court a gentleman and his friends passed us. By the time they got far away enough we heard them scream out “Fruitball!!” My first taste of open displays of homophobia. I immediately stopped holding his hand and walked a little ahead of him. This was not the first time I had done something like this. We often argued over his trans t-shirts, my friends (who were all metal-heads that I worked with and mostly conservative despite being open-minded) thought he was weird because his interests were deeply rooted in queer culture. Frankly, you really can’t explain to a 45 year-old bush supporter how you raised money for a queer coffee shop by hosting a puppet show and expect him not to raise an eyebrow. Even I was a little bit put off by it, I am not and will never be that kind of radical “granola” queer, as I call it.
During my time with Jaxx in Indiana, he and I often argued over the fact that I would not engage with him in PDA when we went out. I was terrified of having our asses kicked in the middle of rural Indiana. He was really offended that I wasn’t “proud of him” as he put it. I suppose it wasn’t that I was not proud of him, I was less proud of myself. I was really stuck on the fact that being seen as “gay” on any level was a horrible fate and that I had already had enough judgement being trans and having BPD. I wanted no more of it.
These last few days with Donni have been a bit eye opening, but still very scary for me. However, it’s shown me that it’s time to embrace some things about myself that I’ve been trying to stifle for a long time:
My name is Shane-Michael.
I’m a Queer/Bi-sexual transman.
I love women
I love transmen and masculine identified, non-cisgender individuals.
I am a man of leather and kink
I am a bear
I think, in all fairness, in order to better know the more complex parts of me I need to start over with the basic roots. I feel that being more open about this is a good start to that. I have always been a bear, always been bisexual and often in denial of it.
I am sick of hiding. I am sick of running. I am sick of denying who I am out of fear of what anyone things. Partners, friends, society. I am a queer, Trans, fat, hairy, kinky bear bottom and god damn proud of it.