By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist—
When trans people transition to their true gender identity, most will keep their romantic preference the same, meaning that whatever gender they liked romantically before they transitioned they will still like after they transition. For example, if they liked women before they transitioned, then they will most likely still like women after. If they liked men before, then it will most likely stay the same, and if they were bisexual, they usually will still be after. Many trans people follow this path, but there is also a percentage who don’t. I am one of the latter. I changed my romantic preference along with changing my gender identity. This is my story.
Just like almost everyone who was born in the 1950s, I grew up in a very heteronormative environment. Gay men and lesbians were frowned upon and hetero was the way to go. Since I was born male-bodied, I followed the societal norms of preferring women. I was never really attracted to women, but I knew the norms so I played along. In retrospect, I now realize that I slowly taught myself to like women.[pullquote] For example, if they liked women before they transitioned, then they will most likely still like women after. If they liked men before, then it will most likely stay the same, and if they were bisexual, they usually will still be after.[/pullquote]
I was never really attracted to men either, except possibly for Jim Morrison of the Doors in his early days. I did kind of like Jim, but I knew that it was against the norm for me to like men, so I kept my attraction deep in my closet along with my gender dysphoria. I didn’t want to date at all in high school, then dated once or twice afterward. It wasn’t until I met my ex in the early 1970s that I became attracted to women.
When I began cross-dressing in public in the early 2000s, I retained my attraction for women, but began to like men somewhere around 2006. While I was slowly coming out of the closet as a woman, my sexual preference for men also came out. In the spring of 2008, I joined a trans dating site, noting in my profile that I liked men. I was getting quite a few hits from men and I loved it! I was imagining being with these men and I was getting very interested in dating them.
By early May 2008, I met this man online who wanted to date me. I was thrilled! When we met for our date, he treated me like a lady and he was quite the gentleman. He took me out for an early afternoon to play mini golf. As we were playing, we were talking and I noticed him sneaking peeks at my body. That felt great! I suddenly felt a new power that I’ve never felt before! After the golf game, we walked and talked for about an hour. Then he asked me to get into his car. [pullquote]Many trans people follow this path, but there is also a percentage who don’t. I am one of the latter. I changed my romantic preference along with changing my gender identity. This is my story.[/pullquote]
I hesitated. I remember looking at his face and wondering if I could trust him or not. So far, the date was so sweet and I did want to continue it, but I thought about my “What if?” fears. Then I remembered that I was bigger than he was and that if push came to shove, I could take care of myself unless he had a weapon. My mind was racing back and forth as he waited for my answer, but he seemed so nice that I decided to go for it. I kept my phone close by for safety’s sake. I had my girlfriends on speed dial.
After driving and talking for a while, we found a park with lots of people in it, so we parked and continued our talk. I remember sitting in his car with him and feeling like a desired woman. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me! I was on a date with a man and I was the woman! I never felt more like being a woman, and it felt so good! These incredible feelings came over me and I couldn’t wait to kiss him. I moved close, he stopped talking, and that wonderful moment finally came. My first kiss from a man! I was in heaven.
At the same time that these wonderful things were happening to me on the date, I have to admit that it did feel a little strange to be on the other side of the coin. I remembered in the early 70s being a man on a date with a woman, but now I was a woman on a date with a man. Even though it felt a little funny at first, I like this new way much better. I continue to date men today and I love it. Yes, I am a woman and I date men. I even returned to the hetero norm of my youth!
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has three grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.