Transgender 101

[Note: This is still unfinished, but I have to post what I’ve got to provide some context for the Wednesday March 30th entry. Posting this on the 30th, but backdating it so it’s in the right place in the timeline.]

Today I met with Pam, former Interim Executive Director of the GAGV, facilitator for the Rochester Transgender Group and an M2F TG herself. I liked Pam from the minute we met. We enjoyed working together during her stint as the ED and until I read it in a press release, I had no clue she was TG. I figured lipstick lesbian.

[BTW, here’s an excellent article with Pam and TG issues in the March 23, 2005 issue of City.]

We spent almost two hours at Spin Caffe, which I chose because they have the best selection of cakes, pies and pastries of all the cafés in town. Think of it as a bakery but with wireless Internet and coffee, as opposed to a café with some baked goods.

I chose the chocolate cannoli cake which was splendid beyond description. Pam described the cappuccino cake she chose as, “positively orgasmic”. The noises she was making confirmed this.

First, we shared notes on Cute Blonde Chick, who by the way, had blessed the meeting by saying, “I love Pam. You love Pam. I think it’ll be good for you. Call me in the afternoon to tell me how it went.”

As it turns out, Pam and I share similar concerns over CBC. Like everyone who shows up on the doorstep of Alcoholics Anonymous, CBC has issues. Simultaneously, she’s been undecided about several important matters for quite some time. Apparently, in the RTG she’s referred to behind her back as, IDK for I Don’t Know.

I was relieved to find this out because I wasn’t sure how much of my reaction was due to sensing these same things, and how much was stereotypical (and inappropriate) thoughts akin to those shared with me more than once on coming out, “Oh you’re not gay. You just haven’t found the right woman.”

Actually, I have now, only she’s still a he. And while I’ll admit to toying with the idea, even before CBC told me I’m not her type, I’d decided it wouldn’t work because, to put it frankly, I like dick.

That settled, we turned to TG issues in general. Pam succeeded where others had failed, by relating it to my own sexuality. She reminded me that gender identity is separate and distinct from gender, gender role, gender attraction and all the rest. “Just as you, from all outward appearances, are nearly indistinguishable from a typical hetero guy…”

“On the inside,” I finished for her, “I fall in love with guys and want to sleep with guys and have sex with them.”

“Right. Like you,” she continued, “CBC is indistinguishable from typical hetero guys from the outside, but on the inside, everything tells her she’s a woman.”

“Except for the loves video games part.”

“Well, there’s no explaining some things.”

“So it’s just the one thing, gender identity, that makes him different from typical hetero guys…”

“Just as with you,” she finished for me, “gender attraction is the only thing that makes you different from typical hetero guys.”

“Except for the loves dancing part.”

“There’s no explaining some things.”

And in case that was too subtle for you, CBC likes women. I apologized for making the flip remark, “So you’re going to become a lesbian.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “I hear it all the time.”

Yes, even the TGs I collect are more interesting than your run-of-the-mill TG.

Anyway, Pam finished up by assuring me the process is designed with all sorts of safeguards in mind help people through the process—including helping people decide it’s not the right choice—in order to be sure the surgical option is appropriate.

“Unless of course,” Pam added, “she takes her money south-of-the-border to some dusty old clinic. In which case, she might come out of it having to lift her arm in order to pee.”

“As opposed to lifting her leg now.”

Pam nearly spit up laughing. I went for broke.

“So if she does that, we should remind her to stick a post-it note down there saying ‘When finished, must squat to pee.’”

“And it should be bi-lingual.”

Hmmm… Maybe Willie will translate for us.

Note to self: Never have two coffees in a short time, each of which is larger than your bladder capacity. Especially not after your morning hydration routine. And certainly not when having a conversation that involves both laughter and the mechanics of peeing.

Pam dropped me off at home and as promised, I called CBC. But not before a long pee break. Standing. I love standing to pee. In fact, I hate sitting on the pot. And not for the usual reasons cited. I just don’t like the idea of my manly bits hanging down inside there.

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