A month and a half ago, I hooked up with a long-distance friend of mine, easily the most outrageous, pithy cissexual faggot dandy I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. For many reasons, I had thoroughly enjoyed the few times we hung out together. Here, I will just mention my pleasure at being treated consistently like a queer masculine person by another queer masculine person. I use female pronouns, and so he did too in reference to me, but in every other imaginable way, he gendered me masculine, never once assuming, for instance, that I was a “lesbian”, a “woman” or even a butch. I’m not sure how to explain this, but it felt really, really good to escape the weight of the queer women’s community and to just be fags with him, to be recognized as a fag by another fag, and a cissexual one at that. I should note that I do love interacting with cissexual fags, but they usually see me as a fag-friendly butch lesbian. When I explain otherwise, they accept my gender, but not my sex. An invisible wall separates us; the wall of my femaleness, which makes it impossible for them to contemplate hooking up with me, and not fully possible for them to see me as a fag like them. In this case, though, I didn’t need to explain: he never assumed I was a butch lesbian in the first place, and I didn’t sense a wall of any sort separating us.
I won’t go into the dirty details of the hookup here. Suffice it to say that it was based on a completely unexpected and irresistible physical attraction that manifested itself as soon as we got close to one another on the dance floor and that was unstoppable from that moment on. I was shocked by the suddenness and the raw power of our mutual attraction. I have multiple lovers and regularly use the dance floor as a site of flirtation and cruising, but NEVER have I been so agonizingly turned on in such a public space with such a poor ability to control myself for the sake of public decorum (yes, we were making out disgustingly, pulling hair and collars, touching chests, grabbing crotches, and knocking down a curtain). All I could think about for the rest of that dance party was taking him home. In a situation like this, I would have expected that I’d give some thought to the “How” of it all: would he be repulsed by my femaleness, would I remove all of my clothes, would some sexual acts be off limits, would we have to have a conversation about it first, and who would be the top?? But, given the irresistible power of our mutual attraction, the uncomplicatedly gay male energy of our make-out, and his obvious lack of concern about my femaleness, I didn’t worry. I just knew that things would work. And they did…
No doubt about it, it worked because of a certain raw physical attraction. Pheromones or something. But also because of a deep erotic compatibility of a kind that I have never experienced. To be clear: I have experience mind-blowing multiple orgasms, intense topping and bottoming, the type of sex that can only be described as transcendental. And this was none of that. What it was was incredibly hot and right. The rightness of it, and of my body in it, is what I keep coming back to. All I could think, for weeks afterward, was “It was exactly what I wanted”. I have fucked males before, both trans and cissexual, but never within such an explicitly gay dynamic. What made it different was that the maleness went both ways; it was mine as well as his. It didn’t matter that some of my anatomy was female. He is not attracted to women and literally doesn’t know how to interact sexually with females; and so that female anatomy was treated just like a variation in the male anatomy. Also, this part is puzzling, but I felt strongly that “Our bodies are exactly the same”, something I’ve never felt before during sex. Part of this is that I have a very boyish, lean body – really not feminine at all, except in the sense of being rather small – and he is slim, hairless, and not very muscular. So really, my body is much closer to his than it is to the bodies of my two markedly female-bodied lovers. But would I have felt this same sense of sameness if I had been hooking up with certain lean, boyish female-bodied people I know? I’m not sure that I would have. I think that part of the “Our bodies are exactly the same” exuberance was that he reflected back to me an image of how I would like my body to be. AND he treated me as if I already had that body. AND (this part is important), having this erotic body didn’t mean that I had to be butch, the top, the penetrator; it didn’t mean that I had to have a more “feminine”, receptive, penetrable partner; it didn’t mean that I had to struggle awkwardly with a masculine-identified but feminine-loving partner to figure out how our two masculine bodies could possibly fit together. The magic of faggotry made us, with our “male” bodies (mine honorary) eminently compatible.
“It was exactly what I wanted”. “It was SOOOO perfect”. For weeks, every time I thought of it, in addition to being wildly turned on, I felt like crying. Tears of gratitude and of wonderment. It was like a miracle. I had been totally crushed out on a gay man, I had fantasized about hooking up with gay men before, and I had identified as a “faggot” for years, but I hadn’t known that, in practice, hooking up with a gay man would feel so right, so perfect that it would shake my world.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about some kind of agonized panic about what people will think when they see me with a gay man, what this means for my sexual orientation, my membership in queer female communities, etc. Actually, I’m thrilled at the idea of people seeing me with him, realizing that I’m NOT a queer woman, NOT a dyke. This is about the fact that being socially recognized as a faggot, having gay sex, feeling like my body was male (though it isn’t) felt so good, so right, that now I want this all the time. Increasingly, it pains me and feels blatantly wrong when people read me as a dyke, a butch, a woman, a girl, a lesbian. I am beginning to sense a gulf between myself and many queer women. When dykes approach me in fellowship, I want to yell, “No, I’m not like you!” When femme women flirt with me, I think, “Are you crazy? Can’t you see that I’m gay?” Immature impulses, I know, that I don’t indulge. On the other hand, ever since this hookup, when I see gay men, I am beset by a feeling of aching, tragic longing and sadness. Sometimes it’s just that I want to be included, recognized. I want them to see me, cruise me, dance with me. But a film covers me, making me invisible – the film of my femaleness. More and more, however, gay men do see me, flirt with me, dance with me, touch me, sometimes against their better judgment. In this case my femaleness is not a film; they see my faggotry and react to it. But it is a barrier. They will flirt, but they won’t take me home. And this is much worse. The sad, aching longing overtakes me. I am so close; something is palpable, a certain attraction…? But it doesn’t catch, it doesn’t take hold. I can feel their discomfort, their uncertainty. Then, I want to be a gay man so bad. The desire grips me, overtakes me. If I just took T, gay men would see me, cruise me. If there was attraction, the barrier of my femaleness would be removed. Nothing would prevent me from having a dick in my mouth that very night.
As it is, I feel illegible, or legible but not the kind of book anyone wants to read, caught in an awful state of in-betweeness. Sure, trans people and genderqueers get me, my faggotry, my masculinity. But I don’t live in a big city, so this is a very small population of people. Do I want to condemn myself to only being fully seen, recognized, understood, and dated by this tiny minority? I have a very gregarious sexuality. I don’t want to find that one unicorn who really understands me, my gender, and my sexuality, and settle down with them for life. I want the thrill of cruising and being cruised, of taking someone home for just one night, of having a single hot dance on the dance floor. I want my dating pool to include not just gay trans men and genderqueers, but gay and queer cis men. And, beyond dating, I want to be seen and treated as a fag universally.