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On sex changes, heat, and random things

Sex changes: I know the preferred term is "gender reassignment," but that's got way too many syllables. Who has the time? In any event: do you know a transsexual? 'Cause I do. In fact, I kind of dated one. Well, he wasn't a transsexual at the time, just a remarkably pretty boy with an evasive quality about him. Alex was his name, not his real name actually, but that's what he went by in high school. We went to winter formal together once, and I had this huge romantic crush on him, and every couple of years we'd see each other again and have enchanting but sort of strange conversations.

He was a lovely kisser - still is, I imagine - and was one of the few boys I've ever known whose hair was as thick as mine (but his was a luscious dark brown-black). He claimed, a couple years after high school, that I was the first girl he'd ever loved, not that he ever indicated this back when it might have been good to know. Ah, well. Anyhow, since he was always so shy or somehow distant, there was never anything more than an occasional kiss and a lot of flattering comments between us.

Then a couple years ago I heard the most interesting thing from my little sister, who had run into our Alex: he wanted to be a she. This boy thing was not working out for him. Oh, but don't worry - he really did love me - because, see, he wanted to become a girl so that he could be a lesbian. (See P.S. below.)

All right, yeah, that was hard to wrap my mind around. I wasn't angry or disturbed or anything; in fact, I had to admit it was rather entertaining and I was curious what he'd look like in women's clothes. But we lived in different cities by then, and I figured maybe it was just a passing phase, and anyway it was none of my business. Fast forward to roughly last week: by a chance link encounter, I found his - no, her - website and journal. She's going through with this. Her name lately is Astrid. She had voice samples on the site, old (boy voice) and new (girl voice), and I listened to both.

The boy voice was Alex as I remembered: lovely, genteel, but decidedly male. The girl voice: OK, I was expecting something like Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert voices, men doing their female impression. But, no: to my surprise, it sounds completely, normally female. I'm astounded and impressed. I wouldn't have recognized her if she called. In fact, I might have mistaken her for one of my roommates from college. Well, we exchanged a few emails, and she's just as charming as I remember, so I'm hoping to pay her a visit next time I'm back in my hometown. It will be a lot easier, actually, just having Alex/Astrid as a girl-friend than always walking that edgy flirtation line like we used to do.

Because, no matter how I try, I am not into girls that way. It doesn't bother me, it's just that I cannot get boys off the brain. *shrug* (And anyway, I'm married.) Luckily, she's claiming she's bisexual now, so we can sit in a coffeeshop and check out the college boys together. Hee. This actually sounds like great fun.

Heat: it's been hot in the Sacramento Valley for, what, a week now? And I hate it already. I want the rain back. My tolerance for this area is actually getting weaker the longer I live here.

Random things: Your LOTR-related link of the day: Frodo's journey as allegory of submitting a thesis. Too perfect for my current situation. Giggling at images of Aragorn as a wandering postdoc and Elrond as the head of the department.

P.S. The sex-change-to-become-a-lesbian thing actually isn't undocumented. There's a novel about it, in fact: Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian. Quite interesting.



( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC)
Your post just struck me as incredibly cool. Astrid has a good friend in you. :)
May. 22nd, 2003 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you - I strive to be "incredibly cool." :)

S/he was always a charming person, so, as I told her, "I still want to see you again as long as you're *you*." The personality is all that matters, for the most part. If someone were annoying as a male, they'd probably be annoying as a female too.
May. 22nd, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Frodo's PHD
Have you read Piled Higher & Deeper?
May. 22nd, 2003 07:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Frodo's PHD
Oh yeah....once in a while. Someone else forwarded me there, one time. Even though I'm an M.A. student, not a Ph.D., it's good to know the plight of the grad student is being recorded.
May. 22nd, 2003 06:28 pm (UTC)
That's interesting; you'd think one would want to avoid all the discrimination (or at least odd looks) one gets when one is homo- or bisexual. It makes a little bit of sense, though; I'm bi, but I feel like I should have been a guy (it's a personality thing; I'm not into being 'girly' most of the time) so if I had a sex-change then fell for a guy I'd be in the same boat.

*grins* You're not the first open-minded conservative I've met, so I'm afraid the confusion bit is much less than it would have been had I known you before I met her. :)
May. 22nd, 2003 07:27 pm (UTC)
Hey, you want I should set you up with Astrid? *grin* (Just kidding. There's a bit of an age difference between you, anyhow...) I was thinking a bisexual woman would be the best match for her. Such a person wouldn't mind any vestiges of masculinity she might still have.

I'd love to try out a guy's body for a day or two (think how much better a writer I'd be after that experience!), but generally I like being female - even if I'm not typically girly in some ways. Androgyny is not only cool but shows a well-balanced psyche. :)

Hurrah for pervy conservatives! I mainly call myself a conservative for economic and national-defense type of reasons (and *some* moral standards as well), but tend not to match up with some of the other stereotypical stances. In the LOTR fandom, there are plenty of conservatives...but finding ones who like LOTR slash is a little harder. We're a small bunch of outcasts...*sigh*
Another outcast.. - i_kat_i - May. 23rd, 2003 11:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another outcast.. - trilliah - May. 23rd, 2003 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Another outcast.. - i_kat_i - May. 24th, 2003 09:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 24th, 2003 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Life and literature - i_kat_i - May. 25th, 2003 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2003 06:55 pm (UTC)
What a story! But you are indeed open-minded, and Astrid should consider herself lucky to have a friend like you. :)

"Because, no matter how I try, I am not into girls that way. It doesn't bother me, it's just that I cannot get boys off the brain."

Actually, I know what you mean. Many of my gay friends started out in denial, and some of them still say they wish they were "normal" and straight. As for me, I'd like to experiment with both genders... why limit yourself to just one? And while I may call myself bisexual, and I am interested in female-female relationships, I can't really see *myself* in one. Maybe that's the real problem.
May. 22nd, 2003 07:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks. ;) I should thank Astrid for providing such an interesting conversation piece for my ordinarily humdrum little life, as well.

Yeah, I think I could get interested in a woman if there were no men around. (Prison? A sorority lock-in? The magical island of only females?) But, I just know, the first remotely cute guy to walk in would turn my head. Whether that's genetic wiring or social conditioning, I'm not sure - perhaps it's both - but if it's basically impossible to change, does it matter which one it is?...
(no subject) - cenire - May. 23rd, 2003 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dirae - May. 24th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 25th, 2003 02:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dirae - May. 25th, 2003 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2003 07:41 pm (UTC)
I just read Trans-Sister Radio a few months back! What a very, very interesting story. It actually helped me to better understand an online friend who, when we first met, was named Linda, and is now Steve (not the real names, but you get the idea). Steve had informed our email group that he was no longer Linda just a month or so before a large gathering we'd planned. It weirded me (and my parents) out more than a little bit, but now I think I may understand him more, even if I can't sympathize.

Steve, by the way, is also gay now; he married George back when he was still Linda, and also adopted two children then. I have no doubt that those children are lucky to have Steve as a dad, though. It's all quite interesting.

Chris Bohjalian always picks the most fascinating subjects to write about, don't you think? :)
May. 22nd, 2003 07:44 pm (UTC)
And yes. I don't mean to gloat or be holier-than-thou, but this open-minded diversity-appreciating rave did come from a conservative Republican chickie. I feel your confusion. I enjoy it.

I missed that the first time, LOL, but amen! Ain't it great when we conservatives can be open-minded and all that jazz? Time to change the para-dig-um! ;)
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 22nd, 2003 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 22nd, 2003 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2003 09:33 pm (UTC)
Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so...
I am dying in this heat, too! It's so annoying to be stricken with an unbecoming perspiration mustache all summer! Ha Ha
I think you're right about genetic pre-wiring. Something about guys with their long lean legs and ...Oh, ahem, nevermind.
I've always been very open minded to gay and transsexuals. Must've been growing up in San Francisco and asking mommy why two daddy's were kissing on the corner of Market and Castro.
It didn't seem to bother anyone that I had a lesbian bridesmaid, or feel 100% more comfortable going to a gay bar than straight. But the female form doesn't excite me sexually.
We've all had those dreams, right? The ones where you wake up wondering if your'e gay because you just dreamt that you were kissing a girl? No? Okay, maybe that's just me.
But it has often made me wonder...and then, NAH, I like the male form too much.
May. 22nd, 2003 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so...
Gay bars generally have much better music. That right there is a good enough reason to frequent them.

Yeah, I've had the kissing-girls dreams, but they're rare and I usually don't enjoy them. Even in the dream, I know it's weird. (Probably the best one I ended up with was Reese Witherspoon...I mean, hey, at least she's pretty. Heh.) They're nowhere near as good as the male-celebrity dreams. Now those I can enjoy. In fact, they're often disappointing to wake up from. ("Damn! Knew that was too good to be true...") ;)
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - trilliah - May. 23rd, 2003 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - mollyringle - May. 24th, 2003 10:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - trilliah - May. 24th, 2003 02:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - mollyringle - May. 25th, 2003 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - trilliah - May. 26th, 2003 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - mollyringle - May. 26th, 2003 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Gay? Bi-Curious? Don't think so... - (Anonymous) - May. 28th, 2003 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 23rd, 2003 10:26 pm (UTC)
My thoughts...
It's so interesting that this subject came up. My best friend and I were just talking the other day about females being attracted to other females. We're always saying that if it wasn't for the fact that we liked guys way too much we'd definitely go out with each other. I mean we connect on a level that no man can attain no matter how hard he tries. But yeah then we both see a hottie walk by and it reminds us that yes....guys are just too much fun to pass up!

Isn't it weird though that there is a double standard? Cosmo had a thing about this saying it was perfectly normal for girls to crush on other girls. But do you see GQ writing articles about how cute it is when guys crush on other guys? Hmmmm...or did I just miss that one?
May. 24th, 2003 10:18 am (UTC)
Re: My thoughts...
*snickers at the GQ idea*
You're quite right; that's not something you often hear in the guys' magazines.

Still, I think we'll see a shift in the next several decades toward homosexuality/bisexuality being less of a big deal or a taboo among conservatives. (Obviously it's already less of a taboo among most liberals.) Granted, it's always going to be less common than heterosexuality - sort of self-defeating from Nature's point of view otherwise - but that doesn't mean it has to freak anyone out.

I mean, hey, Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian, and her folks still love her. :) (Newt Gingrich's daughter, too, I think..)
Although... - trilliah - May. 24th, 2003 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Although... - shebit - May. 25th, 2003 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Although... - mollyringle - May. 25th, 2003 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Although... - shebit - May. 26th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 25th, 2003 11:06 pm (UTC)
I also know a woman who used to be a man... and is now lesbian. It's hard to understand why a man would become a lesbian. I mean, if he liked girls.... oh well, she seems happy now, and that is what counts. She does tell an interesting story from the time when she was "transitting". She had just had the castration process done when her boss (she was a truck driver) asked her if she wanted a new Peterbilt. She replied that she got the one she had cut off, why would she want to build a new one??
May. 26th, 2003 01:29 pm (UTC)
*grins at the "Peterbilt" thing*

Interesting...didn't realize the "lesbian trapped in a man's body" was so commonplace.
( 39 comments — Leave a comment )