This gender “stuff” was lurking just below the surface for a while before it hit consciously for me. Looking back, it seems nearly comical that this surprised both of us when it hit.
Gail and I had versions of this one conversation multiple times over about the last year and a half. It went roughly like this:
Gail: You know, I think Dan Savage is right. Women really are a lot more flexible in their sexuality than guys are. I mean, I’m with you, and I’m mostly a lesbian, but I really do think it’s more of a choice for women to be queer (She’s a mathematician, and often guilty of overgeneralization as so many of us are — us being mathematicians — but I swear it’s charming and not horribly offensive in person)
Me: It drives me nuts when you say that. It was so not a choice for me.
Gail: (insert an interlude of A getting all sweetly over-intellectual about queer people…eventually working her way to…) And it’s so different now. The young ones have so many more options. They are all kinds of different things we didn’t even know about.
Me: I know. Sometimes I think I missed the boat. If I were 10 years younger, I think things would be different.
A: Different like how?
Me: (looking away) I don’t know. I think I might be trans if I were younger. I mean, obviously I’m not, and I’m happy, but I think maybe it would have been different (then I scramble to change the topic)
Then we’d both mysteriously have amnesia that this conversation ever happened.
And there it is — basically a big bright neon sign pointing to exactly where we are now. Turns out maybe I’m not too old to figure out I’m trans, and turns out that she was exactly right that she’s pretty flexible in her sexuality (for which I am very grateful). Maybe we were perfect for each other in ways that we never could have seen 11 years ago. It seems like magic, though apparently we sure can be a little dense sometimes.