*Coming to terms with one’s sexuality is at times a long and exhausting process. It took me many years to completely accept myself, and try to venture into the dating world. Over time, I have ended up collecting stories and lessons learned from my dating life, which I will now be sharing every month for roughly the next year. All names will be changed to protect the privacy of everyone mentioned, as they deserve anonymity and respect- no matter how bad the stories may have ended. Instead of telling these stories in chronological order, I will be telling them by order of importance of their moral.*
This is the story of Benjamin, who I originally met as Beatrice. I met Beatrice through a group of friends, and found this person utterly stunning at first sight. My heart pounded and I felt lighter than I had for a time. I used to waste time pining away for people who didn’t want to be with me, and blaming myself for things that were out of my control. So I had thought perhaps Beatrice would be a nice attempt for trying to start a relationship in a more realistic way. Don’t get immediately attached, or fantasize about things unless I knew for a fact they were actually possible. I wanted to get to know Beatrice as a person.
We were more often surrounded by our friends, which limited my ability to see if Beatrice would be the kind of person I’d want to seriously pursue. However, I definitely did enjoy the company and could sense my crush growing. When my friends discovered how I felt, they were supportive and encouraged me to see if it was worth a shot. However, things started to change when Beatrice revealed they had some real confusion over their gender identity. While I had no problem with them being a trans person whether non binary or a transman, I wondered if the fact I still found “Bee” attractive meant I wasn’t as gay as I originally thought.
I knew for a fact I wasn’t bisexual, having wasted years before trying to date men to convince myself I liked them until I finally accepted that I only wanted to like men because I thought it’d be an easier life to have, and easier for others to accept me. The truth was at the end of the day, I liked women. So why did I still like Bee? It was then a friend of mine introduced me to the Kinsey Scale.
The Kinsey Scale goes from zero to six, showing how gay or straight or in between a person can be, instead of a specifically set box. Over the course of a few weeks of thought and personal insight, I learned to accept I can love women and nonbinary people. However, I still didn’t have any desire for men. Transmen or Cismen make no difference, a man is a man. At the time, Bee still identified as nonbinary, so I had decided to slowly try to pursue something with Bee.
However, Bee had eyes set on my close friend at that time, Lisa. Lisa had also liked Bee back, but withheld her feelings to spare me. While it did hurt a lot, and Lisa and Bee hadn’t worked out anyway, it was a clear sign Bee simply wasn’t interested. It also didn’t help that Bee occasionally lashed out at me, at times that were random and uncalled for, and soon enough any feelings I had for Bee were gone. From what I understand, they’d been having some complications of their own, so it was best to not get in their way as it was. It also wasn’t long after than, Benjamin officially came out as a transman, and I had completely moved on with my life. I did however look more into the complexities of sexual fluidity and the Kinsey Scale, and educated myself further. During this time, I felt even more proud and sure of my orientation as a lesbian. I am not ashamed to admit my love of women, but also the very real possibility to love people who fall into a more complicated category of gender. I personally put myself as a 5.5/6 on the Kinsey Scale, and that’s okay.
While Benjamin and I no longer speak and never had anything close to a romance, I do still respect and appreciate him. He’s a smart man, who was funny and had far better taste than most of our peers. I also remember him being quite a gentleman, and can still appreciate that about him. I hope his transition comes as easily as possible, and that he finds happiness in his life. I doubt I shall see him again, but wherever he may be, I hope that he is well and continues to do well in his life. I also privately thank him for helping me to learn more about myself, and my capabilities to love other people.
I am telling you this because it’s important to keep in mind that nobody can tell you what it means to be queer. That is only something you can figure out for yourself, and remember to keep being accepting of yourself. Keep your mind and heart open, and in times of doubt for what you identify as, you can look to the Kinsey Scale or inside yourself for more understanding. Understanding, especially of ourselves, is the key to happiness.