Sunday, March 28, 2010

He or She? She or He?

I've always believed in equal rights and equal opportunity, in accepting people for who they are. This extends to sexuality and that's why I write MM romance as well as MF.

One of my good friends is in a long-term same gender relationship. It's much stronger than most male-female marriages I know. In fact, this is what inspired me to write MM romance.

MM relationships were very hard for me to accept initially, however, so this has been a revelation. When I was 17, I was engaged to a very handsome man who I'd had a big crush on for years. He was one of the cutest boys I'd ever seen. He'd always had a cute girlfriend. And finally, finally, he saw me. I was in heaven.

Then heaven turned into hell. He admitted he was bi-sexual. He was so sensitive he told me by taking me to an all male party where he French kissed his boy friend in front of me rather than explain first in words. Then he tried to convince me it was okay and normal for him to have both a girlfriend and boyfriend simultaneously.

I freaked out. For years my head was so messed up I thought all men preferred other men, that they only pretended to like women to fit into society. Everytime I looked at a man I wondered if he was gay. I felt sub-standard.

Strangely enough, MM romance and my gay friend have drilled it into my head that people come in many varieties. Or I thought it did. I thought I had finally arrived at feeling confident and having my head screwed on straight.

And then someone very close to me came out of the closet.

In a different way than my ex-fiance. This young man admitted to feeling like a woman inside all his life. He wants to be a woman. And he's going to be a woman.

A couple weeks ago he started hormone therapy. In a couple years he plans to have SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) and complete the transformation. Even though he is female inside, he's attracted to females.

I'm still trying to get a grip on all this. If anyone could be, should be accepting, it's an MM, MFM, MMF romance writer, right? Of course reality is on a different level than fiction.

The bottom line is, I love this person. This person is a terrific, kind, brilliant, beautiful person. I want this person to be happy and he's been very unhappy most of his life because he was born into the wrong body. Or should I say she?

It's confusing. I'm not sure whether to refer to this person as he or she at this point. I'm not sure he knows, either.

I'm doing my best to be supportive. Sometimes, it almost feels as if this person has died, or is dying. That's silly. Worse, it means I'm not being as supportive as I need to be.

Heavy research is called for. Whenever I do that, at least one like minded story usually follows. Transgender and transsexual people need romance and romance stories, too. Thus, I very likely might explore this area in my romance writing.

Recent posts you might like to read:

What Do You Want in a Romance Hero & What Do You Want in a Real Life Husband?

Rejection: Where Do You Go Next?

Procrastination

Cliche or Coincidence?

What Prompts Me To "Follow" A Blog

Make Sure Pretentious Words Don't Turn Off Your Readers

Dedicating Books

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

5 comments:

sassypackrat said...

So happy the hear that you are being supportive to this person in your life. That will make all the difference as they go through a difficult transition.

LivingFire said...

I'm certain they appreciate it's hard for you and will value your support :)

It might be awkward, but it may be worthwhile asking if they're prefer female-gendered pronouns? They'll probably appreciate it.

Lots of hugs for you, I hope you can find a way through this and cope with the changes they will be going through

LF x

Ashley Ladd said...

sassypackrat - I hope so. I think so. He was scared to tell me and in particular to tell my husband. He has yet to tell his grandparents, aunts and uncles, but he's working on it and so are we.

Ashley Ladd said...

LivingFire - I've asked and was told when he starts looking like a she, then I should change pronouns. But I don't see him everyday so I don't know if he'll tell me right away. As of two days ago he said there was no visible change yet.

Aoife.Troxel said...

I read this but didn't comment...then I thought of something. Which public bathroom does he use, gents or ladies? Will that change when the pronoun changes? Or what? Genuinely curious here.
And good for you for being supportive. I try to be supportive of all people, no matter their sexual orientation or however they are different than the "norm" too :)

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