This is not a complete biography. It is a brief account of some of the sexual orientation, gender and feminism-related events in my life. I don’t mean to hit every event in my life, not even every significant event. It is just a starting point.
Separated. It finally became too much when I fall in love with a lawyer. Being with a man who is ambitious for a change, rather than my husband who stays on unemployment for as long as possible in between stints at low-paying jobs, is tantalizing.
But that ends when he tells me that his idea of a perfect relationship is keeping me in six-inch heels and greeting him at the door each day in a playboy bunny costume. I’m not even making that up. When I find he has a box of photos under his bed of women he knew before me dressed in that exact same outfit, I call it quits.
Against all reason, I’m back with my husband. I want to have a baby more than anything. But I can’t. My ovulation is weak. The doctor gives me pills to help out, a pill that boosts production of progesterone. It’s then that I realize that hormonal changes and hormone treatments have been behind every bout of depression I ever had, whether it was the advent of puberty, birth control pills, depo provera, the nuva ring or now the fertility treatments.
I realize instinctively that if I progress to injectable fertility meds, I will break. My body needs medical intervention to allow me to become a mother, but my mind will crack if I take the medicine. I give up. Utterly. I wrap a plastic bag around my head and tape it shut and wait. But the feeling of plastic being inhaled against my nostrils is too irritating, and maybe I didn’t want to really die after all, so I take it off.
My husband finds me a psychologist the next day. It is the best thing he ever did for me.
I’m in grad school. After coming to terms with infertility, I had to figure out what to do with the rest of my life if children wouldn’t be in it. I take the tests and take out the loan, and I’m ready to go.
The weekend after my first class, my husband comes home with a big announcement. He’s going to proceed toward the hormonal and surgical process of “becoming a woman.” There’s no discussion — not that I suppose there needs to be. But he’s making is own decision, and I make mine. I know it won’t work.
I love Evangeline. Love her heart and body and soul. I meet her online where I’m hanging out using a male avatar. She, with a female avatar, doesn’t know I’m not a man at first, and I don’t tell her right away. I only make the mistake after being online after taking pain meds for a toothache and slip up. It happens in a message I send to her after she’s gone to bed.
I am in agony the next day, sure that she’ll say whatever kind of relationship we have is over. But she doesn’t. Though she’s never been in a relationship with a woman, she’s OK with the idea.
It’s nine months before we exchange actual photos of each other. That’s when I learn she’s black. Then she learns I’m actually, technically, still married. And that she knows my husband, who hangs out in the same mmorpg. And yet, we overcome all of that. Gender and sexual orientation and race and marital status. All of it. Because love finds a way.
Our first date comes when I fly down to Florida to meet her and we go to Key West for a week. It is the best first date of all time. I swear it.
Evangeline lives with me. We are so happy. It is the best time of my life.
Gender is a toy to us. We play with it. I dress up in dress shirts and ties when we go out. I make a dashing Severus Snape at movie premiers. But it’s just a game.
We don’t know what we are. I suppose I’m bisexual, though the more I am with her, the more I realize my relationship with her is more emotionally deep than any I’ve had with a man. And while I’ve liked having sex with men, I realize the relationships have been disappointing. I realize I need men, that I like men, a lot less than I thought I did.
So we’re both bisexual, nominally. But to the world, we are a lesbian couple. And in reality, there’s no one either of us would rather be with than each other.
Current day. Evangeline are as close as ever and more so with the passing of days. We make no effort to hide who we are. We hold hands in public, lean against each other, hug, kiss each other good-bye when one of us drops the other off for work.
I realize it jars people when I talk about my ex-husband. It’s awkward each time. I always feel I have to explain myself. It’s tiresome.
If I could, I’d go back and time and do it differently. Find Evangeline sooner. I wasted so much time…