This summer, I am enrolled in a creative writing class. A lot of what I'm writing is gender/sexuality related. I thought I would share a couple of experimental pieces with you all.
Dating My Dysphoria (Draft 2)
I met him online. He was intriguing and mysterious and all those wonderful things that everybody thinks they want in a partner, but which never play out in the end. Early on I felt an intense connection with him, something that I could not quite put my finger on. In all honesty, he wasn’t very nice and he was arrogant. I liked him more for it. He was often cold and always distant. He rarely talked about himself. Each tidbit about who he was only made me more curious. As time went on I became aware of how similar we were to each other. In some ways I felt like being with him was like watching myself. Every move he made seemed perfectly in sync with my own movements.
I began to notice physical similarities between myself and him. The way his eyes shone green with flecks of gold, the way his hair curled around his shoulders. When we were apart I would state at myself in the mirror and pick my features apart comparing the two of us. I realized that it was sort of creepy how obsessed with him I had become, but I could not get enough of him.
Over time, his distance began to fade and he became softer, warmer. He would lie in bed next to me and talk about his insecurities and he would pull me close and whisper in my ear that he needed me. I pushed back at him, I demanded to know what had changed in him, constantly questioning what was wrong. I had grown comfortable with our relationship and its oddness. I appreciated the awkward barriers that I no longer felt as such, but rather truths that strengthened our connection. He was hurt by my suspicion, I could feel that, but I could not bear to let him relax- to become too close to me.
I became afraid of the bond we had formed. It was too strong, too familiar. It seemed dangerous. He dominated my personality and I submitted, but not with my affection. I kept my emotions away from him even as he became more vulnerable. Part of me was worried that beign so physically and mentally similar that if I shared my emotions with him that we would meld and that my identity would be lost. I realized later how naïve I was for this anxiety. The relationship couldn’t last. Where his initially distant attitude had drawn me to him, my behavior drove him away. My obsession grew as his desire flickered. Eventually, he stopped returning my calls. I felt lost. It was a peculiar feeling, not like the heartbreak I had faced in the past. This was new, and I could not describe the feelings welling up inside me. My identity seemed lost. I wondered if we had melded after all. It took a long time for me to start to understand what had happened in that relationship. I began to realize that physically we had nothing in common, something I should have known after all that time looking in the mirror, I guess I hadn’t really been seeing.
One day it clicked into place. It was not that we actually looked alike, but rather that he looked like I feel I would look as a boy. It was a complicated idea, which may not translate well onto paper. With this understanding came a wealth of pain. Every day it became more apparent that my attraction to him had been less about my interest in dating him and more about my interest in being him…or being like him. It is all confusing, as I am sure the readers of this might feel right now. It is not that I feel transgender exactly, but maybe it is similar.
The reality is that I have always thought of myself as foundationally male with a female outer layer. Maybe that makes me genderqueer. Maybe it just makes me weird. I admit that I am not sure. I do know that through this experience I have found that I am often attracted to similar kinds of men who are arrogant and distant and sad, but who I see myself in and therefore cannot rest their company. Despite this, I feel especially delicate around them. The connection formed is immediate, strong, and dangerous.