I used to hate Valentine’s Day. It seemed like an excuse for people in relationships to flaunt them to raise themselves over the people who weren’t. And at the time, be a transwoman, there did not seem to be any relationship in my future, near or far.
I was married to a woman for nearly 25 years when I came out. Beginning transition completely destroyed that relationship.
Life goes on and I was pretty sure that it would go on with me being alone. I resolved to adjust to that. About the time I thought I had, I was contacted by a woman who read my submissions to an email list and wanted to get to know me better. She was teaching English to the Japanese near Tokyo, so it was a very long distance friendship…which grew into a long distance romance and thence to a long distance relationship (LDR).
I was quite young when I had my first sexual experience. It began at 9:45 am and ended rather abruptly, but relatively successfully at 9:49 am. Central Standard Time. On the morning of December 25, 1969. The bringer of that brief but memorable Christmas morning gift was a covertly adventurous “older woman” of 18 who lived next door, and was admired by mothers in the neighborhood as a “nice girl” who had no interest in “that hippie music” so many of their daughters listened to when they weren’t busy “sassing their parents”.
Unlike many first timers back then, who discovered paradise by the dashboard lights, I discovered paradise by the Christmas tree lights. I was concerned that my parents would come home earlier than expected from exchanging gifts at my aunt and uncle’s and catch us, but the version of paradise I was experiencing would at least have enabled me to wag my finger at them and say “I did not have sex with that woman.”
I wasn’t concerned about my parents returning early for very long though, my attention focused rather quickly on the gifts being exchanged where I was, not where they were. Since that Christmas morning in 1969, I’ve found love and lost it, found it again and lost it again, but losing love the first time is so heartbreaking. Breathing the fire of rejection is no fun at all, but we get used to it. We have no choice. This world is filled with dark and lonely backstreets, where no one cares, where people just use each other, where love is all too often filled with defeat. But love is always worth seeking. It’s worth seeking no matter how elusive it is, no matter how many years have come and gone, no matter how many times you’ve had to overcome defeat . . .