An Old Connection on Facebook…

Someone I had not seen in ages sent me a Friend request on Facebook, this past weekend. I had not seen him in almost 20 years. He was a good friend of mine back in high school, but we lost touch over the years.  Obviously, with things like Facebook, you can look people up that you haven’t seen in forever and reconnect with them.  And I have mixed emotions about my friend reconnecting with me.

It’s not like there is any bad blood between us or anything. Our friendship was never strained or anything like that. I can’t even think of a time were he and I had any cross-feelings between us. But he is unaware of my sexuality and I am quite aware that I think I loved him back when we were friends. At the time, I had ignored any inclination that I might be gay, bi or anything other than straight, so being able to admit this to my friend would have evaded me.  But, seeing his friend request, literally made my heart leap.

I was excited to hear from him. I remember the way he used to carry himself – confident – a little cocky – inclined towards a sexual nature (but always with women). Although, at the time I had already been engaged in sexual activity with another friend of ours, I was still enamored with him.  I remember hanging out with him all of the time. I was young, of course, so I noticed the way his biceps bulged, the way he walked, his muscular rear and strong legs. Seeing his name in my Facebook invitations made me excited all over again.  For an instant, I considered telling him, “I’m so glad you found me. I have missed you and I want you.”  Okay, it was fleeting, because of all the other things going on in life, right now, but the feelings came rushing in and they unnerved me a little.

Well, come to find out, he has been married three times and is on marriage number four. He has children with one woman and has begun a family with this current one.  Talking to him, I got the distinct impression his mentality has not changed much since high school.  It was a bit of a disappointment; regardless, I was still quite aware of the incompatibility between us on a physical level. It’s obvious, he is quite into “girly girls” and I, simply, am not one.  He wouldn’t ever be attracted to me and that is quite clear, but it didn’t cause me to pause and appreciate that at one time I think I loved him…

But today is different and I have different things going on in life…

Treating myself…What do you think?

So, my family is nuts.  I’ve got cousins that are upset that my mom didn’t call them by such and such time to inform them that they should have been notified about such and such activity with the funeral.  It drives me nuts when people make things about themselves…

…sigh…

Okay, done ranting.  So, I took a little break today from all the family stuff and went shopping.  I both this skirt, these tights and these shoes. I also got a red, sleeveless knitted shirt to go with it, but I didn’t put it in the picture.  This is kind of a big step for me, and I just kind of wanted to share it with you all…  What do you think?  IT really made me feel super girly! I’m really beginning to love Stephanie. 🙂 ❤ Is it wrong that I took some time to myself today and went shopping? I just needed a little break…ya know?

skirt2  skirt3  skirt4heels

I’m not very good at selfies, but I tried.  I’m not going to dress-up for the funeral – other than what everyone would expect. It would be really selfish and shocking to come out in that way, but I feel a little empowered by myself for a change.

 

SARD: Part 18 – When the Questions Never End…?

I have these times when I have a sudden urge to “Get right with God” – you might have noticed it.  I go through a series of mental games with myself where I fall back on assumptions I used to have about sexuality. These assumptions amount to ideas of mind over matter – in other words, I convince myself that I don’t have to be bisexual, if I don’t want to be. I go on these missions to understand WHY I have engaged in certain sexual behaviors – because there MUST be a reason, right?

I remember when I first began to question my gender, as well. I remember wondering if my sexuality and gender are intimately connected in a lot of ways. I know the common understanding is that they are separate issues, but I have always wondered about how they might be connected. I’ve said before, that in my experience I am feel more masculine when I am with women, but more feminine when I am with men.  To me, it seems readily obvious that my so-called gender identity is connected to my sexuality.

But speaking of gender identity, I’m even beginning to question that.  I ascribe to science in so many ways, and science has already determined that the genetic make-up of men and women are different, based upon the shapes of their chromosomes.  There are anomalies, just like anything else in nature, but anomalies are rare – I even read the other day that there are only like 0.023% people in the U.S. that are Transgendered (Assuming a population of 320 million, that’s still  73,600 people. I could be misquoting the statistic, but that’s still as many people that would fill up a small city like Casper, WY). So, I question who/what I am and these questions conflict with any sort of faith I may still be struggling

The problem with this is that I get overwhelmed. Some of you have seen me literally obliterate entire blogs, because of it. I’ve deleted blogs I’ve had for 2 or 3 years, sometimes, because I get so sick of the online image I present of myself, that it is so far removed from the one I have in “real” life. I’ve even posted my picture once and I had someone email me and tell me what a “great looking man” I was.  It bothered me, actually, because I don’t feel great looking and I don’t feel like a man. But the sad reality for me, is that I don’t look or feel like a woman either. I realize I’m not androgynous looking – my physical features are extremely masculine. And sometimes I feel like I want to be Dexter St. Jock, swinging my penis around like a rope and slinging it across my shoulder onto my back as if I’m the manliest stud to walk the face of the earth. And yet, I still dream of fitting into a pretty dress, squealing like a girl, and doing other feminine things.  Are my pains the results of social constructs? Some would say so. Or are my pains the result of not living within acceptance of my true self – whatever that might be?  And there are others that would think that. And, what about living how God would want me to live?  Oh, I think that would be a resounding “Yes” from some.

The problem is that I have lost myself. I have lost myself and just don’t know how to get back to feeling happy, content, peaceful, confident, etc. And these questions make me contemplate just checking out from everything – not actual life, but checking out from the current path I’m on and finding another one.  But I also feel like these feelings are temporary. I find little bits of ironies in life a lot of the time – of course, 9 out of ten times, they’re an irony in my own life. And as I feel these things, I sometimes happen upon something like this post, which gives me hope that I’m not the only one who struggles from time to time.

SARD: Part 17 – Why Have I Never Come Out?

I received an email the other day from a follower inquiring as to why I have never come out as bisexual or someone with a gender identity disorder.  This is a complex question to answer, as you might imagine.  The reality is that there are a multitude of issues I deal with and my sexuality and gender are certainly some of the more complex matters I handle on an ongoing basis.  I discussed in my last post for my Sexual and Relationship Development, the times I have come out to someone – and they are pretty rare; but, there are many reasons I have not come out on any grand scale and I don’t plan on it.

One of the main reasons I don’t share my sexuality or gender identity issues is because of safety.  Any Google search of hate crimes against LGBT will give you an article like this one, that states about 20% of the hate crimes reported in the U.S. are directed towards those in the LGBT community.  Even in my home state of Colorado, hate against the LGBT community exists (Granted, this article is a little dated, so the statistics might be different now). The intention of my post isn’t to divulge all of the horrible crimes that hit the LGBT community, because there have been oodles and oodles of articles, news stories, outcries, policies made and so many other things to address the matter.  No my main point is to stress that it is not something people like me can face without worry. And I truly admire those that stand up, regardless.

And, although there are laws that protect LGBT people in the workforce, there are still repercussions that occur when people come out.  We live in an imperfect world and there are always imperfect consequences to these matters.  I’ve mentioned before, that I work in an industry that is stereotypically masculine and if I were to out myself, I worry about how it would impact my career in the long run.  Especially after returning from a two year lay-off, I now have a sense of needing to protect my job and my career. I realize there are always legal avenues I could pursue, if I were to come out and there was any kind of backlash in that action, but I don’t want the headache of it all right now in my life.  The reality is that I am trying to recover my financial state and protect myself from another slide.  At this point in my life, I feel old and I feel like there is not much time left for me to achieve the success I desire (Of course, this is an entirely different topic…).

Another thing I don’t discuss too often online is the fact that I do have children.  My role as a parent is to protect them and protect any sense of a stable life for them.  Granted, the mere fact that I’m currently preparing for divorce is going to unsettle them a bit (a couple of my kids are already adults, so maybe a little easier for them), but to have to deal with one of their parents struggling with their own sense of self, is not something I want to burden them.  Granted, I have had this discussion with others – even therapists – that express that my demonstration of courage would be a strong trait to instill in my children; I would not want them to have to deal with the negative consequences that could come along with it.  I understand this is a sensitive topic on its own, but I believe my goal is to love them the best I know how.

My family is traditionally very conservative in their beliefs and traditions, so my coming out would come as a complete surprise, I believe.  My dad’s side of the family is probably a little more conservative than my mom’s side of the family.  Although, I have a couple of aunts on my mom’s side of the family that are very pro-LGBT, I think they are also very judgmental and tend to have the attitudes that if you don’t live life the way the see fit, then you are wrong (I don’t get along so well, with these aunts…lol). I’ve always wondered how people in my family would react, if they were to know and sometimes I’ve toyed with the idea that maybe a few might actually realize I am bisexual and/or trans (I’m still working through this issue).  I also have grandparents that are still alive, but they are getting older and one of them is truly struggling with health right now; but I wouldn’t want them to deal with the latter days of their lives thinking something horrible about themselves that I’m not what they had envisioned for life.  I know there are a multitude of different “what ifs” that can’t be defined, simply because they are “what ifs”, but I have decided that this is easier for me to handle this way.

Religion and God?  Obviously, for those of you that have followed my blog for a while, religion is tight issue with me.  I struggle with being raised Catholic and coming to the understanding that I am bisexual.  I understand the catholic theological point of view on the matter and it ultimately boils down to the fact that sexual relationships within Catholicism are completely okay, when they are kept to the confines of a marriage between one man and one woman.  The historical and theological references that can be made do not need to be discussed, other than to point out that they will lead to the same conclusion: regardless of your sexuality, a human being is called to be sexually chaste; or in the case of marriage, sexual fidelity within the marriage.  This is a topic that has been debated for centuries, but not the purpose of my post, so I’m not going to make an argument other than to point out it’s relevance to me not coming out: I have not decided how I want to live my life, with this particular aspect of my life. I can’t give up my concept of God, I can’t give up that idea that God wants me to live a certain way.  And because of that, I do have a bit of fear about how I should live my life.  Intellectually, I understand a lot of the arguments for and against; but spiritually, I just haven’t figured it out yet.  And I’m not ready to completely reject it, although, I am totally and utterly apprehensive about embracing it.

Although, there are many other reasons I have not come out, the ones I listed above are the most critical ones. They are the ones that are on my mind when I consider the impacts or purpose of doing just that.  However, the one reason I have felt the most comfortable is the one reason I am able to function on a day to day basis without it overbearing me with the worries:

My sexuality is on a need to know basis.  It’s truly my business.

Self-Pampering shall commence!

I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks in the dirtiest, grimy, icky place in the world – okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s close.  And there are some things I am absolutely dying to do and I’ve decided I’m no longer holding back my true nature – whatever that might be.  And I’ve decided I’m in need of some serious girlie treatment!

So, here are some of the things I intend to do over the next few days.  Number one is my feet…omg, they are so gross. My toenails look like claws, so I’ve got a pedicure planned and I’m going to get the manicure to go along with it.  And since it’s spring, I’m even thinking of having some light pink toe nail polish put on.  I’m almost giddy thinking about it.  It’s also been a while since I shaved my legs, so I’m going to do that tonight. (Okay, I just looked at that link and it was July that I posted that, but it hasn’t been that long since I last shaved my legs, but it needs to be done!). I’m actually, strongly considering having my entire body waxed…but that is sooooo expensive. But I really am curious how that feels and I think I kinda deserve to feel a little more on the outside the way I do on the inside.  I’ve also had a WordPress friend suggest I start shopping for skin care products. I admit, I’m at a loss on what to get and what to buy, since I have only used some lotions. And then maybe some shopping…

Oh my gosh, it has been so long since I have tried on a dress. But I am in a super huge mood to go dress shopping and I wish I had a girlfriend to go with me – you know someone that can spot if something looks good or not on you.  I get a certain level of anxiety thinking about it, but it is so exciting to me.  There are so many things to choose from and I have to admit, I don’t know what would be age appropriate for me.  I feel like I have forgotten all about myself over the years. I feel like I deserve a dress. I feel like I deserve something fun, flirty and expressive to just show off a little.  I’m like…literally shaking thinking about it. Today, I feel like something like this would work. OR what about this one?  OMG, this one is really cute too! Oh…and underwear. I need new panties too.

I’m so excited for some time to relax you guys. I’m going to embrace Stephanie – I’ve decided she is a part of me and sometimes I need to express it.  Do any of you have any suggestions for me on how to enjoy my girly time? ❤

I’m so in love with myself today. Is that wrong to say???

Embracing Stephanie a little more…

I’m always writing things that are so negative. And I have such horrible self-image that I wanted to change it slightly today and discuss something that makes me feel a little more comfortable with myself. I have been doing a little research and felt that if I have a more feminine “inside” than “outside”, I want to expand on it a little.  Sometimes, I find myself fighting things, fighting the obvious, fighting what’s ‘normal’ for me.  What if I stopped fighting myself on this?  What if I stopped trying to prove anything about myself?

I have written about acceptance so much, but to actually adhere to it seems to escape me. I have been having this eternal battle with myself; so many of you have been witnesses to it and have discouraged me from having this battle.  Truthfully, I feel empowered by many of you to just accept myself as Stephanie. But I would be lying, if I said I’m not torn, because of the “moral” upbringing I had. I’ve noticed I have a lot of followers that are Christian, several Catholics, and I am happy that none of them have ever told me anything that makes me question myself. But I also see the happiness and joy many of them express. I’ve appreciated the prayers of a select few – I’m not sure what they pray for, with respect to me, but it does make me happy to know people care enough about me to offer that sentiment. Some of these people, I think I would consider friends, but I always wonder what they think of me…deep down…

Okay, I took a side step and veering off the real topic at hand, so let me bring it back to my acceptance of Stephanie.  I’ve noticed, just in the past few days, since I almost had my severe crash, I’ve just been going with the flow of my existence. I need that right now. I’ve just been allowing myself to be.  I read an article the other day about men that are in the process of transitioning to women (I wish I could find the link) have some natural tendencies toward the feminine. I have mentioned on numerous occasions that I have that about me, as well.  Well, the article talked about a lot of these guys have been socialized to lessen their natural behaviors and adopt behaviors that are more related to their birth gender. I began to wonder if I’ve done that, as well.  I decided to try and do some relaxation exercises and allow my mind to free up a little from the stress of my life.

Well, the past two days, I have tried to think about the ways that I have forced myself to NOT be feminine.  One of the things I stopped doing a long time ago is sitting with my knees together or my ankles crossed.  I remember doing that a lot when I was a kid, but as I got older and kids began to be mean and I assumed I had to act a certain way, I began sitting with my legs apart and hunched over.  I noticed the past couple of days, I let that go.  I’m sitting with my back straight, my chin lifted, slightly, my knees together and my toes are pointed in slightly, or I’ve started crossing at my ankles and move my feet slightly underneath me and to one side or the other.  This reminds me of how I used to sit, many years ago.  I also noticed this morning, while working, I had to scrape something out over a trash can and when I looked at myself, I had slightly leaned over and my back was straight and I held my knees together and it felt a little more natural than the way I have been doing it for a while.  I almost felt right with myself.  So, after that I began walking with a little sway to my hips.  I’m not sure if it’s noticeable to anyone else, but it’s making me feel right.  I feel right with myself. I feel a little more feminine.  I’ve even been receiving some tips from a few of you on how to feel and be more feminine. I’ve enjoyed letting go of some of the mental barriers in my mind and I’m kind of starting to embrace this aspect of myself.  My soul feels a little lifted today, and I think it’s because I’m choosing to not question myself.

I am beginning to like Stephanie.

SARD: Part 16 – The times I’ve tried to come out

WARNING: Intended for Adult audiences and probably NSFW 21+

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In this segment of the series I have called Sexual and Relationship Development (or SARD), I wanted to discuss the relatively few times I have come out to anyone as bisexual.  This morning I had a thought about how revealing who I am on any grand scale might benefit me.  I don’t think it would, actually, but the thought had me thinking about the people I have tried to tell.  There haven’t been very many, but I thought I’d mention the handful that I have told – or even the ones that new but didn’t know how right they were. In this particular segment, I’m going to come clean about a lot of things that I am not proud of doing, but they happened, so I’m going to divulge them.

I think my earliest recollection of telling anyone I was bisexual was an ex-girlfriend of mine. I don’t use real names for the not-so-innocent people involved, so I call her Katy. Katy and I had been pretty adventurous, sexually, when we dated. And there were a couple times, in addition to the cross-dressing I did with her, that toys were introduced in our love making and sexual play. Katy used a toy with a strap-on with me a couple of times.  During one such session, she was behind me and asked, “Are you gay?”  I replied with, “No, I enjoy sex with you…”  And then she began to insert the toy into me and said, “But you love cock so much, baby…”  I nodded and she said, “Are you bi…?”  I was being taken at that point, but I nodded and told her yes.

Another time, I had a friend in college who’s name was Timmy.  I had always assumed Timmy was gay, but I never knew for sure. He was kind of a quiet guy, but very nice to everyone around him.  He also spoke softly, and at the time, effeminate men were always assumed to be gay – society hadn’t really begun to shed it’s stereotypes just yet.  So, one day, I asked him, “Timmy, are you gay?” His eyes practically swallowed his face, they got so big. He looked around, as if everyone was watching, and he said in a hushed voice, “Um…yeah…”  I felt bad for having put him on the spot, so I offered a little bit about myself, “It’s okay. I’m bisexual…I won’t tell anyone.” Timmy has always been a good friend. Gawd knows how many times he’s had to put up with me whining about my relationship. The one and only thing that worried me about Timmy is the time I met him for dinner, about 10 years after college and he told me he had been with 250 guys – I mean, how can one ass handle that?!?!?!  (I literally asked him that and he assumed I was teasing…he’s a slut!, but a good friend. I haven’t seen him in a few years, I should email him…)

The next person I told was a bartender in a bar at a hotel I was staying at for work.  My marriage was in turmoil (Ugh…when isn’t it, huh?) and I strongly considered going out on my spouse. I happened to be sitting in this bar one night and having a drink. I was already in the process of trying to come to terms with myself and was going through this thing in my head where I was assuming that because my marriage was bad, it must be me. And since I couldn’t make any relationship with a woman work, it must be because I am not straight and it’s subconsciously playing itself out in my relationships. Well, I struck up a conversation with the bartender and she was really nice, so I asked her about the nightlife of this particular town.  She began to tell me all the various places that “single guys” would like.  I lowered my voice, so as only she could hear and playfully changed my voice to a slight lisp and expressed, “Honey, I’m not tho thure I would fit in at thome of those plathes…” She got a look of understanding on her face and gave a small smirk and said, “Oh, well you want to go to…” And she rattled off the names of two local gay bars.  I didn’t go – probably because I was terrified of actually being found out. But at the time, I felt somewhat liberated feeling a little open.

Another time I told someone was a childhood friend of mine – Robert (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned him before or not, so I didn’t find a link). He and I were friends since age six. He is totally and utterly unaware of any of my sexual experiences – other than with some girls – until I mentioned to him I was bisexual. He and I were both friends with a couple of the guys that I had been involved, but no one talked about it, so I doubt he knew. I had considered a Rob a pretty close friend of mine and we had grown up together, gotten into fights together, flirted with different girls together, etc. etc. We had lost contact for a while, because life just takes you in different directions.  But we reconnected and I he and I went out and had a beer. I told him there was something I wanted to tell him and he said “Yeah, whatever…”. I looked him in the eyes and I said, “I’m bi…”  He looked a little shocked, but said, “I don’t care…but I’m not fucking you!” (Truth be told, he’s NOT my type…I wouldn’t fuck him, if he wanted to know…). I couldn’t go through with it, however, so the next day I called him up and started laughing in the phone. I was saying things like, “You’re so fucking gullible and dumb. $10 says you would have popped your cock out, if I asked…I’m not gay, bone head!”  It must have worked, because he said, “I figured you were fucking with me…”  I didn’t stay friends with Robert.  He made me feel really uncomfortable around a family member to the point that the hair on my neck stuck up.  A few years after that, I had heard he got messed up on meth and I have not heard hide nor hair of him since.

Another person I told was my wife. It came about one night, because I had fallen asleep and was dreaming. She and I had only been together about 6 years at this point, so it was fairly early in our marriage. But I had a VIVID dream that night. My wife asked me the next morning, if I knew what I was saying in my sleep.  Of course, I didn’t, but she had a little look of concern on her face and asked me, “Are you gay?” I am sure I scrunched my eyebrows, but I said, “Um… no, why?”  She said, “Well, it seems like you had an exciting dream about a guy…”  I asked, “Why is that?” And she said, “You kept telling him to put it in your mouth, you want to suck it…”  I felt horrified!  I said, “I had a dream… Look, there’s something I got to tell you…”  And she looked worried and said, “Are you cheating on me with a guy? I can’t be married to you, if you’re gay, you know that, right?”  I replied, “No, no, no… Look, I did have a dream about someone, but it was someone long before you and I met. And yes, it was a guy. I thought maybe I was gay at one time, but I think I am bi or confused or whatever. But I am NOT cheating on you with a guy. I promise that. It was just a dream…” Of course, she needed a little comforting, but it kind of worked its way out at the time. But I never heard the end of it, during arguments. There were so many times when we argued, that I heard things like, “Well, maybe you need to go find someone to give it to you up the ass!” or “Go find a dick to suck!” or “Faggot!”  Of course, these were just as bad as all of the times I was accused of screwing other women too.

The only other people I have told, in real life, were therapists. I have told three therapists about my sexuality. Of course, not one of them seemed surprised at all.  I’m not sure why I’m writing about this today, but it did strike me and I felt the need to do it.

So, there you have it!