My Emotional Sex Change


I’ve been in a relationship with another boy for over a year now. It’s wonderful and miserable like I imagine most other relationships are. I don’t feel like a minority or a victim though I realize that maybe there’s a little more pressure put on a gay couple. It took awhile for us to get comfortable. There’s a power dynamic that has to be satisfied. I imagine it’s why heterosexuality is far more common than homosexuality: roles in a relationship are very strongly influenced by our gender . My boyfriend and I had to figure out who was going to be the girl and who was going to be the boy. Even though our genitals very strongly suggested that we both were men, a provider and a receiver had to be established. I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about who gets to bitch about nothing and everything and who gets to shut the fuck up and listen. This distinction is easy for some but it was hell for us.

I’m the sort of person who’s attracted to protection and power. I attribute this to my scrawny stature and wet-noodle arms. Biologically and evolutionarily it doesn’t make sense for me to be the warrior, so I seek out a figure who loves me enough to protect me from big bad things that could pound me into oblivion. This said: I never wanted to be a woman. I am no Carrie Bradshaw so when it became clear that I was to fill the submissive position of “girl” I didn’t really know what to do. When I say submissive I mean little spoon; I mean the one who thinks too much about phone calls and texts all the time about nothing. I’ve always been an empath, so it was easy for me to be the one who knew all about feelings and had WAY too many of them.

Our relationship hit a brick wall when this became apparent: He didn’t know how to be a boy. He wanted to be the girl too. Two submissive people in a relationship SUCK at solving problems. They hang on every syllable, dwell on every hint of body language and cry all the god damned time so we had to take turns being the emotional psychopath. Relationship failure became very apparent to our friends when we got drunk. We’d giggle and snuggle for the first two shots and then whoever downed the third Mojito would sob his eyes out in a corner because his emotional needs weren’t being met by his boyfriend who has conspicuously lost his mojo. The other party recognized this immediately and donned the hero cloak that never quite fit his scrawny shoulders. He carries his soggy burden awkwardly to bed and quietly shuts the door. If I’m lucky, it’s me. Then he holds me, all night and I don’t mean to take this as an incentive to cry but can’t help it. There’s never any question of sincerity; it’s reactionary to weep when you’re confused about how to fill a gender role that doesn’t match your genitals. Tears also seem to make your boyfriend more of a man for you.

The battle of too many feelings continued until a routine became hardwired. Eventually I established myself as the one to be cared for and I didn’t even have to cry to be little-spoon anymore. He climbed on top of me without me begging him. He was even starting to get some muscles from carrying me to bed all those nights! I had forced my man into being a man. There was only one problem: nobody wants to be with a needy manipulative cunt. Well I shouldn’t speak for everybody, but he didn’t.

I of course felt his attraction slipping from me. I tried over and over again to give him space; to be less of a leech. I found words falling out of my mouth before I could catch them. I got upset when he didn’t call me so he stopped calling me. I stopped talking about anything but how he made me feel. I didn’t talk to any of my friends about anything but my feelings about him. I found my eyes couldn’t stop turning into faucets. It was too late. I had undergone an emotional sex-change and to my own amazement my brain was bloated with estrogen. When he finally told me, “I’m not really into whiney girls”, that was all it took to flood back my testosterone and restore some joy to our relationship.

Since this necessary confrontation my hormones have been much less commanding. I am no longer fixated on constantly receiving any kind of attention. Our relationship is perfectly ridiculous: I am not quite a boy and I am not quite a girl, and neither is my very loving and endearing boyfriend. There are enough boys and girls as it is.

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image – Brokeback Mountain