March/April 2001
Picture Hereby Miss Ayme

I am not an unattractive woman. Not being conceited, I just am. I take great care in presenting a compellingly feminine image. I take pride in my presentation and have honed my own sense of style. As a transsexual woman, I have to try harder as a matter of form. A lot of men appreciate the extra effort, and find a polished and feminine woman desirable. And from a male's point of view, I would say that I am worthy of notice and present a striking figure. But as many of you women out there well know, one's own beauty can be a double-edged sword. Sure you attract attention, but probably a lot of it is unwanted. One's own beauty can also serve as a deterrent to those too shy to approach you.

As a transsexual, it's doubly so. I attract a LOT of unwanted attention from men who view me only as an object of curiosity mixed with lust. Most of them make my flesh crawl. One or two of these might be worth playing with once, maybe twice - only to drift away when their fantasy wears thin after colliding with my reality. And I've caught the eye of many a man only to have them turn away, as if I was to be avoided. And those that do at least say "hi" quickly learn that I'm TS (because I try to tell them so early on. I do so hate misunderstandings). I'm pretty enough to garner their attention, but when revealed as a "woman with something extra," 99 times out of a 100 it's "thanks, but no thanks." That's a lot of rejection. ::shrugs:: At least I try to keep my Teflon hide soft and supple with lots of moisturizers.

But there are those who greet me with love and grant me their respect - but I just suddenly realized that I have no straight friends! None of them are strictly heterosexual. I've got nothing against heterosexuals mind you. Hell I used to be one. But be honest, if you identify as straight and you think of "transsexual," what's the first thing that comes to mind? I would bet good money it's something sensational, lewd, or pitifully comic. It's something you imagine, but it's nowhere near reality.

So if you'll forgive the tawdry cliché, just what is it about a Chick with a Dick that causes either your dander to rise, or your drawers to drop? I'm viewed as either as an abomination or a sexual curio. There seems to be no middle ground, whereas I am caught firmly between the two extremes. The best of both worlds indeed…Hmph! As a Tgrrl, I also know that (in my experience) it's the rare heterosexual who's willing to move beyond tolerance into acceptance. Rarer still the heterosexual who will come know me and to call me friend. And I have a better shot at winning the Lottery than I do at finding a Dominant heterosexual who doesn't immediately view me with suspicion.

I attended an exclusive, private play party in San Francisco this past February, hosted by an organization that takes great pride in planning parties of the utmost quality and requiring a strict dress code. No one allowed in unless properly attired in fetish wear. Made for some very sweet eye candy, I can assure you. But while billed as a pansexual event, both my GG (T-slang for Genetic Girl) girlfriend and I had the same thought later that it felt very "hetero" in there. To me, "pansexual" is all encompassing, all welcoming, neither yin nor yang, neither prick nor pussy. We just are. While we felt perfectly within our right to be there, we both felt this lingering discomfort later. I didn't feel acceptance, only tolerance at best. I decided to see if this was just a fluke - most recurring parties I attend have different levels of energy from one night to the next, a lot of it fun and exciting, so it could've been just about anything. But I found it disturbing none the less.

So I took another girlfriend (also a GG) to a different party a week later, also billed as a pansexual event. Again, different energy, different space - but we both got that same feeling. Afterwards we could only define it as "hetero" energy. And I say that from the perspective of a true sexual outlaw, one who has lived outside social acceptability for ten years, and one who has learned that gender is fluid, like Mercury. In order to give it shape, you need something to contain it in. Society has made an attempt at this by using containers called labels: Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans - and yes, Hetero or Straight, to help define our orientation, but how do you define gender other than using the labels Male or Female? Did you just now realize that you can be either a boy or a girl and be any or all of those labels during your lifetime, sometimes even all at once?! And for those of us trapped between genders, how do you think WE feel?

Anyway, at this same play party, I said hello to a nice looking man, handsomely dressed in black, kind face, clear eyes. We watched the dungeon activities for a moment, and we got to talking. I was friendly, flirty. He was responsive, flattering. A lovely little dance ensued - a raised eyebrow at a double entendre, a gentle mix of intimate gestures, a charming smile or a batted eye. After a spell we both confessed interest in doing a short scene together. It felt cozy. "This might be good," I thought.

But something was bothering him. I could see the hesitation in his eyes and I knew it was coming. It was then he asked me, "are you a TS?" He honestly didn't know. But to me I find the question itself, particularly in the context of pansexual space, an irritating one. I mean…does it really matter? The attraction is there - it's real - it feels good, is there a problem with that? I nodded yes anyway, and apologized to him for assuming he knew. I truly felt we were beginning to make that important connection between new play partners - my transsexuality didn't seem to be an issue.

But it was. I wasn't surprised then (but disappointed none the less) that he politely apologized - he was sorry, but he didn't want to play with a transsexual. And that was that. I gave him a quick peck on the cheek and told him he was sweet, and left to go smoke a cigarette. Sure everyone has a right to walk away, no hard feelings, I respect your kink it's just not my kink. And that's cool. But the rejection still stings.

Makes me wonder why organizations host these so-called pansexual events. Are they just trying to spice things up by inviting the fringe element? A little offbeat flavor just to tout how inclusive they are? Granted, one gets out of a play party what one puts into it. But my friends (both GG's and other TS's) and I are acutely aware of the subtle and insidious invisible walls that go up every time we enter pansexual space dominated primarily by heteros.

I realize it's not their fault. No blame needs to be laid here. I'd just like you to consider more carefully what it means to you when you next attend a pansexual party. Learn to leave preconceived prejudices at home. You may know how to think outside the box, but do you really know how to live outside it? If you talk the Talk, then walk the Walk. The Labels we use help provide a common ground, a reference point so we can begin relating to one another. But they also divide us and keep us apart. And it's no fun playing alone.