I have a fantasy which breaks taboos central to all the families and cultural circles in which I have ever lived. To indulge in this fantasy makes me feel transgressive and afraid, because it involves desires of which, from earliest childhood on, I have been taught to feel ashamed. It also makes me cry, because I've wanted it so hopelessly for so long.
My fantasy goes like this: there's a man (or otherwise masculine person) in the other room, reading the newspaper. I am in the kitchen, making a cup of coffee for him, the way I know he likes it. I bring it in and put it on the little table by his elbow. He looks up at me and smiles and gives my hand a squeeze and says, "Thank you, my dear." I smile back and lean down for a kiss. Then I go back in the kitchen and continue cooking brunch.
Whoop whoop whoop! Feminist, queer (in the man version, anyway), and anti-conventional alarms all going off! But there it is: sometimes I think I might just like to be (except for the married part, probably) somebody's wife.
Hey, it's not bad to do sweet little things for someone you care about, even if it does look like serving them. I can't believe I have to assert that, but such has been my upbringing and my romantic history to date.
Also, I will say in my defense that this imaginary perfect husband of mine is not my lord and master. He's my partner. A minute after the above scenario ends he gets up and comes in and chops veggies for the omelets I'm making for us both. Later on we'll work in the garden together - he'll heft the flagstones I can no longer heft (my hero!). Later on again we'll have friends over for a dinner we both cook. Later on again there will be, as Joni Mitchell puts it, so much sweetness in the dark. And through it all (so my fantasy goes) he cherishes me, telling me again and again in whatever ways come naturally to him that to him I am the most beautiful, most desirable woman in the world.
In short, he is a gentleman, I am his lady, and we are in love with each other. Isn't that a pretty fantasy?
Even if I was done I fear my dreamboat will be hard to find, and I'm not done. Here's the really tricky part: this paragon is also going to have to be at ease with the fact that for nearly half a century I had a male body and lived as a man. He can't love me because of it, though...although I guess it will be OK if he appreciates my history and struggle - how could that not be part of it? (I honestly can't see yet how this part works.) In any case, he can't ever want me to be a man again, not even for one second. And he's going to have to have the patience, creativity, insight, and wit to figure out how to love a woman who for the first fifty years of her life has only ever had secret crushes. I am so inexperienced and so very skittish. Loving me will be a challenge, a conundrum, and a gamble.
Yeah, a gamble; because I do think there is a payoff. I happen to think that I have some truly out-of-the-ordinary, extraordinary love to offer to the right person - to a smart secure sympatico grownup with unconventional and discriminating taste. If you appreciate natural femininity, you'd have to look a long time to find a woman more on-purpose and joyful about her femininity than I am. There's also all this devotion I've been saving up in my secret girl heart for all these years: first-love intensity aged through long but undaunted adversity, then sparked to effervescent life by the miracle of midlife revelation and release. Some lucky someone is going to give me that first kiss. (Or, nearly first...first since the surgery. Too bad, Jasper dear, we turned out to be so romantically incompatible.) That and what follows could be fucking intense, for both of us.
Another thought: I probably know more than any other woman you've ever been with about the burdens and paradoxes of being a masculine person in the world. Who better to appreciate your natural masculinity than someone who inhabited masculinity herself for four decades?
Besides which, you'll never anywhere find a finah desinah vaginah. You're going to have to not get your undies in a knot, though, if you can never beat me at chess.
All together, my love is a curious and rare vintage at long last come to maturity and ready for decanting. Could be vinegar, could be transcendent. I wonder if anyone I'd like to try it with might ever like to try it with me. Here's cautiously hoping...