Like many bisexuals, my coming out was was drawn out and confusing.
The first queer person I ever dated was a transgender man. When we got together, he was nearing the end of a decade spent identifying as a butch lesbian. He had just begun to realize he might be trans, but hadn’t yet taken any outward steps toward transitioning.
I was 22 and had just moved to San Francisco. Until then, I had only ever dated straight, cisgender guys—something my new partner actually liked about me. It made him feel like I was more attracted to the the man he aspired to be than the lesbian he still identified as, but suspected he might one day leave behind.
liked that dynamic: His masculinity was gentle, androgynous, and subversive, and that’s what drew me to him. It was exactly the same brand of masculinity I’d always been attracted to in cisgender guys.
When I finally told my parents about our relationship, I said, “I’m dating a woman right now, but I’m not gay.”