You’re Such a Man

Girlfriend, January-July 2020

I pulled away from a kiss, one of our first, and Kelsi mumbled, Ok, yep, uh-huh. Gonna have to get used to that stubble. Its been a while since Ive felt that. Didnt think Id feel that again. Okay, uh-huh.” I became very conscious of shaving before our dates after that.

She strongly identified as queer, not bisexual, because queer is radically trans-inclusive. But I was the first trans man shed dated. Kelsi had had long-term relationships with cis men when she was younger and before coming out as queer. She had only dated women since then, though all butches.

A non-intentional, but remarkably successful, feminist separatist,” she quipped to describe her past several years.

Once, lying in bed, she pointed out the new hairs sprouting on my chest. I proudly caressed the chest hair and touched my thigh and belly hair.

Yeah, this is definitely all new,” I said with a smile.

This is where I inject,” I said, touching my belly, pondering the forest of hair there. Touching the relatively hairless spot a few inches from my belly button, I added, I wonder if that has anything to do with it. If I inject further out, would the hair would grow here too?”

Please dont!” she blurted out.

My head snapped up in shock to look at her face.

She backtracked, Im sorry. Im sorry. I shouldnt have said that. I just—its new to me. I decided I like it, the hair. Im embracing it.”

Decided? I thought. I changed the topic.

Weeks into dating, she revealed shed been talking to several of her friends about my masculinity, my maleness, and how to handle our cross-cultural relationship.”

Why does this have to be such a big deal? I thought.