A Swinger and the Transgender

Swinger, open relationship, lover of nude beaches, owner of swingers clubs. If you look at my life, I appear to be exposed (no pun intended!) to a wide array of options for how one chooses to define their life or lifestyle. To a great extent this is true, but I also feel as though I live in a protected bubble. There are some lifestyles that I have never had the opportunity to learn about. Those who identify as transgender are one such group I have little knowledge. In fact, I have only recently had the chance to engage in a dialogue with a transgender individual.

John and I were attending one of our colette clubs. I noticed a woman nervously standing in the foyer of the club. The more I watched her pace back and forth, it dawned on me that she was transgender. I was captivated by her. I knew she was new to the club because she had received a tour, and I could tell she was nervous. As I sat on a nearby sofa observing her, I was reminded of the issue transgenders are currently dealing with—well, I am sure they have been dealing with it for some time in secret, but now it is big news—transgender bathrooms!

As I continued to observe this woman, I could not help but notice her mannerisms. They were so feminine. I know I sound incredibly naive, but the media makes it sound like transgenders are people whose only agenda is to wear men’s or women’s clothing so they can hide out in community bathrooms in order to commit a deviant act on some unsuspecting victim. This is not what I witnessed at all. I saw a woman attempting to broaden her life experiences. A woman who had worked up the courage to come out and see what our club had to offer.

After watching her pace for some time, I saw her take a deep breath and make her way to the women’s bathroom. Again, I watched and waited. Not a single woman came running out of the bathroom; they walked in and out without a care. When she finally emerged from the bathroom, she made her way over to a sofa opposite from me. This is when I saw her close her eyes while taking some deep breaths. This was my cue. Even typing this story recreates the emotions running through me that night. This was not some “dude” in women’s clothing; this was a nervous, yet brave woman stepping outside of her comfort zone in order to experiment all life had to offer.

I made my way over to her and introduced myself. Yes, this was her first time in the club. Yes, she was nervous. Yes, she was not sure what to expect. She and I sat there for close to an hour talking. I put my own fears aside and asked her questions about what issues she faces and challenges she battles as a transgender. She patiently answered my innocent questions. Not only is she dealing with her own body issues, but she also has to deal with what others will think of her body. How does she deal with the dilemma of telling a prospective suitor? When does she tell that person? Will they be offended? Will they feel as though she was not being honest? What happens if they become upset?

I quickly became aware of the incredible obstacles before her. Life can be difficult enough without throwing into the mix a gender identity issue. I began to realize that all she really wants is to be able to live her life just like the rest of us. She wants to experience those feelings of inclusion, that sense of belonging. What she wants from life is no different from what I want from life—to be happy, loved and secure.

As John and I sat there talking with her about everything from fashion to body image, I was struck by how dangerous fear can be. This woman was not a threat; the true threat is from those who navigate life with blinders, the ones who want to categorize anything outside the norm (whatever that is) as hazardous rather than educate themselves and overcome their own fears.

1 thought on “A Swinger and the Transgender”

  1. Billie Leah Mallow

    Her fear and anxiety are all too well known to all of us. As a 49yo MtF TG sometimes it’s painful. Thank you so much for the way you treated her. I’m crying as I write this.

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