LGBTQ* Stories of Acceptance and Being Who You Are
It Happened To Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born A Boy
Janet Mock Writer, speaker, and trans advocate; Staff Editor, People.com
(Read the FULL Story Here)
“This is my song,” I remember saying frequently. It was that kind of night.
In the midst of my tipsiness, I felt someone looking at me. You know that feeling when you sense there’s a singular focus just on you? That’s what it was.
As I turned around, I saw the guy, this handsome, handsome man with skin the color of caramel popcorn and almond-shaped eyes. His beauty, to me, was right out of my mind’s own sketch pad.
He was a fantasy come true, and I wanted him to want me.
I found myself out on the cold streets, walking beside this beautiful stranger into a coffee shop on Houston. We had lattes and a cinnamon roll. He told me he was from North Dakota; I told him I was from Hawaii. He told me he took photos and trained dogs for a living; I told him I was an editor for a popular website. He told me he hoped to have horses someday; I told him I wanted to tell stories that matter for a living.
It’s the kind of exchange only two people who are willing to fully be seen can share. It was natural and life-shifting.
I could feel the mystery I had so tirelessly built around me fall, until I was just me.
He kissed me on the cheek and put me in a cab, where I received his very first text: “You’re a complete pleasure. -Aaron.”
“I have something to tell you,” I remember saying.
Aaron stood at the foot of his bed, readying himself for disappointment, it seemed to me. Or at least that’s what I internalized.
How do I say this? I asked myself.
“OK, let me just say it: I was born a boy.”
I didn’t look at his face while spouting off the details of my journey through genders as a kid: “I knew I was a girl from my very first thoughts… I began presenting as female from age 12… I took hormones in high school… I flew to Thailand to have surgery at 18.”
When I finally stopped talking, I exhaled. I’d finally told my whole story to someone I was falling for. And I was afraid that my biggest fear would come true: Aaron would look at me differently.
And it did come true.
I could no longer just be Aaron’s fantasy, a mixed girl with curly hair from Hawaii with a master’s degree and a job that “a million girls would kill for.” Our fantasies had ended, and now we were just two people bare in front of one another.
“Can I hug you?” Aaron asked.
And it was then that I went into the ugly cry. For the first time in my young life, I was being seen, fully seen, as the totality of my experiences.
Fast-forward a few years, and Aaron is now my guy, the man I order dinner with every night, the one who grudgingly sits beside me as I watch every Real Housewives franchise (except for Orange County), the one who questions my newfound love of neon-pink OCC lip tars.
He’s better because he’s real, because he exists, because he wants more than just the idea of me. He wants me.