by Braedyn Ezra
November 17, 2015

Always the best man, never the groom.

Friends, I am genuinely happy to see all of you entering into successful, loving, romantic relationships. I appreciate being the one you turn to in times of need and distress when your mate is unavailable or you just need some perspective. It’s hard not to feel envy or jealousy towards you, though, when I’ve spent the past five years carefully constructing and crafting an identity from ground zero. I have dug deep inside myself for truth and love, only to be left alone night after night wondering when that special someone will come along for me as well.

Since acclimating to my transgender identity, I have seen my sexuality shift in ways and had encounters I didn’t ever expect. How was I to reconcile my sexuality as a male? How were partners going to react to my deviant body? Would anybody be capable of giving me true love?

I originally entered into the queer community as a lesbian—partly to express my manliness, and partly to hide my feelings of attraction towards men. Despite having three relationships with women as a woman, I never felt the love was there because I wasn’t being my true self. When I accepted myself as a trans man, it facilitated the actualization of an attraction towards men. A whole new world of dating had unfolded for me.

As I began to align my sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and self-identity, the dissonance I had felt with my place in the world seemed to disappear. The ability for someone to validate my maleness and masculinity has come to take precedence over the sex of my partner. Choosing mates for a complex array of factors, rather than a desirability based on maleness or femaleness, has helped me feel confirmed in my authentically felt gender. Integrity and authenticity, and this calibration of attractions, behaviors, and identity, made me feel more satisfied and comfortable in my sexual relationships. But they never seem to amount to more than NSA, casual, one-time affairs. They haven’t always been the most positive experiences either.

I have felt the worst kinds of rejection from folks upon disclosure. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have felt fetishized and experimented upon. I struggle with feeling hatred and disgust for myself, for my deviant body that is too messy, too weird, and too complicated and complex to love. It is difficult for me not to express animosity towards the world for their homogenous views towards sex and sexuality, even within the LGBTQ community. Linking maleness with having certain physical qualities, like a “package”, flat chest, or hairy face, has done nothing but heighten my insecurities around my body and it’s capacity to be loved.

What I yearn for more than just sex is the passion and intimacy that comes with a partner in a romantic relationship. The excitement, the thrill, the longing. For someone to walk down the street with me proudly holding my hand. To gaze deeply into my sullen, blue-green eyes and see me for more than the restrictions the world imposes upon me. To remove my specs and kiss me like the world was going to end if we lost touch.

Depression has never affected me in the sense that I hate myself, but rather that nobody has wanted to love me in the way I have fought so hard to love myself. I am sick of being told that “the right one will come along when you least expect it”, because I am never not thinking about loving a special someone. An acute awareness of human relations is an anxiety inducing but inevitable part of who I am. It is innate to want to mate, and I am so desperate to be loved I fear I might die before I actually do.

I’ve spent the past couple of years engaging in nothing but the most casual of hookups, only to be left feeling empty hearted and broken-spirited. Will anyone ever love me? I crave those four simple words to precede my name in an introduction to help me move forward in my transition. For now, I feel stuck in the overgrown grass. It isn’t always greener, but it would sure be nice to have mine mowed.

The fact that I am bisexual and trans has led me to associating my identity with an unfounded fear of being alone and unlovable. As an invisible other, even within the queer community, I feel like I will never have to stop explaining myself or prove myself capable of being in love. In actuality, this seems to be a universal human fear that we all face. I know that I am not alone in feeling the disparity. It’s just another facet of who I am, and I am learning to be as patient as people have been with me. I recently had the words “TRUE LOVE” tattooed across my knuckles as a reminder to myself that everything I could ever want and need is already within me.