It was only a Facebook romance. It wasn't even that really, just a fleeting flirtation, but it left me moved and wondering. In just seven days, if only in the realm of virtual reality, I found and lost my first boyfriend.
I always thought I was asexual. In the bedroom I dreamed of the female role, but that was so impossible and fantastic that I could and would not allow my mind to dwell there. In these later years, to those very few who knew about my gender questioning and who asked, I would answer that I'm a lesbian in a male body. That's what I said to my very dear friend E****a, who built such hopes around the U.S. diplomat in a suit and tie in attendance on the Ambassador. By the mid-2000s I had learned the lesson that I needed to say this up front to anyone looking to me for intimacy. Otherwise it was the elephant in the room that no one talked about but that took up all the space. It was the elephant that destroyed a marriage.
But this week, when an attorney at Whitman Walker Clinic asked me about my sexual orientation, I was speechless. She was helping with a support letter for my new passport and was just asking routine intake questions. "Straight, gay, bi?" she asked. My usual answer was no longer the right one. I replied, "I don't know." In truth, I don't know anymore.
You see, several weeks back A*i started writing to me on Facebook. I've never met him in person, and at first I thought he was a friend of a friend of one of my Romanian friends or perhaps someone associated with ACCEPT, the Romanian LGBT rights organization. They were just chatty notes at first, but by last week we were calling each other "honey" and "sweetie." He asked if I could come to visit him in his seaside city. I answered that no, it's much too early for that, but added that who knows, perhaps sometime next year? I'm too old and wise to expect anything from a Facebook friendship, but something was stirring in me that I had never permitted myself to feel before. I **could** see myself, feel myself on his arm, strolling along the seaside. I **could** imagine myself in his embrace. It wasn't fantastic anymore. I'm in transition! This could happen, if not today, then someday!
I'm sure my good friend Shannon is smiling as she reads this. I look to her as my older, wiser sister who walked this transition road several years ago. When I gave her my lesbian in a man's body story last winter, she told me not to close the door on anything. "Things can change when your on HRT," she said. "You don't know where you will end up."
Last night we "chatted" again. A*i's note was waiting for me when I got home from a long day of packing up the Embassy for our more. I saw he was off-line, but I dashed of a "Hi!" before heading to the shower. When I got back to the screen later, his note to me was, "I bet you were in the shower." I felt a tingle.
But I already knew something I had not known a week ago. A*i and I have no mutual Facebook friends or association through ACCEPT. How we ended up as friends on Facebook, I really don't know. I also knew he had never read this blog. You see, his country, which is neither Romania nor the U.S., had never shown up in the audience statistics. It finally dawned on me. "He doesn't know! He saw my photograph and liked it, but he doesn't know!"
So last night I asked him to read this blog. "You need to know my full story. I don't want to deceive you!" We said goodnight, sending hugs and kisses. Before I logged off for the night, I checked the statistics again. There was a single hit from his country. "He is reading it now," I thought, "and that's the end of it." Then I cried. I had found and lost my first boyfriend in just seven days.
Dear A*i, if you happen to read this, no matter what you now think, know that you made a fellow human feel good about herself in a way she never thought could happen. Hugs to you, honey. May you find the love you are searching for.