Morning dawns; I roll over and see my bride of untold years lying quietly beside me. The grind of our daily routine is about to begin. She lies there still, asleep, a little more robust in form as time has passed, but then again, I’ve gained a few extra layers and pounds as well. She still represents the love and joy in my life. The best part of my days are moments like these when I get to stare at the sweet little curve in her nose, the perfect roundness of her cheeks, and the way the corners of her mouth upturn as she appears to be smiling even as she sleeps. And so starts my day, I am not gay.
The clacking of tubes and bottles, appliances, and the sound of drawers opening and closing dominate the morning activities. With what seems like hundreds of beauty products, my already lovely wife, like a butterfly, has transformed and become even more beautiful. It both annoys and amuses me as she spends the next few minutes of dysfunction going through an almost comical process of making her final decision on what to wear. The flowers on that blouse are too bold for that skirt; the fuchsia in this is brighter than the one in that. Oh, those shoes are simply not going to go with . . . I could watch this all day, (not.) What can I say, I am not gay.
Under my worsted wool pants, I’ve snuck on a pretty pair of high cut nylon brief panties with a lace accent. When I turn or bend in a certain way, the glide of the soft fabric against the wool is both comfortable and arousing. I keep so many secrets! The joy I have in inhaling the fragrance of fresh flowers on a summer day, while my boss, a strong, intensely professional and passionate woman strides by me. I am probably the only one who keenly observes the gentle fall of her blouse, the matching style of her skirt, and the details of walking in heels and her foot placement as she passes. Such presence and purpose; I see her as my mentor. And yet, I am not gay.
After a long day, I spend some time on the computer visiting a site that allows the pinning of interesting things. I enjoy this outlet, a form of voyeurism of sorts. I can observe what others are doing and dream about how different the world would be if gender equality were allowed true freedom of expression. A place where there is no bullying of those making different choices in their lives, where there is no shame or guilt heaped upon a person for his or her clothing choices. I often get lost in this unreal world. It is a game I like to play; I am not gay.
I am suddenly shocked back to reality, startled by my wife calling my name. She is asking for me to come to our bedroom. As I enter the room, she is standing with her hands on her hips. It is a moment of reckoning. I look down, where lying on the bed are the panties I wore earlier. I must have left them exposed. I am emotionally shaken and feel a rush of heat cascade throughout my body. A thousand lies begin to race through my head as I sense the trembling in my joints. What am I going to say? I am not gay.
Shock, fear, anger, timidity, shame, boldness; what do I do? My relationship is now completely destroyed and my life, which I have enjoyed, is over. I will be exposed, ridiculed, teased, and tortured for loving women; all women, in all their shapes and sizes. Condemned, for wanting in some small way to actually embrace and appreciate their lives. My wife looks at me and takes my hand pulling me towards her closet. She says, “Look at this entire selection. These are items that I’ve been collecting for you, waiting for the right time to share with you. You’ll notice, there’s everything you’ll need in order to transform yourself as far as you feel comfortable in going.” She turns towards me, “I love you, the man I married.” She knows; I am not gay.
I admire, adore, respect, and appreciate women and their strength of character, their determination of spirit, as well as their flexibility in their freedom of expression and of emotion. There shouldn’t be a rigid definition of whom I should be. Just like watching a movie or becoming immersed in a video game and fantasizing about being one of the characters, I sometimes think about being a woman, too. I do this by wearing soft, feminine fabrics under my male clothing or by dressing in character. I can feel, through the wearing of clothing and acting the part for a short time, the sensuality, the sexuality, and the sensitivity of those particular traits, which embody and empower women. So to my family, my friends, or those who doubt, and to those that condemn, as well as those who judge, I say, put your fear away; I am not gay. I am a man, a husband, a father, a grandfather, but most of all, a person free from the fear of other’s judgments; accepted and unashamed for who I am.