Friday, September 27, 2013

Coming Out as a Gay FTM Transman

WARNING:  The links contained within this post will take you to sites with content for mature readers only.  However, this post is suitable for a PG audience.

“What do you get when you cross a gay FTM (female-to-male) transman with a flamboyantly homosexual man?  The answer is simple, my twenty-two-year love affair with Baby Doll.”

Andrew K Kinley (A K)
Dear Readers,
As many of you already know, I am a direct and straightforward individual.  With that being said, there is no need for my coming out story to be a missive full of sugar coated words and euphemisms.  As I quickly approach forty, I am of the mindset that we have to be true to ourselves and openly live the life that we are given.  I am a gay FTM transman who has been in a twenty-two year monogamous homosexual love affair with John Jericho, or Baby Doll, as I refer to him most times.  That has been my gender identity and sexual orientation from my earliest memory.
 For some this is a complete shock, and while those individuals catch their breath, I will briefly address others who have suspected and thought they needed to respect my privacy.  Thank you.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kind words, especially during the last six months, as I know there have been a great deal of changes within my physical appearance and how I have chosen to present myself socially. In addition, I would like to thank my publisher for their understanding and support.  Also, I’d like to recognize Lena at Siren for her kindness and professionalism in dealing with me. My story is a fairly simple one, as I seek to openly live the public life I’ve always desired.
In 1973 I was assigned female at birth, subsequently raised and socialized as such by my parents.  Throughout early childhood and adolescence, I struggled with that identity.  I wanted to be a boy.  When puberty arrived, my thoughts were that of a young man. Instead, my body grew breasts and began to menstruate.
By the time I reached high school, my gender dysphoria was at its worst.  Out of desperation, I had done my own research concerning the dysphoria and sexual orientation. After years of confusion, I finally had a name for what I always felt in my mind, body, and soul.  I was privately identifying as what is now known as a gay FTM transman.
Living in a family where sexuality was not discussed, while residing in the Deep South in a time period where LGBTQ issues were equally hushed, I contemplated my own suicide during August of 1991 at the age of seventeen.  The possibility of coming out was not an option at that time, and I felt trapped in a female body. How does a naïve and sheltered seventeen-year-old, perceived as female, even begin to discuss his desire to be a boy?  Furthermore, how does he explain to other young men that he doesn’t want them in a ‘straight way,’ but he longs for a homosexual relationship?
Andrew and John
Two days before my planned suicide, my path crossed with John Jericho.  He was the angel to a soul headed down a path to self-destruction.  The first five minutes spent with John, convinced me that he understood me better than any person ever had, or could. When someone walks into your life and pulls you out of a hell, it is hard not to feel that you’ve been rescued by an angel.  Baby Doll saw my heart, held my secrets, and touched my soul, truly an angel to an answered prayer.  We shared our stories as it became quite clear that our paths had not only crossed for that moment, but would remain forever intertwined.  We kissed that first night, committing to unspoken promises.
Seven months later we redefined our exclusive romance as life partners.  The first time we made love as gay men, it was the coupling of a mutual peace and passion that sought to not only further define me as an emotional being, but sexually as well.  That same comfort and warmth has not been forgotten, and continues long past the first time two pairs of hands sought out the intimacy of their soul mates.
For twenty-two years, John and I have lived in the public eye as a perceived straight couple.  However in our private lives, from the moment we met, Baby Doll and I have been involved in a homosexual relationship.  John and I wanted to legally marry, and we desired biological children.  Arkansas still doesn’t accept same-sex marriages, in 1991 it was no different.  John was out to no one, and neither was I.  We both had circumstances where coming out was impossible at the time.  So we did what we felt in our hearts was the only option for us.  Yes, I am a transman who gave birth.  I know I am not the only one (i. e. Thomas Beatie), and I am sure I won’t be the last.  Today, I know that our decision was worthwhile when I experience the love I share with Baby Doll, and enjoy watching our beautiful straight children grow up.
Now for the curious.  As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I am a direct and straight forward individual.  I believe that LGBTQ topics should be openly discussed.  With that in mind, I am going to answer a few questions that may have crossed some readers’ minds.
Q.  What is your physical body like now?
A.  For now, I am what the medical community describes as a Pre-Op, Pre-Hormone FTM Transman.  In layman’s terms I haven’t had any gender reassignment surgeries, and am not currently taking Testosterone.  Since I am living an openly gay lifestyle with my partner, I will be further exploring my options in those regards.  I believe everyone transitions in their own way, and at their own time.  Gender and sexual orientation are not defined by surgeries and / or hormones, or the lack thereof.  Emotionally, my brain and my heart have always been a gay man.  My clothing and hair style are that of a male.  Now, I will be socializing myself publicly as the same gender.
Q. What do you and John do in the bedroom? 
A.  Love is love…period.  John and I make love as any gay male couple would.  I think those blanks can be filled in without any other explanation.  However not just in our sexuality, but in our relationship in general, I am the top and John is the bottom.
Q. Aren’t most transmen heterosexual instead of gay, so does this mean that you are interested in women too?
Gay transmen are definitely in a minority, but they do exist.  I have never been interested in women sexually.  In terms of my sexual orientation, I’ve been a gay male from my earliest memory.  John Jericho and I have been a couple since I was seventeen-years-old.  Sexually, I desire him as another man would his gay lover.  I would also like to mention that gender and sexual orientation are two completely different aspects of an individual’s personality.
Q.  Are you professing to be a FTM transman just to increase book sales?
I have shared my coming out story with all of you because I will not live the second half of my life perceived as something that I am not.  I am choosing to make what I have known my entire life to be a part of my public face.  At the risk of my career as a ManLove erotic romance author, I would still be a transman, even if it meant never selling another book.  Recent statistics have shown that female-gendered ManLove authors have greater book sales than their male counterparts.
I hope my story has explained where I will be traveling in this journey that we all call life.  For those of you who have enjoyed my writing, that will remain the same.  I would ask that I no longer be addressed as Anita, or be referenced to using the female pronouns, she and her, etc.  My books will continue to be published under my initials A K Kinley, but I will be going by the name that I chose for myself over two decades ago, Andrew Kyle Kinley, for blog posts, and on many of my Social Networking sites.
My partner, John Jericho, also has a new project entitled: – The Coming Out Website.  While I am a co-founder of this project with him, the site and work involved will predominately be his.  However, I will be available as a contributor and a founding member.  In addition, please be sure to read John’s coming out story at:    About Co-Founder John Kinley Jericho.
On a final note, I will close with two thoughts.  First, I’d like to share a quote from Kurt Cobain, “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” Second, I have a special message for my Baby Doll:
“Didn’t I promise you, Baby Doll, that someday we would be able to live openly as gay lovers.  I believe everything has a time.  First it was our love, then the commitment we share, and now this.  Before you remind me that I am quoting the doctor, I infuse a little bit of myself into most all of my male literary characters.  John, you are the reason that I believe love and commitments exist.  I am alive today because of you.  The pills that were supposed to end my life were replaced with an answered prayer of hope, and a promise of forever. That answer was  you.  As any gay man who is blessed enough to have his own sweet, flamboyant, lover will admit, there is nothing more precious than waking up every morning beside his gay baby.  I love you…from this moment…and forever.”
I enjoy hearing from all of my readers, and look forward to your e-mails.  Remember Love is Love…Period.

Andrew K Kinley (A K)
Website:  A K Kinley