July 17, 2009

The Dating Life of a Christian Transman

Yeah, how DOES that work? Lincoln Rose wrote an essay for Whosoever about his experiences as he engages in a whole new kind of dating world. Here is an excerpt:

I do struggle at times with what my role as a man will be with a Christian woman. There is so much I've questioned about manhood in general as I've transitioned, that I find myself picking apart the Christian male "rules" almost automatically. Be a leader, real men either do (or don't) cry depending on whose book you're reading, you need to be a prayer warrior, all family decisions are your responsibility, get a good job so you can provide, and remember: women want you to pursue them! That's how God ordained relationships to be.

If that's so, do I stand a chance of living up to this? I think my situation brings an extra wrinkle with it. Will a Christian woman who is Queer identified or has been in/around the community for any portion of her life expect the same things from a Christian man that my evangelical dating books are telling me she wants? If I train myself up and can show a woman that I can do most of the things these books are telling me to do, is a Christian woman from my community going to be impressed? Or will she back slowly away from me, muttering something under her breath about the patriarchy and outdated ideas?

And what about my own life? How do I know when I'm a "good enough" Christian man that I can pursue a woman's heart with honor and integrity? Yes, now I have a good job, housing, and have made a start paying down my debts. And that's great, but it's not everything. And God definitely let me know that. You see, last month, just when I thought I had a few things right (and was getting a little puffed in the chest about it).

Sometimes it all seems like too much. Cultural cues are giving me input from everywhere, and I can't make heads or tails of the conflicts over all the noise. Like Peter on the water, I aspire to be something I see as much greater than who I am right now. And maybe that's the root of the problem. I'm spending all my energy trying to guess what the women around me want when I should be figuring out what I can give based on both the kind of man I am and what I have available to me. Right now that's not much. But hopefully just like with the material blessings I've been enjoying, some hard work and reliance on the Lord will bear good fruit in the spiritual realm as well.

There's a lot more to this story and I encourage you to click here and read the rest of it at Whosoever.

1 comment:

  1. Jim/Brenda: I (Byron) can relate very well to this fellow, and I'm not trans by any means, but, as I refer to myself, 'hopelessly heterosexual'. But all my life I've had people close to me in whatever sense--work, social, military--wonder about my 'identification'. I've always been a very sensitive man, I cry with little provocation, I'm very deferential to women, quiet, I never understood typical 'macho' behavior (it embarrasses me for other men doing it) and I try to listen to everyone's fears and concerns. So what's the result? You guessed it: many people (men especially) have wondered if I'm gay. As a straight man I consider this very sad. If society dismisses sensitive, caring behavior as odd or questionable, we have work to do. My compliments to Lincoln Rose for his courage.