Matt Kailey has just returned from Acapulco. Out Front Coloradoās intrepid staff writer was flown, gratis, from Denver to Acapulco as part of that cityās effort to encourage tourism.
āDenver is a target area.ā Kailey explains.
When heās not darting around the world on press junkets, Kailey is better known as the author of 2005ās Just Add Hormones: An Insiderās Guide to the Transsexual Experience. The memoir, which will be released in paperback in June, follows Kaileyās transition from 40-something straight woman to the gay man heād always known himself to be. Written for a general audience, Just Add is like a Trans 101 primer for those unfamiliar with the who, why, how and what of transsexual transition.
āWhat I wanted to do [with Just Add Hormones] is give something that was non-threatening to outsidersāto people outside. I wanted it to be serious and political, but I also didnāt want it to be really threatening.ā
It is already eight years since he completed his transition and Kailey is now working on a follow-up book about life after transition and he regularly leads workplace trainings that help coworkers prepare for an employee transitioning on the job. He can be booked for consultation through his website.
While a lot of FTMs come out through the lesbian community, Kailey acknowledges that as a straight woman, he was fairly obtuse about feminist issues and womenās rights. ā[Now] I think I am almost, in a way, looking in from the outside and seeing things I didnāt see when I was a female; and seeing some discrimination and things that I didnāt acknowledge or realize as a femaleā.
Kailey insists that transitioning from female to male, even for a gay FTM, isnāt a misogynist step. āI donāt think it is a rejection of femaleness at all in any way, shape or form,ā Kailey argues. āAnd so many guys that I know, straight and gay FTMs are incredible feminists.ā
Identifying alternately as queer or as a gay transman, Kailey says, āI donāt see myself as a āmanā. Iām 50-years-old. When you put me in a room with 50-year-old men, I am not one of them.ā
Kailey says many gay men have the misconception that gay FTMs are really women and some gay men are āafraidā to date FTM guys, āespecially if they havenāt have genital surgery, because they are afraid that that makes them straight, that they have to give up their identity. And thatās just not true. Gay FTMs are gay men.ā
Even worse than those misperceptions, Kailey says, is the absolute invisibility of FTMs in the larger gay community. Kailey hopes that FTMs will eventually find their niche within the larger gay community. In the meantime, he says that as a gay transman heās getting used to rejection.
āYou get rejected when they find out you are trans, when they find out you donāt have a penisā¦I donāt have a penis. I still have a vagina and I know a lot of gay FTMs who do use their vaginas during sex. But we like to think of it as another hole of sorts.ā
Kailey isnāt planning to leave the dating game anytime soon. He has advice for potential suitors. If you are a gay man attracted to a transguy, Kailey says, and you want to get laid, he advises against using these lines: āI want to know what it is like to have sex with a woman,ā or āIāve never had sex with a womanāIāve never had vaginal sex. Because thatās not a good way to hit him up.ā
FTM writer Jacob Anderson-Minshall can be reached at email@example.com.