And then he bought his first chest binder and learned that the term for the gut-wrenching anxiety he felt when looking in the mirror was called gender dysphoria.
The first time I met my now-boyfriend, I was wearing pigtails and a German beer girl costume, and he was dressed as Batwoman in heels and a pushup bra.
It was the fall of his sophomore and my junior year of college, and he had long hair, a girlfriend and identified as a gay girl.
We also are financially secure and in our twenties, so if something were to happen or we did have homophobic parents, we wouldn’t become homeless, as so many LGBTQ youth do.
It’s taken me a long time to understand my own queer identity—even to admit I have one.
We were both dating other people, dealing with identity issues and surviving college, but I silently promised myself that before graduation, I would work up the courage to kiss Parker.
When we finally did, a future together seemed instantly inevitable.
When your boyfriend is gone too long when he goes to the bathroom, you immediately wonder if he’s facing harassment for using the women’s restroom (since he doesn’t completely pass as female) or for using the men’s restroom (since he doesn’t completely pass as male.) You’ll see him being denied service at a bar, and when you go up to check on him, the bartender immediately takes your order.
You feel the fight rising from your stomach but your boyfriend says no, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s happened to him hundreds of times.
However, your mother isn't the only one who will ask you personal questions.
When it comes up that you have a transgender boyfriend, people don’t recite the normal pleasantries.
We spent that giddy summer learning each other’s boundaries, navigating hesitations, realities and runaway dreams.