I Did Everything Right, Or Did I?

Four years I cultivated this relationship. Four years. During these four years we played the game of cat and mouse with each other. Flirting, touching, hugging, arguing and making up. By calling our suspenseful relationship cat and mouse I should have known how it would turn out. You see cat and mouse means to play with or tease someone before turning violent or vicious, likened to the way a cat toys with a mouse before killing it. We teased and toyed with each other during these four years. However, I never dreamed in the end he would be the cat and I would be the mouse.

The game started so innocently on a cold winter’s night on the #35 at the Rock Road Metrolink Station. I was sitting on the bus trying to stay warm and minding my own business like I always do and the RRS guard gets on the bus and sits across from me. We strike up a conversation, he proceeds to tell me that likes Creole woman, and that he finds my southern account adorable. Little did he know that southern accent is fake and it’s my automatic go to flirting mechanism. He asked me my name and I said LeAnn. He said it was a pretty name, shook my hand and went back to guarding the rest of the station. The cat has the mouse in her sight.

Over the course of the next year we would talk and flirt with each other every time I was at the Rock Road Station. Until one day when he called me by my then government name Leon. Yes, I confessed to him that my name wasn’t LeAnn and in fact it’s Leon. He got angry that I had lied to him and didn’t tell him I was not a female and that I was “a motherfucking dude!” I tried to trick him. This is where I stopped the conversation and told him that I was Intersex. Naturally I had to break it down to him in street language so he could understand. After my explanation he called me “a freak” and he never wanted to speak to me again. So, I boarded the #35 and proceeded home. Game over. or so I thought.

About two months into our standoff, I was sitting in the bus kiosk waiting on the #35 when he sat down next to me on the bench and asked me questions about being Intersex. I told him everything about me. I didn’t leave out any detail or fact. He said that I was very complex and interesting. He apologized for losing his temper and calling me a freak. I accepted. He said he had missed talking to me. Game resumed.

Within the next years the game continued. Whenever things would get too close, he would pull away and not speak to me. But he would always come back. Each time with an apology. Each time I accepted. For me the flirt had now changed into an attraction. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I was attracted to him, but I was.

For some reason we hadn’t seen each other for about a year. We would occasionally and sporadically text one another but hadn’t laid eyes on one each other. Then one day I was helping a customer at the pump at the C-Store when I heard someone shouted out “Leon!” Of course, I didn’t turn around nor respond because that is no longer my name. So I returned back into the store and a few minutes later the same voice called out “Leon!” again. I turn around and it was him.  My mouth dropped open wider than a Largemouth Bass. Then he asked “WTF happened to you. You’re hot!” At that moment I realized he hadn’t seen the new me complete with body, hair, and makeup. I told him that I was living my true authentic life and my name was now Jordan. We talked outside for a few minutes and then he asked me what time I got off work. He said he would come give me a ride home. I said ok and then kissed him on the cheek. He said thank you, smiled, and went back to his car. You see I kissed him just to see how far I could go. Again, the cat had the mouse in her sights.

He was early in coming to pick me up, so he waited on the parking lot. I asked him why he was so early he stated that he was just excited to see me and couldn’t wait. My shift was over, and I got into his car and we proceeded to my house. Within two blocks of the station he put his hand on my thigh and told me how much he missed me. I removed his hand and said I’m not that easy. He asked why we can’t just enjoy each other’s company and this time we have together. I obliged and let him put his hand back on my thigh. We drove around for about an hour just talking, laughing, and having a good time. I must admit that it was actually very nice. After a few more minutes we ended up in front of his apartment. “Really? Is this what you meant by giving me a ride home? Bringing me to your apartment?” He said just come in and we can continue talking. I want to spend more time with you before I take you home. I said there is only one condition and that is you admit that you are attracted to me. After a very pregnant pause he admitted he had been attracted to me for some time. I was, “ok let’s go in.” As we were walking to his apartment holding hands I said “Don’t think I’m stupid. I know why we’re here. The question is, are you ready. We are about to take this to a whole different level.” He said he was.

So, after four years of cat and mouse the game was over. We had consummated whatever this relationship was. I’ll spare you the details and I’ll just say it wasn’t just sex, but it was love making. It was about US. Connecting, exploring, tension, emotion, and passion.

When we finally arrived at my home, he asked me if I loved him and I said no. There are still things I don’t know about you, plus we are not in that space. We kissed and I went into the house. 

As I was changing my clothes my phone rang and it was him calling. I answered and he started yelling at me. “WTF did we just do?” “You tricked me!” “I would never have sex with you because you’re not a real woman” “I oughta come in there and kick your ass!” I asked, “where are you?” He was still in the driveway. I quickly grabbed a t-shirt, sweatpants, and started outside. As I opened the backdoor one of the dogs ran out with me. As I got to the gate he was out of his car and was coming towards me. As he swung, I ducked but tripped over the dog and fell to the ground.  As I lay on the ground, he kicked me over and over yelling “I’m not gay!” He kicked me about six times in my torso. It hurt like hell. I stood up and looked him in his eye and said “I’m not afraid of you! You can’t do anything to hurt me!” He turned and sped away in his car.

I walked back into the house and looked in the mirror to make sure no skin was broken. There appeared nothing broken or sticking out.  I turned the lights out and went to bed. Acted like nothing had happened.

The next morning, I was sore as hell and my ribs hurt. I had trouble taking a breath. However, I got dressed and went to work. I was sitting in a meeting and my phone started vibrating. It was him. I ignored the call. He called again. Each time I ignored the call, he would call back. Finally, after about 6 calls I excused myself from the meeting and took his call. He acted like nothing had happened the night before when he kicked the shit out of me. He said he needed $65 to get his car fixed. I agreed and told him I would cash app it to him. He said he loved me, and we are family now. I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and started crying. I didn’t recognize the woman the in the mirror. How did I get here? How did this happen? I thought I did everything right. Or did I?

Here are a few statistics according to the 2015 Transgender Survey:

  • 73% of Transgender people have reported being grabbed, punched, or choked.
  • 54% of Transgender people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • 44% of Transgender women of color have experienced intimate partner violence.
  • 25% of Transgender people have been told them that they were not a “real” woman or man.
  • 24% of Transgender people have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner, compared to 18% in the U.S. population.
  • 9% of Transgender people were physically attacked in the past year because of being transgender.

Jordan Braxton

Jordan Braxton has been an activist in the St. Louis LGBTQIA community for over 35-years, raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and Intersex and Trans Rights. Jordan is on the Board of Pride St. Louis, Inc. as The Director of Volunteers and Diversity and Inclusion and the Vice President of Black Pride St. Louis. Jordan currently works at St. Louis Efforts for AIDS as a Prevention Specialist.

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