By Todd Craig
My husband rocks a Coach purse. He loves his Capris. His last mani-pedi featured a brilliant red
paint on his toes and French tips on his fingernails.
Yes, my husband is unapologetically feminine. He often times uses feminine pronouns to
refer to himself. He swishes into a room
and put the flame into flaming gay.
And I love him for it.
Too often, I hear my single gay friends talking about how
they want someone who’s straight-acting.
They want someone who’s a man’s man.
Someone with whom they can drink beer, watch sports, and have manly
raunchy sex with.
What they don’t know is what they’re missing out on.
See, I used to think the same way. The two men that I dated before my husband
were both ex-Marines. I told myself back
then that same thing I hear so many other gays say: No fems. And while I bounced from man to man, date to
date, relationship to relationship, I held fast in that stance.
It never occurred to me that the reason I hadn’t found “the
one” included my own prejudices.
Dating is tough. You’re
constantly putting yourself out there, trying find someone with whom to
connect, make friends, laugh, dance, and fuck all night while spending too much
money on expensive drinks, leaving your emotions open to heartbreak, and trying
to avoid STDs. Sometimes it can feel
like Mission Impossible.
So why would I have been so stupid as to limit my playing
field and make dating even more difficult?
After nearly a decade with my feminine husband, I’ve learned
just how silly my personal discriminations were. As we were dating, his mother surprised me
with a question one day. She asked me
what I thought her son’s first job was as a young teenager growing up in the
back country of South Carolina? The
answer? He caught and gutted catfish by
hand at a catfish farm.
And I was going to guess Mary Kay representative.
Turns out that my husband has a little Field and Stream snuck
in the depths of his Vogue self. Who
True Story #1: When
we moved my possessions to Colorado Springs after a whirlwind six months’ worth
of dating, we rented a rather large truck and filled my car with whatever else
didn’t fit. I offered to drive the
truck, but my fem husband-to-be politely declined. On the trip down I25, my Honda Civic struggled
mightily to keep up with the U-Haul for the first few miles. By Castle Rock, the truck was long gone. When I pulled into the parking lot of our new
apartment, he was leaning against that big truck with his arms crossed.
“What took ya?” he asked.
“Umm… highway safety?
“Man, fuck that,” he said smiling ear-to-ear and patting the
hood of the U-Haul, “I made this big boy my bitch!”
"Huh," I remembered thinking. The fem likes to barrel down the highway driving
a loaded-to-the-brim mass of metal at ridiculous speeds. Who knew?
Turns out that there’s nothing sexier that a fem boy with a bit of manly
Don’t think for a moment that my husband wishes he were a
girl. Yes, his favorite color is
pink. And yes, he’d rather plan a
wedding than a Super Bowl party. But
trust me, my feminine husband is all man when and where it counts.
True Story #2: During
a financially tight month about three years ago, the power windows on my
husband’s car quit on us. It was the third
or fourth such catastrophe to hit that month, and there wasn’t money left in
the bank to pay for an expensive car repair.
I told him it was going to have to wait until next month.
That next day while I was at work, I received a text from my
husband. He had sashayed his way into a
local auto parts store, told them his problem, and bought a new motor for his
window. Apparently, the auto parts store
employee walked him out to his car and showed him how to take apart his door
and explained how he could wire the new motor into place.
I came home to find tools spread out on the garage floor and
grease on his white undershirt and under his French tips. “Look at this!” he exclaimed, hitting the
button and making the window go up and down.
"Huh," I thought again.
“How much did this cost us?”
“Just $45 for the motor. I took the door apart and installed it
myself,” he said with more than a hint of pride. I gotta admit the surprise of his automotive
prowess, his white undershirt, and grease-stained manicured hands was a contradiction
of masculine and feminine that was an almost ridiculous turn-on.
I’ve learned a lot from my husband over the last few
years. The biggest lesson is that what
makes us male and female has little to do with what comprises masculine and
feminine. When I was single and dating,
I was indeed one of those who didn’t want anything to do with overly feminine
Then I met my husband.
Turns out that the living personification of swish can gut a
fish. He also drives a truck like a bad
ass and doesn’t mind a little grease under his French tip manicure. Had I not let go of my no-fems policy, I’d
have missed out on the most amazing man I’ve ever known.
Of course, that would have saved me a few thousand dollars
on Coach bags and nail salon visits over the years, but believe me, I just
chalk those expenses up to the cost of happiness. For I know now that sometimes in order to
find your prince, you just might have consider a queen.