Before becoming part of the upcoming docuseries Born Stars, Cole Hayes wrote an incredible account off being a trans, gay guy.
“Trans gay men visibility evokes a famous line from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” Cole Hayes wrote in an essay for FTM magazine in 2017.
My best friend told me once, “Cole, you’re so gay it transcends gender.” He told this to me after I came out for the third time, but this time as a gay man. To me, it was funny and we laughed but it got me thinking about the reason behind it. I’ve been asked by handfuls of gay cis men, “How can you be gay?” my response is always the same, “The same way you can be gay.” Of course, many of them don’t understand and it will always be difficult to fully explain it to someone that could never truly know but I continue to explain as best as I can.
HAVING A MOMENT, PART ONE: MEET Ryan Cassata: Last year Billboard wrote a feature on the super popular trans singer saying:
Cassata has made a career out of being true to himself. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter has been in the business for over a decade, starting a YouTube channel at age 13 and uploading songs and vlogs detailing his life as a transgender man. The song was born out of Cassata’s own experience coming out as trans to his dad. He tells Billboard that the experience was hard and painful at first, but ultimately led to better understanding on both sides: “My parents treat me with love and respect and support me in everything I do, so to me, being their daughter and their son is not bad.”
Cassata’s latest song “Daughter” may be one of his most personal yet — the lyrics read as a letter to the singer’s father, describing that even though he now identifies as male, he knows he will always be his dad’s daughter. The video for the song, premiering below, is similarly moving, featuring a transgender teenager who first clashes with, then finds acceptance from their father.
There is a myth that testosterone turns you gay. Of course, this isn’t true but my theory (based on my experience) is this: I was always a man but my body didn’t reflect it. I felt disgusted at the thought of sleeping with a man because I knew he would be looking at me, at my body, as female. I came out as a lesbian later on and for awhile I felt “fixed” but as the years went on, my dysphoria got worse. It wasn’t about being gay because women that were attracted to me were attracted to a woman as well and that still felt wrong.
HAVING A MOMENT PART TWO:
NBC’s dramedy Good Girls has been carefully unspooling the gender identity of 11-year-old Sadie (played by Isaiah Stannard, an out trans boy), the 11-year-old child of Mae Whitman’s character Annie, and last night’s episode was a big one. After Annie revealed that Sadie’s stepmother Nancy had a baby (Yay, it’s a boy!), Sadie paused and replied, “Mom …. so am I.” Check out the scene to see Annie’s beautiful reaction. READ THE REST AT TOWLEROAD.
Once realizing who I really was, it didn’t take long before my true sexuality could be recognized and processed. In short and as cliché as it might sound, I truly felt like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. That’s how I have always seen it, for me. Once my body began to transform with HRT, I slowly became more in love with myself and idea of being with another man. Thinking back to childhood, I always had a strange attachment to the male physique, drawing it, imagining it, wishing I had it. For me, it just made sense, the male body. It’s curious because so many people worry that testosterone will change you from the core but really, what it can do, is open your up to who you really are. It can show you things you’ve been hiding from even yourself. Hormones didn’t make me gay, they gave me the confidence I needed to realize I was gay. Now, when a guy flirts with me, I know it is because I am a man that he finds attractive and I no longer feel ashamed of thinking the same about him.
Cole Hayes is a Seattle based musician and writer who works in the tech sector.
Watch the teaser trailer for Born Stars below.