I’m Dubbs Weinblatt, I’m from Columbus, Ohio.
One day when I was 20 years old back when I was at Ohio State, I had been having a lot of trouble drinking. I was drinking all the time. And when I would drink I would get really depressed and really sad and a lot of times, really angry. And my friends always had to deal with me and all those different emotions. And there was one evening when I was drinking alone, Natty Lite, in my room. My roommate and best friend came in and she basically gave me an ultimatum. She was like, “You’re my best friend and I love you. But I can’t keep dealing with you and your drinking because I have to take care of you every time you’re drinking, which is all the time. And I love you and I care about you, but I need you to tell me what’s going on. Because something obviously is going on.”
And this was my moment of truth. I had always known that I was gay since my first thought of knowing anything, and I kept it a secret for 20 years. And this was my moment and so I couldn’t verbally say what I wanted to say so I took a Post-It and I wrote, “I’m bi” on it and I handed it to her. And she literally just looked at it and was like, “That’s it?!”
And I burst out crying and 20 years of pent up fear and sadness and any emotion you can think of just came pouring out and I cried for I don’t even know how long and she held me. And in my head I thought that everything after that was going to be solved. I’m gay, I knew I was gay, I just couldn’t tell anyone.
That’s not really what happened.
I continued drinking and kind of stayed in a depressed state and I kind of just thought that was maybe the baseline of who I was. And about 10 years later when I was in New York City, one of my friends from Columbus, Ohio, was playing at a party. And it turns out the party was during Pride Week and it was a Lipstick Lesbian Awareness Party in the Lower East Side. And my first thought is, “Awesome! I’m going to see all these hot femme girls and I’m going to be in Heaven.”
So I went to this party with the same best friend I came out with on a Post-It. And I’m looking around and seeing all these feminine women and it’s a beautiful sight and then I realize that I had, not only am I not a lesbian but I’m realizing that I’m attracted to women but that I don’t necessarily identify as a woman. And it was as if this glass box that had all the gender identity notions had shattered right then and there at the bar, while my friend was playing the music. And it got silent and I was like, “Wow, my life is not what I thought it was.”
And I started realizing that I didn’t identify with my name, that I didn’t identify with parts of my body, and I didn’t identify with pronouns, and I didn’t identify with everything that I had been raised with needing to be who I was. Because that just wasn’t who I was. So it was very mind-boggling for me to realize that there was something so big and so deep that I was dealing with that I had no idea what was even going on in my head.
So once I had the epiphany of the party, I decided to talk to my family and friends about it and read articles and books. And my drinking still didn’t get any better even though I had still been exploring and discovering things about myself. And then about two years later I started seeing an LGBTQ specialist who kind of got me right on track of where I needed to be. And it wasn’t until I found a surgeon and made my first consultation, that I finally realized I was able to have my drinking under control. Because even after coming out as genderqueer, talking about it, there’s still something off about how I was able to control myself. And it wasn’t until I really took control over how I was feeling and what I needed to be healthy.
I think a lot of people have the idea that you have to be male or female and that there’s no middle. But you don’t have to stick to one or the other, and I think that it’s important for me, especially because I have had top surgery now, and don’t identify as trans, that I just am me. And so I want other people to know that it’s okay to be them no matter what combination of label or surgery or identification that they have, that it’s okay to just be you.