All of the following are commonly asked questions that we would like to share with everyone for a quick reference - and perhaps to even inspire new ones.
★ How did you two meet?
We actually answer this question in our about us section located at the top of our blog. Short answer: We met via tumblr and have been talking and loving each other ever since.
★ How long have you both been together?
We have been in a monogamous relationship since September 4th, 2011 - but we have been good friends since mid-may of the same year. Most of our relationship has been spent apart - via a long distance relationship.
★ How do you deal with being in a long-distance relationship?
Basically, we take things day by day. We try to keep busy, but also maintain as much contact as possible. We use our phones and internet connection to stay in touch whenever we can. We use our blogs, Skype, facebook, etc. We take photos and videos for each other. We send each other letters. Being in a long-distance relationship has allowed us to really value our time together - however we can get it. If in a long-distance relationship, you may be surprised at how creative you can be!
★ Do you ever get into fights with each other or others about your relationship?
Well, hopefully this does not jinx us or anything, but we have never been in a fight before, no. We have never even really had serious tiffs or anything. Any time we are ‘fighting’ about something, it is usually a joke - like, about which super hero is better than the other, whether or not 28 Days Later is a zombie movie or not, etc.
As far as arguments or fights with other folks, we have had a couple confrontations, but most of them are trolls online. We have yet to have any physical altercations with folks who disapprove of our relationship for whatever reason.
★ You say you came out together - do you mean that literally? Or that you went through the process together? And how did that go?
We came out by ourselves, but with each other’s love and acceptance. We encouraged each other to be ourselves and do what is best for us. For the both of us, coming out is a continuing process. We are gradually coming out to all of the folks in our lives - keeping our safety and happiness in mind.
For the longest time, our families and friends thought each of us were lesbians - since we came out as such in our early teens. Coming out as something else later in life can be difficult, so we took our time figuring things out. With each other’s help, we both ended up coming out as queer around October of last year. Riley also came out as a transgender guy on October 20th, 2011 - National Coming Out Day. Since then, we have both come out to friends and family that we feel comfortable coming out to. Thus far, things have gone pretty well for us. Some folks accepted us for who we are. Some folks did not.
Our main concern is being able to be ourselves. If folks do not like or accept us, we do not want them in our lives anyway.
★ Riley - When did you know that you are transgender? How did you find out?
I feel like I have always known what is inside me, but as a child I never knew what to call it or how to express it. I was always a ‘tomboy’ and preferred things that are socially acceptable for guys to say and do. Until my early twenties, I mostly just lived my life as what people assumed that I was - a lesbian tomboy. Eventually, in order to figure out what was right for me, I did a lot of research. I read books by transgender* authors. I read posts and articles by transgender* folks in similar situations. I talked with transgender* folks via my blogs. When I was ready to accept my identity and discuss it with folks, I came out. I have never been ashamed of my feelings, it just took me a little longer than some to realise who I am and process it.
★ Riley - I think I am transgender. When should I come out?
This is a question I get a lot, and quite frankly I just cannot answer that for you. Like figuring out your own identity and sexual orientation, only YOU should be able to make those choices. Basically, you should come out when YOU feel ready and safe in your environment.
★ Riley - what was it like figuring out your gender identity and sexual orientation?
It was definitely an interesting journey! I am not going to lie. It has not been all that pleasant. I came out to my friends as a lesbian in my early teens, and got the typical negative responses from most. In middle school, I was picked on a lot for being eccentric, but I had a couple friends who supported me, and that was all that I needed.
At fifteen, I had my first girlfriend. When we were together, the relationship was very abusive in every way that it could be. My then girlfriend threatened to kill herself if I did not come out to my mum, so I ended up coming out to my mum when I was not ready - at fifteen. My mum was fine with my sexual orientation, but did not understand and feared for my safety. Later, my dad found out the ‘hard way’, but was only upset because my mum knew about me and he did not. I was troubled, because I knew that I was not just attracted to female-identified folks. I knew that I wanted everyone to think of me as a guy. My friends always treated me that way. I was always ‘just one of the guys’. But I did not accept myself then, and I had no idea how to explain my feelings, so I suppressed them. I had personal experiences with self-harm and thinking about suicide. I kept those feelings to myself and kept on keeping on.
Seven girlfriends later, at age twenty-three, I felt more comfortable with who I was as a person. I had a lot of time to think about who I am, experience things, and do research for myself. I gained confidence. I came out as genderqueer to all my close friends. Tashia found me, and I found her gorgeous in every single way. Later, at age twenty-four, I finally came out as a genderqueer trans* guy. Needless to really say, the coming out process has its ups and downs. It is not always a sure thing. Gender and sexuality are both fluid.
★ What advice would you give someone who is questioning their gender identity and/or sexual orientation?
We have learned that it is best to take your time with such things. Do research. Find yourself. Do not jump to conclusions. Do not let anyone answer that question for you. Your gender identity and sexual orientation are your own personal things to figure out.
And remember: You do not have to identify as this or that unless you feel comfortable doing so. Like your body, your sexual orientation and gender identity are a part of YOU. They are yours, so define them yourself. It is not our place (or anyone else’s) to tell you how to identify.
★ How do you two deal with dysphoria about your body?
A lot of how we deal with ANYTHING involves communication. We discuss what we are and are not comfortable with. We discuss concerns about our bodies and sex lives - and we respect each other’s boundaries, concerns, and overall well-being. We help each other feel comfortable however we can. We listen and acknowledge each other and our feelings. Since we have a mutual respect and understanding of each other (due to communication), we can effectively help each other with our dysphoria.
★ Do you have any recommendations for couples to be better at communicating with each other?
Just communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Simple as that. Be honest. If you want something out of a relationship, you need to communicate your wants and needs to your partner(s). Communication is healthy - do it whenever you feel comfortable - however you can - verbally, via letters, videos, whatever. Sometimes just leaving each other cute post its about how you feel can help whatever situation you are in. Much of this depends on your comfort level with your partner(s) and vice-versa.
★ You are both so open about your sex lives. How can I become more open with my partner?
Make sure to communicate with them. Let them know what turns you on and what turns you off. After sex, discuss what you liked most and least about your experience. Be open. Try new things - when you are comfortable. Share your intimate thoughts together. During sex, give consensual commands/demands to let your partner(s) know exactly what you like and how you like it.
★ Tashia - When Riley came out as transgender* to you, what was your reaction?
Honestly, I pretty much already knew. I remember one day, before Riley came out, that I told him I felt like he was a boy and asked him what he thought about that. When he did come out, he used a post he had written for National Coming Out Day. As soon as he showed it to me and I read it, I had this huge smile on my face. I was so proud of him! I gave him a big hug and kiss, then told him that I loved him. That was pretty much it.
★ Tashia - How do you deal with Riley’s XXX blog? Do you support Riley’s aspirations to be a queer porn star? Do you get jealous or upset about it?
I LOVE Riley’s XXX blog. I fully support his future career choice. (I never pictured him working in an office anyway). I don’t get jealous or upset about it at all. We have boundaries and rules set up that we both follow. Riley and I have enough respect for each other to not cross over those lines. Communication is a big part of it; he makes double sure that I’m comfortable with everything he does regarding XXX stuff. I don’t see that changing when he makes a career out of it.
★ Tashia - As a cisgender woman who has been out as a lesbian for most of your life, how was your experience coming out as ‘queer’ later in life?
I actually haven’t come out as ‘queer’ to most people yet. Mostly because I think almost everyone I know thinks gay/lesbian = queer. I haven’t really figured out how to explain to them what ‘queer’ is and that it IS it’s own identity. In short, coming out is still an on-going process for me.
★ Is there anything that you two will NOT discuss on your blog? Like, are any topics off-limits?
Tashia: I’m comfortable discussing anything.
Riley: As am I! Nothing is off-limits to us, apparently. If there is something that we deem too personal or not something we would like to address, we will make sure to let you folks know.
★ You have not responded to my message. Are you ignoring me?
The only messages that we ignore are ones that are meant to be offensive to any particular community or communities. (Most of these tend to be anonymous, so cannot respond privately. If the message is not anonymous, we will respond privately. If the trolling persists, we will block the IP address of the person and maybe even report them.)
We want our blog to be a safe space full of positivity - not negative comments from anonymous folks.
Short Answer: We respond to ALL messages promptly - including submissions. If there is a problem with your submission, we will contact you!