Jackie Hubschman and Oyle Harrison met in 2010 through mutual friends while hanging out at Friends on Ponce during its Speakeasy Sunday.
“I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and was having a bad week. I thought he was really cute for a gay man,” Hubschman recalls.
“I thought she was very cute. I remember she had suspenders on,” Harrison says.
The two met again a few weeks later at Mary’s and Harrison offered to buy her a shot.
“He recognized me from the time before and did in fact mention that I was wearing skinny black suspenders at Friends that night we met. It made me a little shy and interested at the same time,” Hubschman says.
So they shared a few drinks on the back deck of the gay East Atlanta bar and Hubschman asked him, “What do you want from me?”
“I can be pretty direct,” she says.
Harrison told her he was attracted to her. And Hubschman told him she is attracted to gay men. “But they usually don’t buy me drinks and remember what I was wearing the first time we met,” she says.
“I said, ‘Well, girls like you don’t normally like boys like me,’” Harrison says.
“Attractive and nice?” she asked.
“I’m trans,” he answered.
“Oooh. I know exactly what to do with boys like you,” she says she told him. Then they made out and talked for hours.
After that, they continued to date and were legally married last year. The couple is also non-monogamous and define their marriage as an open relationship.
“We both agree that commitment and monogamy are not one in the same,” Harrison says. “When we say open, we also mean in communication. We don’t keep secrets and enjoy being with each other.”
But they also realize they are not going to be able to be “everything” for each other in a partnership.
“While we fill 98 percent of what we both need, we leave the options open for others to hold space emotionally and sexually. That is not to say we are promiscuous at all, really we are rather picky,” Hubshman says.
Hubschman, 35, and Harrison, 37, are an example of an issue gaining more traction and interest in the LGB world ― dating and having sex with transgender people. Even the Huffington Post hosted a live web talk with gay men who date trans men on Jan. 24.
Hubshman says she didn’t know Harrison was trans when they met but had dated trans men in the past.
“I had learned years ago when I was living in Washington, D.C., that there was a huge transgender community in the subculture of GLBQ communities and I have dated other trans guys in the past. I had just moved to Atlanta and had been casually seeing a few people more on the queer and lesbian spectrum,” she says.
For Harrison, who medically transitioned May 8, 2006, dating as a trans man is easier because he is comfortable with himself.
“I was super quiet before, and shy. I would let people take advantage of me ― not in good ways. I’m sure that was tied to my confidence,” he says.
As an out trans man, Harrison says he hopes people are open-minded if they want to have a sexual relationship with him. He doesn’t want to be viewed as a “token” or “fetish.” While he doesn’t speak for all trans people, Harrison says there are common insights.
“First, people need to understand that being trans or having transgender experience has nothing to do with sexuality,” he says. “Don’t ask inappropriate questions and expect anything different than the same questions back.”
What works for Harrison is putting out that he is trans pretty quickly. “I let them decide if they want to continue talking or hanging out. Even if I’m not someone’s cup of tea, don’t be rude,” he suggests.
A former Ms. Atlanta Eagle, Hubschman says she and Harrison have found strong acceptance in the leather community and at the Atlanta Eagle. But there are still the naysayers.
“Some gay men don’t understand why I hang around the Atlanta Eagle. Some lesbians do not understand why I am married to a man. Oyle identifies as a gay man. At the moment, I identify as a dyke. We are both attracted to masculinity,” she says.
Hubshman says respect is critical when dating a trans person or any person.
“As someone who dates any type of person, whether they have trans experience or not, you should be respectful of peoples bodies and boundaries, period. Be sensitive to any person’s body issues and realize we all have different kinds of bodies and shapes and sizes no matter who you are. Be open to love and follow your heart. Everybody has the right to be loved,” she says.