For Kody Meginnes, coming out has been a multi-step process. Before he let the world know he was a transgender man, Kody first came out as a butch lesbian.
“I was very in the closet to myself,” he told me, recounting his first coming-out experience. “My best friend helped convince me I was a lesbian.” The year was 1992, and Kody was in the military, stationed in Hawaii and identifying as a woman. One day a non-commissioned officer who had taken Kody under her wing invited him for a beer. When it came time to pick Kody up, he was greeted by a car filled with four other women.
“On the way to the bar, everyone in the car was talking about hot women,” recalled Kody. “I said something off the cuff about men, and everything just stopped. Everyone in the car looked at me like, ‘What?’” It was then that Kody’s friend explained to him that they were on the way to a gay bar.
“I didn’t want to be around lesbians,” Kody said, “so I found this Tetris arcade game in the back and parked myself there all night.” But eventually Kody left his game to grab a beer, and then it happened. “This woman grabs my shoulder, turns me around and kisses me—and I kiss her back.”