2nd Preview of She's Not the Man I Married

This excerpt is from Chapter 2: The Opposite of 49.
And I should mention I’m not going to say for sure the chapter names are going to stay the same either, or even if the chapters will stay in the same order.

It took me a long while to figure out how gender and power were intersecting for Betty and me. I had trained myself to be more submissive, and certainly worried that my natural ability to wear the pants in our relationship was going to screw things up. I always felt worried about being myself with a guy, because everything told me I wasn’t supposed to be the way I was naturally. It was difficult, to come to terms with out-butching Betty by a long shot. (Granted, I actively try to bring out her native tomboy, if there’s one in there, because I won’t have an “I broke a nail” partner.) Interestingly, when I first started experimenting with saying out loud that I was more the husband than the wife, I got nervous giggles and was corrected a lot. Plenty of people said right away, “But you’re not butch,” or “Betty’s still stronger than you,” or some kind of affirmation of my femininity. Some of my characteristics are feminine, and very innately so, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t also wear the pants. Still, I’ve been a little astonished at the ways in which people have effectively said, “Don’t say that out loud” when I talk about being the one in charge. It’s as if I were embarrassing them somehow. This has been one of many experiences over the past couple of years that has made me realize: (1) tomboys are okay as long as they are children; (2) masculinity in women makes people nervous; (3) heterosexuality was no place to figure out how to be who I am; and (4) most people don’t want to talk about how their relationships are gendered.