7 confessions of a “sexual deviant” & countdown to its fallout
I deviate from many sexual norms. But not in the way you may think.
I live an irony of ironies. While having little to no interest in sex with others, I am constantly sexually objectified by the full authority of the state. I am, in a sense, a sex slave to the state. There’s little if anything I can do about it.
The state’s sexual objectification of me made official the sexual objectification I endured all my life.
Girls who flirted with me back in high school wondered why I never chased them. Then spread rumors I must be gay, or worse. Coming out as transgender in 1993 brought out the fearmongers.
For those bent on smearing me as some kind of sexual deviant, go ahead. First, consider these seven reasons to rethink what it means to deviate from your actual sexual norms.
1. I am asexual.
Specifically, I am demisexual. I am only able to feel sexual attraction after developing a deeper emotional connection. Thus far that has only occurred once in my life, with my former wife. I sought to intimately know her and please her, instead of expecting her to please me.
About 1% of the population identifies as asexual. Demisexuals as a subset count for less than that. But I do count myself with the Apostle Paul as one who does not burn with passion.
2. I’ve only had one sexual partner my whole life.
My wife. She too was monogamous, so I’ve never been at risk for HIV or any other sexually transmittable disease. Being demisexual kept me monogamous. Besides that relationship, I’ve never emotionally bonded deep enough to feel sexually attracted to anyone else. Not before or since.
3. I’ve never had sex while intoxicated.
I am a lifelong teetotaler. I’m actually allergic to carbonated drinks of any kind. So I’ve never been drunk. Therefore, I’ve never engaged in any sexual activity under the influence of alcohol, nor any other substance. Besides, as a demisexual, I depend on her fully informed sober consent to feel aroused toward her.
4. I don't crave sex to fill some void.
I don’t require a complementary “other.” I am gender holistic, or “transgender.” I do not require sex to connect with my femininity. Distinct from the popular narrative about transgenderism, mine is less about identity and more about a spirituality compelling me to connect deeply across divisive barriers like traditional gender norms.
About 6 to 10% of transgender people identify as asexual. Despite this, many Christians still hold to debunked myths about transgender lives. The so-called bathroom debate reflect old media depictions sexualizing transgender people as streetwalkers and pedophiles. Are they projecting their awkward struggles for curbing their own cravings?
5. I do not consume porn.
Besides occasionally viewing fetish attire online, I have little to no experience viewing erotic images. As a transgender person, I’m prone to internalize images as idealized standards for when I express my femininity. The idea of sexually fantasizing myself with someone I don’t know strikes me as very odd.
A third of all downloads are porn-related. 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites. Almost half of Christians admit pornography use. The average Internet user receives 4.5 pornographic emails per day. I’m not one of them. My inbox doesn’t even receive Viagra pitches, if that’s still a thing.
6. I was content with the missionary position.
I never even heard of “69” until I was falsely accused of such things. Never needed to try it doggie style or other exotic positions. Besides trying the standing together position with my wife a time or two long ago, we always did it missionary style. We were both contentedly conservative in bed.
One sample found the missionary position favored by only one-fourth of those sampled. Another survey found two-thirds of couples use four familiar positions, like doggie style and spooning. At least 96% in one survey reported their best sex was with someone they already enjoyed an emotional connection.
7. I’ve never engaged in “locker room talk.”
Until the 2016 Access Hollywood recording of Trump bragging about groping women, I never heard of locker room talk. Or if I did, I wasn’t sure what it was. I couldn’t relate to it. This demisexual transgender spiritual person never had any experience with it. And I’ve never even considered catcalling a woman.
The Guardian found such objectifying talk relatively common. Psychology today warns how this unchecked banter enables sexism. As a transperson, I’m the likely target of such sexually objectifying banter—including the state authored gender policing that led to me being wrongly convicted. Including the transphobic accusations of a coached or indoctrinated child.
I’m not perfect. When first accepting myself as transgender and coming out to my then-wife in 1991, I misread her cues. She indicated an openness to my newfound freedom.
As a demisexual, I craved intimacy with her. I yearned for her to integrate my more authentic self in our intimate lives. During this tumultuous phase, I once acted too soon. I approached her while “dressed up” in a way she never accepted.
After she confronted me, I retreated and compartmentalized this aspect of my sexuality. I reaffirmed my commitment to please her whether or not she could please me.
My experience here fairs well with other transgender people’s coming out stories. What happened in my coming out process two years later remains painfully unique.
Countdown of this nonconformity fallout
In early 1993, I came out as transgender to my older transgender sister. We grew up as brothers. Then became estranged for 16 years, due largely to religious differences.
I learned she too was asexual. She lacked the plumbing to act upon her natural sexuality.
She moved in with me back in 1993, as I was reorganizing my life. But that was soon interrupted. On July 7, 1993, my sister and I were accused of their worst fears.
In the early 1990s, a sex panic still raged on. Popular media stories claimed pedophile rings could be in every neighborhood. LGBTQ folks were routinely smeared as child recruiting predators. Outed teachers were fired. Transphobia—negatively reacting to those who exist outside of traditional gender norms—remained a reinforced norm.
Now let the countdown begin.
10. Transphobic indoctrination
A neighbor’s unsupervised daughter stood outside our apartment to gawk at “that man with lipstick.” She was told to avoid “that man down there.”
When scolded by her mother for not being home, the girl claimed “the man with lipstick” grabbed her from behind and dragged her into our apartment. Later, her step-father called us “a couple of crossdressing fags.”
By “transphobic” I include here any negative feelings, attitudes or actions against others like me who naturally transcend divisive norms. I’m spiritually compelled to transcend divisive:
economic norms. Beyond contentious norms like the employer-employee binary. To resolve underserved needs.
political norms. Beyond restrictive norms like the voter-politician binary. To resolve underserved politicized needs.
judicial norms. Beyond adversarial norms like the accuser-accused binary. To resolve underserved fairness needs.
Obvious transphobia includes smearing us both as child recruiting predators. Less obvious was imposing their antagonistic binary of accuser and accused. All they had to do was ask.
Jumping to accusations robs credibility. Asserting the truth gets smeared as trying to get away with a crime. Then conveniently links their transphobic beliefs with their stereotype of criminals in denial. All avoidable by investigative integrity.
Premature opposition privileges premature state violence, to deliver injustice in the name of justice. This kind of transphobia—of imposing destructive opposition over mutual resolution of needs—continues to be the toxic norm. It enables false accusations.
9. Falsely accused
Once in the apartment, the girl claimed my male-bodied sister repeatedly molested her. The girl claims I then got in the action, as she characterized it.
My sister suspects the girl confabulated the whole thing from what she was warned about us “crossdressing queers.” Displacement also seemed likely. Fuzzy details were coached into place with leading questions, the standard at the time.
Back then, investigators increasingly felt the heat to “always believe the child.” So they swung to the opposite binary extreme. They uncritically accepted even the most outlandish of accusations. Animal sacrifices. Drinking blood. Satanic rituals. It all made good press for police investigators unhinged from critical thinking. And unaccountable for wrongful convictions.
I’m still dumbfounded by how they believed the girl’s claim I posed in a Polaroid photo with her. We didn’t have a Polaroid camera, nor was any found. The girl claims I had jelly smeared on my shirt. I didn’t. None was found. Transphobia ignores disconfirming evidence.
She tells investigators we forced her to hold a butter knife with jelly on it, next to my chest. According to her, we threatened her to stay silent by saying we would use this imaginary picture to show she was the aggressor.
From the time the girl crossed paths with our objectified lives until the cops swept in to haul us away to jail, only two hours had passed. Confirmation bias reigned supreme. The lack of evidence should clear us, I assumed. Certainly, I thought to myself, no one is going to believe this crap. Boy, was I wrong!
8. Wrongly convicted
The trial began on Tuesday, November 30th, 1993. Jury selection. I was finally relieved to start the trial. My hopes remained high for acquittal, assuming our innocence would be affirmed by the contradicting exculpatory evidence.
My hopes were soon dashed. My court appointed lawyer—who believed in my innocence—showed me an alarming sentence in a law book. It basically said no corroborating was evidence necessary for a sexual misconduct conviction.
The rest felt like a show trial. Transphobic innuendo skewed the trial against us, on two levels. First, exploiting the jury’s prejudice about LGBTQ folk that ruled supreme at the time. Second, imposing their binary-structured us-against-them tunnel vision, deluding them into ignoring all the disconfirming evidence. This latter “transphobic” binarism still rules supreme.
The closest to any evidence they found was semen found on a green blanket. Neither my sister nor I owned a green blanket. It was never tested for DNA. No jelly stains were found on my shirt. No Polaroid camera, no alleged picture. No physical evidence of trauma. No broken hymen.
The complainant offered so many contradictory versions that I was never certain which one the jury believed. Believed they did. Contrary to the lack of evidence, and some exculpatory evidence, they somehow found us both guilty. In this era of junk science and anger politics, such "faith-based" convictions rule supreme. No evidence required.
This scares many innocent defendants in taking a plea deal. Not us. I told my lawyer I would never accept any such deal. So none was ever offered to me. My sister was charged as the principal offender and they offered her a deal. She refused.
Despite the outcome, I have no regrets. I do not feel guilty for not being guilty. No matter how harsh the sentence, I’ve maintained my evidence-confirming innocence since day one. And I’ve never looked back.
Asserting our right to trial meant the risk of what is called a “trial penalty.” So we faced the maximal sentence available under the law.
Plea deals typically offer a reduced sentence in exchange for admitting guilt. Those with a shred of guilt may be talked into such a deal. I’ve never even met the accuser, so all I had was my full innocence.
Looking back, I sense I was actually being convicted for my binary-transcendence innocence. They were guilty of imposing dysfunctional binaries and suffered the consequences. Instead of taking responsibility for their consequential black-and-white thinking errors, they presumed I must be worse for not fitting neatly into their sacrosanct dichotomies.
They had to know that no crime actually occurred. After all, where did that green blanket come from? The trial and sentencing seemed more like extrajudicial proceedings to protect their familiar turf of imposing oppositional norms. Trans people be damned.
Back then, I recall how convicted transfolk were routinely handed harsher sentences than their cisgender counterparts. Transphobia found its way through each step of this violent binary-imposing process. I soon learned I was no exception.
The presentencing investigation report, misinformed as it was, recommended that I be sentenced at the low end of the 5 to 10 year guidelines range. Instead, for allegedly posing in that nonexistent Polaroid photo, the judge sentenced me 15 to 30 years.
6. Improperly housed
Adding pain upon pain after outed by the press, we were kept housed with other violent men. We were, in effect, fed to the wolves. First in the jail. Then after sentencing, when transferred to the custody of the department of “corrections.”
I consistently maintained my innocence. I remember telling one guy how I’d been wrongly convicted of child abuse. He rolls his eyes and then quips to his buddy knowingly, “Still in denial.” Even they reinforced the stereotypes.
Press accounts preceded our arrival. “Baby raper!” they yelled at us. We entered that den of wolves at the bottom of their pecking order. I kept a vigilant watch at all times.
I was attacked a few times for being who I am. Got hit in the head with a sock full of hard soap. When I turned around to check the culprit, he slipped out of view. It was like that at first, till I learned how to stand my ground. Just like in Shawshank Redemption.
To survive, I detransitioned while still in jail. I kept my transgender status a well-kept secret throughout my time in prison. But as I pondered my situation, I discovered more and more of the spirituality behind transcending oppositional categories.
That includes transcending the many conflicts repeatedly forced upon me. No matter how violently threatened, my spirituality saw them less as a foe and more as someone whose needs were so underserved that they resort to violent outbursts to relieve their built-up pain. It took a lot of spiritually fueled love to transcend their violent-prone thinking.
I found myself slipping deeper and deeper into realms of such stinking binary thinking. For many of these guys, there was no gray area to consider. Nuance was for wimps. Until they saw the parole board. Then they would say whatever would get them out. Not me.
5. Ineligible for parole
The parole board routinely insists you show some remorse for what you supposedly did. Or else. They too slip deep into binary thinking. The actually innocent wrongly convicted have no reason to be remorseful.
I first saw the parole board in 2001. I gave them the only thing I had left: my actual innocence. Of course, they didn’t want to hear it. “We could keep you here for your full term,” they warned me. But no compromise. So no parole. No surprise either. Next?
Like the trial itself, the hearing felt like more of a formality for show. They didn’t want to hear the truth that disconfirmed their beliefs. I waived my right to a parole hearing each time after that. I realized the parole board has no authority over the innocent.
Besides, I had no idea which of the conflicting versions the parole board wanted to hear. Since none of them made sense, they could easily accuse me of lying. And punish me with their own believed lies. It’s punishing enough to be over-sentenced and forced to serve out that full sentence.
If the Appellate Court had not remanded me for resentencing in 1998, I’d still be in prison right now. I “maxed out” the shorter 8 to 15-year sentence in September of 2005.
Without the cushion of a parole, I had no support for reintegrating back to freedom. Except for family. By then, my dad had already died. So had my codefendant transgender sister. At least I was finally free. Sort of.
I remain under state custody for life, to track my whereabouts.
4. Register for life
Shortly after being sent to prison, a new law went into effect. Sex offender registries popped up all over the United States.
Over time, the reporting requirements grew more onerous. At first, I only had to report for 25 years from the 1993 conviction. Then the updated law required me to report for life.
These were mostly public relation tools. Law enforcement don’t use them, they have their own more detailed databases of all offenders. Now they shared a portion of their data to a public soothed by the idea that sex offenders cannot live nearby without them knowing.
Sex offender registries indulge binary thinking. They currently do not differentiate between the admittedly guilty and the compelling innocence claimant. I’ve drafted a bill that tries to address it. I call it the Informed Decisions Act (IDA). It’s targeted to those who conduct background checks.
Blind compliance forces me to be complicit in their sexual violence against me. This violates my spiritual integrity. As an act of civil disobedience, I refuse to continue reporting. Until something like the IDA is in place to differentiate my conviction. Then I can in good consciences continue reporting.
Under current law, a wrongly convicted asexual transperson without any criminal history is required to register as a sex offender for life. It effectively allows others to sexually harass and violate me, legally. Transphobia persists under color of law.
3. Forced into poverty
Shortly after being released, my status as an enrolled member of a Native American tribe enabled me to finish my bachelor degree. Then continue on to graduate school. The wrongful conviction prevented me from finishing a graduate degree in counseling.
Sadly, my degrees have largely served as a bridge to nowhere. I am unable to leverage my degrees because I cannot pass a criminal background check. Despite no prior convictions and none since, despite never accused of such behavior by my own three daughters, despite no corroborating evidence. In spite of a lot of things, barriers to meaningful employment remain.
The felony question on job applications retraumatizes me each time. The routine practice of screening out all candidates with a felony record dooms me from the start. The process brings out a terrifying reality: employers are systemically complicit with the state’s sexual violence against me. It’s as if they are all entitled sex offenders. And there’s nothing I can do about their sexual power over me.
Even if acknowledging my innocence, I’ve lost years of building up my résumé. For the last decade, only a fast food franchise has willingly hired me. The pay remains extremely low. With few rights, I’m easily targeted for workplace harassment, with little to no recourse.
After grieving a pattern of harassment, I was ordered in 2013 not to use the company’s grievance process. I’m now in constant fear of being let go from the only job I could ever get. I don’t dare complain about those hours I was never paid. Or other transgressions.
Wrongly convicted persons like me realize we have fewer rights than the admittedly guilty. They receive some support in finding a job and place to say to reintegrate back into society—often as a condition of parole. After serving out their full unjust sentence, the wrongly convicted get thrown out like yesterday’s trash.
Applying for help from an Innocence Project forces me to relieve this trauma. Three retraumatizing times I've applied and three times I was told they must prioritize helping others facing more prison time. So I’m even punished for being released from prison. If it wasn’t for family, I’d be homeless.
2. Prioritizing purpose
Another culprit steals my economic drive. My purpose in life demands I remove pain by solving needs, and not merely relieve pain. If I took on a full-time job doing less than resolving needs, I know I would slip back into purpose-redirecting depression.
Since ending school, I’ve worked on creating my own pioneering function-enhancing pain-removing business. Instead of psychotherapy, it provides psychosociotherapy to speak your truth to power. Instead of changing the individual, it improves interpersonal functioning. The idea came to me while still painfully incarcerated.
At some point, I stopped asking “why me?” and started asking “why not me?” Instead of running from all the pain, I turned around and ran to it. While still uncomfortable, I turned around to help others in more pain than myself. The depression I was under dissolved into peace.
My deepest crisis then turned into opportunities to bring out my best. Once yanked from my comfort zone, I realized my untapped potential to endure almost anything. Who else can endure such compounding injustices? Who else can bounce back with posttraumatic growth? Who else can embrace pain to solve needs that pain reports?
If you find one, let them disrupt our dysfunctional health system with some pioneering service like psychosociotherapy. Let them launch a new academic field to better understand needs. Let them burn with the purpose to solve those needs most underserved by authorities.
Prisoners frequently quote Nietzsche: “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” For many, it was merely a coping mechanism. For me, it drew me out of despair and into my life purpose of resolving needs that create so much pain.
“For most of us,” writes Jordan and Margaret Paul, “the pain we feel is preferable to the pain we fear.” It feels safer handling the familiarity of our current anguish then risk further pain if daring to venture into the unknown. But I did. I’ve been to the other side and back.
My unequalled résumé uniquely qualifies me to serve this underserved purpose. I am spiritually compelled to deviate from dysfunctionally divisive norms. I don’t use drugs or any other coping devices. I know no addiction. I embrace pain. I am, if you will, the bridge to cross over for turning painful power differentials into meaningful peace. One loving step at a time.
1. Value relating
If you think about it, we rely on a lot of dichotomized generalities.
We trust them to ease our pain. Typically without addressing the pain’s underlying causes.
I’m compelled to face the overlooked specifics beyond these generalities. I am spiritually compelled to deviate from dysfunctional norms. I’m naturally oriented to fully remove pain by resolving the needs such pain reports. At whatever personal costs I must face.
You see how that puts this whole tragic experience into perspective? In a world full of damaging norms, fitting in can be painfully overrated. The pain of punishment, for not conforming to such norms, hurts far less than suffering in quiet desperation.
While uncomfortable to challenge these oppositional norms, I’m compelled to relate to the value on both sides. While they’re locked into mutual defensiveness, I’m compelled to bridge these divides with love. While they struggle with depression, addictions and suicidal thoughts, I’m compelled to remove measurable causes of such symptoms.
Value relating means integrating higher principles into our lives. Value relating applies being-values and flow to transcend dichotomies limiting your full potential. Value relating restores love where love has grown cold.
You are worth far more than whatever trouble you’re in. Even if you find yourself in far more trouble then what I’ve just recounted here. You have the right to be loved. And you are innately lovable.
If I must lay down my life as an expression of transcendent love to you and others, then so be it. I may get run into the ground trying to serve this life purpose with Value Relating, but the effort is worth it. Love compels me. Love is a cause worth dying for.
Getting the site mobile friendly is ongoing. I’m still learning how to create user forms, so you can interact more meaningfully. Plans and pricing will likely change as the market refines my vision.
Now I’m caught in something of a catch-22. I need revenue to create a viable service for paying customers. I need paying customers to sustain this as a viable service.
I need to build a team around this vision. I need to provide something of this vision to attract a team.
I need to decide if this launches best as a for-profit or as a nonprofit to get this to market. I need to test market the service to determine if it fits better as a for-profit or nonprofit model.
To date, I’ve talked to one prospect client. And I’ve shared a logic model with a potential funder of nonprofits. It’s like I’m building a glider while falling from the sky with only a parachute.
Be a part of history. Help bring psychosociotherapy where desperately needed. Receive my loving gratitude. Spread the love. Thanks.
Steph Turner is founder of anakelogy, the study of need. And founder of psychosociotherapy applying anakelogy to fill a gap underserved by traditional psychotherapy.