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“I’m A Man And I’m With A Trans Woman, Does That Make Me Gay Or Straight?” (“Or Bi?”)


“So I’m a straight guy but I found myself attracted to a trans woman, what does that make me?”

I actually find this question a little offensive. As far as I’m concerned, a trans woman is a woman. End of story.

But some people need to hear more than that.

My long answer to this question is this:

A penis is a small part of someone’s body. And a body is a small part of someone’s overall being.

There is a lot more to what makes someone a woman than just her body.

It can be the way she talks. The way she moves. Her gentleness. Her expressiveness. The look in her eyes. The way she melts when you hold her in your arms.

All these things are part of what makes someone a woman.

Think about it a little. When you’re on a date with your girlfriend, how often are you thinking about her genitals? How would her genitals affect your enjoyment of her company, of her femininity? Why would her genitals really affect your attraction to her, when you can’t see them? And when you can, can’t you recognise that they really are a small part of her, and that there is so much more you could be attracted to?

All of this is assuming that she (still) has a penis. If she doesn’t, then I find the question kind of baffling. If you could actually have sex with her without even knowing that she is trans, and enjoy it, how does knowing suddenly change anything at all?

I think these kind of questions can only come up when there is at the very least some doubt about whether a trans woman is really a woman. Some people tend to see trans women as  gay men who have transitioned in order to ensnare heterosexual men. (Well, half of us are lesbians, so screw you). Other people aren’t that crude, but still see trans women as being kind of men.

If you think that way, I invite you to have a look at my picture here:

Sophia gubb cute trans woman

 

Pretty feminine, right?

Or rather, pretty female. Because, can you imagine even the gayest, most feminine man making that sort of expression?

And I assure you that I wasn’t putting it on. This sort of thing just comes out of me naturally. Once upon a time, in fact, I had to make a massive effort to prevent it coming out of me.

When this kind of feminine energy comes out of me, I see how it affects straight men. (As well as lesbians, bisexual people… but we’re talking about straight men at the moment). Sometimes they (perhaps unconsciously) flirt with me. Sometimes I just see or feel their attraction, but they are usually too dumb to express it.

What I’m saying is that this female energy is attractive in itself – in fact I think it’s the major part of what is attractive about a woman. I mean, if all you want is a body, go fuck a RealDoll, right?

Actually, if all you wanted was a body, and if you didn’t care about the personality at all, then being with a post-op trans woman wouldn’t be a problem for you. Her body is totally female, so you have everything you want, right? Actually, I think any straight man who still has an issue with this thinks that her personality or “energy” is male, and that’s what turns him off. If that person just understood that her personality and energy is female, and always has been, I expect he wouldn’t have a problem even being with a pre-op trans woman.


This is a very personal issue to me. I have to admit I feel victimised. In the year and a half since I’ve started transitioning I’ve only been with bisexual people (of all sexes). This doesn’t mean I haven’t attracted straight men or lesbian women; I have. I’ve felt the attraction happening, either in obviously flirty interactions or just in an underlying, palpable sexual tension. And at times these people have even admitted their attraction to me. But even then, they didn’t want to be with me.

At the same time, gay men and straight women have completely lost interest in me. In fact, I remember I had two gay male admirers when I was in my pre-transition stage, wearing a few feminine things in order to get comfortable with them, and thusly appearing (to some) to be a gay man.

Well, the moment I started living fully as a woman, they dropped their attempted courtship. But I mean that very moment; you could see in their eyes when they saw me that they were getting instantly turned off. I imagine them saying in their heads, Oh.”

So if gay men and straight women respond sexually to me as they would with any other woman, why don’t straight men and lesbians do the same?

The answer of course is, they do. They’re usually just too scared to admit it.

And I hear often that “if someone really loves you, they won’t worry about your body”. Which, I guess, is true. I still have only been in love relationships with bisexual people since transitioning, but still, I guess it’s true. Even so, though, I’d like to be able to screw around sometimes, too. I don’t want to have to be patient with every straight male partner I’m with, waiting for them to come to terms with the fact that they are into me, working with them to reassure them that they have the same sexuality they have always had. I seriously don’t think it’s fair that I have to make such an effort with all my potential partners. And naturally, given the time investment involved, this means I can’t just have a casual fling if I want to. In fact, I usually can’t even casually flirt if I want to. Everything becomes so much more awkward. And it shouldn’t have to be.

So here’s your homework. Learn to see trans people as the gender they are inside. Learn to realise that your sexuality depends less on the exact specifics of someone’s body than you had previously thought, and that even if you’re attracted to specific genders it’s largely the internal aspects of those genders which you find interesting.

Learn to stop discriminating, and to treat trans people the same as any other member of their gender, because truly, that’s what they are.

Please do this, because it’s unfair that the burden of educating people and dealing with people’s insecurities must all fall to me. I don’t mind helping, but I’d rather like it to be more of a 50-50 thing; and sometime, too, I’d rather like to be able to live life as a normal person, rather than as an untouchable.

Thankyou.


 

Related

Passing As A Woman

What It Feels Like To Be Transgender (And Why Trans Genders Are Valid)

Update After 81 Days On Transgender Hormone Therapy

We Must Empower Femininity, Not Just Womanhood

My First Trans Birthday

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ricky January 5, 2014, 3:31 am

    First please let me say thank you for your article, it was very helpful and also very informative. I found as I was reading that I could relate to a lot of the feelings and emotions you have had to deal with in your life. I myself am constantly worried that I might accidentally let my feminine expressions or mannerisms show in front of the wrong person. I am a very masculine appearing person on the outside, but on the inside I feel very feminine. When I am at home and I am able to I find it very enjoyable and satisfying to express my true sexuality through crossdressing. If I could I would dress as a woman all the time, but I am not able to. I do however find personal pleasure by wearing feminine underwear every day. I am happy to be alive at a time when the level of acceptance and views towards all kinds of different gender orientations are so openly discussed, but we as a society still have a long way to go. I am currently in my fourties and can’t help but feel that if I were younger I would be much happier in life. I would be lying if I said that I never wish I had been born as a girl, but this is the body I was given and it is up to me to make it work the best that I can. It is too late in my life to even consider the thought of transitioning, but I applaud those who have been able to reach a level of happiness that everyone deserves to have. Once again thank you and please feel free to respond if you would like to.

  • Sophia Gubb January 5, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Hey there Ricky,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It makes me sad that you feel it’s too late for you to transition. Are you absolutely sure? I have a friend who transitioned at around 45 and is doing spectacularly well. Obviously all other things being equal it’s harder to transition satisfactorily at a later age but I do think many people have a good
    chance of a good result. I do wish for other trans people to find the completion which I have found. I know it takes bravery, but I think it might still be worth it.

    Sophia

  • Ricky January 5, 2014, 7:33 pm

    Hello Sophia,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. Please understand that I am a very private person when it comes to my true feelings about my sexuality and my initial comment to your article was not an easy step for me to take. I have only talked openly about my inner self and emotions to one other person. I had decided to visit a local LGBT resource center in the attempt to find some piece of mind by speaking with one of their councilors. After my visit and while driving home I found that instead of feeling relieved, I felt nauseous and a little afraid at having opened up to someone about myself. That being said, I was happy to find your blog while searching for answers. I have found that most of the information that I have read online has been very generic. Sophia, your article was so positive and I was delighted with the photo that you shared with your readers because it is an image of a beautifully confident and happy woman. As I have mentioned, I am not used to opening up about myself and I apologize for being so cryptic, but I am not very comfortable with discussing my personal feelings in such an open forum. You are welcome to contact me via my personal email address that I have provided and I hope that you will. I will close by thanking you once again for your refreshing and positive spirit.

    Ricky.

  • cynthia January 7, 2014, 6:26 am

    i think if she is operated you are straight . if not you are bi.

  • Sophia Gubb January 12, 2014, 7:31 pm

    If you’d read the article you’d probably have an idea of how offensive I find that, cynthia. My lesbian girlfriend (who I met after I wrote the article) would object, too. She has never been attracted to a man.

  • Billy February 19, 2014, 4:20 am

    I stumbled on this article and realize it’s a bit dated, but I found this article to be extremely helpful and informative and wanted to tank you for writing it. I did want to say that I consider myself (and continue to do so) to be a heterosexual male, but I recently began seeing a woman. I stumbled on to the information while looking her up online (I’m sure that sounds creepy…) and discovered she is a MtF transgendered woman. I quickly realized that nothing changed in how I felt about her and when she found out (notifications online) she was worried I would be “scared away.” I, wasn’t. I remain convinced (even as a geneticist) that your 23rd chromosome is not the end-all, be-all of your gender.

    I have found it difficult to speak with her on this issue, but after reading your article, along with several others; I most definitely will sit down and talk with her about my feelings and fears. The issue will always lie with society’s view of sex and gender norms, but I am attracted to her as a woman and only a woman, no matter her genitalia or genetics.

  • Tony February 24, 2014, 2:13 am

    I’m a straight guy dating a transgendered woman for a year now. I know most guys secretly like transgendered woman because of the fantasy of a chic with a dick. When I met her I didn’t see a girl with a cock, but a beautiful woman. What she has never mattered to me because it doesn’t define who she is as a person. All I see is a beautiful person inside and out.

  • Lester Bowen March 26, 2014, 2:52 pm

    I can understand your offense by that question, but it isn’t a reasonable response. I asked myself that same question for years. I don’t need to ask anyone else. I don’t need someone else to categorize and validate me. They already know I’m a man. If I were to go into a long description of all the details of the exact type of woman who would be my ‘ideal’,(or fantasy), which attract me, I’m sure some of them would label me a homo, bi, or other sexual. If they can’t see the that the women I desire ARE women, I can’t make them. I have actually come to feel superior in some ways to a lot of the men I know. They will never be able to speak, behave or otherwise enjoy anything without the fear and insecurity of someone seeing them as having gay, (or something), tendencies. When I finally got as completely honest with myself as I was capable, in all areas of my life, I was able to accept myself as I am and others as they are. I am about as secure in my masculinity as is possible, so the way I see it now is that if I have a particular preference or trait, then it must be a masculine preference or trait. I define my own style of masculinity. Others can take it or leave it and that’s just the way it is, and the way it should be. I believe that honesty is the key and willingness is the door to open mindedness. Being of an open mind is not a philosophy, it is living. Participation and contribution is essential to a full and rewarding life. Explore the world, yourself and others in order to add to the collection of knowledge and experience. If you want the world to change or improve, than do it. Don’t revolt, act and be a power of example. If others see you as happy and attractive, they will want to find out more. So live, laugh and love. Most of all, to thine own self be true, this life ain’t a dress rehearsal and its far to short to do any other way. Sincerely, Lester

  • Sophia Gubb March 31, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Thanks for the comment. I’m still going to revolt when I see fit, though. I think society can deal with a bit of well-meaning criticism.

  • Areanna May 15, 2014, 4:23 am

    I have ben, in transistion now for about 10 years. and I often share the same feelings, about I cant just flirt if I want to or have a simple fling. or just like someone and kiss them or anything, until I go through the whole spheel about my anatomy and explain what it is to be trans. most times its to no avail men will still see you as what you once wer once you say anything to them, or you have the men that get turned on by it and then want you even more but only in a sexual fantasy fulfillment or experimentation. or you get the men who will tell you to call them after your had the surgery, and the always famous they say they don’t care then tell you promises only to get your heart then use you for sex and leave. and the last is the guy that tells you he has never ben with a trans person but is not neccisarily against it, so then you spend half of your time wondering what they are thinking about you or how they are looking at you wondering if they are picking every last bit of your looks apart. then for tose men you end up being nothing more than someone he really does care about but that by either peer pressure by friends or family get turned off to you then start questioning if being with me (ie transgender women makes him gay). I am sure there is another type that genuinely cares and will love a tg for who they really are although very rare and I myself after 10 years of dating have not found one yet. so it does feel quite hopless. just wanted to say to all you tg people out there stay strong, I love you all.

  • Megan June 1, 2014, 3:12 am

    I stumbled upon this conversation, and am so grateful that i did. I am a queer ally to all my trans friends out there, and I want to thank you for your courage to BE who you really are. I am in the process of becoming a. clinical counsellor with a great focus on our community, and you all inspire me from afar.
    Love from Canada:)

    Megan

  • Tonya So February 2, 2015, 12:04 am

    I definitely agree with everything you said. Trans women should be treated as women, plain and simple. This is something I’ve had to struggle with. The realm of relationships is a bit different I think.

    I feel that some people may have asked this very question with good intentions. I know the road to hell is paved with them, but they are still valuable. Did you consider that a man was simply curious as to his orientation and identity after engaging with a trans person? That even though it was a misguided ill-informed question, he didn’t deserve a lashing out and talking down to?

    I have no qualms with attacking actual homophobes and transphobes, nor do I have issue with correcting allies who mess up. But I don’t approve of smacking down people who try to approach our community seeking understanding. Correct them, but correct them gently if they deserve it. Don’t be so selfish.

  • Sheogorath June 26, 2015, 9:41 pm

    “I’m A Man And I’m With A Trans Woman, Does That Make Me Gay Or Straight?” (“Or Bi?”)
    It makes you whatever you were before, of course. But I’ve got to ask that if you believe that going out with this woman can possibly make you homosexual to any degree, then why are you in this relationship? You clearly view her as a man, and she deserves more respect than that. Simples!