“I only date women and transmen”

Very few things can upset me faster than that phrase.  It’s offensive and completely disregarding my existence as a man.  Today, I found one that actually irritates me even more.

“I like femme women and femme FtMs.”

Really?  Gee, that doesn’t make it sound like you see me as just another woman at all.  You don’t like femme people, you only like “femme” (completely lesbian word, btw) people with vaginas.

This is a sentiment that I have only ever seen from [a] lesbians and [b] transmen who used to be lesbians.  With it comes the term “pansexual”.  You know who doesn’t say they’re pansexual?  People who honestly don’t care about the genitalia of their partner.  Instead pansexual is used by those who put transpeople in an “other” category.  “I date women, genderqueers, and transmen.”  Yeah, sorry sweetie, you’re not getting near my bits.

I’ve heard a variety of reasons for the “women and transmen” sentiment, all of them offensive.  Apparently I’m “better” than non-transmen because I’ve “lived as a woman.”  Uh, no.  Not really.  Anyone who knew me growing up can vouch for the fact that I’ve ALWAYS been not-a-girl.  This assumption that because I have a vagina I must have lived through some sort of universal womanly experience baffles me.  It also cuts the lives of women into one pattern — something we know is not true.

What’s more, the people who hold this view almost never date transwomen.  Transwomen have lived as women, it’s right there in the word.  Apparently this universal womanly experience can’t be had after age 18.

Then there’s the “but I’m a lesbian!” argument.  Honey, if you’re a lesbian who doesn’t date men then maybe you shouldn’t be actively seeking out men to fuck.  I am still a man, regardless of what may or may not be in my pants.  (Besides that, I’m bloody GAY.  I don’t need women of any sexual orientation hitting on me.)  You want to date a transexual?  Check out those lovely transwomen over there.  They‘re the ones who belong in women’s circles.

The transmen who say this actually piss me off the most.  They claim to be “bisexual” or “pansexual”, but they never date men who aren’t trans.  One of the reasons given is that guys who aren’t trans don’t understand their experiences.  I can kind of understand this, at least in theory.  The problem is that I don’t understand most of their experiences either.  I’m not somehow magical simply because I’m trans.  My experiences as a transexual man are very different from everyone else I’ve met.  The one advantage to this type of guy is that they usually are open to dating transwomen.

The argument that really gets to me: “Transmen make a conscious decision about their masculinity.”  Seriously?  First of all, have you met me?  I’m not exactly butch.  Second, I didn’t choose my version of masculinity any more than my fabulously camp friends did.  This is simply how I was made, it’s no more a choice than my asthma.  I could make a conscious effort to be more or less traditionally masculine, but what purpose would that serve?  The reason I transitioned was to be myself.

Which is really what my biggest objection to the “women and transmen” idea is.  I transitioned to be myself.  I am not an object to be fetishised, I am not a special snowflake who overcame some mythical hurdle, I am not a crossing of male and female.  I am a man who happened to be born with a vagina.  Does this give me a slightly different experience from most other men?  Sometimes.  Not in any way that counts though.  Certainly not enough to put me in some completely different category.

139 Replies to ““I only date women and transmen””

  1. Pingback: Language: Effeminate vs Femme | Not Another Aiden

  2. Pingback: FtM 101: Sex, Sexuality, Gender, Gender Expression | Not Another Aiden

  3. Pansexual is not used exclusively by people who consider trans-folk “other”.
    Pansexual means, in my mind at least, that sex and gender are both irrelevant when it comes to attraction. That I am attracted to “human beings”, not “girls and boys” but everyone who has the mental faculties and level of health I find attractive. Androgynes and gender fluids included.

    • Y’know, you’re right. I should have said “in my experience” or “most”. Pansexual in my world carries a very other-ing connotation. To the point where I absolutely, 100% will not even consider dating someone who considers themselves pansexual, too often I later find out that they date “women and transmen” or (more common amongst gay men) “men and pre-t transmen”. The latter is actually kind of creepy, to be honest.

  4. I stumbled across your website and this post, and was surprised by the assertions in it. Surprised that you categorically deny that your life experience for the period of time you lived in an externalized female body had zero influence on your life and perspective as a man.

    As a woman and a person of color, and a lesbian in love with a transitioning ftm, I guess my surprise at your assertion is because I find my current life and experience inseparable from all that I have lived before. That whether or not I choose it to be so, the world around me relates to me differently as a person of color than if I was white, and differently as a woman than if I was a man, because these are outward expressions of my identity that are evident to others, whether or not they are of critical importance to me at the moment. The identity I can choose to hide is as a lesbian, because I am by preference, fairly feminine, and because other people’s racist stereotypes often prevents them from seeing me as a lesbian. People assume I am straight, I have to work at defining myself as a lesbian to them, claiming that part of my identity as an affirmative act.

    I cannot know what your life has been like, I cannot fully understand the depth of your anger and frustration with a hostile and ignorant world. I am sorry that this world is this way and that you have suffered for it. And for the ways that I have been part of the larger world and so have contributed to your pain, I apologize.

    Truthfully, I find myself in the category of those whom you appear to despise. With a lifelong attraction to women, and a surprising, strong, and compelling attraction to my one trans(perhaps)man (The perhaps is his/hers, not mine. I understand my love’s gender identity does not belong to me.) I have always been a lesbian involved only with gender females who identify as lesbian in sexual orientation, and now find myself in love with a person who is struggling with the binary choices around gender identity (that, in truth, as a species are hardly binary. Just as sexual orientation is not binary, though I have always lived it as such, until this moment.) In trying to support my love in his/her struggles, I hope that my experiences as a lesbian of color in a primarily white lesbian community helps me understand and empathize in a visceral way the isolation and hurt that sometimes comes when one is a minority minority within a minority majority community that is often in denial about its own privileges and prejudices. The challenges, of course, are different and unique (for both of us), but hopefully it gives us a shared point of additional understanding about who we each are.

    I agree that flip comments that treat other human beings as superficial objects “I only date women and transmen” aren’t kind or thoughtful, but I guess I just wanted to share with you the perspective of someone who finds herself to suddenly be a woman who has dated only lesbians and perhaps, now, finds herself dating (it’s a bit deeper than dating) a transman. It’s all a bit confusing for me, and I don’t expect any sympathy for my confusion, my love and I will figure out our relationship as we have done everything so far, with love, patience, empathy, and grace, and without shame or fear. I have no fear that we will end up where we will, however we do, together.

    • You weren’t speaking to me, but I feel the need to reply.

      You speak of your life as a lesbian woman of color influencing your perspective and then ask whether Not Aiden feels that his life in “an externalized female body” did the same. As a gay FTM, my life with “an externalized female body” was hell. That’s what I remember. Hell. You express your difficulty in being seen as a lesbian. Well, multiply that times 1000 and then you’ll start to understand what its like to be trans and not be taken seriously as a man.

      A little thought experiment for you: Tomorrow, start dressing like a man and tell everyone that you know that you’re a man. First, they’ll think you’re crazy. Then, they’ll laugh at you. And when they start taking you seriously and refer to you with male pronouns, revel in the dysphoria you will start to feel. No one will see you as a lesbian anyone, as you are now considered a straight man. Does this sound good so far? Lets take it a few steps further and force you to take testosterone and get your breasts removed. A few years in and you’ll have a deep voice, tons of fur and male pattern baldness. All this time, though, you still identify as a women and everyday you look in the mirror, you see your true self slipping further and further away as the testosterone works its magic. This would approximate the life of a transwomen and you wouldn’t be able to change it without doctors permission and tons of therapy just to make sure you’re not crazy. If you can make it a year, I would be impressed. How about 18 years? Would that seem like a lifetime of horror? Well, it is. Does this answer your questions?

    • I am quite astounded that someone that claims so much empathy to another persons struggle due to their own discrimination can be so blind to the discrimination and transphobia another person has had to deal with.

      “Surprised that you categorically deny that your life experience for the period of time you lived in an externalized female body had zero influence on your life and perspective as a man.”

      This is a very strange statement, for one thing in the article in no where did he state his experience as a female person before transition has had no influence on him, what he is saying is that this does not make him any less of a man, so by you saying this you are saying that living as a woman makes him less of a man now, this is transphobic!

      It is ok for you to be confused about your sexuality, as you put it, but your insistence on labeling yourself lesbian when you are in a relationship with a transman IS denying his gender identity, as your lesbian ID is about whom your sleep with.. which is him. Why not call yourself bisexual? or bi-curious? ..Whether he knows this yet or not, it is ignoring his gender, maybe his self esteem is so low he would not even think of contradicting you, or maybe he is super laid back, but just because he thinks its ok, does mean it is ok.

  5. Halleluyahh! Someone gets what I’m feeling about “pansexual” and that “women and ftm” crap– see my reply to your “Beyond Masculinity” reply 😀

    • You guys need to stop whining and bitching. I am a lesbian and I have dated FTM (post-op). There’s a reason that you are so easily found by lesbians, bisexuals and pansexuals. You have a different energy than regular (read: non-trans) men. Perhaps it the humbling experience of feeling that you were born with a disorder that causes your energy and personality to be so blatantly identifiable. I think what seriously screws up the idea of sex and sexuality is the belief that there are only two sexes and that they can both be easily identified by their body parts. I also believe that the idea of gender is completely separate from sexual identity. So, call yourselves men or transmen all you want. I will oblige you and call you whatever you like. But, please be aware that aside from your beards, deep voices and lack of breasts, you are nothing like non-trans men. I don’t look at people with my eyes. Looks can be deceiving. It’s not what you are, but how you are that matters to me. I don’t consider you to be men, women or androgynous. It is fascinating that the only two “men” I ever dated both turned out to be post-op transmen. You can call yourselves men all you want, but I know that your true sexes and genders haven’t yet been named by the scientific and medical community.

      • There are lots of people on this planet who look at lesbians and see male energy. They don’t think that lesbians are real women. Would you agree?

      • This statement is TOTALLY transphobic! Can I just say that if you have to say your have dated FTM’s and are “friends” with ftms because you say something, does not mean that you are not able to think very fucked up things about transpeople, does not mean what you are saying isn’t transphobic.

        What you are saying is that Transsexual men are not “really” men, because they have lived as women, you are saying that they are “different”, you are “othering” them, please have some RESPECT!! they identify as men, if you do not think they act like men, you are probably just being sexist and generalizing about men, and that kind of attitude reinforces not just sexist and transphobia towards people who identify as men, but also reinforced sexist toward women, because you are saying “men are like this, women are like this and transmen are like something else…”…this is fucked up! have some respect and don’t talk like that about transmen period. Otherwise you might find yourself loosing all of your trans friends and pissing people of.

  6. I don’t know who wrote this article, but for someone who is a transgander, he is awfully closed minded and maybe kind of a woman hater. Either way, who is he to say who I’m supposed to be attracted to. Because I’m a lesbian who also happens to like transmen, I’m offensive? Why is this? Hello stupid fagget boi! There are millions of different genders and sexualities out there. We can’t explain why we have certain feelings about certain genders whether its sexual or emotional. Why do I like transmen and not genetic men? Who knows, who cares? There is a certain unexplainable element about them just like there is something about genetic females that attracts me to them and something about genetic males that I can’t get into. It has nothing to do with genetalia, so get your head out of your ass. If I find a transguy that I’m into for whatever reason, maybe because he is really cute and sweet and I feel all warm inside when he looks into my eyes (I’m getting wet just thinking about it), and he is attracted to me for whatever reason. Why is he attracted to me? I don’t know, the point is we are attracted to each other and I don’t understand why this annoys the author of this article. Shouldn’t it be flattering to him that I want to suck his little cock? Hey transman that wrote this narrowminded article, I’m a lesbian who is sexually attracted to transmen and women and I understand that they are two different genders. Deal with it!

    • If it has nothing to do with genitalia, then why are you so specific in that you date trans men but not non-trans men? You have yet to explain the difference except that transmen apparently have magical powers that you can’t ignore. And when exactly do you check their chromosomes? Just wondering…

      Transmen are not women. Transmen are not lesbians. And when you say that you only date women and transmen, you imply that when you see a transman, you think “woman”, not “man”, as you keep telling us.

      Early on in my transition, I had the displeasure to know many lesbians like you and they all thought I was hot. That is, until the testosterone kicked me in the “man” zone for them and suddenly I was invisible. So please, admit that you fetishize trans men, because you do. You are not fooling anyone.

      • I get emotional on this issue because not only do my straight friends have a hard time accepting my sexuality, not only do some of my lesbian friends have a hard time accepting me, but transmen have a hard time accepting my sexuality towards transmen. Except for the ones who actually know me who know I’m for real. And believe me, I was very confused when I realized this about myself and tried to have a relationship with a regular dude. Is it time to drop the lesbian title? I haven’t decided yet.
        But again, why are you telling me what I can and cannot desire as far as sexually or emotionally? I’ve been with ftms that are not on hormones and i’ve been with fully transitioned. I had a great relationship with a guy, Cam (fully transitioned) that went deeper than a “fetish” as you would call it. Cam is bisexual and was in an open relationship with man when we met at Worcester Pride. For months we were friends and he never told me he is trans. Until one night the sexual tension became to hard to resist, I thought I was about to have a traditional hetero experience. He moved away for career reasons and I lost my boyfriend. We are both non-monogamous anyways and he still visits when he can, but I miss him and I truly love him still. It upsets me to say I’m “fetishizing” him. You don’t know me, you never saw me with bf. You weren’t there when I was crying over him no longer being there to hold me at night. How dare you tell me how I think and feel. I look at ftm as not male or female but their own entity. There are more than 2 genders, there are more than 3, 4. They are countless, unfortunately the ftm persuasion seems to be the whiney and narrow-minded like the biggots they can’t stand. As a polyamorous person, I believe we are meant to love freely. I love who I love. Some love me back and some do not. Obviously someone like you wouldn’t, and thats perfectly fine. I’m sorry you had to meet lesbians like that, I wouldn’t have ignored you when the “testosterone kicked.” Ok fine. I will admit, the knowing that they are of an alternate gender does strike my attention at first, but I don’t sleep with anyone I can’t get emotionally attached too. I’ve tried sex with genetic men I’m friends with because I got emotionally attached, both times were not very enjoyable. I didn’t connect with them sexually and it didn’t feel like sex. Love and sex go together and they go beyond our private parts and somewhere deep into our souls. I find transmen easy to connect with even though they are in fact men. My most sincere apologies.

        • You really just referred to me as “whiny and narrow-minded” and expect some sort of polite reply? Get over yourself first and then maybe we can talk seriously, because you are really starting to annoy me.

          Love who you want to love. I DON”T CARE. But don’t tell me that your love is pure and therefore isn’t fetishistic, because it is. I think you need to start using a dictionary.

          And again with the “genetic man” bullshit? We’re all genetic people, so this phrase makes no sense. You need to read some Trans 101 and come back and we can have a real conversation in which you actually read and digest what exactly I am telling you.

          And I’m gay. I wasn’t interested in those lesbians that only wanted to sleep with me because they saw “masculine women”. I am super effeminate and when they hung out with me they told me that it was weird that I was “girlier” than them and I couldn’t be a real FTM. So please tell me more about your pure love… I just can’t wait to hear more of your bullshit.

          • I had a “trans ally” friend call me “it”, when I asked her to stick with the male pronouns, because she felt that I was neither male nor female but “just you”.

            “those lesbians that only wanted to sleep with me because they saw “masculine women”. I am super effeminate and when they hung out with me they told me that it was weird that I was “girlier” than them and I couldn’t be a real FTM.”

            Kian- this is getting creepy- are we all having the same experience?

          • I think any trans guy who’s ever been near lesbians has had that particular experience. I seem to be the only one lucky enough to avoid it — likely because the only lesbians I’m friends with are either partnered already or my parents’ age.

          • Not Aiden- I’d say this is only true for gay ftm? Straight ftm are either awfully butch before transitioning and date straight girls, or they used to be lesbians and are more ok with the reaction of lesbians.

          • I think straight FTMs would be more bothered by the attention if it didn’t end up with sex.

          • I think it’s more that it takes straight trans guys longer to start getting sick of it. With a couple of exceptions, all the straight trans guys I know were fine with dating lesbians…until they passed well enough to no longer be accepted in women’s only areas without disclosing.

          • hm, that might be true.

            I have met some straight ex-lesbian ftm who still like the lesbian commuity, who now identify as lesbian men. That makes complete sense to me.

          • The lesbians I know would be SO offended by that. They’re the type who have no issues allowing trans women into lesbian areas, but 100% will not allow trans men. Because they’re still men. Personally, I think that’s the way it should be. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of being a guy you want. If you’re going to be seen as a guy you need to respect that you’re not going to be allowed in women’s only spaces.

          • they have no problem letting trans women in? wow- that’s not the case over here. Trans women have to be very careful–

            I understand that you say that “you don’t get to choose”. I get aggressive when I see women/lesbian/transgender events advertised and know that this means women/lesbian/early transition ftm but *no* transwomen and no passing ftm.
            I wouldn’t want to attend such an event, in no stage of transition.

            On the other hand– I’m much more ambiguous about definitions in general.
            I just read a text from latino/black transwomen communities where they call themselves trans (mtf) *and* gay/fag. And how about transvestites or crossdressers or part time transsexuals. In reality, most people I know are in some way crossing the boundaries of one identity definition or the other. I believe that this has to do with the fact that definitions are just estimations and not “realities” like a stone would be a reality.
            The older I get the more I believe that identity consists of our experience however contradictory that may be. I like how Kinsey placed people on the Kinsey skale– he asked about heir self identification but also about their experiences, dreams, fantasies and so on. Thsi way most people became very complex sexual creatues, with a high percentage of bisexuals, while still maintaing the individuals integrity.
            I would like to see some sort of Kinsey scale for sex/gender identity/fantasy/experience etc. I assume that it would show us interesting things about our fellow creatures.

          • It really depends on where you go and who you interact with. The US still has Michfest which is a “womyn-born-womyn only” music festival that allows transmen, but not transwomen. On the other hand, we also have lesbians like a friend of mine’s mom who apparently said “…as long as you like pussy, I don’t care” when the woman she’s now married to told her she’s trans. (She’s a great lady, that one, I wish she was my mom.)

            I think there’s a large difference between fluidity in gender expression and a blatant disregard for other people’s feelings. If a guy wants to wear a dress he should be allowed to wear a damned dress, that’s not hurting anyone. Being a man in a women’s only space, however, can. Not only does it potentially hurt the women who chose to participate in the space to get away from men for whatever reason, it hurts other trans people on both ends of the spectrum. Trans men end up not getting taken seriously because if we can be in women’s/lesbian spaces while non-trans men can’t we must not be ‘real’ men. Trans women — the ones who really should be allowed in those spaces — get pushed out because if trans men are sort of like women then trans women must be sort of like men and men aren’t allowed. No one wins.

            I have a similar issue with trans women also considering themselves part of the gay male community and trans men considering themselves lesbians. It’s disrespectful to both the non-trans people (who may take issue with people who don’t have to deal with anti-gay harassment in their spaces) and the gay/lesbian trans people (who are told that they should go date people of their birth sex because that’s what other trans people do).

          • I’m really undecided on this issue. While I agree with all your arguments and don’t really get why a transman would want to be in a women’s only space, I also can understand those who define idnetities like “lesbian” or “gay” more from a cultural/life experience point of view. I know late transitioning ftm with a lesbian past who are so used to lesbian lovers that they have a very hard time relating to straight women. They are not attracted to them and they can’t communicate with them. They also have a hard time functioning within a straight environment or just don’t enoy it, because they have very different values etc.
            Did you see the fim Paris is Burning about the drag/mtf balls in New York? They mix gay, drag and mtf culture as well. These poeple are friends and family to each other, and I guess it’s difficult to tell from the start if a femmy boy who is attracted to men will turn out as fag, drag queen or mtf. They live together, they created one culture, so why should they be split up along the lines of binary gender? It was the same with the invert cultures of the early 20th century in Europe-

            Like you I’m regularly pissed off by being read as “transgender” or “genderfluent” or having a lesbian past etc- also by not quite taken seriously in my gender identity- but I wonder if the best way to overcome that would be to set up more rigid boundaries that go through other peoples life experiences?

        • “I look at ftm as not male or female but their own entity.”

          this is exactly the problem. some transgender/genderqueer people identify this way, and when they tell you they feel like an “own entity”, it’s ok to see them that way and date them as “an own entity”.
          But to say that all ftm are not male or female is grossly disrespectful, because most feel they are men. That’s why they are called female-to-male (transsexuals), silly.

        • again, no one is saying you cant desire who you desire, or experiment, but it sounds to me your the one who cares too much about labels and what other people think. Do think being a lesbian is like a special interests club? like knitting? being a lesbian is not something you occationally do, it is a label which mean you are a woman who sleeps with women, if you sleep with men aswell say you are a woman who sleep with men and women, or bisexual, thats totally cool, whats wrong with that? are you biphobic too? whats wrong with just saying you don’t have a gender preference when it comes to relationships? or say you like people with big hearts or whatever.. do you have to say your a lesbian, and why do you think its more important for you to keep that identity than it is for transmen to feel respected?

      • Cheers, mate. You were much more polite than I could’ve been.

        Something else that I don’t think people who date “women and transmen” ever think of: there are likely at least a handful of men you’ve turned down because you don’t realise they’re trans. Not all of us broadcast what’s in our pants to the general public.

        The ONLY ways people know for sure that a guy is trans are if [a] they knew him pre-coming out or [b] he says something. If a guy doesn’t pass well you can kind of guess, but even I don’t have perfect trans-dar. A number of my non-trans friends get called “she” and “miss” on a regular basis (even when they’re sporting beards which is amusing) so I no longer put any stock in appearance or public perception.

        • Exactly. The people who like women and transmen think they can tell who’s trans and who’s not because “omg, they’re so cute and I just love them!!!!!!” so they somehow they’re the expert on trans men. They have no idea. When I walk around in public, I’m invisibile to lesbians now and its the best thing ever, because I don’t have to deal with their fetishistic bullshit anymore. Did I mention I use to live in a place chock full of them? Seriously, these two lesbians who posted above really reminded me why I hated living there and why I needed to move away.

          • I can get behind the idea of everyone having an exception or two. I know a couple of lesbians (and a straight man) who randomly fell for guys. No reason why, it just kind of happened. If that’s the case I have no problems, I’m certainly not going to tell anyone who to love. It’s the intense “othering” aspect of dating only women and transmen that bothers me. It means that we’re magically different from “real” men and I can’t accept that.

            Now, if you just like vagina there’s nothing wrong with that. I won’t date you, but there are enough trans guys who are proud of their vaginas that it wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. Just say that you only like vaginas instead of trying to make it sound like you’re so enlightened that you’ll even date a trans guy.

          • Exceptions are fine with me too. I would hate to make people feel weird about who they are attracted to.

            Regarding the othering aspect, I guess you’re right in that’s the core of what bothers me too. I knew a lot of genderqueers where I used to live and they didn’t mind the othering aspect of it, but yeah, it bothers me too.

            I wouldn’t say that I’m proud of my vagina, but I appreciate it uses greatly.

          • “Did I mention I use to live in a place chock full of them? Seriously, these two lesbians who posted above really reminded me why I hated living there and why I needed to move away.”

            same here *shudders*

        • “Cheers, mate. You were much more polite than I could’ve been.”

          long years of practise (and yoga, lots of yoga) 😉

        • You’re out of your mind if you think that some people can’t tell. I’m a lesbian because I date people with energy that is feminine or androgynous. I don’t care what’s in your pants, as it’s creativity and stamina that count in bed. Why do you think it is that some lesbians find you so easy to identify? Your appearance is that of a male, so really think hard before you answer that question. Why is it that some lesbians are batting a thousand when it comes to finding transmen?

          • If
            a. you don’t care what’s in someone’s pants and if
            b. you date people who have feminine or androgynous energy,

            then why don’t you date trans women and androgynous or effeminate gay men?

    • Not only of this statement totally transphobic, you also are clearly homophobic toward gay men for using the F****T as an insult or even use it at all because you are a cisgendered woman and you are not a gay man, so you are not allowed to use that word, it is homophobic!

      So you are a homophobic transphobic hater and you should definately not be going out with trans people.

      No one is asking you to explain your feelings about people seuxally or emotionally, but you are clearly transphobic and you identifying as a lesbian while going out with transmen is just another way you are putting transmen down, just another way you are transphobic.

    • Not only of this statement totally transphobic, you also are clearly homophobic toward gay men for using the F****T as an insult or even use it at all because you are a cisgendered woman and you are not a gay man, so you are not allowed to use that word, it is homophobic!

      So you are a homophobic transphobic hater and you should definately not be going out with trans people.

      No one is asking you to explain your feelings about people seuxally or emotionally, but you are clearly transphobic and you identifying as a lesbian while going out with transmen is just another way you are putting transmen down, just another way you are transphobic

  7. I’m a gay ftm and I’m sometimes attracted to transwomen in the early stages of their transition. But I don’t date them because I *know* that I am attracted to what is still male in them, not to the woman they really are. I wouldn’t think it fair-
    If that woman would identify as genderqueer or bi gender and feel that her male part is having a relationship with me, well ok, that *might* work (if that part is attracted to men).
    But I’m not so sure about it– I know lesbian transwomen and gay transmen who date each other pre-transition, but I couldn’t do that.
    I stopped dating straight men because I couldn’t bear the feeling to be in bed with someone who desires the woman he sees, not the male me. It was too mind bogling and painful, I wouldn’t want to give that feeling to another person.

    • Yeah, I can’t date straight men either. The way they relate to my body is very different than the way a gay man does and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure how common this is among gay FTMs but I dated a LOT of men before I transitioned. Most of the men I dated were not queer in any way, but in college that started to change. I was lucky in that the last straight man that I dated was very queer friendly and helped me to be more comfortable with the whole idea. But we broke up shortly after I came out to him. The more I became comfortable as a soon-to-be transitioning FTM, the more uncomfortable he got and we eventually broke up. It really sucked at the time, but it makes sense, because he wasn’t even bisexual, nevermind gay. Sex became triggering. It was just too much.

      • “I’m not sure how common this is among gay FTMs but I dated a LOT of men before I transitioned”

        Very common 😉
        The gay ftm I know were either sleeping around before transition or married (or both). None was asexual.
        When I was in my teens, sleeping around with straight men was Ok for me because I felt that my body wasn’t soo very different from my date’s bodies. Also, the guys were sexually experimenting and queer in bed (the word didn’t exist back then). But something was always missing. When I realized that I actually identified as gay male, I tried dating a straight guy, who was very sweet and sexually passive, but it creeped me out. Later I dated a bi man who was just coming out as almost gay, that was somewhat ok. Then I started dating gay men.

        “The more I became comfortable as a soon-to-be transitioning FTM, the more uncomfortable he got and we eventually broke up. It really sucked at the time, but it makes sense, because he wasn’t even bisexual, nevermind gay.”

        when I was young I believed that everybody was bi and androgynous anyway (early 80s), but by sleeping with different types of people, I found out that sexual orientation and sex identification is much more important than I thought. I agree, it makes a huge difference not just who you sleep with (gay? straight? bi?) but also how that person perceives you (male? female? both?).
        That’s probably the point that is the most difficult to explain to cispeople because they usually can’t have the experience to sleep with someone who perceives them not as their sex/gender.

        I can’t date bi guys anymore too. I’m not sure what it’s about but they “vibe” differently than gay guys. Only exception is one gay guy who from time to time dates women as well, but has a main boyfriend and his focus is on a “gay lifestyle”.

        Absurdly, before transitioning, we could get into bed with all the straight guys that gay guys lust after– but we can’t enoy it.

        • lol about the triplets, Kian.

          (I can’t reply directly to your comment. -> Not Aiden, I think there is something wrong with the technology, I get a white page when I hit the Post Button)

          • I’ll add another in for you. Apparently they go through an entirely different coming out period from those of us who weren’t asexual pre-transition. I don’t know enough guys to say, but I figure he knows better than I would anyway.

          • From what I’ve been told, the combination of discovering gender and discovering sexuality all at once can be vastly overwhelming. One guy said that being trans alone is like being colour-blind, when you figure out your gender the world around you is mostly the same, just more vibrant. Being trans and formerly asexual is more like being completely blind, all of a sudden there are a million new sensations and ideas that you have to learn to deal with.

            Now, the guys I know were all completely asexual and aromantic before coming out. No crushes, no masturbation, nothing. It wasn’t until they discovered gay romances that things started to make sense. I’m guessing if a guy was romantic and asexual or asexual, but still had an internal sex drive things would be a bit different.

          • wow, that must be overwhelming.

            I have been told that many TS in the past have been asexual before transitioning. That’s one reason why I thought I can’t be trans. The other being that I was into guys of course. When I came out that was still a huge no-no for transmen.

          • Being into guys is still a huge no-no for trans guys in many areas. The local GLBT clinic refused to treat me until they got a letter from the doctor who originally prescribed my T because “real trans men were lesbians first”. This is also the clinic where a lesbian nurse tried to actively discourage straight trans guys from transitioning because she felt the lesbian community was losing too many butches. Ugh.

          • that’s chilling– I haven’t heard about the gay problem over here since the 1990s. I believe it’s even written down in the standards of care that there are transpeople of many sexual orientations.

            the nurse– yep, that’s pretty common here too (lesbians discouraging transition). while I sometimes get how they must feel, and I sometimes think that transitioning *is* a fasion trend in some dyke communitiies at the moment– on the other hand there have been fewer ftm than mtf in the past because many ftm didn’t realize that transitioning is possible for them and thus lived as lesbians. So it makes sense that there would be some sort of a wave of transitioning ex-lesbians.

          • that’s chilling– I haven’t heard about the gay problem over here since the 1990s. I believe it’s even written down in the standards of care that there are transpeople of many sexual orientations.

            the nurse– yep, that’s pretty common here too (lesbians discouraging transition). while I sometimes get how they must feel, and I sometimes think that transitioning *is* a fasion trend in some dyke communitiies at the moment– on the other hand there have been fewer ftm than mtf in the past because many ftm didn’t realize that transitioning is possible for them and thus lived as lesbians. So it makes sense that there would be some sort of a wave of transitioning ex-lesbians.

            It’s definitely disturbing, I didn’t realise it was a problem until I moved. Doesn’t surprise me, given the area though. It’s very much what I call Stepford Gay (blame Queer as Folk), bunch of GLBT people who dislike anyone who doesn’t fit into the heteronormative standard. There aren’t even short-shorts at Pride, it’s sad.

            I admit, there are times I wondered whether or not transitioning was a trend. I figure it’s too much of a pain in the ass to go through if you don’t really want it though. I mean, with all the paperwork and doctor’s visits…who wants to deal with that?

            Note: I really must find a plugin that allows comments to go more than 10 deep without also forcing me to add a ton of other junk I don’t want or need.

          • I don’t think transitioning is a trend, but more of just a rush of people who never felt it was possible doing it all at once, like the floodgates were opened. Particularly in lesbian communities in which butch women are ubiquitous, I think anti-trans feminist gender theory convinced people that they should be happy with their female-assigned bodies. Now there’s more recognition that yes, some people can be happy with their body without medical intervention but also that a large portion of FTMs need some sort of body modification to feel right. There’s more acceptance of those FTMs who decide to go “all the way” because there is more acceptance of the role that mental health plays in the lives of trans people.

          • Kian, it’s interesting what you say about body versus mental health.

          • Thanks. I’m currently obsessed with the role mental health plays in our lives, clearly. 😉

            In a similar vein, I want to write an article on the difference between gender dysphoria and gender-variance in terms of emotions, coping techniques and psychological impact. Many people equate gender variance with transsexuality and assume that any mental health problems stem from not fitting the binary. I think that the problem is more complicated in that trans people suffer additionally because of the body/mind dysphoria that is at the root of transsexuality. Those who differ from the gender binary, like femmy men and butch women certainly face hostility from others and suffer the consequences, like alienation, anxiety and depression. Those with gender dysphoria experience more intense issues dealing with the non-matching of body and brain gender. This non-matching issue is constant and unwavering. It does not matter what culture you put a transsexual in, they will always be transsexual. However, if you put a butch woman into a society that glorifies masculine women, her issues disappear because they were dependent on how others treated her. The stress she endured was the result of our society’s obsession with the gender binary, not because of any internal non-matching of body and mind.

            Trans people have been essentially labeled mentally ill by the powers that be and many chafe at the assertion that their problems are mental at all. Although we do not know exactly what causes transsexuality or how it works, many folks agree that it is some sort of wiring issue with the body map. When your body map doesn’t match your physical reality you are considered transsexual. This incongruence is mentally draining and can lead to many problems. I’m still trying to figure this all out in terms of how exactly transsexuals should be treated by mental health practitioners and how gender-variant people should be treated. There should be differences in therapy because the root of the problem is very different. That’s all I have to say about that right now. Does any of this make sense?

          • Hey Kian, I’d be interested in reading that text.
            I agree that being gender variant is different from being transsexual- and that the first is often about gender roles and the second is often about body identity (as Not Aiden said).
            I’m not sure if it is possible to separate the two completely, and if it’s possible to say that TS always feel dysphoria and that gender variant people never feel dysphoria. – as usual, I’m all for thinking in continuums not boxes 😉
            But I guess that’s not really what your text is about. I got that you want to alert people to the fact that the incongruence between body and inner identity can cause a lot of stress in itself. So I’m all ears (or rather eyes)– 🙂 write, write

          • I know, I don’t really like putting each idea in separate boxes and saying they’re completely different either. Mostly, I’m trying to tease the two apart a bit more than they currently are so that non-trans mental health professionals (and anyone else who cares) can understand the issues that trans people face. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the issue you bring up. I wonder sometimes if trans people themselves also misunderstand the root of their problems. When I was early in my transition, many of my friends who were feminists tried to convince me that living as a masculine woman should be enough and that I should try that. It seemed like every conversation involved a complete ignorance of the intense psychological pain that I was experiencing and mislabeling it as “not fitting the binary”. I ignored my inner knowledge in deference to their “wisdom” and thereby continued ignoring my own mental health. I want people to start to understand the difference between the two so that other trans people (particularly trans men who are ardent feminists) can start to understand the root of their pain and act accordingly. There is so much confusion as to where gender dysphoria ends and gender variance begins and where and how much they overlap, that this project I’d doing may qualify as currently unattainable, but I can’t help myself. 😉

          • Please write that text 🙂

            “When I was early in my transition, many of my friends who were feminists tried to convince me that living as a masculine woman should be enough and that I should try that. It seemed like every conversation involved a complete ignorance of the intense psychological pain that I was experiencing and mislabeling it as “not fitting the binary”. I ignored my inner knowledge in deference to their “wisdom” and thereby continued ignoring my own mental health.”

            Again, same here. My background is almost the same though slightly more on the “we are all androgynous anyway” side (1980s). It took me years to even be able to formulate the inner feeling that being a masculine woman is something else than being an feminine man, and that I felt like the latter, not the former. It’s difficult when people tell you to just be a masculine woman, when you have never been masculine to begin with 😉
            So what is that “maleness” that I feel inside when it’s not masculinity– that was the hard question.
            And that’s what people never get (I can’t even blame them, it took me many years)

            About gender dysphoria– when I think about it I have a hard time identifying with that word. First of all, it shouldn’t be mainly about gender. And then, it’s not really about dysphoria for me. It’s more something of an irritation. Dysphoria would put too much of an emphasis on “not liking” or “rejecting”. That’s almost too conscious a feeling. But for me (and I’m only speaking about how it is for me of course), it always felt more like a physical irritation. That preceded any feeling of sadness, or regret that came after it. I’d call it sex (in the sense of body gender) irritation and a feeling of disappointment and bewilderment that things didn’t develope the way I felt they would. It wasn’t so much an irritation with what I had, but rather an irritation about what I didn’t have. Strangely I was able to deal with breast growth and stuff (by ignoring it) but not with smooth skin, or lack of body hair etc. I guess that was because I was prepared for dealing with a resentment of obviously female characteristics, from feminist literature (->get to like your body as a woman etc). But nobody prepared me to deal with intense pain because of lack of male body hair or stuff like that. That was completely under the radar.
            I think that most non-trans people never get the idea that being trans is about such “trivial” body things. They always think: society!, sexuality!, gender role! whatever. All these abstract things–
            Did you read Second Skin by Jay Prosser? It’s an excellent analysis by a transman of the problems of gender theory and it’s disavowal of the physical body.

          • “It’s difficult when people tell you to just be a masculine woman, when you have never been masculine to begin with 😉
            So what is that “maleness” that I feel inside when it’s not masculinity– that was the hard question.
            And that’s what people never get (I can’t even blame them, it took me many years).”

            Seriously, ditto. When I think back to all the times I pretended to be really butch, all I can do is laugh at how ridiculous I felt. When I was living as a woman, my gender was never questioned. I passed as a perfectly normal feminine straight woman. It was only when I cut off all my hair and started wearing mens clothes that people started to think that I was masculine, as if such things change your personality.

          • “It was only when I cut off all my hair and started wearing mens clothes that people started to think that I was masculine, as if such things change your personality.”

            Yep, it’s so weird. During my life I have passed to different degrees, and I have been compared to people who are passing to different degrees. I have been told that “with X you really can sense that ze is trans”, but with me, “nobody believes it”. In fact, at that time X didn’t identify as transsexual at all, but just happed to pass naturally, as opposed to my own feminine body shape. On another occasion, I was told that “today I was much more convincing in my masculinity than yesterday”, and that the speaker could accept me much more as a man, today, because my gender expression/psychological stance had somehow shifted. I fact, my behaviour and self expression had not shifted a bit. The only thing that I had changed was to cut my sideburns (word?) in an angular “male” shape, a tiny physical change that went under the radar of conscious perception, so people attributed it to a different “male aura”.

            I have become something of a cynic when self-professed gender challengers reveal themselves to be 100% biologist or essentialist during such events (in the sense that they equate the physical with what’s inside). Before they can even start challenging gender, they need to become really conscious of what constitutes gender in real life, something that trans people learn every day but that seems to be almost impossible for people who have never experienced it first hand.

          • Male aura? Wow. I wish people who said things like this would start saying them to non-trans men and see how they like it. Maybe then they’d realize how transphobic it sounds to question someone’s gender based on minute details.

            I also hate self-professed gender challengers. I’m reminded of when I was talking to this genderqueer acquaintance of mine and telling hir about a scar I had on my left leg due to breaking it in two places and having a steel plate installed. All ze said was “wow, that’s really butch!… and hot!”. What? How does breaking your leg make you masculine and attractive? It doesn’t make any sense to me. From what I know about hir, ze was trans-identified. I still don’t know exactly what that term means. Does it mean that they just identify with trans people or that they never plan on transitioning? Nevermind that ze said ze was attracted to masculine people but I only saw hir flirt with and date female-assigned people. This is the part of the transgender spectrum that makes the least sense to me.

          • “Male aura? Wow. I wish people who said things like this would start saying them to non-trans men and see how they like it. Maybe then they’d realize how transphobic it sounds to question someone’s gender based on minute details.”

            the whole crux of the matter is that it’s all unconscious with them. They assume that they are somehow able to perceive gender essence magically.
            I think we all do it. Everybody, and not just some annoying people are assigning gender “instinctively”, that is, we “read” people’s genders by reading a mass of minute details. A high percentage of these have to do with what we see (body 80% + clothes 20% etc), because we usually make up our minds long before we interact with people socially (gender). If we are still in doubt, we try to hear the voice. If still in doubt, we interact.
            That means that gender is mostly how someone looks and sounds, not how someone behaves. We all unconsciously assume that we can derive the inner gender of a person from how they look, and such small details like cutting your sideburns can shift that look significantly. So can hormones of course.
            We all do it, we all read people that way.
            But what peeves me is people who have read some books on transgender and assume they don’t do it anymore. Because they think they are free from it, their reading becomes even *more* essentialising, they assume that *they* are able to read the “true” inner gender of a person because they see through such trivialities like body essentialism. I guess that’s why I’m most annoyed by people who are self confessed gender challengers.

            Trans-identified sounds a bit like bi-curious to me. I wouldn’t want to judge hir though, because you never know what’s going on inside people.
            I learned a lot from the book Female Masculinity by J Halberstam. I’m ok with transgressive butchness etc. as long as people don’t get things all mixed up.
            In the past I never understood why transwomen were so peeved by gay men and drag queens and so on, but I’m beginning to get it…

            The steel plate story is really weird, unless ze is a sadist or something (I read somewhere that straight masculinity is connected to masochism lol).
            I’m always fascinated by the traditionally straight and almost ridiculous image of “maleness” that circulates within gender bending environments. It’s more like a caricature– hm, reminds me a bit of the Uber-female images of rather mediocre drag queens.

            Then on the other hand, we are gay and will probably never understand these straight guys 😉

            Playing with gender– I sometimes wear lipstick, and a kilt, maybe that’s it?

            sorry for the incoherent babbling, I worked too much today.

          • I get what you’re saying now and I definitely had similar comments now that I look back on my early transition years. Like one time I went to work and I had a tight t-shirt on and it was showing off my shoulder muscles, which happen to be quite defined on me and this woman I was working with couldn’t stop staring and touching my muscles. She was straight and we were good friends, so it didn’t bother me, but she of course commented that I seemed more male to her and that was when I got annoyed. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely like my muscles :P, but the comment made me feel that my maleness was dependent on how my muscles looked and not on what I said and felt. But her first and spontaneous response to me was quite affirming. I just wish she had stopped at that and refrained from talking about my gender as if its up for discussion.

            PS- You must now show kilt pictures. 🙂

            Also, I keep looking for a good picture to post that I think you’ll like and I realized that americans must really not like pale and skinny men cause all I can find are tanned and well-fed muscle men. The search hasn’t stopped, but it made me wonder where you find nice pictures to drool over…

          • “but she of course commented that I seemed more male to her and that was when I got annoyed.”

            I so get you there–
            I’m not even sure why that upsets me so. Perhaps because:

            1. it shows that gender is *only* how we look like and that we have *no* say in our gender apart from when we transition.
            2. it also hurts because it shows that before people make such a comment, they saw us as less male.

            I never saw a pic from the US that was not muscular etc. i have some euro porn and I like to look for drooly pictures in all the wrong places. I can also drool over dressed guys, so it’s easy.
            The new pic is beginning to interest me- 😉 the grey hair adds a weird touch

          • another problem about the muscles: the guys are not effeminate enough– where can one find porn that shows effeminate men I wonder??? And even harder (no pun intended ;-): the guys shouldn’t be all twinks.

            hey I like this guy from Another Gay Movie (geeky goodness, Not Aiden, and glasses too :-D) http://images.allmoviephoto.com/2006_Another_Gay_Movie/2006_another_gay_movie_002.jpg
            http://images.allmoviephoto.com/2006_Another_Gay_Movie/2006_another_gay_movie_005.jpg (the right one, obviously)

            Not Aiden: I feel really bad about us totally highjacking your blog. I agree now that we need a forum, or even better: a kindergarten 😉

          • The first one reminds me of Elijah Woods, so I can totally understand the appeal. The second one, I have dibs on the guy on the left, though I wish his chest wasn’t so hairless. Is that movie any good?

            As for porn with effeminate, pale, but not necessarily twinky men, I have no idea. Its really hard to find any representation of effeminate men in movies and such, particularly ones that aren’t into fashion or some artsy sort of thing.

            Here is a pale, effeminate twink for you. Sorry its really hard to find non-twinky ones.

          • Kian- Elijah Wood???? The red haired geek???
            We share, I get the nerd and you get the hunk 😀
            The film is ok when you are really high. I saw a dubbed version which was so incredibly bad that every gay guy apart from us left the cinema. We stayed and went hysterical.

            Not aiden- you’re right about movies and stuff. The image of the steak munching guy is hilarious– what’s it with US teeth? I have a female US friend and she has those white strong teeth too. Do you fluoride the tab water?

          • Actually, we do! Municipal water in the US is flouridated and has been since the 80s, at least. That’s when we started our mass dental health campaign where dentists would go into schools and show everyone how to brush and floss properly. Gave out toothpaste, those little tabs that turn your teeth red until you’ve brushed well enough, and fun coloured toothbrushes.

          • Also, I keep looking for a good picture to post that I think you’ll like and I realized that americans must really not like pale and skinny men cause all I can find are tanned and well-fed muscle men. The search hasn’t stopped, but it made me wonder where you find nice pictures to drool over…

            Euro porn. Seriously, best porn I ever found was in a gay bookstore in Paris. Americans (and Canadians, to a certain extent) seem to be programmed to like the ruggedly handsome type. Strong, tanned, and able to tear into a bloody steak with his teeth. Check out the difference even between American leading men and British ones. You’ve got Brad Pitt for the Americans (and even he’s considered pretty girly) and Colin Firth for the Brits. Porn tends to just be an exaggeration of the portrayals already put forth in mainstream media.

          • You’re probably right. I’ve never really thought about it seriously. I love watching foreign movies for this very reason – I hate seeing every man portrayed as some hunky muscle god that saves the day, like in hollywood movies.

          • To me a lot of the people who insist they challenge gender sound like the kids back in junior high who insisted they were challenging society by being goth and pseudo-pagan. I know that sounds horrible and it’s an assumption I’m working to fix, but that’s the instinctive feeling I get. I wish someone could explain to me why they have to play with gender and why that’s different from just being themselves. I mean, I wear glitter and eyeshadow on occasion, but not because I’m challenging gender norms. I just happen to like glitter and eyeshadow, if society is challenged by that then that’s their problem.

          • “To me a lot of the people who insist they challenge gender sound like the kids back in junior high who insisted they were challenging society by being goth and pseudo-pagan. I know that sounds horrible and it’s an assumption I’m working to fix, but that’s the instinctive feeling I get. I wish someone could explain to me why they have to play with gender and why that’s different from just being themselves. I mean, I wear glitter and eyeshadow on occasion, but not because I’m challenging gender norms. I just happen to like glitter and eyeshadow, if society is challenged by that then that’s their problem.”

            It’s a fashion at the moment. Just like it was a fashion with straight feminists to be “lesbian” during the 1980s, and the real dykes felt like Are you kidding?
            While I certainly enjoy people being more open about things, I’m pissed off when they want to tell me how to be trans.
            Also, maybe they follow the fashion because they don’t know (yet) who they are themselves. That’s ok for kids I guess. Or there is always that difference between people who are different without planning to (they get told they are different) and people who want to be different because they are bored by being like everyone else and think being different is cool.
            I recently got told by a younger queer cis guy that he turned queer because he was bored by being straight. Even though I believe that there are deeper seated issues about his sexuality/gender that he is still sorting out, I felt a bit— miffed? Bored????

            Wasn’t the prayer: God let us live in boring times?

            The reply function is jumping all over the place lol– we should really move over to the forum

          • A few minutes ago I was asked on Tumblr how I play with gender. I wrote “I don’t. I just try to be myself.” It felt mean to be so blunt, but questions like these really irritate me.

          • This is where I’m an odd ball. I was never really masculine or feminine. I was kind of a tomboy in that I went rock climbing and played soccer and loved to camp, but I did all of those things in a weird way that wasn’t considered normal for boys or girls. I was a little walking swish stick even then, something that’s different from being girly or butch. Trying to force myself into the “masculine guy” or “feminine girl” categories never quite worked.

          • “This is where I’m an odd ball. ” I think I get what you mean. I was a strange mixture too, on the one hand I was always out in the woods playing cowboys and collecting weapons, on the other I was a sissy who was afraid of pain and stuff and people though me effeminate, which is strange when you are technically a girl. I got shit because I wasn’t masculine enough (??)
            It was really weird when I met the first real life sissies and their childhood stories sounded so much like mine, even though they were boys and I was technically a girl.
            With “real” girls I was way too masculine, with straight boys and butch girls I was too sissy– sounds familiar 😉

          • Exactly. I am a ridiculously good shot with both firearms and bow + arrow, but there were little differences in how I held a weapon or threw a ball that made me stand out from everyone. It was an odd feeling because everyone expected that I should be either girly or boyish, but I was boyish in a girly way and that threw people off.

          • “I was boyish in a girly way and that threw people off.”
            That’s why I somehow can’t help thinking that sissy is a gender of it’s own, not just “girl in all the wrong places”. It’s as if the mixture is the problem but I might be wrong in that. I know many gay cisguys and gender theorists would challenge me on that. It’s obviously completely essentialising 😉 to state that it’s possible to be “born a sissy in the wrong body”.
            People can make sense of boyish girls and even girlish boys (they’ve done so for centuries). But effeminate boyish girls? (or butch feminine boys)? It’s not like the muddle it sounds- it has a very distinctive flavour–

          • Also, I’m interested in how you separate the two processes that are going on. The wiring issue, the physical itch, is the core problem in transsexuality. I like to think of it as electrical wiring, in that your brain has distinct knowledge of your body parts that affects how we perceive our body parts, how we move them, what we do with them, and so on. When the actual physical body part is incongruent with the wiring and you use it for one reason or another, you experience that itch, that feeling that something is wrong. Personally, I think of it as a disorientation, like internal vertigo. What’s important though is that whatever we call it, all transsexuals experience it. [This implies that people who do not feel this phenomenon in relation to sexual characteristics of their body are not transsexuals. That’s where I get stuck, because I loathe boxing people in or out.]

            But back to the word dysphoria, it is definitely a psychological term used to describe the phenomenon, a legacy of the way transsexuality is treated by the medical community. This is why I want to separate the different threads. Transsexuality is not psychological. Thus far it has been treated as a mental disorder. If all evidence points to a wiring issue that can only be solved by hormones and surgery (which it does), then the way mental health professionals approach treatment is misguided and possibly damaging. I know so many trans people that as soon as they get their letters and start feeling better, they never seek counseling again. This is possibly the biggest failure of the mental health community, in my opinion. They have been deemed responsible for our care, but they have been complete failures when it comes to supporting trans people through a difficult journey.

          • I really liked what you wrote about dysphoria. But I have to sleep before I can answer.

            Over here the mental health approach is a bit different. Compared to other parts of the world we have a pretty good standard of care. From what I read there, they see the job of psychologists in 1. making sure that the symptomes are not of some other condition like schizophrenia. 2. checking out that the trans person can manage the transition without breaking down or loosing everything or whatever.
            They see themselves more as helper and even enabler. There has been a significant shift in how transpeople are seen by health professionals.

          • I think it makes sense. I can’t get my brain to form the words needed to explain why it makes sense, but I think it does 😛

        • Absurdly, before transitioning, we could get into bed with all the straight guys that gay guys lust after

          I have never understood that whole lusting after straight guys thing. There was no shortage of gay/bi guys where I grew up and I ended up dating most of them. Never had an interest in straight guys, to the point where I can’t name a single straight guy I ever even had a crush on, let alone dated. I was so proud of myself when I thought I had a crush on a straight guy like girls are meant to do…yeah, he came flying out of the closet the day he moved out of his parents’ house. I’m guessing it has something to do with my love of effeminate men because if my gaydar is that good I need to start scanning boyfriends for a fee.

          • “I’m guessing it has something to do with my love of effeminate men because if my gaydar is that good I need to start scanning boyfriends for a fee.”

            lulz. You totally should.

            I still lust after straight men, but I try to not get carried away, because I know it won’t work for me. Personlly, I’m into athletic hairy guys with meaty legs and butts…yum.

          • I say that my type of guy friend is not my type of guy that I’d cruise or date, but its certainly not out of the question, especially if he’s a top. 😉

          • Me neither– I’m attracted to effeminate men since early childhood. My gaydar was always hyper- so that all the guys I was really attracted to turned out to be gay. I couldn’t bed them so I went with other guys- I assume that some of them came out later because they either were wearing make up and items of women’s clothes or they were always hanging out in male couples. I was immensely attracted to those “best friend” male couples. All this before I really knew what was going on.

            The gaydar was so intense that I could tell who was gay in large groups of men, by just noticing who I was attracted to.
            I used to think that it was a cultural thing (mannerisms, clothing etc) until I found out that the gaydar also worked with gay ftm who never really had contact with gay subcultures. I’m often attracted to them as well.

          • This is so opposite of my life. My gaydar is getting better, but my gay friends taught me and it still need some fine-tuning. It doesn’t come easily to me.

          • If I remember right, Ship of Fools lived in an uber-gay area like I did when he was younger. It’s much easier to pick up gaydar when you know more gay guys than straight ones growing up!

          • You might be right! That said, most of the guys that I fancied and books or films that I fancied when I was younger turned out to be gay. I certainly had an effeminate-dar before I even knew what that was.

          • Oh god, me too. I remember my mother begging me to read something that didn’t involve gay guys for months before I finally walked into the bookstore and just grabbed a couple books off the new releases shelf with decent covers.

            …Yeah, both of them had gay male characters. Apparently I have a gift.

          • It’s a cuuuuurse *suspenseful music in background*
            there was this guy, everything that he touched turned to gold– everything that we touch turns gay lol

  8. *Lightbulb* ?

    I wonder, does it have to do with if one is sexually active or passive /top or bottom??
    I’m top and Not Aiden is top and we are into effeminate guys. From what you wrote Kian, I got the impression that you are more on the bottom side (like many gay men who lust after straight, often top, guys).
    Obviously not all effeminate guys are bottoms and not all straight /butch guys are top, but it is nevertheless something that I expect subconsciously.

    • I actually switch based on mood and (oddly enough) weather. Bloody difficult to find an effeminate guy who’s also willing to switch, the bottom gene seems to be linked with the effete gene.

    • Yeah, definitely a bottom. I don’t even try switching anymore, its never as much fun.

      Did you see the pic I posted above for you?

  9. Finally solved:

    What’s the difference between a bunch of genderqueer guys and a bunch of gay (effeminate) ftm?

    When a conflict arises the genderqueer guys will “discuss” the conflict for pages on end and shout mean things at each other. The gay guys will invest one, maybe two posts in replying to the conflict topic, then will find an excuse to discuss sex immediately 😀

  10. It’s almost like someone is half-bisexual, they like people of either gender as long as they have vaginas. Like you can have any flavor you want as long as it’s vanilla. xD

    I agree that it’s pretty offensive. Weirdly enough I am in a relationship with someone who is simply not attracted to anyone with a penis. But has dated me for 5 years now. So far we haven’t had any major problems and she’s pretty “meh” about my future lower surgery plans…

    • Haha, that is an awesome way of putting things. I wish there was a word to describe people who like people of any gender as long as they have a vagina (or a penis, depending).

  11. I’ve been re-reading this post, or trying to read it (its quite hard to follow the threads), and I would just like to let all the lesbians reading this that I do not dislike people for the sole reason that they are lesbians. This sounds cliched, but I’m going to say it anyway. One of my best friends is a boyish lesbian and she is one the most open-minded and respectful people when it comes to my transness. She helped me get comfortable with my gender expression when I was still trying to find my place as an trans man in the gay community and never wavered in her support of me. So please do not let this thread make you think that gay transmen dislike lesbians because of who they are. I just dislike the ones who put themselves before my identity.

    • This is important to point out. It does sometimes feel like trans guys (gay trans guys in particular) do a lot of lesbian bashing, but most of us really have no problem with lesbians…provided they respect our identities. It’s just that so often our needs clash because you have the segment of butch lesbians insisting that society continue to see them as the women they are and us trans guys wanting society to not think of us as butch lesbians. Then you get into sexuality, dating, and women’s spaces and…well, often we disagree.

  12. Why is sex =/= gender?
    A person might be perceived as gender bending, f.e. a sissy guy or a butch dyke.
    While the gender of that person in “dissonance” with that person’s sex, nobody will doubt the sex.
    That means that these are two completely different things.
    Thus transgender and gender bending are not the same as transsexuality.
    While there is certainly a large area of overlap, lots of confusion comes from collapsing both transsexuality and transgender into trans*.
    Like you Kian, I have a hard time understanding why people put such an emphasis on gender (apart from when they are discriminated against).
    I sometimes think that transgender is something like an alibi under which people can safely experiment with transsexuality.

  13. Europeans brush their teeth too lol. We had the campaigns but not the water- I assume it’s the water then. My young counsins got fluoride pills from early childhood, and they have these strong white teeth too.

  14. I cannot change my sexual orientation any more than you can change your gender orientation. I am attracted to people with some degree of maleness who are comfortable with their male bits, whatever form their maleness or male bits take. That generally means I date cis-men, but an FtM or an MtF or a genderqueer person would register on my dating radar also if the chemistry worked and if they were comfortable with the degree of maleness that they possessed.

    Some MtF’s will be, but most won’t be, so I’d be extra careful before dating one to be sure that I could be the kind of supportive partner they needed. An MtF who identified exclusively as female and did not wish to retain any masculinity could be a friend but not a partner. I could be much more fully supportive to their transition as a friend, so that’s where I would ethically have to remain.

    I’m not an asshole, a tranny chaser or a person who fetishizes other people like objects. But I do have sexual preferences, and there’s not a goddamn thing wrong with my having them as long as I act on them ethically and with respect and consideration for others.

  15. Male, female, transgender, bi, gay, lesbian, you are what you are and changing the packaging doesn’t affect that which is inside. I call myself a lesbian. Perhaps pansexual is, by definition, a better word. Why? Because if I called myself pansexual it could include the fact that I date transmen and non-straight women. I’m going to stick with lesbian. Why? Because every person I’ve ever loved or felt sexual attraction to is or was female in some way. I know transmen don’t like the idea of a woman saying that transmen were female, but, it’s true. If it’s such a bad thing to make reference to it, then why do you call yourselves “FtM” or “transmen” instead of just “men”? Why do you frequent lesbian bars instead of straight bars and clubs? Fact of the matter is that LOTS of transmen seek out lesbians because you know on some level that we will understand you better than a straight woman. Why is there so much shame attached to admitting that people are so much more than the sum of their parts?

    • Hi. You’re offensive as fuck in more ways than one and I’m just gonna let everyone else deal with you because if I try right now I’m going to end up saying something unfair.

    • Hi Erin,
      I’m not even offended because you get it so wrong. There are some trans guys who are strongly affiliated with the lesbian communities, and they often like to call themselves lesbian trans men, and are very proud and open about their lesbian past. Nothing wrong with that. There are cis men who call themselves lesbian men, so why shouldn’t trans men? Also, some guys prefer to date lesbians esp in the beginning of their transition when they don’t pass too well and are afraid of straight women’s reactions. When their body changes more and more they often start dating bi and straight women. It’s also quite common they they losse attraction for lesbians after several years on T.
      But this is a minority of trans men. Not a small minority but still a minority. A majority actually calls themselves men, not trans men, prefer to date straight women or gay men, and have no interest at all to go to lesbian clubs. You probably met mostly trans men who migle with the lesbian community and that’s where you got your information.

  16. “you are what you are and changing the packaging doesn’t affect that which is inside” This is true, because as a trans man, no matter what I do to my outside (phalloplasty or no phalloplasty, top surgery or no top surgery, hormones or no hormones) I am still a man on the inside and that’s what counts.

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