Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How can you be a lesbian and be with a man?!

Of all the comments made here and at John Aravosis' post (I read all on my blog because I actually have to pre-approve them before they're posted but I did not read all AMERICAblog because they were giving me intestinal distress) one keeps coming back to me: 

It was just a little snippet at the end of a comment
"It makes me wonder. The author, in not realizing why a womens-only space wouldn't accept a trans man (because they view him as an equal male?) and also as still ID-ing as a lesbian, seems to not take the male-ness of her spouse as seriously as the sponsors of the dance do."  (bold added by me.)
 When A. and I first started telling folks about his transition, they always asked: does that mean you're still a lesbian? Most of the time I'd laugh it off and joke well, I'm kind of a failed lesbian: I'm so bad at it that I'm with a man. Get it? Yuck Yuck. 

Then it started to be less funny. Because I started asking myself the same questions. And the answers were not readily apparent. In fact, I'm still in that process. They demand digging down to my very core with deep questions, like: what am I? Who am I? What am I attracted to? Who am I attracted to? What is love? What does it mean that this person who I thought was a woman ( albeit a very masculine one) and had a female body, now is identifying as a male and has a male body. 
Beautiful image courtesy of Leland Francisco

When we first entered this, I identified as bisexual. Because I have had attractions to both men and women. But when I unpacked that – looked at it little deeper – the truth is, I haven't had a relationship with a man since college. And even then, it was not so great.

Part of me wants to stop writing right now because I'm feeling vulnerable. But I also feel like it's important to say this stuff so I'm going to go for full exposure.  Besides, I've written about it before. 

The first time I kissed a woman (in college) changed everything.  I got to experience that aha moment of pure joy and revelation. I suddenly understood the whole hullabaloo about sex. Oh…. I get it now!  lightbulb moment. I'm sure many people can relate.  Sometimes I shudder to think about  people who've never gotten to experience that.

 But does this mean I am a six on the Kinsey scale? No. But I'm probably a 4.5 to 5. 

And guess what? I didn't CHOOSE my orientation any more than you did, or any more and A chose his gender. I don't want to get into a discussion about how we came to be our gender and sexual orientation. But I can tell you that I did not consciously set out one day to become attracted to women. I just was. I just am. And A. did one day set out to become a man. He just was. He just is.

So he is respecting my sexual orientation and I am respecting his gender. Telling me that I should no longer identify as who I am is just as bad as telling him he no longer should identify us who he is.

I'm not sure why this is so complicated.

Now as for us,  we are dealing with our own issues with sexuality and attraction on our own terms.


  1. Thanks for sharing, much of this resonates so strongly with me. In my case I have never identified as anything other than a straight woman but does the fact that my husband is really a woman mean I'm actually a lesbian? Maybe I've always been one deep down just the opportunity to explore it never came my way? So many questions in my head right now but strangely most of then are about my own sexuality and who I am not her gender.

  2. Thanks amyswife. Yes – what I'm finding particularly interesting about this whole journey is how much I have in common with other partners of people who are transitioning, regardless of their sexual orientation. When my partner first started transitioning, I thought in the way it would be easier for me because I was already part of a so-called marginalized community. But actually, the issues we all face are stunningly similar.

  3. Thank you for sharing, I am just starting this process as a partner to my boyfriend (FTM) I came out as a Lesbian right before we got serious and now everyone asks if I am going back in the closet. He is amazing and loving and that's the last thing he wants. Great post thank you again.

  4. Hey I really needed to see this as a lesbian my partner is to changing from ftm and I wondered what I should identify as. And the truth is I don't need to have a title love is love. I wish u and ur partner love and longevity

  5. Thank u for this...questions I've been asking myself lately. My fiance says it shouldn't matter. It doesn't I just needed someone else that is in same boat to pretty much say what I already knew....thank you again!

  6. Oh my god, I felt so totally alone in this. Thank you for giving me the feeling that I am not the only lesbian who is deeply in love with her trans boyfriend. I feel so relieved now!