23 December, 2010

On sexuality and gender binary...

This is a repost from a FB note I made today. It kinda kick started this whole idea, so I figured I'd make the old copypasta. Enjoy! ~Sera

It has not escaped my friends, nor myself, that the sexuality that I have ascribed to myself has appeared to have shifted in the past several months. I realize that, as many people, like myself, believe that sexuality is inborn, that that may appear hypocritical or even possibly damaging to our greater community. Yet I don't believe that to be the case. It takes many of us a great deal of time to reconcile WHAT our sexuality actually is to us, and many people find that process to take differing amounts of time, sometimes taking even longer than expected as they learn more and more about themselves. And is that not personal growth like any other?

Let me go over this is as great a detail as I can muster. Dealing first with my own gender, I realize that I am transgender, but mostly I see myself as a woman first and foremost. However, while I am not alone in my thoughts of this identity, that is not always the rule. In fact, many transfolk ascribe to the idea of being a separate gender altogether. The more that I explore gender in the world, the more I realize that there are clearly more than just 2 genders, and that this is so prominent in all cultures of the world that it is nigh impossible to deny such an existence. I would hesitate, though, to say that there are only 3, however. Because, as a transwoman, I find that I demand respect for my gender identity, so too must I respect the gender and identity of my peers in the trans community. If I cannot do that, I am being just as rude to them as others have been to me. For that, I am truly sorry if I have crossed the line.

Once we establish that gender has many forms, so, too, must we realize that our sexuality is more complicated than that. Let us take the classic example of the self-identified heterosexual transwoman "admirer," to use the mundane term. Far more times than not, these are men who are captivated by transwomen. Sometimes, this can be accompanied by a like for ciswomen, as well, but not always (remembering that the Latin prefix "cis-" is the opposite of "trans-," this usage is less offensive than other terms for non-transpersons). Some people are just only wired towards one attraction, others, to many. For many transwomen, this works out quite well if they are attracted to cismen. Both parties are satisfied, are they not? Do they harm others with their attractions, even if that is not an attraction attributed to others? No, I think they do not. Besides, that just is the way it is.

For myself. There has never been a doubt in my life that I am attracted to womanhood. Never have I even drawn a line between ciswomen and transwomen. The factor of the male has not really changed, just a matter of perception has changed. In my teen years, I was seen by many as feminine, though I did not present as such. I was seen to be a gay man. Truth of the matter was obviously far from it, but I did receive some romantic affections from men. In many ways, I craved this attention in any way I could get it, so I allowed it. And yet, I was not happy with it, at the same time. I can barely explain my own biology, but the truth became obvious; cisgender men were very rarely attractive to me. Thusly, I shed my omnisexual orientation in favor of simply calling myself a lesbian. And yet, my sexual encounters with ciswomen have, by chance, been nearly nonexistent. Is it fair, then, to call myself a lesbian? I think it is. My attractions are there, yet they have not come to fruition. I have been, at times, teased for having a transgender girlfriend. Surely that would imply that the "right dick would cure me." Don't think so. Been there, done that, don't see it happening. Does liking penetration, giving or receiving, instantly make me straight? Ask a cisgender lesbian if toy play has ever been used in her sex life. I bet you quickly realize that it's not so simple. So, too, is my correlation.

Then there is the transmale. I cannot erase the fact that find a certain beauty in that, as well. That would seem to complicate things, would it not? Perhaps, perhaps not. For that matter, true androgyny is also attractive. How, then, do I define my sexuality? Well, perhaps it is just simpler to say lesbian in day to day life, and worry about the specifics to those who really matter.

In closing, I guess the only simple way to define my sexuality is in two words: "Sorry, boys."

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