“Straight” or “Queer”?

People have long had a hard time understanding the sexual orientation of trans people. Everything from confusing gender identity and sexual orientation, to not understanding what we mean when we identify a certain way.

Up until I transitioned medically, my identity was all over the place, but one thing was consistent. While I was always “gynephilic” (aka attracted to women), it was always hard for me to identify as a “lesbian”, or as a “transmasculine agender who’s attracted to women”. (Throw asexual in there, too, at some point.)

crop faceless black gay demonstrating rainbow ribbon on hand
Sexual orientation is who you sleep with. Gender identity is how you sleep.

The ultimate catch-22 of all this? When I was a “lesbian”, because I was vey sone butch, people sometimes would ask why not transition and become a trans man. Now, as a trans man, I would get asked what was wrong with being a butch lesbian. 😑

Even worse now? When I say I’m straight, people get all confused. Because … they think about my life previously as a “woman”, rather than my life now as a man.

So, am I straight? Or am I “queer”, being trans? Why do cisgender individuals get to use terms like “gay”, “straight”, and “lesbian” without question, but we in the trans community get the stares or get questioned about using such terms ourselves? Why, as a trans man who’s attracted to women, can’t I not call myself “straight”?

I did not transition to obtain any kind of benefit or privilege other than to heal my body and be myself mentally, physically, socially. I also did not transition for people to doubt my manhood, even in classical senses of the term.

Trans people are as much allowed to claim the classical terms as cis people. I am straight, a man attracted to women. I am not “queer” just because I happen to be trans; I may be “queer” being part of the larger LGBTQ+ community.

I’m straight. Get over it.

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