Never occurred to me.

Someone wrote…

It never occurred to me that the reason I couldn’t figure out my sexual orientation was because I didn’t know my gender.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?


Posted by on April 19th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 29 comments »

29 Responses to “Never occurred to me.”

  1. tim

    that never occured to me either until a year or so ago!

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  2. Oliver

    Me too! The idea of lesbian sex was wrong, the idea of heterosexual sex with me as a woman was wrong… but I loved the idea of sex. So that was odd.

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  3. Anonymous

    yeah, same here. it makes sense now that I finally realized that I’m androgynous. I like terms like ‘androphile’ or ‘gynophile’, because they don’t say anything about my gender identity.

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  4. Beth

    I think my gender discomfort is a big part of my sexual discomfort. Choosing to be with women sometimes seems like the easiest way to not have myself directly juxtaposed with a man so I don’t have to see what I could’ve been.

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  5. Anonymous

    Word.

    I’m somewhere on the trans male spectrum, questioning/pre-everything though. For the longest time I was like, wtf, why am I only attracted to gay guys? Then it was like … oh.

    I don’t think I could be with a dude as a girl. (Not sure why, but hooking up with a lesbian would definitely be less problematic than with a straight guy…but a gay guy would be so validating!)

    Hm.

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  6. Meike

    This makes total sense–that’s where I’m at now. I’m trying to figure out my gender so that sexual orientation stuff can fall into place.

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  7. #5

    Also … yeah. Last summer when I was still presenting as female or whatever, when I hadn’t even realized that transness was really a thing and so on, I met my first/best trans guy friend, and I was just SO conflicted when trying to describe my sexuality to him (“I’m not a lesbian, I’m not!! I’m … uh … I’m nothing :/”) … and he was just like … you know what, you remind me of me at your age. A little ridiculous how he saw that before I did.

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  8. Jay

    You know, that makes a lot of sense. I didn’t have that problem when I was first struggling with my sexuality – settled on bisexual (prefer pansexual now), which is rather easy on the gender identity side of matters. *g*

    But as anonymous said above, I like the terms ‘androphile’ and ‘gynophile’, too.

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  9. Mike

    Completely not alone. I dug out my old diary from when I was 15 and apart from being both utterly depressing and utterly embarrasing looking back there’s page upon page of complete confusion (“I fancy her. She’s beautiful. I’d like to kiss her. But I’m not a lesbian and am entirely uninterested when faced with f/f images/smut etc. And I fancy blokes…but I’m not straight..and m/m turns me on. And there’s that Oscar Wilde/Kenneth Williams/Kenny Everett obesssion… And I’m not…am I bi? But the idea of…of them with me…and me…ohhhhh this makes much more sense.” Is pretty much the summarised version)

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  10. S

    I know exactly what you mean. Before I started to figure out I was androgynous (I’m XX chromosomed), I knew I liked girls pretty much exclusively, but I couldn’t figure out why the word “lesbian” made me so very, extremely uncomfortable. And yet queer feels just fine :)

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  11. Lanthir

    I wasn’t too terribly mystified, but once I realized I’m genderqueer, it suddenly made sense to me why I’ve always preferred the word dyke to the word lesbian when referring to myself.
    I totally agree with Anonymous and Jay about the awesomeness of terms like androphilic and gynophillic! It’s nice to be able to express a sexual orentation that isn’t dependent on my gender, or that of my partner(s).

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  12. Anonymous

    Wow, this describes me as well. Scary.

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  13. Regen

    I completely agree with what Mike said. I was reading that and i was like, ME TOO! I was just looking through my diary, and I was like WOW, I was confused. Not that i’m not confused anymore. But you know what i mean? I’m still not decisive about my gender, but I get it more…

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  14. Lyric Dane

    For me, a few years ago, before I knew I was genderqueer, before I even knew what bisexual meant, it was pretty much, “Hm… Why do I like looking at girls? Am I a lesbian? But I like boys… Whatever. I’m straight. But I don’t like that idea…” When I finally learned what bisexual meant, I pretty much said, “Oh, *this* is what I am. A bisexual girl. Funny, I don’t like that, either. But whatever.” -Goes to do internet research on bisexuality. “Yup, this is me.” Then I get into research about all sorts of LGBT stuff. I decided to join the Facebook group “Transgender Student Rights” as an ally. As always, I scrolled through the wall, reading the posts and watching the videos, and I come across one called “Transgender Basics – Gender Identity Project (GIP),” and that was the first time I ever heard the term genderqueer. I immediately realized that this was me, and became way more comfortable in my identities. Isn’t it amazing how one word can so improve this person’s world?

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  15. Dharma Kelleher

    I went through nearly every permutation because of this. Straight man? Nope. Gay man? Definitely not. Straight woman? Close, but still not quite right. Gay woman. Bingo!

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  16. Jessica

    Yeah, I was always trying to answer the wrong question, trying to pound that screw in with my hammer.

    I had all kinds of conflicts and self-destructiveness and insecurity. How can you feel secure being what you’re not. How can you be successful when that success can’t get to who you are – the failures are always yours, but the success belongs to somebody else – that person you’re pretending to be.

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  17. dchan

    I’m actually quite the opposite. Once I did a bit of reading about asexuality, I had it all pretty much figured out that I was panromantic asexual within about 5 minutes.

    The gender thing is the one that’s still confusing the hell out of me.

    Then again, being a panromantic asexual has nothing to do with either my gender or yours, so that makes things easy in a lot of respects, at least in terms of sexuality. :)

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  18. Jessica

    I guess my theory has always been that the normal state of a human being is to be bisexual. Anything that can have a perfectly satisfying sexual orgasm when no one else is there can probably get satisfied by just about anyone, if their mind cooperates and lets them navigate through the sea of stereotypes, prejudices and expectations satisfactorily.

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    epinards replied:

    I used to think this, but don’t anymore. Sexuality is always about encountering *particular* other beings. You don’t have sex with an abstract person. I can get myself off, but that doesn’t mean that if someone else rubs me the exact same way that I’ll get off. Only another person who I *want* can get me off. As soon as we’re talking about a person I *want*, we’re talking about personality, the intersection of two personalities, and then by definition we are in the land of stereotypes, prejudices, and expectations all. A Republican could not get me off, for example because I would never get turned on.. Stereotype for sure but one that is very deeply wedded into *my personality*. We are particular people with particular investments and intimacy comes *through* and in *relationship* to those particularities. Sex is not just about being rubbed a certain way.

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  19. M

    Yup.

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  20. Emily

    This completely makes sense. When I thought about having heterosexual sex, I couldn’t see myself in either the female or male role because each came with their own pre-conceived gender expectations. I’m female, but I feel more comfortable when I dress and am perceived as being more androgynous than female.

    But then again, I’ve only recently come out as asexual (I prefer the term nonsexual though because saying I’m asexual makes me feel like protista or algae), so I’m not really one to talk!

    I still don’t know which gender(s) I prefer, and I did go through the whole “am I straight, am I a lesbian, am I bi?” confusion a couple years ago. As for myself, I know I would like it if the person treated me not as a person who is female, but just as a person

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  21. Jessica

    Emily, like the rest of us you’re human. Sometimes you fit in this box, sometimes in that one. I always feel sorry for people who make decisions for their whole lives based on one experience: Oh, I had a gay experience and I liked it, so I must be gay – Oh, I had a bad gay experience therefore I must be straight (despite my history of failure in straight relationships). What do people feel afraid and confused to be not in a box?

    Then you get all obsessed about semantics: if I’m female inside and I have sex with women, am I a lesbian? What if I am male inside and present female and have sex with men, and I bisexual or gay? Fiddlesticks.

    There is a certain class of trans people, mostly men in my experience, who feel attracted to men but don’t want to be gay SO MUCH that they decide to be trans women. I’m not sure if that’s legitimate trans, but then it isn’t up to me to say. If it works for them, I’m for it.

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  22. Emi

    I started out identifying as female and heterosexual (when i was younger), then my friend asked me out and I said yes and I figured I was bi. Later I decided I was les, then started experimenting with the idea of androgyny, and then I got a boyfriend, and now I identify as genderless and pansexual. At the moment.

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  23. Anonymous

    Some what torn at the moment between Gay man and straight woman. And it goes back and forth. Am I woman wearing a man suit, or am I man with a with a love of acting out a female persona? I want to be just floating in the middle, but dating sites demand an answer.

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    Chloe replied:

    This made me laugh out loud; dating sites are rotten.

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    Em replied:

    You might want to look up autogynophilia. It is a form of paraphilia, but it doesn’t necessarily have to refer to sexual activity though often it does. I identify as a cisfemale bisexual, and I identify with autoandrophilia. In this way being a male is arousing to me, it’s satisfying in a non-sexual way but I am perfectly 100% happy and comfortable living as a female.

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  24. A

    I was totally messed up for a while. I’m female-bodied and have always liked other female-bodied people. In high school I went from straight, to bi, to lesbian who preferred the word “gay”, then I had the misfortune of falling in love with a guy which screwed EVERYTHING up… And then there was the whole gender identity thing and auggh.

    Now, though, I’m happy just defining myself as “queer”. Since I am genderqueer, neither homosexual nor heterosexual seems to fit. And I don’t want to call myself “bisexual” because I’m only attracted to, like, two or three guys, and my attraction is MOSTLY in women or androgynes. Also, the term “bisexual” seems to infer that there are only two genders, which I disagree with (for obvious reasons). Queer is all-encompassing, and I love that.

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    Lanthir replied:

    Omg, this! Pretty nearly *exactly* this, in fact.

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  25. Cass

    Holy cow! I saw two asexual/nonsexual comments :D makes me feel so much better.
    I think I could possibly be a homoromantic asexual, but the idea of asexuality scares the crap out of me for some reason. It’s kind of like Jessica was saying, the guys who wanted anything but to be gay–that’s me, except about asexuality. Why don’t I want to have sex?!?!?

    [Reply]


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