Someone wrote…

I am in a relationship with a heterosexual male bodied person, who is exclusively physically attracted to females. I’m coming to the conclusion that I am not female, which is causing a lot of sexual shame for me. The problem is, I love him and he loves me and he is willing to support me through my gender confusion, but I never could and never would ask him to stop being straight, and I know if my body matched my inner self, he wouldn’t be sexually attracted to me. I don’t know what to do.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on December 3rd, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Attraction”

  1. Lane

    Sexuality is a lot more complex than people give it credit for. If he’s willing to support you and experiment, and it sounds like he is, do just that; experiment. Do what you need to do to be comfortable, and communicate with him throughout the process. Maybe his sexuality will end up being “females plus this one person who started out as a girl but turned not to be and who I completely love.”


  2. Aubri

    I agree with Lane. I’m currently in a relationship of 4 years with a straight-identified cis man who I love with all my heart. In the past year, I began to transition to a more masculine person and he has fully supported me. We both were concerned what might happen to our sexual attraction but we’ve been open about it and continue to communicate often about where we’re each at emotionally. And so far, it has not been a problem. He is still attracted to me and our sex life is better than it was in the past because I feel like I can bring all of me to the bedroom and be accepted as I truly am. If he’s willing to try, then explore!

    Based on my experience, the biggest struggle is not sexual attraction; it’s how society may view him as gay when he feels he isn’t. This is something to be open about with your partner and discuss. For me, I support him as he identifies as straight because he is willing to affirm my masculinity regardless of his orientation.


  3. Spenny

    OH MY GOD. Are you me?

    My partner and I have been together for six years now. I’ve been binding, cutting my hair, etc. for three years now, but have only now begun to broach topics like top surgery and taking T with him. He continues to identify as straight, but has supported me wholeheartedly–adopting my new name and pronouns, etc., and continuing to advocate for my rights and my selfhood.

    Don’t be afraid. You are who you are. If your partner’s feelings change with time, then perhaps he isn’t the right guy for you anyway, IYKWIM.


  4. Elle

    If you have a partner who’s willing to stick with you and even try to keep the relationship you should give them a chance. It’s a rare gift, and you owe it to yourself and to your partner to see how you both change through this process. Not being female leaves lots of other options, and finally getting a chance to analyze and experiment with your gender identity may take you into areas you never expected. It’s possible that what you want now may not be what you finally need.

    And please don’t think you’re asking your partner to sacrifice his sexual identity. He’s asking you to let him make his own decision when he, and you, have a better understanding of your gender confusion. He gets to decide what qualities he’s attracted to, and if he doesn’t know yet you certainly can’t know that he won’t be sexually attracted to you anymore. For that matter, your sexual preferences may change. Don’t be afraid to try. You can become the self you want while keeping your love.


  5. K

    Things like this seem very common, there have been about 3 similar posts recently [i’ll see if i can dig up my comments for them].

    Many women (even those who identify as straight or lesbian) manage to continue relationships with their partners who transition from male to female, or female to male. Men tend to be a bit more rigid in their sexuality than women though. I have never heard of someone being able to keep a male partner through transition. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen though.

    Self is complex, you shouldn’t feel pressure to look like the “real” you. “You” is a composite of your body, your mind, your experiences, your relationships, it’s all you. He loves all of you (at least i hope he does, if not you have other reasons to reconsider the relationship).

    Do you really need to change your body to be you? Your body is part of the big “you” package. It’s all you, and it doesn’t need to all match. You can be a complex mixture of gender.

    Do you think knowing that he loves you as you are help you love yourself?


    Maximillian711 replied:

    I have some friends who were a male-female couple and are now a male-male couple – it can happen! x


  6. Kris

    I agree with all the above comments. You have to do what makes you feel comfortable with yourself, no matter what. My partner does not identify as lesbian but loves me for who I am, whatever I am. She does grieve over the male I was but I think that is just healthy. Not being true to yourself will only bring issues…. I wish you the best.


  7. Ebenezer

    I just wanted to add that I have heard of people being able to keep their male partner while going through their own transition. Otherwise I second what everyone else has said. Be you, communicate with your partner a lot, and see how it goes.


  8. Elle

    I’d really like to talk more about partners without monopolizing this person’s thread. If anyone is interested I’m going to start a thread on the Genderfork forum regarding people’s experiences with partners when coming out as queer/trans or transitioning.


  9. femmemuse

    Hi! So, I am genderqueer now, but I was cis once, and I was with a then-trans woman who decided to detransition, and broke things off with me because she assumed I wouldn’t stay with her through detransition. Your partner deserves the chance to make their own decision about this. Your partner also deserves to know when your feelings about your gender change, even if you’re uncertain about the new feelings, and have the opportunity to treat you how you want to be treated. I remember that my partner had previously lifted her depression by going further into transition, and she was in a depressive mood so severe towards the end of our time together that I kept encouraging her to consider whether she wanted to go further into transition again. Had I known I would never have suggested that.

    Also – there are ways to stay together even if sexual attraction wanes. You can agree to have physical relationships with others, for example, and keep an emotional relationship. Usually, though, if you take it slow, people’s love and sexuality expands. The issue is more how society will treat your partner, and how they may feel about having to expand their identity.


  10. femmemuse

    (this comment probably makes more sense if you insert “cis lesbian” instead of “cis”)


  11. Linnéa

    I know this feeling. I felt like when I lovers who were straight women it devalued my genderqueerness. Recently I was in a year long relationship with a bi-woman and it really made a huge difference for me to know that she was attracted to me both as a woman and a man. I think for most people who have non-normative gender experiences it’s easier to date people with non-normative sexualities.


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