Ask A Lesbian: 4

Originally posted on Thought Catalog September 4, 2012

Disclaimer: This is an article written in a satirical manner, meant to entertain only. The opinions and views expressed are only that of the author – nobody else. The author is in no way an expert, nor is she speaking for the entire LGTBQ community. If you have serious questions, including but not limited to gender heteronormativity, sexuality in general, or ways to assist in the LGBTQ community, please research organizations that are meant to answer those questions. If you have a story or experience that is different, please share in the comments below! Thank you!

What are your views on lesbian identified women dating trans guys?

Whew. This is a tough one, and not anything near what I have personal experience with. That being said, I do care about the issue and would like to answer to the best of my ability, at least for what I would do in said situation.

The tough part is identity. Identity is already a hot-button topic in the queer community, and so this can be problematic for both parties. If I’m right to assume you mean “trans guys” as a female-to-male (FTM), this can be especially difficult. In any relationship, the number one need for and from a partner is support. This means being there for your love in all ways necessary, and that includes loving (not shaming) their identity. If you are a lesbian, but you’re dating a person who identifies as male, this can be confusing for other people on the outside. For you, there are factors. When did you start dating? Was it when a decision was being made on FTM, was it after, was it way before…? Though these questions will change how things play out, they shouldn’t change how you support and respect your partner.

On the flip side, your partner needs to respect your identity as well. If you identify as a lesbian, they need to support that and treat you as such. There are boundaries that you will most likely need to adhere to, though. This includes a wide spectrum, from how your partner is introduced all the way to where they want to be sexually touched — same with you. If these boundaries are made clear and you feel as though you’re able to work with them in a way that makes you both happy, then you are in the clear. If you feel like you aren’t being fulfilled emotionally, sexually, or any other way, then dating a trans person may not be for you.

At the end of the day, your identity is your identity, just as everyone else’s is theirs. If you can comfortably be with someone who is trans, then good for you! You’ve worked through some issues that most people don’t need to on a regular basis, and you’re probably a stronger person for it. Best of luck to you!

Is bisexual a legit thing or is it a fence sitting thing for either confused straight girls or half-closeted lesbians? Whether legit or not, does the concept of bi hurt LGBT political equality since the straight majority may see it as fence sitting, as evidence that being gay is a choice?

I. Love. This. Question!

Many people see bisexuality as someone who’s “unable to choose,” “confused,” or “just waiting to cross over to fully homosexual.” I could not disagree more! There is this thing, and it’s called desire. As humans, we’ve got it. Sexually, we desire to be with people (for the most part), and those people differ per person. Heterosexual people want to be with a sex opposite of their own, because that’s what turns them on. Homosexuals: same, only same sex. It’s basic, when you think about it. So, for a bisexual person, their desires lie with both sexes. And who’s to say that’s not a real thing?

There are those cases that make it difficult for people who strongly identify as bisexual: the BTG (bi til graduation) folks who use their time in their 20s to hook up with lots of people, be it female or male, or for attention at parties… whatever. Those people happen. It’s called life. Maybe they really were legitimately curious — we aren’t here to pass judgment on those people, but they can make it difficult. If someone’s personal experience is only with girls who made out with other girls around a beer pong table to turn on the guy next to them and later take them home, then yeah, it can be frustrating. Coming out as bisexual is incredibly difficult, and can be hard to explain. My bisexual friends are fantastic at explaining themselves: they are very attracted to both sexes for different reasons. I’ve mentioned this before: I have a friend who finds nothing sexier than both a big strong man and a delicate woman’s touch, and that’s what works for her. Who are we to say that isn’t real?

There’s also some crappy shaming that does come from inside of the LGBT community toward bisexual people. I’ve seen it happen, and it sucks. When someone who’s supposed to be on your side wants you to just choose already, it can be disheartening (hello, Alice on The L Word!) and discouraging. It’s unfair for people to assume that all people should feel what they do on any issue, and sexuality is huge. Just because someone is attracted to both sexes (whether they identify as bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, or anything in between) doesn’t mean that it’s not true for them. There’s some identity-shaming that goes down, both from the straight community who may want things to be cut and dry, and same for the queer community who doesn’t understand why a choice can’t be made. What most people don’t see is that a choice has been made. Bisexual people are choosing to put themselves out there as a person who loves who they love, just as all other people have. It’s not our place to tell them they’re wrong.

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