52. Being a Trans* Lesbian

Are You Still Interested In Girls?

I just had a thought and wanted to write a quick blog post. I noted in a recent post that I came out twice, once as a trans* woman, and also as a lesbian. However, I was somewhat robbed of the second experience of coming out as a lesbian for a couple reasons. As I note in the other post, there's really no sexual orientation I can adopt that won't "make sense" to people. If I date men, it's because I was really a gay man (false); if I date women, it's because I was really a straight man (also false).

metamorphosis_lesbian.pngOne of the other reasons I didn't get to really come out as lesbian is that one of the first questions people would ask me when I came out as trans*, way back in the beginning of my transition, was, "Are you still interested in girls?" (The meaning is clear: am I still romantically and sexually attracted to women?) The answer was yes, but this question (and in a sense the answer) glosses over a really important difference. "Before" the transition, I dated cis (as far as I knew) straight women.

Here's the big difference, though: post-transition, I don't date women who identify as straight, I exclusively date women who identify as lesbian (or bi). Why? Because I'm a woman. Straight women aren't interested in dating (cis or trans) women.

So that's part of the cissexism behind asking, "Are you still interested in girls?" The "still" forgets that the type of women that I dated before and that I date after are drastically different in terms of their sexual orientations. I no longer date straight women…period.

…although I did turn one into a lesbian. *wink*

The other thing is that people often speak of LGBT (or as I prefer, QUILTBAG) issues as each letter representing a different group. There are lesbian, gay, and bi issues (sexual orientation), and there are trans* issues (gender identity). But people too often forget that some of us occupy more than one position within the LGBT rainbow: I'm both trans* and lesbian. The problem is (partly) that when people think of "lesbians" they're excluding trans* women from their schema. Come on: intersectionality people!

Yours truly,
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