Unanswered Question: Who Do Transgender Individuals Love?

Published February 2, 2018 by Nan Mykel

I’m struggling with this question because I’m writing a novel about a male-to-female gendered individual and am confused how gender identity and   sexuality go together. I know there are many combinations and preferences, even asexuality, but my two main characters are both female and both 22/23 year old virgins who are thrown together by circumstances.  Jules has transitioned only above the waist while Lucy has never even questioned her identity.  Any suggestions or experiences anyone can share?  My mind just kind of flips when I consider a good resolution.

(Photo from Wikimedia)

11 comments on “Unanswered Question: Who Do Transgender Individuals Love?

  • My friend transitioned male to female. Her wife said one day to me, “Hmm, I guess this means I’m a lesbian!” Because she’d married a man who transitioned to being a woman. I always thought of her as a woman because she said she always felt like a woman even though her body may not have looked it. I am not sure if this helps

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  • Among the roughly 40 trans people I am at least acquainted with or count among my close friends–I sometimes facilitate a trans support group–there seems to be more concern with the human qualities of their partners (kindness, responsibility, a sense of humor) than personal history or anatomy. Nobody I know worries about labels (gay, straight, bi, lesbian, etc) much. I would recommend seeing the film A Fantastic Woman, which just won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, which is largely about the romantic relationship between a cisgender man and a transgender woman (I know several such couples), and is the ONLY reasonably realistic film about the life of a transgender women that I have ever seen on a big screen. On the small screen the most believable trans character I’ve seen is Nomi on Sense8, Nearly everything out there, on screen or in print, was created by cisgender people who rarely have even a clue about what we or our lives are really like and get so much wrong it makes us wince. Honestly, you run into us all the time without realizing it, because, honestly, we’re just people trying to get through life just like you and more of us than you would believe are completely invisible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJHex4ZitgA

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    • Bless you for your response and words. Do you think this scene is realistic?
      Is this realistic? —
      They had just received their order of soda water when the lights dimmed. There was a drum roll, and a big, scantily dressed blonde person with overlarge breasts welcomed the audience. During the entire first number Jules was trying to imagine what was under the sequined brief that stretched minimally over the performer’s loins. The next performer sashayed around the audience, shaking her breasts in the face of male attendees. The audience hooted. There were more sashays and wicked songs, and then a couple celebrating their second anniversary was introduced and asked to stand. They rose, embarrassed and giggling.
      A man and a woman. Which was which? Jules’ mind fogged over. These were live, feeling individuals under all these acts and jokes. The audience stayed in a frenzy of laughter. Jules shrank back in her chair, a frozen look of wonderment on her face. She snuck a look at Rob, who seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly. The final act contained a grand finale and requested support for PRIDE. Was it pride or gay pride?
      Rob took Jules’ arm and guided her through the dispersing crowd. On the sidewalk a couple of entertainers were smoking and enjoying a drink. One was posing for someone’s smart phone. “Good job,” said Rob, addressing the drag queens. Jules averted her eyes, lips held in a tight smile.
      On the way home Jules was uncommonly quiet.
      Rob looked over at her in the passenger seat. “What did you think of that?”
      She didn’t answer right away. “I….don’t…know.”
      “Would you like to stop for a cup of coffee? Maybe we can discuss it.”
      Jules turned her head to stare out the window. “Sure.”
      They pulled into a new drive-in style restaurant and Rob left the heater on. “This will give us a little privacy,” he said, after placing a curb service order for coffee and donuts. Jules remained silent, and Rob said, ”We don’t have to talk. I guess I just wanted some refreshment after that frantic experience.”
      Pokie knew, Lucy knew. Had Lucy told Lucy’s father?
      A woman on skates delivered their order and Jules bit into her donut and blew on her coffee. Finally she sighed and asked, “What has Lucy told you about me?”
      “Only that you’re a friend.”
      “Did she tell you what kind of friend?”
      “No….what kind of friend are you?” Rob spoke gently.
      “I can tell you’re not sure of me,” Jules stammered. “This will be confidential?”
      “Assuredly, and you don’t have to overshare if you’d rather not.”
      Jules gave a little smile and repeated “overshare….yes, I can’t really share without oversharing—at least that’s what it must feel like to the listener.” She sighed. “I’m a transgender woman who has not come out yet and who has only had above-the-waist surgeries, plus hormones and my larynx whittled. Fortunately my loving, accepting parents allowed me to receive hormones to put puberty on pause until I was older.”
      She took a sip of her cooling coffee and another bite of donut. “My parents were and are supportive. I had become enormously depressed from what is called gender dysphoria. I could tell I was female, yet had to dress and try to pretend to be a boy in school. That’s what it felt like; pretending. Tried, and wasn’t successful. Other students thought I was gay and bullied me and called me names.” She looked over at Rob and said, “I was between a rock and a hard place and it seemed there was no way out. Until the day I read an article about transitioning in a teen magazine.”
      Rob continued quietly listening.
      “When I came to the university for graduate school I had plans to come out as a transgender. I just haven’t done it…yet. I’ve transitioned, but I haven’t come out.”
      “Is there a rush to come out?”
      “I feel I’m being dishonest. And when I imagine how people would react if they saw beneath my skirt I feel nauseated. It just seemed like there was no alternative I could live with.”
      “How did you feel about the drag show?”
      “Horrified. Sick to my stomach.”
      “Maybe it was a mistake to invite you tonight.”
      “Oh no, no…after all, it’s the topic I chose in class. And I have a co-presenter already. But I’m afraid of breaking down and crying during my presentation.”
      “What would your tears be saying?”
      “That I’m really no different than them. But I am….
      “That I’m ashamed of being a freak. Most feminist groups reject us. In a pride parade in California the gays wouldn’t let transgenders march with them. The trannies marched at the very end, with the disabled. This summer in our town a MtF –(male-to-female)– transgender was being raped and when her abductor discovered she was transgender he killed her.” Jules paused. “As for the drag shows, they’re making money being the freaks they are. They’re prostituting their souls. I would never join in making fun of myself. But the pride organizers say pride is all about accepting ourselves when others do not! We’re referred to as ‘stealth’—the sneakies who hide the truth.”
      “You haven’t changed your mind about transitioning?”
      “I had no choice, if I wanted to be me.”
      “What else might your tears be saying? Unexpressed grief?”
      “Yes!” Jules’ tears began to flow unchecked. “I feel so alone! I feel asexual and just know I’ll always be alone. I never knew how lonely I’d be…I’m not bitter or resentful of life, and I can’t make fun of myself. I don’t have the resentment to be a fighter and don’t want it. I’m grateful for finally being me, but I feel lonely inside and can see myself as a woman, but a woman who will die alone.” She paused and added, with an attempt at a chuckle, “I want a mother my own age!”
      Rob sighed and there was silence until he said. “I’ve read that not all drag queens are transgender. Some are gay, even normal…oh, that’s not the right term.”
      Jules gave a little laugh. “Yes, it’s the right term. But the stars with the big, obviously real boobs must be transgender…..The transgenders I’ve known seem to want to shove their own gender down others’ throats.”
      “And it’s not justified?”
      Jules remained silent.
      “I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with all this. Thanks for sharing. Maybe with time things will level out and you can feel firmer in yourself.” Jules gave a little smile, touched Rob’s arm, and leaned back. They continued drinking their coffee in silence. When they were finished, Rob turned the car towards home.

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      • I am trans, mtf. I have yet to transition fully but i have heard mixed things about sexuality before and after, especially hormone therapy. From what I’ve read in the forums and such, i think one’s sexual preference nudges slightly more toward bisexuality for women who were attracted to women previously and not for women who were initially attracted to men. This is of course a drastic generalization.
        On the matter of pride though, i think you hit the mark in your passage. There is a bit of a weird cleft between the gay and trans communities. Don’t even get me started on the trans vs drag argument…

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  • This is a continued reply to belliboneone: I viewed the trailer-remarkable and moving. I’m not up to date on films providers like Netflix, but I’ll search for how to see the movie. You have an excellent site. I already see that transgenders pushing their sexuality into others’ faces is quite inaccurate! Thanks.

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