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Gender Identity vs Sexuality…

As time has gone by and the world has become more tolerant (I’d love to say understanding, we’re getting there) people have opened up to themselves, allowing two big topics to be talked more openly: sexuality and gender identity.

These topics are hard enough to talk about on their own but we don’t often discuss how these things exist as separate entities to each other.

A common piece of misinformation found in a lot of media is that ‘transgender’ is referred to as a sexuality, where as sexuality defines your relationship with others gender identity defines your relationship with yourself.

What does this mean for people questioning their gender identity and its relation to their sexuality? Quite often… confusion and a whole lot of it. By quieting the conversation regarding the differences a common narrative  has emerged based on the same standards we use to hold cis men and women.

Oh your a Trans woman? You must like men! You’re effeminate so I will put you in the category of a gay man.

Oh You’re a Trans man? You must like women!

You’re masculine so I will put you in the category of a gay woman.

Well it’s really not always that simple and that narrative can cause confusion, I personally felt this before coming out as a Trans woman.

I would question myself constantly because… I am attracted to other women, but hold up I’m attracted to women I can’t possibly be a woman? It doesn’t fit what I’ve been told!

But no that’s a very framed opinion of one’s self, in the same way we’ve consistently framed Bisexuality as confusion throughout the years. Oh you’re just waiting to pick a side is a horrible misconception that has also been applied to the gender diverse community, facing the confusion of both and the relationship between them is only made more terrifying by the societal view of such questions.

It took a while to grasp my internalised feelings towards gender and what that means for my relationships with others, but after some unlearning here I stand a Lesbian Trans Woman. At a point of time I identified Pansexual but my own experiences caused a shift in myself, but I’m still expected to be attracted to men because of my gender identity.

This also works on the flip side, your relations to transgender people can cause people to question your sexuality! Not even your gender identity and people are still giving you a hard time… that’s rough.

Here’s an exercise to see how you think about this: A transwoman and a cisman have sex… which of these two are gay?

Did you get it? Neither, that’s correct! The trans woman identifies as straight so she slept with a man, the cis man identifies as straight so he slept with a woman.

A lot of muddying of the line between is perpetuated by the idea genitals equal gender, an idea we’re moving away from as a society but it still finds its way into the conversation regarding sex.

Non Binary people deal with these attitudes on a larger scale because the lack of gender or fluidity in the binary prompts people to find other labels they can use to classify the individual to their understanding.

Even then our ‘enby’ siblings are questioned as to how they can define themselves as such because of their sexuality. Which is uncomfortable and really not something to be asked.

In summation we have a lot of talking to each other and ourselves left to do but we’re going the right way about it, and for those out there who may be questioning these things remember… don’t let your relationship with others define your relationship with yourself.

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