When you transition, there is the real possibility that your sexual preferences can change. It is a subject of great debate within our community. Some people say that we become more accepting of who we always were deep inside, and what we become is simply a manifestation of that. Some of us experience no change at all, while others flip. Gay, straight, bisexual, whatever it is, there is always the possibility these things can change as we evolve into our true selves.
With all things being equal, I probably wouldn’t have cared. Being happily married to a woman however, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the possibility of me not being attracted to the love of my life as I began my transition. What if the attraction changed or was simply no longer there? For myself or my wife? Needless to say, it was one of the many unknowns going into my journey and I really didn’t know how life as a transgender woman would pan out regarding my sexuality.
“I WAS IN LOVE WITH HER SOUL, AND THOUGH I LOVE HER BODY, IT WAS THE FACT THAT IT BELONGED TO HER THAT MADE ME ATTRACTED TO IT.”
I must admit men have always been perplexing to me whether I was attempting to fit in as one or looking at them from the lens of my true identity. In my life, I was always open to the possibility that I could fall in love with anyone, be it someone who identified as a man, woman, or someone who was genderfluid or non-binary. I was always attracted to one’s soul, their essence. This could have been anyone. I just happened to fall in love with this woman, but the truth is that it wouldn’t matter to me how she identified. I was in love with her soul, and though I love her body, it was the fact that it belonged to her that made me attracted to it. My daughter tells me this makes me pansexual, so I will take her word for it.
In reality, I never had an intimate relationship with a man, but it wasn’t for the lack of opportunity. Honestly I was perfectly fine with it, but when it came down to it possibly happening I always felt as though something was off about it. I even wondered if I had some strange internalized homophobia or something. This went against everything I thought I understood about myself. I had no problem with finding a man attractive, but still it was something that just didn’t click right for me. Now that I am further along in my transition I am certainly able to appreciate the appeal of men in ways I never did before, but it has taken me some time to finally figure out why I didn’t “click” with the boys.
“MY ‘AH HA’ MOMENT CAME WHEN I REALIZED IT WAS BECAUSE GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN ALWAYS SAW ME AS MALE IN MY FORMER EXISTENCE.”
My “ah ha” moment came when I realized it was because gay and bisexual men always saw me as male in my former existence. The fact that they were interested in something about me that I disliked most about myself was the real turnoff. I did like being pursued by someone, but it was for all the wrong reasons. My ignorance in my younger days led me to associate this experience from the binary perspective. Looking back now, I realize what I found attractive had nothing to do with gender.
I am beginning to understand that for me, I prefer to be in the role of the one who is being pursued or courted. When I was younger, I always associated this with gender. The “man” courted the “woman” was what I was taught. The fact is that a person’s gender is still irrelevant to me. Gender only comes into the equation when it relates to myself. In this case, it is important to me that the person I am with sees me for what I am, a woman. My understanding has grown to realize that I am attracted to the roles, and that they can be filled by anyone regardless of how they identify. I also realized that my wife always saw through me with respect to my true identity. In my life, she was the only person who ever did, and I fell madly in love with her.
Today, I no longer worry about the possibility of my sexual preferences changing. The only thing that has changed is my understanding of them. I had to break down the binary notions that were drilled into my head as a child to get there. In reality, I don’t ever see myself having to worry being with anyone else, but it is nice to understand how I arrived to this point in my life. The experience with my transition has helped both my wife and I to understand why we are attracted to each other. If anything it made us even closer, and for that I am thankful.