Monday, July 1, 2013

How much am I gay?!

The early hours of Saturday, words uttered in a venomous attack by my sister are still bothering me. Because it was again about who I loved as was the first time when I came out to her to love women 20 years ago. The most common mistake people make is to confuse sexual orientation and gender identity. Let's get it right, again: gender identity is how you feel about yourself, your sexual identity, your body -- in other words, inward feelings of one's own being. Sexual orientation is who you're attracted to, who you fall in love with, have sex/relationship with -- in other words, outward feelings and behaviour. All my life I've always fallen in love with women, so since at the time I thought I could never change my body, I resolved myself to being a lesbian, and, after my transition, I assumed that I was straight. No problem. However, it's been a year and a half since I fell in love with a guy, the very first time in my life, a guy who identified proudly as a man, no problem. Quite masculine one, too. Before my transition, I had a few attractions in my teens to very effeminate men, men who I knew then or later understood/found to have been mostly gay, or some transwomen, as a matter of fact. But the fact of finding myself at the end of 2011 in love with a man shook everything I thought I knew about myself. I went through a long period of denial, confusion, negation, painfully exhilarating time. From the end of last year, I decided I could finally handle this newly discovered side of mine, that I would just live and see if that instance of falling in love with a guy was a freak accident or something somewhat permanent, something that could repeat. I gave myself a ticket to explore my new -- new in the sense of sensual experience; otherwise, I am still in my very own world of queer people -- side. As it is, every day I am seeing and coming to terms with the fact that I am more attracted to men rather women. I have to finally say it: I am at this point in life more attracted to men than women, strangely enough. "How does that happen, do you have phases when you're more attracted to one sex than the other?" I asked a bisexual friend of mine, he wasn't sure. So I did tell my sister about this newfound side of my sexuality, and the next thing I know she throws it in my face in a transphobic and homophobic fashion "You don't even know if you're a man or a woman anymore, you were in love with a guy!" As if my inner feeling of gender identity have anything to do with my sexual orientation. So what that I am a transman who had spent 99% of his life loving women, but who is now exploring a whole new population. I am still who I am, a man born in the wrong body, who had finally taken steps to correct this mistake I was born with, and who is happily exploring his new gay side. But how much am I gay, though? I still have no answer with a percentage. As someone I met in DC a few months before my transition warned me, attractions change, they do, with transition.

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