Genitals vs Gender

There were so many times I questioned my sexuality. Gay? Straight? Bi? I knew I liked the female form….a lot, and in all shapes and sizes. It never took much introspection to keep that thought clear in my head. But I wasn’t just attracted to cis women. Trans women fascinated me. At first, it was probably the thrill of taboo that I rationalized as the reason (much like my early minor forays into crossdressing). I’m not sure when I started to think about BEING that. I think people who are just starting to realize that they are trans struggle with this a lot. Of course, the trans community doesn’t help (I have a lot of feelings about the clique-y nature of the trans community, and the willingness to label someone “a chaser” or “just a crossdresser” instead of trying to understand where someone is in their journey of realization, but that deserves at least an entire post on its own and more likely a full category). But I digress. Here are my thoughts; I hope they resonate with someone who can find comfort in seeing something of themselves in my reflection.

I don’t have any genital dysphoria. My penis doesn’t make me hate myself. Looking like a man is what brings on my dysphoria, my depression, my anxiety. Wondering how that thing in the mirror is ever going to look like what I feel inside is my trigger. But not my penis. I understand that genitals are a powerful dysphoric trigger for many of my brothers and sisters. For me, realizing that I didn’t have an objection to penises made me continually question my sexuality, and while I was questioning my sexuality, I was too consumed with that confusion to bother considering my gender identity. Once I realized that I saw trans and cis women both as women, I quickly also realized that I don’t define gender by genital type. This is a whole aspect of my sexual preference that is distinct from my identity, but resolving this conflict was a necessary part of me coming to realize what my gender identity is. I had to let go of my cisheteronormative [there’s a $20 college word for you. I hate labels, but this word is a doozy] ideas of gender to move on internally.

This is not to say that everyone has to do this. Like everything else in this blog, this is *my* story about *my* discoveries. Some folks have different views on how genital type contributes to their view of themselves and others. While I think it’s healthy to see gender as *more than* just genital type, I am not going so far as to say this is something someone must come to terms with on their journey. I had to come to terms with my view on genitals before continuing my journey; your mileage may vary.

I briefly revisited my sexuality questioning when I first realized I was trans, but it was truly brief. Sorry, boys…..you’re not for me. Now, it could very well be the case that my lack of attraction to the male form is tied into my own body dysphoria. I’ll keep this in the back of my head to consider as I continue to grow.

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