Anonymous said: So like, I'm genderfluid. I'm positive about that. And I only like girls (dfab's). I'm dfab as well, so would my sexuality be lesbian? I know sexuality and gender dont go hand in hand but I'm kind of confused because there's not a way to describe liking only dfab's when I change between genders so often (you see, lesbian doesn't work because I go to male sometimes - like now. And heterosexual isn't right because of my female days.)
Okay, so: if your question was “I’m exclusively attracted to women, but my gender changes, what should I call myself?”, the answer is “some people use gynophilic or gynosexual, and others just use ‘lesbian’ sometimes and ‘heterosexual’ other times, and others choose whatever one is more common, and others altogether just say ‘attracted to women’”.
But that’s not your question. Your statement here is “I’m exclusively attracted to DFAB people”, and from what I can tell I assume that is meant to mean “I’m exclusively attracted to cis girls”, but it could just as well mean “I’m exclusively attracted to DFAB people who are not trans men”. And that is a transmisogynist statement, especially since you’re considering using the word “lesbian” (as a woman) or “heterosexual” (as a man) in a way that excludes trans women.
Trans women are women. If you use a word that implies attraction to women but then implicitly exclude trans women from that word, you’re saying they’re not really women, not to you. I’m gonna go through a pre-emptive FAQ before I get bombarded with asks about this, if that’s all right. These are all questions I’ve seen directed at other people who’ve talked about this. The below discusses genitalia and sex explicitly, be warned.
But Key, you can’t choose who you’re attracted to!
Uh. I think I’ve made it very clear on here that I don’t subscribe to “born this way” rhetoric. I don’t think that is a true statement, and I believe that attractions are often shaped by what is societally valued, and that it is our responsibility to deconstruct why we like what we like and think about whether that’s reinforcing any power imbalances. For example, I was pretty much exclusively attracted to white people in high school, and that was internalized racism on my part! Deliberately questioning that, as well as exposing myself to blogs and other media which were less white-centric (and also thin-centric) was something I had to do.
Now, I’m not saying that liking who you like at the moment is bad. I’m not saying that makes you a bad person. I’m saying that you have the responsibility to question that and think about it and work out why you feel the way you do, and whether that’s, objectively, something you should improve on. And I’m definitely saying that conflating “attracted to women” and “attracted to DFAB people” is something that needs work.
But I’m just attracted to a particular figure, and DMAB people don’t tend to have that.
Twofold answer to this one: firstly, see above with regard to questioning your attraction. Secondly, uh, there are plenty of DFAB people who won’t have that “particular figure”. And ten bucks says there are DMAB people who do. I know at least three pretty, long-haired cis men with delicate features who would be far more likely to pass a casting call for female modelling at a pinch than I would. More to the point, it is transmisogynist to assume that all trans women “look like men” or “have male figures” or whatever the heck, and just categorically not true. I mean, Laverne Cox.
I just don’t like penises! It’s misogynist and ableist toward me as a survivor with trauma issues related to penises to say that I’m being transmisogynist!
Also a two-part answer here. First, not all trans women have penises, and some trans men have penises! There’s a thing called surgery! It exists! Secondly, I get that. And I mean “I have PTSD and viscerally understand that”, not “I guess I can see where that comes from”. And I’m still telling you that defining your attraction that way is transmisogynist. Y’know why? Because when you see somebody on the street you’re sexually attracted to, you’re not going “damn, that is sure a fine lack of peen there, it’s so sexy.” You’re looking at the person as a whole. I don’t know what in particular makes somebody sexually attractive for you, but it sure as hell isn’t, at first glance, their not having a dick. Not wanting to have penis-centred penetrative sex or not wanting to see a penis at all doesn’t mean you are never attracted to people with penises. It doesn’t even mean you can’t be in a relationship with somebody with a penis, or have sex with somebody with a penis! Oral sex exists! A wide variety of other sexual acts exist! Some people with penises don’t actually want to involve their penises in sex, just like some people with breasts like to wear binders during sex! Hell, as an asexual person who doesn’t like sex at all, I’ve found ways to be intimate with sexual partners who have penises that don’t cross my boundaries and still involve them getting off!
You’re asexual, you don’t understand!
I’m not gonna dignify this one with an answer like other people have - all I have to say about this one is “fuck off”.
If there’s any other questions, I’m happy to field them, but I might not respond immediately. I’m sorry if I’m being unkind, anon, but this does need to be addressed in general, and your question was a useful place to start. I think this was something you’ve probably never thought about, and I hope this was helpful to you too. If you want to talk to me privately about your attractions or whatever, I promise I’ll listen and be constructive and gentle - you can contact me at klutzygeek, or in a number of other ways here.