Internalized homophobia & teen dysphoria: More reader comments

This week, I’ve been featuring comments submitted to this blog. Today, there are two selections: a commenter asking what the solution is (if not transition) for a female who is sexually attracted to other females, but cannot tolerate the idea of being a woman herself; and a 15-year-old who identifies as trans male. This teen feels angered by what I and others write here, believing we don’t understand.

First, from Dagis:

What if the sexual preference for a natal female is for a female, but only if the natal female were male? That is, what if the natal female does not self-identify as lesbian, could not conceive of being a female having an intimate sexual relationship with a female, but desires an intimate sexual relationship with a female as a male? I’ve yet to see this addressed by critics of “transition,” and yet I have seen this expressed by those considering FtM transition. Perhaps this is generally dismissed as “oh this person is just a ‘closet lesbian/gay,’ and therefore it’s not actually examined. But if it is a real issue for someone who identifies in anyway as having difficulty with their birth assigned sex, and such a person does indeed express desire for intimate sexual relationship (not homosexual), then what is a compassionate and logically sound response to such a person?

“I am attracted to women but I’m actually not a lesbian, I’m a straight man.” This assertion is a key part of nearly every transition account I’ve seen–including from women like Aydian Dowling, who lived happily as a lesbian before deciding she was a man.  (I always wonder why the prior lesbian life is presented as somehow less real than the subsequent life as a heterosexual man).

Trans-identified natal females stringently deny that their desire to convert to heterosexual males is in the least motivated by internalized homophobia.  But why else, then, would a woman be unable to “conceive of being a female having an intimate sexual relationship with a female”?

The accounts of female-to-male transitioners often revolve around a feeling of disgust for one’s own female body.  Transition vloggers are careful not to use anatomically accurate words that might “trigger” their viewers; euphemisms like “down there” and “junk” are substituted for the rejected body parts.  But clearly, for these women who desire to be heterosexual men, it’s not a generalized revulsion for female bodies;  they want to be intimate with other women.  Yet dis-identifying with and speaking disparagingly about one’s own female body, and taking comfort in the thought that they can be transformed, via hormones and surgery, into straight men–how is that not, at base,  a form of internalized homophobia?

As I’ve said many times, I have no difficulty acknowledging that some trans-identified people do feel intense dysphoria or dissociation from their bodies. That is an experience, and as such, it is subjectively real.  What right would I have to deny the feelings and thoughts of another person?

So as Dagis asks, what’s the compassionate and “logically sound” response (apart from simply agreeing that transition is the answer) to same-sex attracted women who are adamant that they cannot stand the thought of being sexually involved with someone of their own sex? I hate to say it, but I suspect most of them are just going to cover their ears if all they hear is feminist analysis.


Next, there is this comment from Kenneth, a 15-year-old who identifies as trans male.

This blog absolutely has pissed me off. To the people who have been saying that this whole Transgender thing is wrong and that people who identify as trans are only going through a phase, you have no idea about it. There are are thirty year olds who have identified as trans since they were old enough to understand that the gender of the their body did not match the one inside their head. I have identified myself as male before I barely knew what Internet was, I’d like to see you calling me ‘brainwashed’ by the internet. But at the age of twelve I was mildly obsessed over YouTube, I enjoyed watching YouTubers such as Smosh and Annoying Orange and etc. but I soon found a YouTuber that goes by the name of Alex Bertie, who has been identifying as male since he was fourteen; as of now he is 21 and personally goes and makes his appointments for his gender needs and hasn’t once had any doubts his doings.

I’m currently fifteen, I do identify as male regardless of what my body is. Could I possibly change my mind in a couple years or even months? Possibly, I’m not going to say it’s impossible but you sure as hell aren’t going to find me doing it right now; wearing girls clothes or mildly looking like a girl? No, that sounds like absolute hell and feel sorry for the children who have to go through that now. Normally children go back to their birth gender because society says that what they’re doing is wrong, some children even commit suicide because of this horrible issue. It isn’t wrong. I’d like to see your reaction if you were somehow ‘magically’ put into a male/female body but were born male/female. Would you like that? Would you try your hardest to become the gender you know yourself as?

Children also do not wish to tell their parent they are trans because the fact they feel like they’re going to be rejected. Many children of the LGBT+ community are thrown into the streets or are still allowed at home but are abused because of this ‘issue’.

I don’t doubt that Kenneth decided s/he was stereotypically male as a child, before being exposed to the Internet–although Kenneth’s subsequent experiences watching other trans-identified  people (like Alex, one of the many “YouTube famous” transitioners) had an impact in cementing that identity, no doubt.

But notice what Kenneth defines as being female: to “wear girls’ clothes or mildly look like a girl.” Because what is it to be a 15-year-old girl, apart  from clothes and looks and–what? Which video games you prefer? What does “girl” even mean to a teen like Kenneth?

I have never once heard an adult trans-identified person actually answer the question: What is a man? What is a woman?  apart from saying “it’s whatever I feel I am.” And I sure don’t expect a teen trans-identified person to be able to respond with any more clarity. But Kenneth: Are your feelings of being the opposite sex rooted in your preferences for the activities and appearances of the boys you’ve been around? What exactly is wrong with being a “gender nonconforming” girl?

Maybe this is what’s wrong: Kenneth brings up being rejected by parents. There is no doubt that “gender nonconforming” kids are more at risk for self harm, and that some do actually kill themselves due to, as Kenneth rightly calls it, this “horrible issue.” One of the risk factors for poor self esteem in LGBT teens is lack of family support, but how much of that is down to the pressure to conform to rigid gender stereotypes and norms?

Kenneth, parents like me aren’t rejecting our kids. We want to support them in expanding what it means to be a girl (or boy).  In fact, we actually see medical transition as another, potentially very serious form of self harm–even self hate.  And transition does not appear to be a magic long-term solution for many young people; witness the rash of teen suicides in 2015, several of whom were fully supported in their transition by family, teachers, and friends.

Kenneth presents this challenge:

I’d like to see your reaction if you were somehow ‘magically’ put into a male/female body but were born male/female. Would you like that? Would you try your hardest to become the gender you know yourself as?

What Kenneth is saying is: I hate this body. I want out of it. If you hated your body as much as I hate mine, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to escape its prison?

Kenneth, I don’t know what it’s like to feel extreme dysphoria; to want to drastically alter my body, even if it means a lifetime of surgeries and doctor’s appointments. I have fantasized, on more than one occasion, about being a man–down to every anatomical detail. I can even say that I’ve mightily wished I were a man at certain times in my life. But it has not caused me the misery you are talking about here.  There are quite a few women who have been there, though, like this one. And there are several more in my blogroll (linked on the right side of the page) who have been down the same path you’re on–but returned home to realizing themselves as female.

I don’t doubt your pain, and your determination to do something to relieve that pain. Nor do I doubt that you sincerely believe your mind knows better than your body;  that you think your body is alien and wrong.

But I don’t believe the intense desire to be something you are not means you are actually male.

I wish there were more therapists and caring adults who could support  teens in exploring options apart from “transgender.” Breaking out of gender stereotypes is a good thing, a brave thing for a teen to do.  But where are the non-trans-identified role models for these young people? Where are the YouTube stars who have chosen not to transition? Wouldn’t it be great to see a series of vlogs that aren’t “one year on “T,” but “one year in my journey to reclaim myself as a strong and independent girl?”

 

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21 thoughts on “Internalized homophobia & teen dysphoria: More reader comments

  1. “What if the sexual preference for a natal female is for a female, but only if the natal female were male? That is, what if the natal female does not self-identify as lesbian, could not conceive of being a female having an intimate sexual relationship with a female, but desires an intimate sexual relationship with a female as a male?”

    When you are a female who is attracted to females and you cannot accept this, it is called internalized homophobia. It happens to lots of us. I went through years of denial and believing I was straight despite my feelings for women. It took years for me to really figure it out. Sometimes I thought I was straight and sometimes I thought I was bisexual, and now as an adult I’m in a long-term relationship with a woman and finally understand myself as lesbian. When you are a teenager you are only starting to understand what your feelings are. It will take time and experience to fully understand your desires and your identity. At age 17 I presented as feminine and identified as straight, and now at age 31 I present as androgynous and identify as lesbian. This is a complete change, and this is entirely normal. We all grow and change constantly with new experiences. You are young now; your identity will probably change several times between now and your 30s. Adults are discouraging you to make a life-altering, permanent change to your body because we know this identity might not stay with you forever, and we can see that you have a same-sex attraction which means you are a lesbian. It’s okay to be a masculine-presenting lesbian, it’s not necessary to try to change that. Some FtM transitioners end up detransitioning and identifying as lesbians later on. The blogger crashchaoscats transitioned to male but found that “the dyke inside would not die and she was stronger than medically sanctioned endocrine disruption.” She also said that transition did not alleviate dysphoria.

    “I’ve yet to see this addressed by critics of “transition,” and yet I have seen this expressed by those considering FtM transition. Perhaps this is generally dismissed as “oh this person is just a ‘closet lesbian/gay,’ and therefore it’s not actually examined. But if it is a real issue for someone who identifies in anyway as having difficulty with their birth assigned sex, and such a person does indeed express desire for intimate sexual relationship (not homosexual), then what is a compassionate and logically sound response to such a person?”

    Have you thought about why you are having difficulty with your female body? Have you considered that when you feel disconnected from your body, the answer is to re-connect with yourself rather than to try to become someone else? Becoming someone else is getting even farther away from a connection with yourself. Do you know that tons of women have difficulties with their female bodies, even women who aren’t trans? Being a teenage girl means getting uncomfortable periods, cramps, and sore breasts, it means getting unwelcome and unwanted attention from men, it means being humiliated by the feminine gender roles we are expected to play. Lots of women feel humiliated by the pink frilly bimbo routine that we are supposed to enjoy playing, even if we aren’t trans. Lots of us prefer comfortable, loose clothing, practical footwear, and celebrating our strength. These are normal things for women.
    If you cannot stand the clothing and makeup meant for women, you are a normal woman. Lots of us can’t stand these things. If you feel uncomfortable having a period every month, you are a normal woman. We all feel uncomfortable with this, but it’s a part of our reality as women and we deal with it. If you cannot stand the way women are treated in society, then you are a normal woman. None of us like being second-class citizens. There is absolutely nothing abnormal about feeling uncomfortable being a woman in this society. The reason there is a feminist movement is because women are not happy with the way things are for us and want things to change.
    “and such a person does indeed express desire for intimate sexual relationship (not homosexual)”
    Why do you desire not to be homosexual? You are female, and you desire females. Both you and your desired partner are the same biological sex. Homosexual is a word that means same sex (homo = same). You are homosexual. You’d rather not see yourself this way—why? In every generation of humans there are some women who have a personality that society labels as “masculine” and who love other women. Although you are a minority, you are completely normal. This is normal and okay. You don’t have to pretend to be a man. There are lesbians out there who are attracted to masculine-presenting lesbians just like you. Someday you might find yourself in a happy relationship with one.

    Liked by 13 people

    • I have briefly danced with the idea of being trans, but I think for me at least its much more to do with internalised sexism rather than homophobia. Like most women, as a teenager I prided myself on thinking “I’m not like other girls”. I actively eschewed anything feminine. I felt like my love for women was somehow “masculine”, before realising that what I really meant was…sexist. I wanted to be the gazer, the penetrator, the dominant, because I saw myself as somehow floating between men (above me) and women (below). Loving a woman on an equal footing seemed strange. Thankfully once I actually got into a same-sex relationship I started recognising these feelings and focusing on equality within the relationship, rather than some weird power play.

      I cannot of course speak to other people’s feelings on this, only that I had twisted ideas of what a woman is when I was younger.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “I’m currently fifteen, I do identify as male regardless of what my body is.”
    So you know that you are not male but are identifying that way anyway? Why? Why not just be yourself, wear the clothing you want, and acknowledge who you are?

    Could I possibly change my mind in a couple years or even months? Possibly, I’m not going to say it’s impossible but you sure as hell aren’t going to find me doing it right now; wearing girls clothes or mildly looking like a girl? No, that sounds like absolute hell and feel sorry for the children who have to go through that now.

    It’s completely normal to hate the clothing that is meant for girls and women. I hate it too. Clothing meant for girls and women is always silly, overly cute, and undignified. It is completely natural for you to hate it. Go ahead and buy clothes from the men’s section, there’s nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t mean you are male though. The problem here is that the role women are expected to play in society is the role of pretty object for the male gaze, and clothing made for us reflects that. There is a whole feminist movement fighting against this culture on behalf of you and all of us.

    Normally children go back to their birth gender because society says that what they’re doing is wrong, some children even commit suicide because of this horrible issue. It isn’t wrong.

    They’re not “going back to their birth gender,” because the body they were born with was never changed—it is only their outward appearance that changed. They are going back to wearing the clothing and appearance that was assigned to them based on their sex. There should not be any clothing styles assigned to people based on their sex. People should wear any clothing they feel comfortable in. You are absolutely right that society should not tell people it’s wrong to wear clothing that feels comfortable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking the way you want to look. This doesn’t mean that biological sex doesn’t exist, though.

    I’d like to see your reaction if you were somehow ‘magically’ put into a male/female body but were born male/female. Would you like that? Would you try your hardest to become the gender you know yourself as?

    This is impossible. A body that produces sperm is male, and a body that produces ova is female. There is no changing from one biological sex to the other, there is only changing the outward appearance so that one looks like the opposite sex. When you say “the gender you know yourself as” what you mean is your personality. People have a right to express their personality, and your type of personality does not depend on what sex you are. Males and females can both have any kind of personality, and there is no reason why they need to alter their bodies in order to express themselves. Express however you want! Accept yourself as you are.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Knowing first hand of the harassment and hardship that gay and lesbian activists went through in order to merely eliminate the reality of arrest or involuntary psychiatric confinement and to establish their right to love while at the same time recalling all too clearly the turmoil caused by the realization that one is same-sex attracted when it runs contrary to everything that we are enculturated to believe, the degree of internalized homophobia in these comments is so hard to read. It’s especially difficult, because the truth of the matter is no matter what alterations they make to their bodies (along with the resulting harms), they will *still* be female, they will *still* be “female[s] having an intimate sexual relationship with a female,” they’ll still be lesbians, and they will still most likely be rejected by most of the “natal females” they are attracted to unless they, themselves, are lesbians as well. All the “self-identification” in the world will not change physical reality.

    The real kicker is that a significant number (I’ve seen estimates at around 40%) of the Women who take testosterone experience a change in their sexuality and end up being sexually attracted to men. (In a study of AIDS in the female-to-transsexual population in San Francisco, it was revealed that most of these women were unable to establish long-term relationships and put themselves at greater risk for AIDS because of their fear of being rejected because of their “trans” status. http://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=nursing_fac )

    And it makes me angry. Transactivists and their primarily heterosexual allies –despite all of their bullshit talk about “queering gender”–have gone out of their way to denigrate and mock lesbians for their looks, their dress, and for their culture and community because they are and were not interested in deferring to and centering the fetishistic heterosexual males who claim to be women. Lesbians have and are being portrayed as bigots for actually *being* lesbians and refusing to make themselves sexually available to these men, and the young lesbians are paying the price: they learn to loathe their own bodies and their sexual desire.

    “Coming out” and achieving self-acceptance for lesbians has never been easy –even when there was a viable “LGB” community and system of support which was, with some effort, accessible. “First love” (and even second) are most often directed towards heterosexual “best friends” whose romantic rejection is based on possessing the *wrong body,* alone. (Hell, my first –and ridiculously intense –love told me that if I were a man, she would have married me. This did not lessen the pain) Imagine what it’s like for girls who have not fully overcome their own socially induced homophobia having to experience that rejection on the basis of their body AND the loss of friendship by a “love” who chooses to make the professed love *public*as the subject of gossip among their peers. It happens all the time. I’ve witnessed it. The betrayal and humiliation would be unbearable.

    How easy it would be to expect that “transitioning” her body would “correct” all that was amiss. In her imagination, she wouldn’t have to resolve her discomfort with the idea of lesbian sex or of not conforming to the heterosexist social norm. She could conjure the illusion that she would no longer face the rejections that come with being a sexual minority. She might even “pass” to the outside world as a heterosexual man, and that’s a comfortable idea however little that has to do with intimate sexual relations. She can “identify” all she wants, but people have sex with their bodies, not their identities, and hers will never be or function sexually as that of a male. Better to face that reality now than to find out after “transition” that sex does not change. Barring a testosterone-induced alteration of her sexual orientation, the truth is that she will never engage in anything other than lesbian sex.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Even with extra testosterone, she will NOT be male. (All women have some testosterone and all men have some estrogen and progesterone. Typically, men have about 10x the amount of testosterone as women. (It does vary widely among individuals, though.) However, it is NOT hormones alone that make the man or woman, so adding extra testosterone won’t make this lesbian into a straight man. This is impossible. I hope the person commenting learns to “accept the things she can not change,” as the saying goes. There is no alternative, anyway.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I agree that pointing out the impossibility of ever truly being ABLE to “have sex as a straight male,” while harsh, might be something that should be said.

      So many of the transgender community pages put up the thought experiment “if you could wake up as a ‘cis’ male tomorrow, would you?” but it’s a false choice, and a cruel dream, because you can’t really do it. No matter how hard you want to be male having sex with female people, you can’t, you won’t ever be able to have a real penis (or a real male body elsewhere either) and yes, people can tell. It’s an impossible quest.

      Having sex as a male with females is not on the table. Your only real choice is whether to have sex as a female with bodymods (in a vain attempt to appear to be male) or to have sex as a female in your own unaltered body. That’s it.

      Thing is though lately the message is that “these people are so fragile, if they get too much bad news they’ll suicide” and so I think people are wary of rocking the boat too much by saying the truth.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The hard work of self acceptance will never be as attractive as a miracle cure (at least to teenagers). Looking different from hrt or surgery also makes it seem more real I suspect. The comments from minors in transition related media is strikingly similar to the talk on eating disorder groups that discourage recovery.

    Liked by 3 people

    • They would rather stay sick together than get healthy alone. It is a form of codependence. People must learn to stand on their own 2 feet, and realize that the closest helping hand is at the end of one’s own arm.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Homophobic lesbian teen who wants to pretend a strap on is more part of her body then her own body is because she has a badcase of penis envy/male worship problem even though she is attracted to the female sex as the match to her idol male self which doesn’t exist, but she will never find a heterosexual female that buys that line of wrong body switched magically at birth nonsense. Only a pan/bi/lesbian girl who might play along with her living those lies.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. “(I always wonder why the prior lesbian life is presented as somehow less real than the subsequent life as a heterosexual man).”

    This is exactly the problem with the transgender movement. It erases both female biology and lesbianism, makes both seem “unreal” and more like abstract concepts to use as you see fit. Apparently we aren’t “real enough” to take seriously or have a discussion about our human right to reject gender entirely.

    I am particularly disturbed at how lesbianism is viewed as a precursor to transition to becoming a “man”, it’s the same mentality that stereotypes butch lesbians as “top” or “dominant” as though lesbianism is a reflection of problematic heterosexual relationships. Lesbianism is not a stepping stone to heterosexuality, nor is being butch a sign of being trans. As purplesage pointed out already, it is normal to despise feminine strappings because feminizing is a way that men mark women as the sex class. Many straight women also reject traditionally feminine clothing/accessories, either because they don’t want to or because they are too poor to.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Straight gender non-conforming woman here, and thank you for this comment.

      If I had a nickel for every time I heard “you’ll never get a husband acting like that/dressing like that” or “you’ll never be successful in life acting like that/dressing like that” I’d be rich by now. Also the “well, surely you’ll grow out of it.”

      In fact as a child I was convinced I never wanted to get married at all because it was presented as something that meant I’d have to give up my entire life and become a mere appendage to someone else, with no freedom to choose where I want to live or what I want to do, because I would only be supporting a man’s career.

      I never did grow out of it, and luckily I managed to find someone who accepts me for who I am, including my mannish appearance. I have my own career and am the main wage earner in my household, and have a happy modern life. Never did wear the heels.

      My only point is that the world is a big place – surely, no matter who you are, there is someone out there, or a place out there, a community out there, for you, as you are.

      With me it was (and is) a rejection of being a sex object, and of being restricted. I myself loathed puberty and absolutely hated the idea of getting breasts, because of what it meant for my role in society, and restrictions it implied. This definitely happens with straight girls too. It’s certainly not only a “trans” thing, no matter how much the media likes to push it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your response, and that’s exactly it – *everyone* has some form of body dysphoria. *Everyone* has felt like their bodies don’t match up to the image they carry around in their head. I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met that was ever 100% happy with themselves, and it bugs me to no end that the trans movement thinks they have a corner on wanting surgical intervention to fix what they hate about themselves. This is a major social problem that people aren’t allowed to feel comfortable in their own skin due to homophobia and bullying, and it’s not a solution to politically lobby in favor of medically unnecessary surgeries and identity disturbances.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So many sad stories. I don’t know how I would feel if I woke up with a different body that did not fit my gender. I think that would be because I have already lived in the body I have. Perhaps the question is what would I do if I felt if the day came, (after not having a problem with how I looked) that I had a different gender to the body I was in. I can only say my attitude would be to wonder why I now felt that way. I don’t think I would force my body to fit my mind though.
    As for the change in sexual orientation, my ex could not say what he would feel about being in a relationship with either sex when he transitioned however he showed some interest in males after the first year. Thanks for what you wrote. It’s not easy for anyone, especially with so many people transitioning, de-transitioning, changing their minds or questioning what is happening, regarding everyone being put under the same umbrella these days. .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m both alarmed and saddened to see all these teenage and twentysomething YouTubers who identify as FTM, and have their requisite “How I knew I was trans” video full of stuff like “I hated ballet class, skirts, and pink, and loved Spiderman, Pokémon, and karate.” I’m shocked to discover someone like myself has become an anomaly in just one generation. I’ve always physically presented as obviously female (and hated when my parents insisted on keeping my hair short as a young child!), but most of my interests, thoughts, etc., have always been more stereotypically masculine than feminine. So many women just 15 or 20 years younger than I am now think it’s either-or, and wouldn’t even consider the idea of being a woman who likes some stereotypically feminine things like long hair, nailpolish, embroidery, and skirts, while still eschewing things like high heels and makeup, not caring about weddings and housekeeping, and enjoying taking things apart, worms and spiders, the Three Stooges, and climbing a fence to avoid going the long way on a walk. My ex actually commented on how I should’ve been born a man a few times, and that I was more like a man than a woman. While I do strongly feel I may have been a man in at least one past life, I’ve never had any desire to actually become one in this lifetime.

    The idea of a woman who “desires an intimate sexual relationship with a female as a male” is so bizarre and non-intuitive. Last time I checked, being gay meant only being attracted to one’s own sex, not someone of the opposite sex living as your same sex. A similar and equally ridiculous topic was discussed in a video on the Girlfriends TV YouTube channel, “Would you date a lesbian with a penis?” I almost don’t have any words for how wrong that question is on so many levels!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If you are one of those “people who live quite well and enjoy balanced and well-adjusted lives yet radically defy gender stereotypes”…why would you need media coverage?

    What is being missed is that those who “self-harm” to the point of suicide have a myriad of psychological issues not related to gender. “Gender dysphoria” may very well be the symptom rather than the cause. It seems to me that those who have attached themselves to this “trans”narrative and have heavily invested in it have a very difficult time accepting that perhaps they made some serious errors in judgment and are now faced with the consequences of those mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Being gay is really hard. Being a lesbian is really hard. These were the first words I said to my friends when I stopped identifying as transgender. I had come out as gay eight years prior but had not fully grasped how difficult it is to be gay until after I really, really came to accept it.

    It’s easy to talk about self-acceptance and “it’s okay to be gay!” and “there’s many of us and so many ways to express it!”- all of that is indeed helpful. But we also live in a world that is still extremely caustic towards homosexuality. A person can have a wonderfully supportive community of family and friends but still watch the news and see gay people assaulted/murdered/etc. for being gay almost on a weekly basis. And forget about the ongoing crimes against humanity around the globe, where being gay is a crime punishable by death.

    It is incredibly frightening to be gay. It is so very tempting to think you can transition to “straight.” So much so all kinds of mental paths can be built around the idea to support it, like “I always knew I was a boy.” And “I want to be with a woman as a straight man.”

    I don’t know how to tell a fifteen-year-old “You must accept the risk and cruelty of the world.” I would like to say it is safer for us than it used to be. I would like to say that there are more on our side than there used to be. But I don’t believe even in my lifetime I’ll see a world that is 100% safe for homosexuals and gender non-conforming people.

    But that could just be my own fears still talking.

    Understanding why the risk and cruelty exists actually helps tremendously – understanding female oppression, the innate harm built into gender roles. Understanding that the very thing you think will solve your problems is actually causing them is powerful medicine. But even moreso, understanding that as a gay or gender non-conforming person – male or female – your very existence helps to break down those harmful gender roles – that’s very powerful. That makes living openly worth the risk, if only to save others from the difficulty you’ve experienced. For however long we are here for, however long this cruel world gives us to survive, we can stand for something.

    If young people could grasp that – that they have the opportunity to be superheroes just in who they are – maybe it would give them a bit more self-esteem. It’s just so much harder to explain than, “Join us, take hormones, become whatever you want to be, aren’t we cool now??”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “What if the sexual preference for a natal female is for a female, but only if the natal female were male? That is, what if the natal female does not self-identify as lesbian, could not conceive of being a female having an intimate sexual relationship with a female, but desires an intimate sexual relationship with a female as a male?”

    I read that as the desire to have sex with a woman only with a flesh and blood, fully functioning, natal-man’s-type penis. As opposed to having “lesbian” types of sex with a woman.

    Well, you see the whole point is – which I do say with deep sympathy, (though I’ve never experienced this myself) – you can’t. Medicine isn’t able to create a natal male’s penis for someone born female.

    There are lots of very hard and painful truths we have to deal with in life as humans, and the impossibility of changing sex is one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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