We’ve heard it said by less-enlightened individuals that trans women are just gay men, their self-loathing driving them to become women, which allows them to have sex with men while still seeing themselves as heterosexual. While we can understand the mental steps that these people take in order to reach this conclusion, human gender identity and sexual orientation defy such easy categorization.
While it’s true that many trans women identify as gay men on their journey and that gay men have long dressed up to masquerade as women for entertainment, evidence against the notion that trans women are simply “super-gays” or that self-loathing gay men force gender to bring their desires in line with a heterosexual ideal is easy to find for those genuinely interested.
Gay men, in this new era of acceptance, with gay marriage and adoptions, and positive role models everywhere, have an easier time of it than transgendered individuals. And once reaching adulthood, gay men face significantly less impediments than the gays of days past. The idea of lopping off their manhood, a source of so much pleasure, is laughable. Being a drag queen, while a significant part of gay culture, has nothing to do with an individual’s gender orientation, and regardless of how feminine those drag queens may be, in or out of their heels, you’d be hard pressed to find one who’s looking to remove his joystick.
Transgender women often assume a gay male identity, which is understandable as they appear to be men and often are sexually attracted to men. The gay community welcomes and encourages men to play with gender roles via drag, so for the trans female attracted to men and wrestling with her gender identity, participating in drag culture is a no-brainer. Upon reflection, most post-trans women regard the time that they identified as gay men as a transition phase towards realizing and/or accepting that they were a trans woman. A sexual orientation analogy for what we’ve just described would be the gay man who along the way to his final gay identity declares himself bisexual, which gays often dismiss as being in denial about their true identities.
There are countries like Iran where homosexuality is punishable by death, and where the state sanctions and pays for gender reassignment surgeries. In that case, one can credibly make the assertion that gay men make up a large percentage of their estimated population of around 150,000 trans persons. In the western world, gay men have it easier than trans women, and only an idiot would choose the much more difficult path that has no reward at the end of it.
If you are a trans-attracted man and find yourself troubled about what it might mean about your sexuality, our advice to you is to go have some gay sex. If after trying it you find you like it, great! You’ve discovered something new and can work towards accepting this aspect of yourself, whether you determine yourself to be hetero-flexible, bisexual, gay, pansexual or whatever you feel most comfortable identifying with. If it turns out that you’re attracted to those characteristics that are uniquely embodied by trans women, that’s great too! There are many trans women, transgender and transsexual, who are looking for a good man and who are sick of dodging latent homosexual penis-chasers. So get out there and find the t-girl of your dreams!