But lately I have seen the above question being asked of me several times and I thought I should address it here now. But before I go ahead and give my views, and I hope this will be a short post, lets look at web definitions of several terms.
Sexual Orientation: According to Wikipedia, Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, both genders, neither gender, or another gender. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation is enduring and also refers to a person's sense of "personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them."
Gender Identity: Still, Wikipedia says, Gender identity (otherwise known as core gender identity) is the gender(s), or lack thereof, a person self-identifies as. It is not necessarily based on biological fact, either real or perceived, nor is it always based on sexual orientation. The gender identities one may choose from include: male, female, both, somewhere in between ("third gender"), or neither.
The way I understand the above, is that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. I presume most of you already know this fact. There is no similarity between how you identify as and who you are attracted to. So if, for example, I am a trans woman, I (presumably) identify as a female and this is my gender identity and (presumably, not factual) I am attracted to males and this is my sexual orientation. (Forgive me for 'enbolding' so many words; I like stressing points through that and using italics.)
Lets now look at Lindsay. What is my sexual orientation. My gender identity is clear (as I have indicated at the top right tab on this blog), I am female. A girl. A woman.
My Sexual Orientation is STRAIGHT.This is not news. Most of you already know this through reading my blog. I identify as straight. I am attracted to men. Interestingly though, as I had mentioned here about a lesbian encounter, I now think that there is a possibility for flexibility. Where now I see the chance of me being attracted to what I would call "masculine females"! Quite interesting don't you think?
But there is something that actually made me write this post. Its the assumption that men who date trans women are actually gay. And why do they assume this? "Oh, I mean...you both have the same stuff down there right? So definitely thats gay!? Right" I recall a friend telling me. THIS IS WRONG!! In all sense!
Here's the thing. If I identify as female, and I date a man, then isn't that heterosexual? YES! Yes it is! Therefore, the man I date would identify as? Straight! Right? So this blatant ignorance of the above is what sometimes annoys me. But I do hope that I make things clear now.
Sex is between your legs; Gender is between your ears.I, and most others, use this phrase to clarify things. Get this, just because I have genitalia similar to that of males, it DOES NOT mean that who I date and have relations with is gay! If you reach your conclusion in this manner then it means you are calling me A MAN. Yes. You are in fact, insulting me. Making me feel bad. You cannot define my sexual orientation by looking at what I have between my legs or how I and my [male] partner have sex? Even if that was the case, do we then conclude that since even cis-gendered(persons who don't have a disparity between their gender identity and their assigned sex) females have anal sex are gay? What I am trying to say here is that you cannot define my sexual orientation by looking at what I have between my legs. Period.
Before I conclude, let me share this piece from Wikipedia (again!) that I think is quite interesting.
Some researchers (see BBL controversy) ignore the evidence of self-identification as women and continue to view transsexual women as men, labeling trans women who feel sexual attraction to men as "homosexual transsexuals" and to women as "nonhomosexual". This is seen as disrespectful to the women whom they are supposing to study; developmental biologist and trans-feminist writer Julia Serano labels this as part of a process of "trans-objectification," the reduction of transsexual persons to research specimens and sexual fantasies.
I just hope I have allayed any misgivings and any misguided opinions one must have had. I of course don't mind questions on this and I will say that this is my point of view and, as the saying goes,
"Opinions are like arse-holes. Everyone has them!".