Gender Identity and Sexual Preference

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by JMeister, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. JMeister

    JMeister Member

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    Sexual Identitiy and Sexual Preference are two totally separate things, are they not?

    The reason for asking is a friend told me someone he knew was undergoing a sex change operation to become a woman and he thought it was odd be the soon to be she liked women.

    I had never pondered it before but didnot think it was odd because there is no reason that gender identity and sexual preferece would be linked.

    Or is there?
     
  2. Onslow

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    I have always looked at sexual identity and preference as seperate things. The identity of course being what a person feels they are as far as being male or female and the preference being who they are aroused by. Some people though don;'t seem able to differentiate the two, which makess it all the harder on those who are transgendered.
     
  3. viking1

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    I would say they are two different things. There are men who are only attracted to other men but they do not want to be women. The same goes for women that are only attracted to other women. Not all cross dressers are homosexual either.
     
  4. londongirl

    londongirl New Member

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    I have two friends, both male to female transsexuals and both of whom then became lesbians.

    One had been a 'gay' males but became happily attatched to a lovely woman. This caused some bemusement in our circle

    The other had been straight as a male, had a sex change to become a woman and became a lesbian. She was very unhappy and became a drag king (easy as she was over 6 feet and even after treatment, very masculine looking). She always said that she felt confused about who she was anyway, both before and after treatment. I don't think that she could work out her own identity, let alone her sexual identity or preference. it did teach me to not make any assumptions about either identity or preference
     
  5. Vestigial

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    Gender Identity: I am a feminine fairy / male barbarian mix. Though i'm usually the universal soldier kinda man, when I let the feelings intermingle it's quite a lovely copulation indeed ;)

    Sexual Preference: Whilst the wrenching physical attraction is generally exclusively for females (being smashed off your face with sleep deprivation changes perspective a touch),.. but regardless, if I offered myself a date i'd be all over it like a cheap suit. :p


    The general consensus of others doesn't make it true, nor even statistically factual.
     
  6. Mr. Snakey

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    Im bisexual I love women and men. Mabye love women a little more. Im comfortable in who i am. My heart goes out to people who have to go to get operations to become the person they feel they should be. It must be really hard walking around not feeling like a whole person.............:cool:
     
  7. Ganymede

    Ganymede Guest

    A friend's husband did this. He had a sex change and yet remained attracted to women. Basically, he went from being a straight man to a lesbian, something I can't understand. I'd imagine life as a straight man would be so much easier than life as a lesbian, particularly a transgendered lesbian. Very few men are able to pull of the gender switch convincingly. With most of them, you can definitely see the difference.

    In a way, though, this topic relates to me. Being here on this forum and talking openly about the penis has been very helpful for me because of my own conflicts about my masculinity. I have never ever in a million years wanted to ever be a woman. However, I have at times had a very low opinion of men (because of some of the abusive men I was raised around) and therefore have not always thought highly of the male gender. Also, I didn't grow up with any brothers or close male friends, so I was never allowed the sort of male bonding that goes on here on this forum.

    I suppose the way this relates to me is that there is indeed a difference between gender identity and sexual preference. Some gay members of this forum have said that any guy who posts here cannot be "totally straight." Aside from the fact that I don't think anyone is "totally" any one thing, I think people need to take into account that there are other reasons for being here. This forum is not a "sexual turn-on" for me, but it has helped me ground myself deeper in my own gender identity.

    There is so much man-bashing going on these days, and I myself am a reformed man-basher. (If you'd seen most of the men I grew up around you would understand why I used to bash my own gender; abusive, irrational, alcholic, violent, you name it.) It's nice to find a place that is so unabashedly PRO-MALE regardless of the sexual orientation of most people. For me, it's not an issue of sexual preference but of gender identity. My gender is male, and this forum helps me feel more secure in that identity.

     
  8. ledroit

    ledroit New Member

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    Good post--complex issues. I always imagine a continuum between who you are inside (your identity), your inbuilt talent for being engaged by people in your depths (your orientation), and the kinds of things you choose (your preferences or tendencies).

    I do think sexual orientation is a little bit like musical or athletic talent. It is an innate capacity you can develop or supress. What you can't change is how deeply it affects you, how quickly or instantaneously. Your dick or pussy is hard wired to your brain, and orientation involves a complex ability to react to some people instantly, with your whole body. You can't fake that, and you can't simply will it to happen.

    All of these things, identity, orientation, tendencies, preferences are different, but each of them requires knowlege or abilities in very deep, primal areas that you typically can't control very much on the surface. You can only express or repress what your body does or wants to say.

    People who think that posting a picture or doing x, y or z "makes you gay" are just silly or stupid. If you think or read even a little about sex, or gender, or orientation, or about the brain & body for that matter, you will see the fundamental difference between capacities and choices.

    I can choose to be intelligent. But a lifetime of doing that is not going to have much effect on my IQ. Being realistic about my IQ, on the other hand, will definitely have an impact on how intelligent I behave.
     
  9. incher2

    incher2 New Member

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    I once knew a fellow who was a female trapped in a mans body. Fortunately he was a lesbian who had penis envy and did not need to have surgery to be a happy person.
     
  10. Ganymede

    Ganymede Guest

    Thanks for listening. These are indeed complex issues. In my naivety I had thought gay men might often be understanding of these issues. But contrary to my expectations, most gay men have no conflicts about their gender; they are just dealing with the bigotry they face as a result of their orientation.

    It's actually been a bit of a struggle for me. In part, it's been a struggle because this topic is one that makes both gay men and straight men uneasy. The concept of hating one's own gender, of being uncomfortable in one's own male body, is unsettling for both gay men and straight men. But it's what I have experienced most of my life.

    One thing I love about this site is that it is extremely therapeutic for me to be able to compliment other males. It's extremely therapeutic for me to see beauty in the experience and state of being male, and to be able to tell other men -- both straight and gay (or whatever) -- that they represent that beauty to me. This is a very, very different issue from wanting to actually have a sexual encounter with another male. If I wanted a sexual encounter with another male, I could have it at the drop of a hat. I just don't want it. What I want is to feel that I belong to a gender that is beautiful and beneficial to the life of the planet; and I want it to be okay for me to be able to feel this way about my own gender and to express these feelings about my own gender.

    In my first post in this thread I mentioned a guy I knew who had a sex change only to become a lesbian. So, the issue for him was not sexual orientation but gender identity. He himself also struggled with the issues I have. He was raised among abusive men and he could not, and did not want to, identify with the models of masculinity they had shown him. So, he opted out of the gender entirely.

    One reason I chose the name "Ganymede" is because my own conflicts about my gender set in during my youth, right around the time I entered puberty. I have always loved women. I have been attracted to women since I was three years old. But as I entered puberty I was sickened to see that my body was turning into one of "those" abusive people known as "men." I didn't want to be like them. I remember seeing my body change shape, my penis and testicals change, and just being sickened to think that I had most likely embarked on a journey that would end in me becoming one of the abusive, blight on humanity idiots known as "men" that I had grown up around.

    Now, as a male in my early 30s, I look back on myself in my early teens as I was going through puberty and I realize that I was actually a handsome young man, and the process of becoming a man is beautiful, because the experience of being a man is beautiful. Maleness is beautiful. Now, in my "Zues" form (an older male comfortable in my own masculinity) I look back at the "Ganymede" that I was -- and I love him. Earlier, some had questioned how a straight male could use the name "Ganymede," because Ganymede was part of a Greek myth wherein Zues became attracted to Ganymede (a young male). The answer is that I, a self-identified straight male, am now attracted to the process of maleness within myself.

    This is all extremely complex and heavy and most likely gibberish for most who aren't interested in psychology or Greek mythology. But if people want to understand transgender people and the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, then I think this is a brief intro to it. Not all transgendered men (male to female) deal with these issues, but most I have seen have dealt with conflicts about masculinity and wanting to get away from it -- as a result of having seen maleness as a negative thing.

    I remember seeing a documentary about The Lady Chablis where she said, "I felt uncomfortable being dressed as a male. I am not a beer guzzler. I am not a sperm donor." She (he) most likely had very negative experiences with males and therefore felt uncomfortable with the idea of being one of them. The Lady Chablis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I'm glad to report I myself have made a full recovery from these issues. I now love being male. I think men are beautiful. I think being male is beautiful. This forum has played a large part in my recovery, actually. So, thank you everyone for listening. (Even the occasional smart-ass guys who only make wise cracks. There's a masculine beauty in that sort of stuff as well.)

     
  11. fortiesfun

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    JMeister: Yes, indeed, gender identity and sexual orientation are completely separate issues. The vast majority of transsexuals find their orientation (whatever it was) unchanged after surgery.

    Ganymede: Thanks for two very brave posts. Abuse issues are not really about gender identity, but your experience of fearing that you would become "one of them" is pretty typical. It is great to hear that you have made a full recovery, as you put it. There are a number of other men on the board who have struggled with some of the same issues. I hope your might be in a position to offer some support to those who are still sorting through their identification problems.
     
  12. Lordpendragon

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    For me, it is a great relief that we are moving away from mutton head male role models. Whether I respect someone or not has nothing to do with either their gender or sexual orientation (or their religion or race for that matter).
     
  13. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    We may be moving away from that model, LP, but it is still very much with us. One of the benefits of ths site is that it provides a forum for this sort of dialogue that may shape a few opinions or lead some of us toward enlightenment.
     
  14. Ganymede

    Ganymede Guest

    Thanks for the support. I had felt a little uneasy about posting that information because it is so personal and I thought it might scare others away. But, like you said, many males deal with this. I don't know if I can be any help to them because I am so personal in my approach, and these issues are so personal that there is no cut-and-dry solution to any of it. But I'm willing to offer what I can (which I don't think is much, unfortunately).

    Abuse issues are not about gender identity. But it's common for males who struggle with their gender identity to report having witnessed abuse by males, or to have experienced abuse from males. It is also relatively common among homosexual men. I remember once reading that homosexual men are often highly sensitive men who could not see their own sensitivity reflected in their own fathers, or the men they were brought up among. Not everyone fits this description, of course. But I've read that many do. (It was actually a gay friend who told me that Freud said homosexuality was a result of the male feeling rejected by the father and smothered by the mother. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that theory, just that this is what my friend told me Freud had said.)

    I suppose the underlying theme is that maleness is developmental. I'm sure we all know that no one starts out as male. The human fetus begins as female, then some develop into males. Then, after birth, it's still a process of becoming male. I remember reading once that womanhood is earned, and then it is permanent. But that masculinity is elusive. It is earned, but then can be lost at any moment; with men, it's a constant issue of proving their masculinity, and the male gender identity needs constant reinforcement.

    One thing that is interesting as well is this concept that gender is not the same as the body. There are some people who have the XY chromosome, were born with a penis, birth certificate said "male," and yet they live as adults who are the "female gender." There are some who still have male bodies but who dress as women and whose drivers licenses say "female." So, I suppose, "gender" has come to mean the identity one feels oneself to be, rather than the chromosomal designation. From this view, I myself could probably say that I have only been of the male gender for about three years now, even though I'm in my early 30s. Previous to this, I was a relatively androgynous person, purposefully. There was no mistaking I had a male body, but I was relatively indifferent to it and uncomfortable in it -- and I never felt like a man anyway. Now, I do. And I actually think that having a male identity is very simple: just love being male, that's all; find beauty in the male gender, and forget how others will label you for doing so.

     
  15. Lordpendragon

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    I love you nonetheless :biggrin1:
     
  16. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    I confess to having been one of the people I now criticize.:redface:
     
  17. Onslow

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    If you would be so kind as to step over here we can discuss the appropriate punishment for your misdeeds. (I've never had a colonel before)
     
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