Human sexuality and sex change

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by gymfresh, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. gymfresh

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    Wondering whether any of my fellow LPSGers have encountered something like this; I'm a very open-minded guy, but it took me years to get my head around this.

    Several years ago I had a friend in Vancouver. We were introduced by friends at a party and then met a couple more times at parties. He was a very cool guy, married, about 5 years younger than me. Tall (over 6 feet); somewhat slender; with fine, almost delicate features. He wore his chestnut hair a little long. He always had a ready smile and a beer in his hand and got along well with everyone at parties.

    This friend had a very happy marriage and a young son about 1 year old when we met. It was obvious that he was very into girls, and women naturally gravitated toward him. As I said, very cool, into music and bands.

    The last time I saw him, he mentioned he was going to Quebec. It seems he had decided to have a sex change, and the required psychological examination was easier to obtain back East. I didn't want to pry about his reasons, but I must have looked confused. And I wasn't prepared for what he was about to tell me.

    It seems that he had always been very, very straight and dated a lot of girls. He was passionate about the female body, but not only as a guy. He had known for many years, he said, that he was living like a lesbian trapped in a male body. He still loved women, but desperately wanted to relate to them only as a woman and felt he was missing out on a vital part of that experience. So, he had made up his mind to get a sex change. (I never got to see him naked, but I could tell he had a great body and I heard he was hung pretty nice, too.) He had lots of gay male friends but had no (zero) interest in the male body sexually -- including his own. Straight as an arrow.

    Well, he completed the psychological testing, had the operation, and returned to his wife as ...a new woman. His wife had been apprehensive, but gave it a go for about a year, then decided she was not really a lesbian herself, so they divorced on good terms. Last I heard, my friend had settled down with another woman and was really happy.

    For about 5 years I just thought this all seemed so wrong. But now that I'm a little older and I've experienced life a lot more, I guess I can see where he was coming from and respect it. I hear that cases like his are not rare at all, but I've never met anyone else that went from straight male-->gay female or straight female-->gay male. I think the latter is a little more common, at least in San Francisco.

    Do any of you have friends who have undergone a similar change? What was your reaction then and now?
     
  2. Stephenmass

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    I had a friend who I have not seen since I heard what happened. I heard from his xwife that he had had a sex change (he was married with 3 kids). He was only 22 or 23 when he did this. You would have had to have known him. Popular, nice lookin, big gym body and never once did I sense a "gay vibe" or whatever coming from him. Girls would be literally at his whim if he wanted them, etc. I bumped into his xwife at the market not too long ago and she told me all of this. I was stunned because I had not seen him for quite some time. He wanted to be known as Miss Michael. I'm still trying to get my head around this also. I can't fathom what must have been going on inside of him for a long time for him to make such a decision. It was pervasive enough for him to leave a young family behind to do it. I still don't quite get it to be honest!
     
  3. voyeuristic

    voyeuristic New Member

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    Granted, I live in the Bay Area, but I know tons of people "like that" both here and around the world. The idea that male-bodied people who transition prefer sex with men or that female-bodied people who transition prefer sex with women is simply unfounded. Gender identity and sexuality are very different things, and there are all sorts of combinations. I'm in an open relationship; my lesbian-identified girlfriend is involved with an MTF (male-to-female) transwoman who identifies as a lesbian-leaning bisexual (i.e. she prefers women), and my bisexual-identified boyfriend has dated FTM (female-to-male) guys who identified as both gay and bisexual.

    One thing that I find really fascinating, which kind of counters your friend's experience, is that some people's sexual orientations often shift when they begin hormone therapy. I know a lot of female-bodied people who transitioned to male that had always been lesbian-identified but who now identify as gay men. When they began taking testosterone, they underwent a shift in their sexual preference - though it could be equally true that a queer identity had become especially important to them, and they wanted to maintain that even when their body changed.

    (I have a feeling this post is a little too much for some of the folks on here, who relate to gender more on a ME TARZAN YOU JANE level.)
     
  4. D_Jerry_Atric

    D_Jerry_Atric Account Disabled

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    Vouyeristic I like this post and I do agree with it.

    I have some Transwomen friends and some of them are heterosexual women and some are Bisexual women. They knew about their sexuality before they changed gender and it stayed the same after they changed gender.

    I have Transmen friends who are gay and there are many Transmen who are bisexual too.

    I've read posts on here where people say that if someone is a Transwoman and Lesbian how they are always male, and are somehow a straight male even after the gender change and that's total bullshit.

    The whole aspect of Transgender/Transsexuality with me personally is not a big deal at all.

    I have a Bisexual male friend who at one point thought that he was a Transwoman but he is really just a very femme/androgynous male and he is not a Transwoman and he did see a therapist about this and at least he did not go through the gender change at all, when it really was not something he would have wanted to do since he's not a transwoman.
     
    #4 D_Jerry_Atric, Jun 26, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  5. gymfresh

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    I guess the problem I had with my friend's decision was that I thought we had progressed far enough as a society that you could be as femme or masculine as you wished within your own gender, and love anyone you wished, or no one, or everyone. With whatever body you got at birth.

    I grew up hearing about Christine Jorgensen and Canary Conn, and it was explained to me that these were tortured homosexuals who thought it would be a lot easier to love men if they transitioned to a female body. I have since learned that their cases are far more complex than that. But in my childhood, it looked like the only reason one would change gender was so the body would fit the orientation and the person would then be seen as normal; i.e., straight.

    However, my friend's story completely blew that theory. It seemed to me that he was going from the easy life of a straight man to the more difficult life of a lesbian, and doing it through painful surgery. But the reality was actually very different for him... he lived every day with the solid belief that his physical body was a terrible mistake of nature, and that he was always intended to be a female. His sexual orientation was completely divorced from this basic fact, in his mind.

    Voyeuristic, I totally hear what you're saying about the possibility of orientation shift with hormone therapy; I didn't keep up with this friend after his return from Eastern Canada (mostly because I didn't live in Vancouver, was just a visitor) to know more about how things turned out. He could well have eventually found himself to be bisexual, though from his early total (and sincere) lack of interest in men it seems to me he likely would never have become a "straight" woman.

    So, my education has been that it's not merely that peoples' orientation can now fit any body they were given at birth (and have this protected by law), but that gender identity is its own issue. Previously I thought gender identity was solely driven by whether one thought they could bear to live as a gay man or lesbian (and if not, the body had to match the orientation to bring it all back into "straight"). It's much clearer to me now that some people know that their outer body simply doesn't match their fundamental inner makeup and this is NOT a gay/straight issue. And not just a psychological disorder.

    If I, as a radical subversive gay male, had this much trouble with the issue, I wonder what hope there is for society at large adopting trans rights as law.
     
  6. voyeuristic

    voyeuristic New Member

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    "I thought we had progressed far enough as a society that you could be as femme or masculine as you wished within your own gender, and love anyone you wished, or no one, or everyone. With whatever body you got at birth."

    We CAN, but it's not easy. I look androgynous, so most people assume I'm a lesbian, and most of the attention I get is from women. I often assume it's because straight men have been conditioned into only finding a certain type of femininity attractive, but some men have pointed out that while they're attracted to my "type", they wouldn't dream of hitting on a woman like me on the street because 19 times out of 20 she's gonna turn out to be gay. I really lucked out in finding a dude who totally loves boyish women and in fact prefers them - he's spent his whole life lusting after dykes and being frustrated that he couldn't expect to form a solid relationship with the type of girl he was attracted to. I've spent my whole life feeling reluctant to apologize for being who I am. We're both pretty happy to have found each other, suffice to say.
     
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