Do you respect my sex?

If I date a regular guy, will he understand my bisexuality and my history with transsexuals?

Topics: LGBTQ, gender reassignment, Gender Issues, Lesbian, Bisexuality, dating, Gender, Gender Roles, LGBT, Since You Asked, Love and Sex, Sex, Transsexuals,

Do you respect my sex? (Credit: Zach Trenholm/Salon)

Dear Cary,

I have a question that I really need help with. I feel I’ve been stuck in the same place emotionally for about a year. I’m a bisexual woman in my early 30s, and since about age 25 I’ve been dating exclusively women and some trans men (ftm) [female-to-male transsexuals]. I didn’t do this on purpose, it just kind of happened. But for the last year or more I’ve had the strong desire to date a biological man.

I don’t know why, I don’t know where this desire came from, but I can’t really ignore it. Like I said, it’s been hanging around for a year. The problem is, I haven’t acted on it because not only am I rusty in relating to men in a romantic way, I’m very afraid that I won’t find a man who will truly respect my history with women. I’m afraid that most men would dismiss my history with women, and judge my past relationships as less than straight relationships. I think this may be true even of men who are generally not homophobic in any of the obvious ways. So what do I do with this fear? Please help me, because I can’t seem to unstick myself.

Much love,

Lost In Wonderland

Dear Lost in Wonderland,

There are a lot of subgroups in this world and not everybody knows everybody else’s subgroup.

So my suggestion would be that if you find a man who attracts you, talk with him in plain English. Find out what he knows and what he thinks by asking him questions. Has he ever known a transsexual or a lesbian? Does he have lesbians and/or transgender people in his family? Does he know what “ftm” stands for?

The only way you can find out what a man is going to do is to encounter him. If you’re a little rusty dealing with biological men, if he likes you he will be happy to help you along.

I like to treat everyone with respect. Sometimes I feel, however, that we ask too much of others, because we are too used to our own subgroup. Misunderstandings are easy to have. You cannot know a person until you talk with him and question him and listen to him, using a language you both understand.

When dating a man whose sexual and cultural history differs from yours, explain yourself in terms broadly understood. Use plain emotional terms. Involve him in your thought process. Say that you are afraid he might have misconceptions. Ask him what he feels. Try out hypothetical scenarios with him: If you were to meet one of your transsexual lovers on the street or in a bar, how would he feel?

Nobody can read your mind. If there are episodes in your past that you feel uneasy about, that’s fine. If you have touchy points or sore points, that’s fine. Just communicate. Ask for what you want. Ask him what he wants. Make it work.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>