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transition and orientation

I can't be the only one who's had this experience.

Before transition, when I was deeply repressed, I thought of myself as a "straight man", albeit a fairly effeminate one. Guys would hit on me on occasion before transition, and while that didn't bother me, the idea of actually accepting such a proposition did.

I've been on estrogen eighteen months, and I've been full-time fifteen months. I could not explain what living as a male was like anymore, it's been too long and too much has changed. And, because I am physically attractive enough, and I am essentially unclockable, guys will on occasion hit on me.

I'm still pre-op, and I'm equally unhappy about that status as I ever have been (purely financial reasons), but now... I find that I'm more into the idea. I've even been on a date with a guy and thorougly enjoyed myself. Now, this was very recent, and he probably won't call back as I told him I'm trans... but the point is that I am more open to the idea and no longer exclusively attracted to women.

Has anyone else experienced a shift in their sexual orientation due to transition or shifting gender identities?

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I have definitely experienced this. Before I came out as trans I was a straight female. In truth I wasn't attracted in a big way to anyone, but I dated men and only men, and was only attracted to men.

Being lesbian had crossed my mind before I came out, but it never stuck because I knew that label didn't fit. I wasn't attracted to women at all. However, I always thought to myself "If I were a guy, I would be a straight guy." So, it brought me to the realization that as female I wasn't really attracted to anyone, but I was supposed to like men so I did.I also think it was more of a "I want to be like that" thing, more than wanting anything sexual. As male, I am attracted to both men and women. However, I want to have relationships with women. In that, I would consider myself straight with bi tendancies because I can most definitely appreciate a beautiful man and would probably hook up with one, but would probably never have a long term relationship with another man.

Anyway, to make a long rambling post short, I understand sexual orientation shifting as your identity as a trans person shifts.

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before transition, i didnt know if i was straight, gay, bi or just not choosy. of course i was also desperately trying to avoid looking inward and trying to figure it out too. as a rugrat, for some odd reason, i always saw myself as female and coupled with females. being that trans was not a real concept to me at the time, i thought i was gay. but that never worked/felt right and i also had, still have major issues with being intimate with males due to an unfortunate incident. i must say that if it werent for booze, i would have pulled my head out of my ass at a much younger age and actually figured out what was what.

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I have had to face both of your issues. After a long bad marriage where my wife often accused me of being effeminate. I tried my best to prove her wrong. She finally (thank God) ended it for a more masculine man (actually one who tried harder than I did to mask his insecurity). After a depression that involved many other loses all at the same time I tried dating men thinking I may be gay. I quickly realized that I was flattered that I might be a seductress to men and that it was a femininity in me that had ben latent to say the least and really was begging to come out than was my role in those brief encounters. About nineteen months ago my research into transgenderism came to the conclusion that I would begin hormones found overseas on line. Afew months later I found a support Group in the Mid Hudson Valley Transgender Association. From There I found an Endocrinologist to treat me for GID (although I do not see it really as dysphoria, but really self discovery. I see a therapist familiar with TSs and have 6 hours of electrolysis each week. I still do not live full time and at the moment both Jerry and Sherry appear in my Contracting AD. At my age and in Thailand I do not need to live full time a year before GRS. I plan a trip this summer for both FFS, GRS and breast augmentation. Now I have also realized some time ago that I am still attracted to women and date one now who accepts my cross dressing but I think it seems will not go the lesbian route which I am clearly on now. I have just found another woman who has known a transexual and that make my task much easier as she is familiar with what I am going through. This is just the beginning of emails but I like her and hope that something comes of it. Otherwise I know the difficulty I face of being accepted as TS by the majority of women in a relationship. This is all moving at both an exciting, somewhat scary and at times perplexing transition as I have to begin breaking the news to my son who does not like my cross dressing in the least and siblings as well as my professional contacts who will have to adjust to a woman contractor. While I have always been an adventurer this onrush of events is a great deal to adjust to. Of course there is trepidation, but I also experience great joy and a new sense of freedom. Recaping: my attraction to women has never changed but now I move from "straight" to lesbian.

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as long as I can remember I have never liked the label "straight" I have preferred the term lesbian since I was 18, and this was before the trans issues. I came out to being bi after I started going in public as female, which I look at as extreme ratios--people have less issue with someone being bi than somene being trans so being trans------lesser social issues came to the surface, as I was able to realise myself. I have never been a staright man---if nothing else I was merely a man who liked woman. I have been more comfortable with being bi since becoming female however.

Partly because I am realizing I am able to let people think what they want much more easily, if I am at a staright bar I'm assumed to be straight likewise at a lesbian bar I am ssumed to be lesbian---I have also found that as I walk down the rabbit hole I get more stairs when I am out with a female friend I'm flirting with than if I am out by myself---ie I get the "Oh god it's the lesbians!" looks in those situations instead of---"Hey is that a dude?" looks.

Which is entertaining--but something to get used to as I used to say being trans was something that would be obvious--apparently it is not. But when I have a date I get looks--- which isn't bad it is just a very new experience to me. I have started to think much as with my trans status---I'll be upfront about it, but be a little bit more quiet about it when I am in certain situations---I have a straight bar I frequent and I always get shock when I refer to someone as an ex-grilfriend instead of simply ex. Again it is a very different situation to be dealing with. Although not necessarily bad---it is fascinating to me.

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We live live in a society that is intent on placing everybody in a box with a label on it. "straight" is just on of them. The irony is that transgendering changes my sexual preference for women (which has not changed) from what was formally "straight"(meaning I fit the "norm" of being attracted to the opposite sex) to lesbian (meaning to some an abboration of being attracted to the same sex). Of course in reality who gives a damn what box I am in.

I have to go to great lenghts just to live my life in the gender I believe I was meant to be, then jump through legal hoops to satisfy the powers that be to be deemed female.

What is important to me is having the free expression of my true identity and hopefully fall in love with the human being that attracts me and that just happens to be a female. I have no desire, myself, to put labels on all of this but my society forces me into following the proper protocol. I am what I am and just hope to find acceptance, yet know fully well that many will not understand or accept me. On the brighter side there seems to be a turning of the tide on these issues. I envy those far younger than I am who will reap the rewards of our begrudgingly changing world for most of their lives.

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No, no change for me. Let me introduce myself...

I became aware of my female self in 1998 when during a "switch gender" dress day for Halloween I came to work as a female pirate. The day went well, even though during the early hours, I was extremely nervous.

I was nervous because when the idea for switching genders was decided upon by my department, I emphatically stated that I would not participate. I had no rational reason for saying this. It was instinctive.

The whole month of October, I was asked over and over to join in as I was the only hold out. On the day before Halloween, while driving home after work, I decided to join the rest of the department.

As the day went on, I became more and more relaxed. Many of my co-workers had no idea it was me. It was a big surprise when they found out!

As the days of November and December passed, I was increasingly bothered by something. I missed being the girl that I was that day. I had no idea why. So I asked a co-worker, who was an out lesbian, for some support. I did not approach her because she was a lesbian, but because we were good friends and she was a girl.

To my surprised, she told me that it might be because I was homosexual. She even thought I was a closet homosexual because I was reserved, and because I had many female qualities and traits.

This surprised me to no end. I never had any attraction to men. I was married and had a daughter. So her thoughts just made me more bewildered. She then said that I might be transgendered. I had no idea what that even was, never having heard of the word before. She told me to go online to PlanetOut to see if the sections on Transgender might provide some answers and comfort.

Well, going to PlanetOut pointed me to many online resources that I scoured for information. I was so crazy about my feelings now that I took the advice on one web site to seek out a gender therapist.

After months of therapy, I came to understand many things. Between my therapist and my physician, I found out that I was born intersexed.

I always knew that I was an orphan, but this was the first time my intersexed birth was made known to me. I talked to the foster home "parents" that I had as a child, I talked to the orphanage were I lived between foster homes. And I use the threat of legal action to get my birth medical records from the hospital and orphanage.

Turns out that the doctors made the decision to make me male a few weeks after I was born. My birth parents abandoned me in the hospital right after birth because of my being born intersexed. So the doctor made the decision.

Also, every foster home I lived in had been told to watch for any female attributes that I might show and to be severe in making me stop. And when I reached puberty, and I started growing breasts, I was medicated to reverse my female characteristics. My "indoctrination" was so complete, that I pushed everything female about myself deep inside my psyche. It did not help that I was an orphan being pushed around and sexually abused by some "parents.""

It was this "indoctrination" that came to the surface when I was first asked about switch dressing for Halloween. And it was be female self that began to emerge in the days following.

That doctor had made the wrong choice. Today, an intersexd born child might be left alone until a gender is expressed or the child decides what surgery, if any, is to be done. But that was not the case back in 1955.

So, after three years of therapy, I started thinking an anti-androgen. Six months later, I started estrogen.

I have never been happier than how I felt when the male being within me started to melt away, even before starting estrogen. I calm came over me. It was like I had been reborn. In fact, I had been.

When my breasts started developing before I even started the estrogen, it was just another affirmation that I was born to be a girl, even though I was born intersexed.

I am still pre-op, and it is due to economics. I went to see the surgeon, who is in Montreal, Canada. The cost is more than half of what it would cost in the states but it is still out of reach.

The reason is because a year after I started my transition, and just as my job was making arrangements to support my change, I had a medical issue that ultimately resulted in my becoming disabled. It is called "Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome." The Genesis of this condition was an auto accident in 1988.

I had steadily become tired more and more easily. It got to the point where I was no longer able to work. So I am retired now.

Well, that is about it. I am comfortable with my new gender. I have problems with loneliness now. I miss working so much that at times I cry. I do wish that I might have realized my true self earlier. That is something I dwell on at times. Thinking about what my life would have been like and all.

But I have the upcoming trip to Toronto to take my mind off my troubles for now. I will deal with them again after I return. 

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Hi CC, I share with you the pain of having lived so many years in the wrong gender. I too wonder how much better my life would have been as a female where I am so incredibly more happy. My one consolation in my son who I love dearly, but who also has been poisoned by his mother that I am some sort of deranged social misfit. She quoted from the DSM that gender dysphoria is psychological disorder. So life is harder with him but I believe in the end our strong bond will ease our strained relationship.

Ironicly my ex-wife was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome which I believe is that same as what you have.

I hope your energy does come back which seems to have happened with my ex.

Good luck and I hope you can find employment that is not too stressful but gives you social contact.

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Thank you Sherry. Take comfort in knowing that having transsexuality/gender disorder in the DSM provides a sort of "legal protection" that can be used.

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yepper, it provides protection until you run into officers and psychiatrists who do not believe gid is a valid diagnosis even though it is in ths dsm iv. had a lot of fun with that one a while back. actually had to threaten with serious bodily harm to get released, which was a complete surprise that they complied. fortunately, i don't have to deal with that quack anymore.

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Funny enough, I seem to be having an experience somewhat the opposite of what a lot of you folks seem to be expressing. Previous to coming out as trans I identified as a stone andro dyke, but now, after starting on hormones etc, I'm beginning to wonder if I could potentially become involved with a man. I'm not sure. I've messed around with a few guys, but it's generally not been too interesting to me. I just can't really feel comfortable identifying myself as "straight" due to the massive deradicalizing and patriarchal notions of what that conceptually far too often means in our society (I'm really big into the egalitarian relationship structure and am a fairly radical feminist) and really strongly identify as queer even if I am a man who's primarily attracted to women. I wonder how much of my attraction to guys could be me having an issue with identifying as straight and how much of it is really there.

Drag queens get me going. Heh.

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In response to Geared2Riot,

From the FTMs that I have talked to, I think that your situation is pretty common. Many transguys were in the lesbian community for a long time for many reasons, sometimes just because they didn't know about "being trans" and figured the lesbian community was where they fit, and once coming to terms with the fact they are really just men explore their attractions and are freer to be open about it.

CComing out as trans is definitely a trip on the ole "attract-o-meter" I've really stopped trying to guess who I'm going to be attracted to day to day. And, I'm sure once I actually get to start hormones it'll change all over again.

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CC,

Thank you for sharing your story. I met a good friend who was inter-sexed. His family actually allowed him to grow up naturally then he made the decision to live as a man although he continues to look like a woman outwardly. Good luck and God bless.

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@CrazyCC I read these threads sometimes, because not being transgender, I don't have a way of understanding the transgender experience except via first hand accounts. I read your story, the other night, and it stuck with me. I'm so sorry that happened to you - all of it. As someone who desperately wants a baby, I will never understand someone giving one up for something so benign. I don't care if I have a boy or a girl. I don't care if I have to wait a few years to find out if I have a boy or a girl (I know lots of unisex names and how to dress a child in adorable non-gender-specific clothing.) Your biological parents missed out on a wonderful kid. If nobody ever told you, you are so important and such a beautiful woman. You must be unusually insightful and incredibly strong to have gotten through all of that. I'm glad you can be yourself, now. I hope your life is full of good friends and family and love and joy.

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I have a female to male transgender question. I often hear ftm's complain that they want to be treated more like men in their relationships or that their mate treats them like a woman. I'm thinking that it can't be as simple as a top vs bottom issue. Can someone elaborate on what this means? Is it a matter of using the proper pronoun, or is it much deeper? Having dated men, there are behaviors that men organically bring out in women. I don't know whether the same holds true for trans men. 

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Well, in short, a FTM wants to be treated like any cis-gendered male wants to be treated because this is who they are. The body may not physically be completely male but their mind is. And you will find that there is just as much “variation” in individual FTM’s (regarding the degree of “maleness”) as there are in individual cis-gendered men!

It is not as simple as top vs. bottom. 

I personally feel there are three separate manifestations of gender, or, the mental expression of sexuality. Those are; Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. And now are binary. Rather, they are fluid. So no two people will be exactly the same. Not only are they not the same but they vary over time. They also carry depending on who a person is relating to.

I have spent a great deal of time learning about human sexuality, since my “coming out” and I have come to the conclusion that formal education will not give a complete picture of human sexuality. If I did not answer your question, please clarify and I will do my best to help. If I can answer any other questions, feel free to ask. 

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@Dani28 Thank you for your very kind words.

I never considered myself strong until I became disabled and even then it took my doctor telling me how I had the usual ability to stand pain that made me think of it. But it is not a result of my childhood. It is my military background. In adulthood, I have on many occasions wished I had a family; mother, father, sister, brother. That whole family thing. But that was not to be. From time to time I find myself getting choked-up about it all. Especially around Christmas. Actually, tears have flowed.

As for my Transgender “journey…” It is female to male to female. But it is late. Remind me in a few days and I will tell you more.

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Hello CC,

You are fabulous by the way. Love your courage. But you did not answer my question at all. LOL I get that all people want to be accepted as the gender that they identify with. And I also know that it's not just about pronouns and top vs bottom. So what is it about? I've heard ftm's say that they want to be treated like men. I'd like someone to explain what that looks like. I've never had a guy say those words to me so it must be something that just happens automatically. The reason that I ask is because lesbians generally don't date men and aren't attracted to men. So we're not in the habit of treating anyone like a "man." And trans men generally date women who are into women. Yes, some straight women date trans men but I don't think that's the norm. So I'm thinking that on some level, lesbians have to see trans men as women or they would not be attracted to them at all. If I date a trans man it will be because underneath it all I see a woman ... if not I would just date cis men. So for us lesbians who are open to the idea of dating a trans man, what does it mean to ftm's to be treated like a man? What are the expectations? I'd like some examples of what women can do to make trans men feel accepted as men in their relationships.

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I am not really the person to give specific answers to your question because I am not a FTM, in the general sense. But I can give a bit more depth into my experience that might help. 

Warning, this story is pretty long…

I was born Intersex. Popped out and the doctors could not say what sex I was. That was enough to make me an orphan. I was born in a time when children born this way were automatically “fixed” to appear male OR female. The decision was based primarily on what external genitalia the doctors had to work with, along with considerations from the parents on what they wanted. Since my condition caused me to be abandoned, doctors alone made the choice.

(Today, there are 40 known conditions that are defined/recognized as Intersex. Examples run the gamut from one born with malformed female OR male genitalia to one being born with a fully formed penis AND a fully formed vagina. From having one ovary AND one testicle to having both female AND male chromosomes but in different parts of the body.)

I was “made” male, solely based on how my external genitalia appeared. No tests were run to determine sex chromosomes or other genetic “abnormalities.” As an orphan, I was a Ward of the State. (I was “G.I.” or  “Government Issue” right after birth. This is a military joke referring to one who is in the military, as I was later in life. It means one who is the “property” of the Government. Kind of like, “G.I. Joe!”)

To make sure I became a male mentally, doctors informed the orphanage, as was the medical norm for that time period, that I would have to be raised, or “nurtured” as a male. There were many problems with this. As you might have guessed, I behaved like a female. So, I can relate what it was to feel like a girl while being forced to act, live, think and be a boy. It was very difficult. Back then, it was rare indeed for a parent (or in my case, a guardian) to be accused of child abuse. But that was exactly what my forced nurturing involved. At some point in my early childhood, I acclimated to living as a boy but they were many occasions were the girl in me popped up. So many in fact, people thought I was gay!

(My indoctrination/nurturing even included forced testosterone shots, that began just before puberty, to force development of male secondary sex characteristics.)

I remember wanting so much to not be treated like a boy. But I was  a child in a time when that was not allowed. I could not like girls clothes, the color pink, nor could I express femininity in my appearance, mannerisms or identity. Punishment was severe. The stress of dealing with me was so difficult it resulted in my having many different foster homes. 

Physical punishment has a way, over time, of forcing a person to comply. And understand we are  talking about a time where the religious belief against “sparing the rod” was gospel! It was the pain of punishment received for being so recalcitrant that, over the years, slowly but surely, resulted in my conforming to living as a “male.”

By the time I reached adulthood, the boy in me was very well established. I think that if doctors had looked at me then, it would have validated the medical contention of my childhood, that gender was a process of nurture, not nature. And if I looked at the situation from the outside, I believe I would have also come to that conclusion. (But within four decades, I would turn that notion on its head.)

So in this regard, I was male. I hung with guys, did the things they did. I had stopped having most, but not all, female mannerisms. 

I must note that at this time in my life, I had no knowledge of my unique sexual beginnings and most of the sexual confusion I had as a child was buried deep, deep inside me. I only had knowledge of my being an orphan — many families, physical punishment, sexual abuse.

Now I am an adult, a veteran, making my own decisions unencumbered by the State. I was a consultant. I traveled Canada and America, consulting and providing services in Change Control Process’ for computer/technology departments in almost all industries. In my mid-40’s. I was working under contract (I reveal this amount of detail hoping to reconnect with some really missed friends) at a company that prided itself on celebrating holidays with themes. 

It was around the first week of October and the department I was under contract to decided that for that years Halloween, everyone would come to work crossdressed. When I heard about this, I firmly, but politely, declined to participate. Turns out, I was the only holdout. So as the month progressed towards that day, the pressure to join in increased. While I continued to decline, I could not answer the queries as to why I was declining. At that time, I did not know. All I knew was there was something deep within that vehemently pushed me into declining. I had no rational answer.

The day before Halloween, as I was driving home after work, I mentally relented. So I stopped at a few stores to get my costume and other things I needed. I have to admit, I felt great trepidation of something unknown, something buried deep within me that I could not fathom that was telling me this add wrong. Several times I mentally reversed my decision just to quickly rationalize that it would be OK.

Well, Halloween morning, I woke early and after fighting off immense fear, of the unknown, I began my crossdressing transformation. My costume was that of a female pirate. I had the costume, makeup, a wig, the whole ensemble. When I laid it all out on the bed I was struck by the completeness . It seemed I had bought things and did not remember doing it. I think this is when the female that had been buried deep, deep inside me, slowly, carefully and unconsciously began to emerge. 

I was always the first into work. I was at a console that was against an exterior wall with windows working when I heard a familiar voice ask, “Who are you and what do you think you are doing?” I turned to see a co-worker standing there. (This company is best described as a high level, high security NGO in the Washington, DC suburbs.) I turned and there was no recognition by my co-worker and friend standing there, who just so happened to be a out and proud Lesbian.

I remember smiling. I did not think to practice talking in a female voice. In fact, that never crossed my mind. So I thought I would try to trick her. Using the best falsetto I could muster I gave a BS answer. My friends eyes squinted slightly and she says that I look familiar. (This was a momentous milestone in my life and I remember it as if it just happened.) I told her I was visiting my “brother” who worked here. When I told her who my “brother” was her mouth dropped open as she realized it was really me. This was the reaction that happened many times throughout the day. Those who did not know me at work thought I was female.

I felt something very strange, unnatural, and unusual. It was a calmness. Peace. Clarity. Liberation.

As the day wore on, those feelings of contentment grew stronger and stronger. I had never in my life been so at peace with myself. 

(Wow. I actually had to pause for a moment just now as I recalled that experience. I now realize it has been about an hour since I wrote that last paragraph!) 

Well all good things have to end and so did Halloween. The next day was the beginning of the most shocking, confusing, revealing, depressing time of my life to that point. It began with something I can not explain even to this day. The best description would be sexuality anarchy. Going back to being a male was like being forced to go naked! I wanted so much for that Halloween to have never ended. After about a week, my Lesbian friend asked me what was wrong. She had noticed my frustration, confusion, anger and sadness.

I did not even know what to tell her. All I could say was that I wanted to be back in that costume. And I never wanted to take it off. We had many conversations in the coming weeks. But the physical “brainwashing” as a child would not even allow the needed memories to surface.

Her advice was to point me to a web site called, “PlanetOut” because she thought I might be “transsexual” (a word I had never heard before then) although she admitted to me that she always thought I was gay! From that site, I began to learn about transsexualism. I also learned from the site that there are counselors and psychiatrists that specialize in something called “gender therapy.” So I sought both out.

During two years of intense therapy, the truth about my background emerged. It took going to my birth home, talking to people, and getting medical records from the orphanage and where I was born. This was an eye opening, shocking experience. I do not think I have ever been so mad, bewildered and depressed. But the advice from my therapists, to transition “back” to female was right. It was the only way I could survive. It would not be an easy journey. After starting my transition back to female, I attempted suicide. My journey is taken alone. And that is a very dangerous undertaking.

So this is where I can begin to answer your main question, 

“So what is it about? I've heard ftm's say that they want to be treated like men. I'd like someone to explain what that looks like. I've never had a guy say those words to me so it must be something that just happens automatically.”

Let me ask you, “How do you want to be treated? How would you feel if you were addressed in as “Sir?” If you can discern discomfort at being referred to as “Sir” them you can begin to understand a FTM wanting to be treated as a male.

Do you recall the day in your life you “chose” your sexual identity? Or was this something you never chose, it was ‘just who you are?’” THAT is what and how it works with transgender people. No choice. The same innate sense of being you have, we have. The difference is it might happen latter in life! And let me throw the sabot into the gear works… the sense can flip!
There are people who’s sexuality is so fluid, they can be different sexually every day! But I digress.

You see, what you are asking is about something so innate as to be incontrovertible. Society has, since time immemorial, given us sacred rules about sex. What you are feeling is a kind of disconnect to those sacred rules. I think this best describes what is happening. It is almost what I went through in trying to understand that my physical body does not confirm to what I have been taught. It is no different than what Native Americans of the West thought when they saw the first white man, or the first black man! They had lived centuries without seeing someone who did not look like them. What confusion that must have been! “What are  these creatures?” they must have asked themselves.

The understanding you seek is difficult because of the historical, political, religious, and cultural concepts of there being only two sexes, only two genders, and a synchronization between male gender and sex, and female gender and sex. Science has proven they are not synchronous nor are sex and gender binary.

You might remember the time when sexual orientation was a very difficult concept for “straight” people to grasp. So difficult, in fact, that for a long time, it was considered a “choice.” It has not been all that long since “Homosexuality” was removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,) 1987 in fact, and was no longer considered a mental disorder.

I did not completely understand everything until I began my journey. And I am still learning! At this time, I suggest you accept treating each individual as they want to be treated while re-educating yourself in human sexuality. The key to sexual understanding is the belief that sex and gender are not binary. Each characteristic; gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype are fluid between the extremes of female and male, and no two are parallel. This means each person can not only find themselves   anywhere within each characteristic, but that each characteristic is unique and does not depend on the others to determine its place!

Finally, I must admit that it has taken a few days to compose this reply. My disability has affected my stamina and cognitive skills. If I have rambled, repeated, or seem to have written disjointed, I apologize. As always, let me know if I can be of help.

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@CrazyCC Thank you so much for sharing your story. I still believe in a gender binary and that gender has nothing to do with sexual orientation (I spent too much time staring at images of cell division and alleles, not to mention my personal experience - there is nothing male or heterosexual in me); but hearing your story is invaluable. I think that if I could see your soul, it would be clad in something like Samurai armor. As an aside, my thanks for your service, whether it was the cause of your disability or not. You truly are a warrior, and that is not a term I use lightly. God Bless, Sugar.

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