Being gay isn’t a bad thing. Labelling trans-attracted and transamorous men gay, however, creates a host of problems for everyone. Especially because that label – that men sexually and or romantically attracted to transgender women are gay – doesn’t align at all with how trans-attracted and transamorous men actually feel. It’s very similar to calling a transgender woman a man…when she clearly is not.
I just received a 2015 study from a transamorous man, which appears to confirm the fact that men like us are not gay. While I realize science is hardly objective, and has often been used to discredit the LGBT community, I was inspired to read this study.
This study showed there is a great deal of overlap between the sexual tastes of straight men and men interested in transwomen, whereas there is very little overlap between gay men and the men interested in trans women. Here’s how the researchers put it:
[Transamorous and trans-attracted] men had arousal patterns similar to those of heterosexual men and different from those of homosexual men. However, compared to heterosexual men, [Transamorous and trans-attracted] men were relatively more aroused by transgender erotic stimuli than by female erotic stimuli.
I knew this all along of course. I remember seeing a counselor with past cis-gender partners for couples counseling, something I believed at the time had value and merit (I don’t now). After having seen me through several relationships, he suggested I see him alone a couple times. After that he recommended I see a friend of his, another counselor. This person tried to convince me to own the “fact” that I was homosexual.
That idea felt so naturally wrong to me. Not that being gay was bad, but because it just didn’t fit how I felt.
It still doesn’t.
Clearly, this is just one study. Still, you gotta start somewhere. It’s good to see science catching up. As the transgender community draws more attention to itself, I’m sure more people will start looking at the part of the community that gets very little attention…and a lot of vilification…from both the cisgender community and, sadly, the transgender community.
Also published on Medium.