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Are Transexual Admirers Gay or Straight?

I've recently been thinking about some of the terms we use in the transgender community and how they have limitations and barriers within them. Specifically I've been thinking a lot about the words used to describe people attracted to transexuals or transvestites. What's the deal with that?

First off there are only a few terms commonly used:

Admirer is probably the commonest used for a person attracted to transexuals, though it only seems to work for those that like trans women. I can't think of many transmen's partners being classed as admirers.

Gay is probably the next most commonly used word, despite the fact that most trans-attracted people consider themselves straight and unattracted by same sex relationships.

"How so?" asks the rest of the world, "can't you see that your woman has boy parts?"

"Because I see her as a woman" answers the admirer, "and the thought of kissing a man turns me off. A woman with a bit extra is fun, but a man is not attractive."

"But you like the fact your woman has a sticking out bit rather than a sticking in one. That's gay"

"I couldn't be with a man, I only like women"

And so the argument goes on. Clearly this a rough case for the poor lover. Beyond the stereotypes of dirty old men in trenchcoats, admirer implies a one-way relationship. Admiration is something we typically have for actresses more than long term companions. On top of that they're hoisted out of the straight world that they identify with and pushed into being homos, which, while they may have many gay friends, isn't their identity.

I feel really sorry for them. In fact I feel "admirers" have one of the hardest parts in the community (no pun intended!). My experience as a trans woman is that it's all the other things that people say and think about your identity that are the most confusing. And these fans of ours are getting the worst of it.

I appreciate that it is the nature of bees to want to go from flower to flower whilst birds want to nest. That's just the mental set of the birds and the bees. Yet I can't help but thinking that as boys grow into men, some will want to share more than a slap and tickle with a TGirl and will want a long term relationship. I've had emails from gentlemen all around the world saying how having split with their transexual lover is a source of huge anguish for them. Many speak of a closeness of bond they never felt with anyone else and of shared passions that brought meaning to their lives.

It's hard enough being transexual and it'll only be harder if we don't have people who love us. There are a minority of transexuals who transition and continue to live with their formerly opposite and now same sex partner. Many times it's on a soulmate basis with an extremely deep loving connection, although often it alters the sexual chemistry. There are a greater proprtion who go on to have relationships with men and yet these relationships have a high incidence of collapse.

Apart from their own puppy dog traits that make all men harder to make a commited relationship with, I think transexual-attracted men have as much of an identity crisis as we did in our early days. I think the problem for them is that they are caught in a binary where they're either straight or they're gay. Therefore they may have a part of them that keeps saying "this isn't me" despite the fact that their heatr says it is. When people get contradictions in their head, they often behave funnily, blowing hot and cold and asking themselves a lot of times what is going on in their head. It's hard for them to enjoy the happiness they should be feeling if they feel contradiction, guilt, shame or incorrect.

Just like many transexual people, shemales and ladyboys in particular, cannot be said to be male or female, so too transexual admirers are also in a class of their own.

Cataleen did email me with an idea she had which was "hermaphrosexual". I really applaud her attempt to help transexual-attracted men have their own identity yet at the same time might be taken badly by intersexed people who might feel they have greater ownership of the term than transexual women.

To that end, I'd like to propose a new word. I've kicked this around friends for a long time and most of the guys I've mentioned it to have said it's a big improvement. I'd also like to think it's safe for public consumption since it's fairly easy to grasp. It's like this:

On one end of the spectrum we have straight.

On the other end of the spectrum we have bent

Somewhere in between the two must therefore be curvy.

Curvy suggests it could be a bit bent but actually curves are more feminine and one of the factors that helps distinguish transexual love from man love. Transexuals are more curvy than an average gay male, and our lovers love our curves be that our breasts, our buttocks, our thighs or facial features. I therefore propose that in recognition of the fact that our male lovers have curves on their brain, we henceforth allow them to be know as curvy and publically support them in that identity rather than forth them to be stuck in the gay or straight labelling system. Let's recognise how special these guys are and start giving them some love for it!

What do you think of the term curvy? Drop me a line and let me know! I'll publish your feedback in the near future.

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