Wednesday, 27 April 2016

What makes you attracted to the sex(es) that you are attuned toward?

As a transgender woman immersed into her second year of transitioning via hormone replacement therapy (HRT), without a doubt, I can tell you that I am immensely attracted to men. But that was not always my sexual penchant. Before hormones, I was incredibly charmed by women.

At the start of HRT, I went on record stating that I would never have a liking for men. The thought of that happening was frightfully gross. One question that many unaccepting cisgender individuals raise is how in the entirety of this universe could I possibly feel and know that I am female on the inside, but yet be attracted only to women? The answer to that, as many scientific studies have observed and concluded, is that gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate entities. Simple. It's why so many angry, cis-het males are so adamantly against the idea of a gay man — because inside of them, there is some slight existing internal attraction for the same sex. And that gets internally refuted so often, it creates outward hate toward homosexuals. They don't want to believe it.

During my childhood development, especially in a school classroom, I was most comfortable around girls. But I was specifically shown and taught that I was to be attracted toward these girls. It's what our rigid black and white society demands, after all. And honestly, I was. But there was a conflict created because of my own internal situation...being transgender.

I remember all the many trips for bathroom breaks as a class of students, splitting us up into sex-aligned groups, standing along the hallway, waiting our turn to go into the restroom as a group of nine or 10 boys at a time. I always felt uncomfortable going in there because I wanted to sit to pee. You were looked down upon by your peers if you didn't use one of those tiny, primary school urinals placed so closely together. I've always loathed urinals. They're so disgusting, untidy, and invasive. I would typically hold my bladder and wait until the entirety of the class came back to our room, then raise my hand to ask if I could go to the restroom — which usually garnered a grumbled response from my teacher. If I had to go to the boys' restroom, I wanted to go when there were very few actual boys in there. Sometimes I would get denied, too. There were days when I would come home from school with dirty slightly soiled underwear. It was sad.

But this is the cause of internal identity and attraction. I was anxious and edgy around numerous groups of boys. Don't even get me rattled with regards to P.E. class and being divided into groups based on sex. Awful.

In my early teens, I began noticing something develop; two aspects, actually. While male puberty was enhancing my desire for women, my internal self was beginning to be attracted to various physical attributes of the male gender — specifically, boys' butts.

Walking down a high school hallway, I would notice guys walking in front of me. And I would pay attention to a nice caboose that caught my eye. This is where conflict began occurring. It felt weird. Not wrong, just weird. Weird, because my fully realised attraction was for girls. Unlike other male classmates of mine, however, my draw wasn't based on pure, raw, unadulterated physical and sexual lust. Mine came in the form of noticing all the teensy aspects of a girl — her hairstyle, how she did her makeup, her nails, her posture, her dress, etc. This is what did it for me. This is what turned me on. It was never about boobs or vagina. Amazingly, it wasn't even about butts — though I'm not going to lie and say I didn't notice a nice arse or two of the female gender. Legs were always a thing for me. I did, after all, write a song in high school titled, "Laura In a Miniskirt."

Every facet of physical attraction on both sides of the gender spectrum caused me so much conflict and chaos. And hearing all of the rigid hate-filled rhetoric from pastors in church, as was written in my previous article, only made me more discordant regarding sexuality.

This is why I never had a girlfriend or significant other in high school. I was terrified of dating. Most of my distress came from knowing I was transgender; not knowing how to handle myself when dating a girl, what to do when getting intimately involved, and worrying that she would figure it out about me. The notion of dating was incredibly unnerving.

At the age of 18, I made the horrifying mistake of letting my mother set me up with a girl that summer after graduating high school. Yes, I actually went through with this. I still remember that "first date." She came over to my house (I still lived with my parents.) It was a lunch date. I put a pizza in the oven. After we finished eating, she wanted to slow dance in the kitchen (yes, right next to the dining table.) It was super awkward and uncomfortable. There was no music — just this awful discord of dancing with no music. She put her arms over my shoulders and around my neck, pulling me closer. I didn't know what to do with my arms, honestly, and so she moved them around her waist. I remember feeling this immense physical tension building inside of me. It wasn't arousal...just tension. She then kissed me. I guess I kissed back? I wasn't sure. But what was certain was that it felt like I had just kissed my sister (I've never actually kissed my sister...just an analogy, okay? LOLs)

She immediately recognised the problematic and embarrassing nature of what just happened, and she slowly back-pedalled her way out of the "date" and out of my house. I sat down on the couch feeling so uncomfortably weird, thinking to myself, "What in the hell just happened with me?" Days later, my mother began acting slightly awkward around me, upset that this girl decided she didn't want to date me. I asked if this girl had said anything to her, and she went silent. I eventually got it out of mother, though. She mentioned how the girl started talking to friends (previous classmates of mine) and girls in her own year level. She was telling people I was gay. Which, as every supportive and accepting friend of mine knows, I am not. Haha. But this horribly upset my mother. Goodness, was she ever in for a surprise years later then about what I really am.

Honestly, this girl telling others I was gay upset me, too. Because I wasn't. Because in reality, I'm transgender. I was a pre-HRT transgender girl who happened to be attracted to women...with slight tendencies of noticing male attributes...and liking it. This girl, whom I had shared an absolutely bonkers and awkward kiss with, had actually kissed a girl. Me. In a way, she helped push me to realise the truth of what I am. For that, I'm thankful. Strangely enough.

In high school, there was another kid by the name of Ryan. He was a couple of years under me. And he was gay. He got picked on quite a bit for being gay — or, at least, coming across as homosexual to his classmates (I'm not too terribly sure if he had come out in high school about this.) I always felt very bad for him...placing myself in his shoes, so to speak, enduring all of that antagonising and hate he received. But hey, that was and still is uber conservative northeast Arkansas. At Brookland High School, being homosexual was considered morally corrupt and "sinful." Remember, this was a school system that, with almost a thousand students in 1997, had only two black students. And I believe they were even of mixed race. Racism was very alive and well in my little hometown. But that's for another editorial down the road.

It was in Ryan, however, that I knew I wasn't gay. I always looked up to that guy. He was brave going against the odds in a very hate-filled small town and school system by just being himself. That's commendable. And it gave me courage to keep seeking out information about my own internal conflict. I'm appreciative of him.

Let's fast-forward to about four months after starting HRT. I began noticing male pheromones. It was all quite moving and strange for me. Physical attraction toward males began taking shape. I was by no means forcing myself to take notice of's just how my mind, my sexuality went about rebuilding itself. It was wild. I had begun living full-time as my true self, too. While working at Hobby Lobby, more attention and awareness was brought forth internally toward my male co-workers. One day in early June last year, I was standing there with a co-worker when one of my very masculine co-workers walked in to clock in for his shift. This was a guy who was quite tan, had hairy arms and legs yet tended to, an incredibly sexy beard and buzzed hair style, and a rigid, very masculine facial structure. This guy had just finished sweating his ass off mowing several yards before coming into work. He showered before coming in. And goodness, were those pheromones so fucking active and screaming. He walked by next to me on his way to the back break room, and it immediately hit me.

My body trembled, I became tingly all over, and immense mental and physical arousal kicked in. I couldn't think. I couldn't process words out of my mouth. I lost all train of thought. All I could do was keep looking over my shoulder to watch him walk to the back break room. It was this moment that, after telling myself over and over and over before starting hormones that I'd never become attracted to the male gender, I realised, "Shit. I am so fucking attracted to men now. What is happening?!" Like, I couldn't breathe, you guys. I couldn't.

As I've continued further into my transition, my sexual attraction for males has increased, becoming more associated with only physicality. I still do have a slight fondness for women, but that is completely built on and predicated by style and emotion. And I love that all the same.

My name is Anna, and I'm a bisexual, transgender woman. Hear me fucking roar.