I think that we can (mostly) agree that the world’s gone to hell in a handbag on a pretty wide scale. As it’s been happening I’ve noticed a trend of history repeating itself. Now I don’t mean the fall of the Roman empire, or the rise of the Borgias. One pattern that seems to have a tight turning circle is happening right now. (And by a tight turning circle I mean within the last 30 years.) No, I’m not talking about late 80s/early 90s fashion!
Let me give you an example. “It’s not natural.”, “Think of the children!”, “Do you know what they do in public toilets!?” All phrases repeated ad nauseum stretching back from the 80s and 90s around homosexuality, and gay men in particular.
Along with categorising it as a mental illness, then a medical condition, until finally accepting this natural and widespread identity as normal, homosexuality has a lot in common with the trans community.
This, I honestly believe, is the reason why the LGB community should embrace the Trans community wholeheartedly. We have a common lived experience, even down to the concept of “passing”. I (unfortunately) found myself on a Quillette article today called “It’s Time for ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ to Go Their Separate Ways. It’s a long, meandering and pointless drone about how Trans Rights are holding back LGB rights. In it, the author repeatedly mentions the change in the definition of Lesbian and Gay to mean same gender attraction and not same sex. I quote:
“Same-sex attraction has become same-gender attraction. This might seem academic. But take a moment to reflect on what it means in the context of Stonewall’s affirmation of gender identity. Stonewall is asserting that lesbians are attracted to anyone with a female gender identity, whether that person is biologically male or female. This turns gay and lesbian desire into transphobia. I’m a gay man—I’m attracted to male bodies—not people performing male gender roles. And, yes, that means I like male genitalia. (I really like it).”
Now, I’m sure that I don’t need to mention this, as we’ve all heard the argument before. You know, the unattractive guy who suddenly thinks that because you’re gay you *must* be attracted to him. And here we have the same argument coming from a gay guy about Trans folk and Lesbians. When our own siblings in the community are turning on the apparent weaker members then there’s a rot that we need to address.
Just in case you think that I’ve misread this, I’ll repeat one sentence from the above paragraph (emphasis mine):
“Stonewall is asserting that lesbians are attracted to anyone with a female gender identity, whether that person is biologically male or female.“
Let’s be clear, in refocusing its definition of the words to explain that people who are attracted to the same gender are just as homo/bi-sexual as those who are attracted to people who share the same word in the sex box of their birth certificate. Just as no right thinking person would expect a Gay man to be sexually attracted to all men, no-one believes that Lesbians should be attracted to all female identifying trans folk.
The author mentions that he really likes male genitalia. I’m assuming that this means he’s attracted to the penis. As this is the only attraction that he specifically calls out for himself, I can only assume that he exclusively dates via apps, cruising areas and saunas. Because there aren’t many other places where he’ll find penises on show.
Personally, I find myself attracted to men. In particular I like hairy men with beards and tattoos. I think that guys with Ginger hair are beautiful, as are guys with dark hair and blue eyes. Men in their 30s & 40s are at their peak to me, but there are plenty of guys who are younger or older that can turn my head. Big chests and legs can make me take a second glance, as can a genuine smile or a witty comment. Hopefully this will explain that my attraction profile is quite varied. But what they have between their legs doesn’t affect my attraction.
Thinking about it hypothetically, it may affect my ability to have sex with the person (I do prefer the penis when having sex), but then again, I don’t know. I’ve been with my partner for over 20 years now and if anything happened to our relationship, I doubt I’d be able to attract someone as good, whether they be trans or cis! 😁
One thing that I do know is that I have seen (and found attractive) Cis-men, Trans-men, and even some of the butch-er Lesbians. Does that make me Bi, or confused? Absolutely not. I’m a Gay man. I’m attracted to the male gender. And if someone presents as male then I may, or may not be attracted to them. And they may, or may not, be attracted to me. Either way – it doesn’t matter. We all deserve safety and respect.
And that’s the key to keeping the Trans community under the rainbow umbrella. Yes, their fight has some differences to the others. But then the LGB parts of the community are struggling with different things. Lesbians have the struggle for women’s rights on top of their sexuality. Gay men are more often portrayed as perverse or predatory, Bisexuals are regularly erased, ignored or forgotten when it comes to the sexuality debate.
Each letter brings it’s own struggles to the fight, as well as the commonality of being persecuted by society in general for who we love, how we dress, speak, walk or dance. And *that’s* what brings us together. So when our Trans siblings are fighting for housing, employment, or parental rights, we know what they’re going through. And we can stand beside them and show solidarity.
Because if we don’t, we become the generalising bigots that write shitty opinions on Quillette.