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  #71  
Old 09-20-2012, 02:55 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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For the record, while, as I said, I think it's pointless and even counter-productive to tell someone they shouldn't be offended by something, I don't necessarily think there was anything wrong with RfromRMC's friend's initial statement about manly men and womanly women, taken at face value. Sure, you could take it to mean "I only want partners who strictly adhere to the gender binary and anyone who bends it is inherently unattractive" but you could also just take it to mean "I find myself attracted to people who ID as male and are butch-presenting and people who ID as female and are femme-presenting." That doesn't rule out trans folks and it's not in and of itself a bad thing, as long as the person making that statement is cool with people who don't have those combinations of identification and presentation.

Of course, I can also see why someone would want to challenge someone who made that statement because, unfortunately, all too many people who base their interest in prospective partners on an adherence to the gender binary are *not* cool with binary-bending folks and trans folks. But, as has been pointed out, a bi guy would be more likely than most to not have such hang-ups. On the other hand, RfromRMC went on to explain that his friend was only interested in "biological" men and women, which brings us to...

The fact that there are some other things that I'm *really* not so ok with. One is the "I only want to date "biological women", i.e. women who were born with vaginas" thing (or "biological" men who were born with penises, but let's stick with the one example to keep things simple). There's just no possible rationale for this that comes down to anything but transphobia. I can understand not wanting to date anyone, male or female, with a penis... maybe penises just irredeemably squick you out. But would you consider dating an XX woman who had been born without a recognizable vagina and had had genital reconstructive surgery in infancy to create one? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that it was functional and gave her pleasure and looked and felt like the other vaginas with which you'd interacted. If not, seriously, that's messed up, what is your problem with anyone born different??? And if so, ok, it's not being born with a vagina that's the issue. So, is it chromosomes, hormones? Would you consider dating an XY woman who'd been born with a functional vagina and plenty of estrogen and was shocked to discover later in life that she also has internal testes? Would you consider dating an XX woman who had had a hysterectomy and needed estrogen therapy? I could go on, but you get the point. When it comes down to it, I can't see how it's not just about prejudice ("not a *real* woman") and/or fear ("that'd make me gay"). I would welcome having it explained to me.

I also have a really hard time figuring out how "bi guys are less masculine so I don't date them because I only like masculine men" could possibly be about anything other than prejudice. As Mags said, there are bi guys who fit every single definition of traditional masculinity aside from liking the cock. So... how is it about anything other than having a problem with men who like the cock? I truly am not trying to say that you have to like everyone, or that you have to like the same types of people that I like, but I just can't see a rationale that isn't based, at least on some buried, deep-seated internalization level, on the part of our culture that says "ew, gays." I wish I could. :/

To bring it back around to the original topic, ID'ing as bi rather than pan is fine, that's a semantic choice that I often make myself, BUT... I think it takes a LOT of soul-searching to make sure that your preferences are not actually just prejudices. It *is* possible to purposefully set out to discard one's prejudices, and I wonder if, in many cases, people who ID as bi might find themselves leaning towards pan as they did so.
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  #72  
Old 09-20-2012, 03:56 PM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
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I definitely agree with most of what you said in the last post, AM. Some of our turn offs (if not necessarily the turn ons) are likely rooted in deeper prejudices. I would be very interested in exploring or discussing that topic.

I guess my whole thing from the start of the explosion was how Magdlyn chose to word her responses. I absolutely think that people should be able to address things that they find to be wrong/uncomfortable/offensive with what others say, but I am very much a proponent of respectful and rational discourse. I don't see how immediately responding with combative speech like "is he going to puke and beat them up" is going to help the trans-person cause or educate anyone on the issues at hand. Even still this late in the topic, she is writing that she has imagined the horrible things this man would do if he encountered a transperson. To me, a lot of her posts have felt antagonistic or lecturing, rather than trying to point out something insensitive and discuss. This has even happened in the face of people trying to tell her that no one is advocating against transpeople in this topic and that they don't think there was any malicious intent in the original post.

This is actually quite an unusual argument/discussion for me because I am usually the one on the side of "respect diversity, show sensitivity, pay attention to your word choice" so it is quite new to me to experience what I feel, in my opinion, to be a bit of an overreaction on a topic like this and be on the side of "I don't think it was meant to be that offensive, why are you lashing out like this?"

My problem is not with questioning the original post. It could be interpreted many ways, and is kind of ambiguous. My problem is with attaching this very ugly and violent picture of this man without asking for clarification or something first. It may be common for horrible things to happen to transpeople, but it is not okay to assume that this man will be like this based off of an expressed non-attraction to transpeople. Like you said, bi men are probably far less likely to have these hangups than straight men. There is nothing about that statement that really educates people about trans issues or does anything than stir up a giant swarm of hornets, which it has successfully done. I would love for the hornets to be smoked out of the topic though, because I really do think sexuality and gender identity are some of the most fascinating topics to discuss.
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  #73  
Old 09-20-2012, 04:11 PM
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Fascinating topic!

I have identified as Bi since i was around 5 or 6 (very open parents - although i assume i just overheard the word and went 'yeah, thats what i am', rather than having them sit down and explain it to me), and have only encountered the term pan recently.

I am kind-of transitioning over to using pan, because in a way i do feel that bi limits me to 'two' rather than 'all'. That said, i'm not actually sure if i've met anyone who was trans/intersex etc IRL (i may have, but i wasn't aware of it), so any interest i would have around making friends with or dating one - well, i worry that i'm straying so far away from the heteronormative that i'm entering fetish land, which i also don't want to do.

So its interesting.
On the topic of types i go for - i actually quite like androgyny in some people, and in others i really like the super masculine/femme. *shrug* do what suits you and i'll either be attracted or not.
Ironically i usually have a thing for 'big' guys (not masculine per se - just broad shoulders, possibly on the heavier side of normal), and male DP is quite lean, not much taller than me - but overly macho - which i find irritating as buggery.
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  #74  
Old 09-20-2012, 04:35 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Why don't you think certain bi guys would be interested in you?
Oh, what I meant was simply that I don't expect everyone to be attracted to me, even if their orientation matches. Obviously there is more to attraction than just orientation, I'm not attracted to every single man ever, and I don't expect someone to be attracted to me just because they like females. Nothing deeper about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Chemical attraction based? Or maybe some kind of conditioning. The old nature vs nurture argument.
That's possible, although there are also many fetishes that seem to pop out of nowhere. It's probably a mix.
What I meant about chemicals is that my ex was a big guy, and I wasn't attracted to him, and for the longest time I thought maybe I just wasn't into big guys. But then I met Seamus, and he's even bigger, and I'm very much attracted to him. He's hot, and I know he'd be hot at any size. I don't know why he's hot to me, so I'm thinking that pheromones are playing a part. I hear we tend to be attracted to people whose immune system completes ours the most.

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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Actually, if you're a woman in your body and feel like a woman in your brain, you do have a female brain.
I don't know, I don't really "feel like a woman in my brain". I feel like neither a man nor a woman, but just someone who has a female body, and so I'm fine with people calling me a woman, and I'm fine with saying I am one, but I'm only talking about my body. When I was younger and people mistook me for a boy, I was neither offended nor happy, I just didn't correct them because I didn't see why it would matter. I didn't see the point of shaving or wearing make-up, so I didn't. I played videogames and card games and board games and roleplaying games, and the other players were all male, but that didn't make me a guy either. I was never confused because I never felt I had to do what other girls did to be a girl too. I was a girl because of my body, and I hung out with boys because on average boys were cool and girls were weird.
I had a few female friends too, the ones who had similar tastes to me. Now as an adult I get along better with females than I did then. For a long time I just couldn't relate to them, it felt like it was always about drama and scheming and stuff with most girls. But I knew not all girls were like that, since I wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Despite having a boy's body, her body language, voice inflections, interests, desire for long hair, clothing choices, etc., were always so feminine. She looked around, saw that women in our cluture plucked their eyebrows, shaved their legs and painted their nails, and she started doing it. She had a desire to shop for cute girl clothes and when her parents went to thrift stores, she wanted to shop for housewares, not tools. She pierced her ears and started carrying a purse and buying girl jeans. Her parents were constantly complimented on what a cute little girl they had. Her parents would correct those people, and also tell miss pixi she was a boy... she grew up extremely confused. EXTREMELY.
This is the part that I find most interesting in your post. Because there is not a single thing you mentioned that matches me as a kid, or me as an adult for that matter. Does that make me a trans guy? I don't think I could be one without knowing it, and I assume you'd agree with that.
But if not a single one of the things that make your girlfriend a female are something I share with her, can we both be females? And if so, what are the rules? There is obviously not a set list, and if we take all the things that made your girlfriend know she was a girl, I'm sure we can find men who match all of her tastes, likes and dislikes and are still men, cis or trans.

I get that your girlfriend is a woman, and that she was a little girl. But I don't get the part when you say I have a female mind. Because to me, a female mind makes as much sense as a green mind, or a salty mind. To me, male and female just aren't characteristics that can be applied to the mind. And I know it works differently for most people, and that makes it very hard to understand their struggles. The closest I can come to understand is the body thing. Feeling like your body isn't your own, that I can get, because I struggled with body image a lot as a teen, and because I got surgery and it immediately made me feel like I was the way I was always meant to be. But then you have trans people who are fine with their own bodies, so I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Actually I addressed other options in a further post. I guess you didnt see it.
Sorry, the thread moved pretty fast, and my computer has been laggy. I noticed that people had posted things before some of my posts, things that weren't there when I started writing. I'll have to read through the thread again.

It is sad that it happens all the time. I don't have much experience with trans people (that I know of), so I'm not familiar with their experiences.

About the "being afraid they're gay", that's just a society thing. There is that whole thing about being gay meaning being less of a man or something, which is stupid. But as a result guys feel like anything will make them gay. If they like anal play, or nipple stimulation, they worry they're gay. If they like dancing, they worry they might be gay. I'm waiting for some guy to go "I like touching my own penis, does that make me gay?" because it's really the next step at this point.
So if it is their perception that the woman they had sex with was "actually a guy", and the sex has happened and they can't prevent it, I guess it can have a pretty strong effect on some people. However, you'd have to be a colossal jerk to become violent over it. The throwing up, while offensive, is a bit different in that you can't really control it. It's possible that some people who throw up when they hear about it also feel mortified that they hurt the woman's feelings, but throwing up is a reflex and not something you control. And it's possible to throw up as a reaction to strong emotions other than disgust.

Now, the throwing up as a story point or a gag, that is most definitely discriminatory and offensive. But I think it's a little bit different when it happens in real life, in that the person might be a total douche, but then again they might not.

About the study of brains, I'm aware of the studies, although I've also heard about studies that contradict it, and say that brains are shaped throughout our whole lives, and that they change, and so what happened during pregnancy, while it affects how we are, isn't the whole story. Basically the conclusion was, females have a brain that's different from males because they are more likely to participate in activities that shaped their brain that way, and not because they were born with different brains.

I don't know enough in biology, especially neuroscience, to know what is true and what isn't, but it seems to me it's another nature vs nurture thing, and as always in my opinion the answer is "a little bit of both".
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  #75  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:00 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Wow! So can not catch up with this thread! Lol.

I happen to have grown up with several well known trans people in our community (as in, from small childhood on in my case). I never had a thought pro or con regarding dating a trans person. I wouldn't date either of them, one was my bf (in hs) older brother, roughly 15 yrs my senior when I was a young teen. The other is about 20 yrs my sr. Shrug.
Currently I am getting to know a transman at school. Very cool person. We met thru the death of a mutual friend. But, again, age difference comes into play. He is my oldest daughters age. I am not comfortable dating someone in her age group. But he gives AWESOME HUGS and I enjoy our conversations.

I think there is a fine line between knowing what does or doesn't 'get your motor running' and allowing deep seated fears to hold you back. But, there is a line. I am not generally attracted to orientals or Alaskan Natives. But, I have dated an Alaska Native and my boyfriend is part Chinese. I don't turn away from the oportunity BECAUSE of someone's race, nor do I choose to take the opportunity BECAUSE of someone's race. Likewise, I have not dated a trans person, not because I am opposed, but because the opportunity hasn't occurred.
I identify as bi primarily because I was exposed to the term, whereas I first encountered the term pan on this board. Noone in my real life knows the word pan. Shrug.
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Last edited by LovingRadiance; 09-20-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #76  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:23 AM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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I have a related question. What do you call a person who identifies as androgynous, but is only attracted to one gender? I have historically been only attracted to males, although I'm not ruling anything out for the future. My first impulse is to describe myself as heterosexual because I have "girl parts", but if I'm not female-identifying, does that become inaccurate? Is there a word that means specifically attracted to men?

Basically it is just masculinity or butch-ness that attracts me. I'm not sure whether the actual genitalia would make a difference (although the absence of male pheromones might).
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  #77  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:23 AM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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I had always heard that pan meant being attracted to the person, not the body. And while I am attracted to the mind, I'm definitely attracted to both males and females. I am not attracted to androgyny. . . . maybe it's because I was molested as a child, but androgyny to me screams child and therefore off limits. I like my men and women developed. I enjoy curvy women and cuddly men. In either gender, I find too much muscle to be a turn off.

I'm a tomboy and have always had more male friends than female friends and of my female friends 85% of them are bi. I have been told that I possess more stereotypical male traits than some of my male friends. In college, I was attracted to Eve, my dorm neighbor. Eve had long curly brown hair, gorgeous eyes, and was curvy but not terribly busty. Eve was a lesbian and only attracted to butch dykes (her words, not mine). I wasn't and still am not attracted to that type, though I am attracted to gay and bi men.

One of my oldest gay male friends is a drag queen and his persona is fierce and from the neck down, very attractive but something about his make up in drag makes his face less attractive than it is without. Maybe I just don't like the angry look and sharp angular features that are accentuated when he is she.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:38 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I do give some thought to the idea that we may be attracted to our "complements" - people who express what we lack. I did see a study (sorry, no reference handy) that suggested that we identify our immunological "complements" via pheremones.

Perhaps I am attracted to "manly men and girley girls" because they express traits that I lack. The men I am attracted to are tall, muscular, protective types. Perhaps this is because I am short, scrawny, vulnerable (physically - under 5'3" and, until recently, under 110#). In women I like curves (I never had ANY until a few years ago). I don't wear makeup, jewelery, uncomfortable shoes, or fashionable clothing - and have been fascinated by women who could pull this off without looking like they were dressing up in "grown up" clothing.

Physically I am female - even if almost pre-pubescent (despite being in my late 30s). Mentally - intelligent, aggressive, and cutting. I don't consider myself a "gender" in my head but am happy with my body, it pleases me to be living in it (even if I wouldn't be attracted to myself if I were standing outside of me). (My husband teases me that I am 'my father's oldest son' - hunting, fishing, fixing stuff...yeah, homemaking and girlie stuff...not so much)

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  #79  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:46 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkylerSquirrel View Post
I have a related question. What do you call a person who identifies as androgynous, but is only attracted to one gender?
You might ID as gender fluid or gender queer. And you're sounding hetero in your sexual preference in partners.

There are 2 different issues. Identity and sexual preference.
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  #80  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:51 AM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
You might ID as gender fluid or gender queer. And you're sounding hetero in your sexual preference in partners.

There are 2 different issues. Identity and sexual preference.
Right, I've played with the genderqueer label a bit. What is gender fluid? Maybe that's accurate. Because I feel like I am mostly "right on the line," but can swing more female or male depending on the situation.

My question was mainly due to the prefix "hetero," since it basically implies "different than you are." So heterosexual vs. homosexual has to do with actual body parts? What do you call a male-identified trans with female parts who is attracted to men? Just curious about all the semantics of this.
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