Ask Aunt Fran: The sexuality thing

Hi. Welcome to the second installment of Ask Aunt Fran — the place where you ask me questions you may have about this wild gender trip of mine and I answer them best I can. I started this segment of my blog because I get questions from both friends and strangers alike, and since the transgender world is kinda foreign to a lot of people who know me, I want to foster some understanding.

If you have any questions related to gender matters, email them to (or if you have my personal email, that works, too). Keep in mind that 1) I’m not a doctor — I don’t even play one on television — or any other sort of medical or mental healthcare professional, and all answers are based on my personal experiences; and 2) All questions will be answered anonymously, unless you really want the attention …

So here’s this week’s question:

“So, do you like boys or girls?”

As Casey Kasem would say, details coming up …


So … I’ve gotten various variations of the sexuality question from the get-go.

Ask a hundred of us transfolks and you’ll probably get a hundred different answers. And my answer, like me, isn’t simple. (What the hell — I’ve never been able to do anything “normal” …)

Unless they’ve been selling me a huge bill of goods (which I highly doubt), both my therapist and my doctor (a post-op transsexual) have told me that gender identity and sexual identity are two different things — similar, of course, but different. And both are formed in the womb — during the gestation period, 8-12 weeks in.

(If people would accept science instead of holding onto eons-old ignorance based on religious dogma from a less enlightened time in history, maybe the world would be a happier and more tolerant — and safer — place. Given their way of thinking about sexuality, it would be logical to think these religious zealots would rather still treat illnesses with bloodletting than medicine.)

Just because I’ve felt female my whole life doesn’t mean I’ve liked boys. I’ve always liked girls. I’ve always been attracted to femininity and beauty and grace — all that wonderful stuff. I might have known at 5 or 6 that I liked pretty things, like shoes, but I also knew how I felt about girls at about the same age.

The first crush I could remember was Barbara Feldon on “Get Smart” — 99 was warm, beautiful, had a sense of humor (she had to, dealing with Max), and was styling in that mod mid-’60s way I’ve always loved. And I remember having a crush on a girl from another class in first grade, though I never acted upon it. And there were others. But yeah, many of my earliest adolescent fantasies during my sexual awakening involved being a girl but being with a girl — maybe in a ballet class, or maybe dressed identically, maybe being frozen in time forever in a wonderful kiss. It wasn’t any specific girl — I didn’t allow myself to fantasize about any girls I knew — but I knew generally early on what and who I wanted.

And I still like girls today — very much so. I’ve never been attracted to straight, or straight-looking, boys.

(I think that’s actually part of why I’ve been able to move into the world at large without too many problems, by the way — my male friends don’t feel threatened by me because they know I’m not hitting on them, and my female friends know I’m not gonna hit on their boyfriends or husbands.)

That said, though, I would be open to a girl of my sex as well, or maybe even a very feminine boy. (And by “girl” or “boy,” I certainly do NOT mean the underage variety. It’s a sick world where I have to explain myself like that. I prefer them closer to my age; almost all my girlfriends to date have been older than me, though that’s just coincidence.) I think I need to go there with someone of my sex at least once in my life to know for certain …

Same parameters hold true for trans girls as genetic girls: I want someone who’s beautiful, warm, has a sense of humor and is just naturally styling. Plus, she (or she) would have to be intelligent enough to keep up with me and at least share some of the same cultural common interests, like music and movies. (They don’t have to like sports, let alone the Saints, and they don’t have to like Hot Wheels.)

So that’s my story: The plumbing says boy, the wiring says girl, the heart says lipstick lesbian.

Obviously, my story is different from a lot of transpeople — take a look at Bay Area craigslist and you’ll see several personals by Ts under “miscellaneous romance” or “casual encounters,” and they’re almost all t4m. Occasionally there’s a t4t. (And it really annoys me, of course, that the supposedly enlightened craigslist doesn’t have t4t or t4w categories on the site — what’s up with that, Craig?) Many transfolks identify as heterosexual, but within the context of their true gender. Moi? I think I’d make a wonderful girlfriend — or wife — someday.

And you expected a simple answer?


4 Responses to “Ask Aunt Fran: The sexuality thing”

  1. Diana Mercer Says:

    Hey! I was younger than you! And I like Hot Wheels. Remember when we played slot cars in Danbury?

    I wanted to let you know I’ve been certified as a makeup artist and can’t wait to make you up.

    On a more serious note, it was in talking with you that I realized that I finally understood why so many spouses of trans people stay married to them after the transition. I never got that before—it seemed like too big of a change. But when you told me, I realized that if we had ended up together, would the fact that you’re a girl now really change anything?

    And I realized it probably wouldn’t.

    So knowing someone who’s trans has really opened my eyes and brought me to a new level of understanding.

    • Jackie Says:

      that is such a cool thing to say…

      I wish more people in the world were as enlightened as you are…because really it just comes down to the person, the heart..and most of all love…right?

  2. Jackie Says:

    Thanks for being so open Fran. 🙂

  3. Ask Aunt Fran: The attraction to girls « Franorama World Says:

    […] One of my friends recently asked a question that stemmed from my Ask Aunt Fran post about sexuality. […]

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