Ask Aunt Fran: The attraction to girls

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

(And this is a good place to drop in that this column is where I answer questions people have had about my gender transition thang. If you have a question, email me at (or my personal address if you know it). All questions, such as this one, will be answered anonymously, unless you want the exposure. And keep in mind that I’m not a shrink or a doctor; my answers are based on my own experiences with gender matters.)

I mentioned that my attraction is to girls, either genetic or transgender. My friend had an uncomfortable question for me, but one I readily answered, since it’s something I’ve pondered several times myself:

“You had mentioned that your girlfriends didn’t feel threatened about you hitting on their husbands, or that your male friends were threatened either … but have you ever had girlfriends who wondered if you were hitting on them?

“I have a girlfriend who I have been friends with for almost half of my life. We were buds for about 2 years before she came out to me that she was a lesbian. I wasn’t completely shocked, but it did make me wonder about a few instances — like, ‘She has seen me naked!’ — and I wonder if those nights we crashed in the same bed if it had a different meaning for her? It took me an entire 2 seconds to get over this, but one of the first things she said to me was, ‘Don’t worry … I don’t like you that way.’ Even though it was funny, it got me thinking about the relationship that women have with other women. (I’m speaking of straight women because I am one and can’t speak for or about anyone else.)

“The relationships that women have with other women are a very special, sacred thing. Women have an emotional connection with each other that can run very deep (deeper than they do with their spouse sometimes).  I have older women in my life that I can look up to for wisdom and comfort. I have younger women in my life who look up to me for guidance and support. Women are always there for other women in a way men can’t be. I guess it’s very similar to male bonding, although the dynamics are a little different because we are different creatures.”

Turn the record over and find out …


I’m not sure whether my girlfriends have thought I’ve been hitting on them; no one has overtly wondered, and I certainly hope I don’t come off that way. Anyway, this was much of my response to her:

“Sure, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I found quite a few of my female friends to be attractive. (And in the course of time, I’ve learned that at least a couple of them are bi-curious, or at least had their phases with girlfriends in the past.)

“But I found them attractive before I transitioned (at least the ones I knew then), and the same ground rules hold true for my relationships with women now that I’m on the team: I believe in the sanctity of the ring and, in lieu of marriage, I don’t go meddling into others’ relationships. Even as a boy, I didn’t do much thinking with the wrong head …

“I had to think about this early on in the process, like summer of last year. One of the reasons my girlfriends aren’t threatened by me, and accepted me in the club so readily, is that I don’t go hitting on them. They’ve accepted me into the club — and I can’t tell you how much I cherish that — and there’s an implied bit of trust in there that I’m not gonna go do something stupid, with them or their partners. Besides, as far as I know, they’re attracted to men, not women, so that would rule me out, anyway.

“Coming out has drained my already shallow dating pool considerably, especially in a small town like this. I’d have to find someone outside my circle for whom the attraction is mutual — and, of course, who’s single. Or if a girl were attracted to me, she would have to make the move. I would have to, for lack of a better analogy, be the girl and let her pursue me, so there would be no questions and no undue uneasiness.

“I guess it all comes down to the timeless old saying: Don’t shit where you eat.

“But yeah, I’ve thought about this one a long time. I waited a long time to be out. I really am enjoying my second adolescence, and I do have to be careful to stick to my rules, since everything is new, to some extent. I don’t want to screw up a good thing by getting involved in entanglements that would hurt people.

“So … that’s my not-so-simple answer …

“And thanks for your care and concern. It means a lot …

PS: You’re right about women looking to other women in a way they can’t look to men. Many of my girlfriends share things with me that we would never have talked about had they still seen me as a boy. That they trust me — accept me so readily as one of the girls — is been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received out of this whole transition, and I truly cherish that …


One Response to “Ask Aunt Fran: The attraction to girls”

  1. Jackie Says:

    I cannot express to you how much I admire your candor and strength. You truly are becoming one of those women in my life I admire and look up to. Your chronicles on this long, strange trip to authenticity are a great example to everyone who wish to lead a more fearless life and to those who battle with finding the happiness in becoming who they are truly meant to be.

    Thanks Frannie 🙂

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