You may have heard that Bruce Jenner came out last week as a woman. This was a watershed moment for transgender visibility. Many folks have expressed confusion, though, about Jenner’s sexual orientation and lack of attraction to men. Some don’t seem to understand that Jenner isn’t a gay man, while others insist on calling Jenner a lesbian.
For years, like Jenner, I postponed transition because I mistakenly believed in a rigid set of ideals about how gender should be performed. I didn’t understand the difference between gender identity (who I am) and sexual orientation (who I do). I was pressured into believing I must be female even though it didn’t feel right – because obviously, only women can be attracted to men. I was told that I must be straight; my attraction to men was used without my consent to define my identity for me. I succumbed to that pressure for a while, and I wasn’t a very happy person during that time. Eventually, I stopped thinking about my identity in terms of the male/female binary altogether and just began to identify as a faggot.
Read more of Brandyn’s new article at HIV=