The ‘cotton ceiling’ and gender variance

March 26, 2012 § 32 Comments

Roz Kaveney wrote a fantastic blog on the ‘cotton ceiling’ this morning – to wit: “…the Cotton Ceiling – with reference to knickers – is the term parts of the trans community have inventively adopted for the way that, however theoretically accepting of trans people a lot of progressives may be, when it comes to actually having sex with us, they vote with their …um…feet.” “An example of a wider cissexist trend that not only affects trans women” (thank you, @cayleehogg!), I thought I’d chime in from a genderqueer/androgynous perspective.

 

I can’t speak for every person who moves through life in a way not traditionally encompassed by the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’ but, for me, this post, this phrase, hit home in a way that brought tears to my eyes.

 

A popular phrase used to describe the difference between sexuality and gender/sex is “your sexuality is who you want to go to bed with, and your gender/sex is who you want to go to bed as”. If someone knows themselves, is comfortable with themselves, then this is often an accurate assessment. And, broadly, I would agree with Roz when she says: “…one of the major manifestations of the ceiling in our culture is the assumption that to be attracted to someone trans throws your own sexual identity into question…” But not totally. I think there’s something else that happens in regards to the cotton ceiling and divergent/variant gender identities.

 

The vast majority of Western society is wedded to the idea of the traditional gender binary. Much of the traditional gender binary is constructed based upon notions of which side of that binary the person in question is attracted to. In popular understanding, ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ depend upon ‘men’ and ‘women’ to make sense. So, when a person who has previously inhabited that strict binary finds themselves attracted to someone neither/either ‘man’ nor ‘woman’ it does, indeed, necessitate a reappraisal of orientation/description. And with ‘man’ or ‘woman’ frequently relying, to a greater or lesser extent, upon the further categorisation of ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, there’s a chance that who you go to bed with might alter who you go to bed as. Being attracted to someone who lives contrary to the gender binary can indeed throw a person’s sexual identity into question. Not only in a personal dimension, but in a wider sense. Sexual orientations are social categories as much as anything else – and what happens to a person’s place in their society when they have to explain a new partner who challenges their place in that category?

 

The number of times I’ve heard “if only you were a cis man”, “if only you were a woman” – from people who’ve desired me as I am, but have been alarmed by the ramifications of that desire. People who have gone to bed with me have had their “friends” mock them for the ambiguity of their orientation, have been questioned as to what you can do in bed with someone who isn’t a man and isn’t a woman – and have had their public status as a man or woman thrown into question by their relationship with me. Too many ‘straight’ men who didn’t want to be ‘gay’, ‘gay’ men who didn’t want to be ‘straight’ and likewise with women. Too many men and women who lacked the proof provided by a sexual partner. Too many people too concerned with the description they’ve given themselves to respect the fact that their self no longer fits the description. Compatibility ignored, chemistry ignored, sexual heat, intellectual flirtation, emotional empathy – pushed aside because the destabilising nature of love and desire outside of the traditional binary is too frightening to explore.

 

Again, I return to Roz’s words: “This is not – to jump straight in and answer a crude debating point that has been made by the usual ‘radfem’ suspects – a matter of the trans community demanding access to cis people’s vulnerable and reluctant bodies.” Nor is it an argument which claims that we could all be attracted to anyone at all, and that we should ignore the peculiarities and eccentricities of attraction which make us unique. What it is is a statement of fact: the cotton ceiling exists, and it affects trans people of all descriptions. Cis allies would do well to ask themselves how open minded they really are – it’s one thing to support our rights, but do you see us as equals enough to desire, to love? Even if that requires a leap of faith, a change of perspective?

 

As you all probably know by now, I’m a terrible old romantic. Life is fleeting and love is rare. I hope I’d never find myself in the position of refusing something so precious, simply because I was frightened of change.

Advertisements

§ 32 Responses to The ‘cotton ceiling’ and gender variance

  • lysana says:

    The challenge to people to let go of anatomy as a direct lock with gender and the heterocentric perception of how one interacts with same is one of the largest, I think. I see that in the radfem rejection of trans women. “OMG she might want to put her penis inside of me… but I’m a lesbian… my identity won’t LET ME!” I’ve been half-toying with the concept of the anatomical fetish in relationship to that. People get fixated on how the anatomy should be to the point it sours their desire when they discover that it’s not. This is a learned fetish with clear roots and an unhealthy one, especially to those who suffer when they violate its standards. I will note I’m no psychiatrist, so I may be using technical terms too loosely, but I hope my meaning is clear enough.

    Of course, that presents no solution. But if that can help others think about how to approach the issue, I would be pleased to have done that much as a cis woman who wants the cotton ceiling to be more of a memory than a trauma.

    • valeriekeefe says:

      The way non-operative trans women are treated is important. (I tend to think, being one of them), but OP was talking about nonbinary trans people.

      The thing that I think goes unaddressed though, and I feel like this is part of the subversivist distaste for arguments about queerness that invoke neurology, as though somehow that makes it less authentic (Love is chemical and neurological too. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t jump infront of a bus for it), is that orientation is a component of neurological sex. I’m not even talking about genitalia now, I’m talking about sexy, sexy, brains.

      Trying to argue lesbians, especially the quarter-to-half of the lesbian community who are trans women, out of our orientation, is seriously problematic, and it makes me uncomfortable like being degendered makes me uncomfortable. Does this article go to that place? Ehh… not entirely sure.

      • cnlester says:

        Sorry – I’m not quite sure that I follow? “OP was talking about nonbinary trans people” – people like me?

        I’m not trying to argue anyone out of their orientation – I’m saying that we need to look out how cultural factors significantly impact our understanding of our orientations – and that culture itself forms and shapes aspects of our neurological programming (neurological factors in supposedly ‘cultural only’ phenomena is one of my academic areas, from a musical perspective)

      • cnlester says:

        Ah…right, can see the whole thing now. That’ll teach me to reply without seeing the reply to the reply.

  • […] The ‘cotton ceiling’ and gender variance Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged cotton ceiling, sexual liberation, transfeminism. Bookmark the permalink. ← The Other Female Character in Star Wars […]

  • For what it’s worth, it took me a while after I started transition to warm to the idea of being intimate with another trans woman. Seven years later, though, I’m so glad I got over myself. My girlfriend – also a not-yet-op trans woman – and I have been together for a year and a half now. I feel like this is the most solid relationship I’ve been in my whole life, and I think a big part of that is because we both faced our own fears, and did the work to get past them — that this has made our relationship stronger by virtue of the deep authenticity of our feelings.

    It still makes me sad sometimes, though, that she is the only person since I started transition who has found me attractive. It’s not that I want to bed someone else besides or instead of her. It would just be nice if I didn’t always feel sexually like a threat to people’s self-image.

  • Reblogged this on flyingontherainbow and commented:
    This is the post I referred to earlier about the Cotton Ceiling. Very interesting stuff.

  • […] not always perfect, of course. CN Lester writes about the way non-binary identities can mess with binary folks’ understandings of their…. Though I haven’t often heard “no,” I have sometimes doubted the extent to which […]

  • […] The ‘cotton ceiling’ and gender variance […]

  • Roz’s article basically challenges lesbians who say they are supporters of Transexuals and recognise them as women and lesbians, but would never consider actually sleeping with a Transexual.

    I think this is because deep down, just like radical feminists like myself, they know these Transexuals are really men. And ultimately lesbians are not attracted to men.

    Roz is right, these women are hypocritical to take this stance. They should simply be honest and say no we don’t see you as anything other than men.

    Of course it is wrong for friends to mock the choice of someone else’s partner or interfere, unless that person is actually doing harm.

    The term cotton ceiling is an offensive patriarchial one that invokes inages of Transexual men smashing literally through lesbians pants. And it betrays the deep misogony at the heart of much Transexual “theory”.

    And yes I know you think my refusal to accept Transexual men are women is transphobic. So I am happy to say on the basis, yes I am transphobic. So?

    • Anji says:

      Oh crikey, can I just step in here and say I am a radical feminist and I in no way believe trans* women are “really men” or any of that bullshit. Don’t paint us all with the same bigoted, antifeminist brush, based on your personal belief system, please.

  • Transsexuals are not men my dear, otherwise where’s the trans?? You are not radical. That is just you being pompous. You are over stating your own case. I have never smashed through a lesbian’s pants, since most sexual encounters do not involve police enforcers. So, you are something else beginning with R. Ridiculous.

    How long have you been radical for? It’s hardly new or different, and for me, your imagery just conjures up the idea of being goth because you want to be different, whilst there are thousands of other goths being different too.

    Are you trying to suggest that all trans women are rapists and that lesbians do not have minds of their own? That they need to wait to be told what to do and issue with a pant smashing alarm? It takes two people to have sex not just the trans female.

    It is easy for you to refuse. Then your mind can remain closed, and you can paint all transsexuals as sexual perverts. But it’s not radical, it’s disgusting, and you can hide behind fancy words to cloak your prejudice. I can see through you however, I have a degree and studied radical feminism. But being a woman is inclusive, not exclusive. It is your brain that teaches you how to think and and feel, not your vagina.

  • MischievousBastard says:

    Oh but if only you were a genderqueer guy…

  • Among those of us who believe in each person’s right to define their own identity (liberals/radicals/progressives/whatever), I think most of us also believe in each person’s right to label their own identity.

    The problem comes for some (many?) of us when another person chooses a label that we already apply to ourselves. If they lack some characteristic that we have, that we consider essential to that identity label, we can feel our own identity threatened. The more the identity is core to our sense of self, the more we feel the threat as existential, and the more likely we are to fight back and deny the other’s right to use the label.

    It doesn’t come up only in the context of who’s “really” a woman. It’s the same as the argument that transsexuals who have had genital surgery make against those who claim the label transsexual without having had surgery. It can be about job descriptions: civil engineers who object to the term “software engineers,” for example. And in the extreme, it can lead to horrible consequences — think of Aryan Germans denying the label “German” to Jewish Germans in the 30’s and 40’s.

    I try to keep the peace within myself by not linking my identity too tightly to the label I use to describe it. Then if someone else claims the label, someone who means something different by it than I do, it threatens only the label, not my core identity. (Full disclosure: note that I say “I try.”) In the end, this relieves me of my need to fight the other person, leaving me freer to learn who they really are, beneath their own labels.

  • Cassandra, but your aim of leaving everyone free to self identify ignores the real consequences of this. People define and defend terms for a reason, because they matter in the real world.

    So a Dr is a legally protected term, at least in my country. Because if anyone could self identify as a Dr, lots of people could be medically harmed.

    In the same way the definition of a woman matters, because of the existence of women only space. So the women and her 4 year old granddaughter using the communal showers at Michigan Womyns Festival cared about the definition of women when a Trans person who self identified as a woman, but had a penis, walked in naked and started to use the communal women’s showers.

    That is why we can’t just go down the hippie route of accepting everyone’s self identification, because the self identification leads to real things happening that do have an inpact on real people.

    Anji – I don’t understand how you could see yourself as a radical feminist and yet also see MtoT as women. I am being honest here, so could you explain how such a view actually fits with radical feminism, because I think it is contradictory.

  • Lesley, you’re reading more into my comment than I said.

    I didn’t say that labels don’t matter. I said that I personally don’t link my identity — identities plural, really — too tightly to particular labels. Some may say that I can’t use the label “American” for myself because my mother was born in Germany. I’m saying that I find more peace in holding on to my national identity than I do in fighting over the label “American.” I intentionally did not say that anyone else SHOULD make the same choice.

    Nor did I say that the definitions of labels don’t matter. Obviously, they matter a great deal to many people.

    It’s a fact that words in a language mean what most people think they mean. Almost paradoxically, it’s also a fact that the meanings of words change over time. In neither context is an appeal to authority useful in sorting out definitions. This is true even of labels like “doctor,” whose use in certain particular circumstances is regulated by law. The law simply codifies the generally understood definition, and the definition in the law changes over time.

    “Marriage,” for example, is a word defined in law to mean what most people thought it meant when the law was written. As more and more people use it with a different definition, over time the meaning of the word is changing. The authority of law, or of tradition, cannot change that fact.

    PS- regarding your response to Anji, you might want to visit the website of the Second Council House of Virgo. They are feminists sufficiently radical to claim that men do not have the right to label themselves “feminist.” Yet they acknowledge trans women as women. There’s a long, interesting discussion at http://www.2ndcouncilhouse.co.uk/blog/2012/03/25/on-pro-feminism-and-its-imitators/.

  • Thanks for the link. I didn’t mean that people can not be feminists and believe MtoT are women. But radical feminism usually means a specific branch of feminism and is not just a label to mean for example, feminists who have views that are a bit more out there than most feminists.

    And I don’t understand how someone can have an understanding of what radical feminism means and still have this view of Trans people. It would be like a devout catholic thinking whether couples marry is unimportant – the two views are contradictory

    • Anji says:

      Well radical means ‘to the root’ – that I believe all oppression is rooted in patriarchy.

      I also don’t understand how one can claim to be a radical feminist and not work 100% for the most vulnerable women in society.

      To be honest, the radical feminist ‘party line’ bemuses me. So we think gender is a social construct, right? That it isn’t innate, that it doesn’t really exist? That what’s between your legs doesn’t define who you are?

      So… why are you so hell-bent on defining womanhood? Surely womanhood is a social construct so anyone who wants to claim it should be able to?

  • I don’t think the Catholic church is a good analogy here. Its foundation is absolute hierarchical authority. But that’s not the foundation of justice movements, such as feminism, radical or otherwise. In fact, absolute hierarchical authority is antithetical to justice movements. Neither you nor I, nor anyone else, can legitimately claim to be the ultimate authority in radical feminism.

  • The meanings of words do change over time when the majority agree on a different definition but if everyone is making up their own definition it’s impossible to communicate.

    Trans people don’t get to define what is and isn’t important about being a woman especially when it comes to sexual attraction. Respecting trans peoples desire to be treated AS IF they are the opposite sex does not mean people agree that they actually are the opposite sex.

    The notion of a cotton-ceiling is insulting to lesbians because it claims that lesbians aren’t really attracted just to biological women and the reason lesbians won’t have sex with trans women is due to trans phobia not an innate sexual preference.

    Some trans women can’t accept that lesbians and straight men are not sexually attracted to them. To admit that as a possibility, trans women would have to accept that there is an integral sexual difference between trans women and biological females. That is an unacceptable conclusion therefore it has to be due to trans phobia not to an innate desire for the real thing.

    It is deeply offensive to suggest the sexual choices of other people is based on trans phobia as opposed to being part of their innate sexual orientation. This is no different than men who think lesbians can be turned if they have sex with the right man or church based groups that think talk therapy and worship can change the sexual orientation of gay people. A conference of trans people discussing how they can break through the cotton ceiling (have greater access to lesbians sexually) is abhorrent. It is offensive to discuss or plan how to convince people to change their sexual orientation.

    A radical feminist of any persuasion could never agree to erase the category of biological female. It is the antithesis of any form of feminism to support that. It is one thing to be inclusive by welcoming trans women into feminism and respecting their self-identification. It is entirely another to deny biological females the right to free association or even a name to call themselves.

    • cnlester says:

      So good to see you’re responding to my actual blog, rather than just dropping off a pre-formed opinion.

    • “Justice Redefined” (indeed!) — As cnlester points out, your comment appears to be a response to an argument made by someone else entirely, certainly not by the author of this blog. Even taken at face value, though, your comment is deeply problematic because you try to characterize *all* lesbians, or *all* trans women, or *all* straight men, and so forth. While some of the things you say may be true of some/many people with each of these identities, none of them is universally true, making your argument trivial to reject.

  • Thank-you for not being hostile. It’s a very tricky topic to navigate and after rereading my comment I could have worded myself more respectfully. This statement “Trans people don’t get to define what is and isn’t important about being a woman especially when it comes to sexual attraction.” was false. Trans people do get to define what is and isn’t important about being male/female for themselves just as everyone else does.

  • I am non-academic so I do make mistakes in the way that I word myself. I have a very elementary knowledge of some main theories. Nevertheless I think I have a good grasp on the basics.

    Trans people (as I understand it) believe there is something other than our reproductive organs that determines maleness or femaleness and that we are born with a gender that may or may not align with our genitalia.

    I was born with female external and internal organs. I am heterosexual and I believe that I was born that way. I was not born with a gender because in my opinion gender is a social construct not a biological designator. I am not “cis” anything because I reject the notion that gender is an integral part of my identity.

    So, although I respect a trans man’s self-identify through using the correct pronouns etc. I do not believe they are actually men therefore I am not sexually attracted to the thought of sex with a trans man. I have no phobia against lesbianism. It’s just not my personal sexual orientation.

    I don’t think you can interpret social acceptance as people actually believing you are the sex that you are presenting yourself as. In my opinion, the “cotton-ceiling” is lesbians expressing the fact that they do not believe that trans women are actually female. That isn’t trans-phobic.

    • Morgan says:

      The ‘cotton ceiling’ is indeed lesbians expressing that they do not believe that trans women are actually female. That really rather is transphobic.

      Using the correct name/pronouns for someone is a good and polite thing to do, but isn’t the be-all and end-all of respect. Respect for someone’s identity also involves actually respecting the validity of that identity – if someone tells you he is a man, you are not really respecting that identity if you call him ‘he’ but secretly believe he’s not actually a man.

  • The medical profession does not agree that transsexuals are actually males or females trapped in the wrong body anymore than they believe someone who calls themselves “Santa Claus” is actually “Santa Claus”. I understand that trans people disagree with that assessment but it doesn’t make it any the less accurate. In my opinion gender is fluid because it is a social construct not something that is biological. People aren’t born with a gender. These beliefs are in accordance with current scientific knowledge.

    It is not phobic to agree with science.

    My sexual attraction to men, (even though I have been celibate for almost 20 years) is based on biological sex, not on gender. My celibacy is based on having had a lot of negative experiences with men both sexual and non-sexual. I wish I could be a lesbian, I’ve even tried to be, but my sexual orientation is fixed. I’m straight.

    If gender were the issue for me then trans people would be an excellent solution. I could have the male gender with female biology, or the female gender with male biology. But gender isn’t the issue, biology is. My sexual orientation is towards biological males. That is why I have been celibate for so long.

    Presumably trans women would not be attracted to me because I see trans women as men expressing female gender norms, not as women. I’m not attracted to trans men because my sexual response is to biological males. Being sexually responsive only to biological males is not trans phobic. It would be offensive to tell me that I am bigoted because my sexual response is to biological males.

    If a lesbian believed a trans woman was actually female but rejected them because they are trans, that would be trans phobic.

    lf a lesbian’s attraction to someone is based on their biological sex rather than their gender there is nothing trans phobic about it. It is a valid sexual orientation.

    Even if people are born with a gender, that doesn’t mean that sexual attraction is rooted in gender as opposed to biological sex.

    Because trans-people have been given social acceptance doesn’t mean everyone agrees with their theories. It’s more a “live and let live” thing, until trans people start calling lesbians trans phobic for not wanting to have sex with them.

    Then trans women become what they claim they are not. Men claiming the right of sexual access to women and trying to shame women for not wanting to have sex with them by accusing them of being trans phobic for not doing so.

    That lesbians as a class are being accused rather than individual lesbians doesn’t matter. Lesbians are still being accused of being trans-phobic for not having sex with trans women.

    • cnlester says:

      Justice, I’m afraid I don’t have the time nor the energy to respond in detail to an argument that’s been dissected many times by many writers better than me. Having said what you’ve said, I’m not sure you’ll be interested in what I have to say here. But all I can say is – please do some more research. Your appraisal of the current state of scientific research into sex, gender, neuroscience and brain plasticity is not correct – I hope you may enjoy looking into the new data out there. You could do far worse than start with the works of Alice Dreger and Anne Fausto Sterling.

    • Ollie Jones says:

      So you checked every the genitals and medical history of every man you’ve ever been attracted to? Not every trans person looks trans, for some that’s what they are aiming for.
      Attraction and arousal are are two different things, I know of people who are asexual but have for filling sex lives and people who are sexual but repulsed by the idea of sex. If you can only be aroused by the presence of a penis the I think your partners have been doing something wrong.
      Trans people have not been socially accepted, I’d love it to be so, but it’s not. This is the reason people don’t agree with “their theories” People with lived experience will always know more about it than people studying it from the outside.
      Trans women are women, you can tell by the way they are called women. Would you be happy with a post op, passing trans man “claiming the right of sexual access to women”? They would look and act just like a man but according to you would still be a woman.
      In the past “science”(read white cis male doctors’ opinions) said black people couldn’t feel pain, and womb could wonder around the body. That’s wrong and science corrected it’s self but that doesn’t spot those ideas being racist or sexist. Today’s medical opinions are transphobic.

      Ollie.

      PS Point of Grammar, its transphobic, one word and trans people, two words no hyphen

  • cnlester, I did do some extremely light research and did see that some neurological research is showing differences in the brain.

    That some people think gender identity is the basis of sexual attraction rather than biological sex is their right.

    That other people believe biological sex, not gender, is the basis of sexual attraction is also their right. It does not mean they are transphobic.

    No, I would not want to have a sexual relationship with a trans man no matter how good his surgery because my sexuality demands a biological male not a gender identity man. That does not mean I am transphobic.

    Wearing a blindfold, we could all be sexually aroused by anyone regardless of sex. Does that mean we are all bi-sexual and it is just our prejudices stopping us? If a woman sexually aroused me while I was blind-folded and thinking she was a man it would not threaten my heterosexual identity, I would feel raped. That doesn’t mean I am lesbian-phobic.

    Being sexually aroused while blind-folded doesn’t prove that someone is in denial if when the blind fold comes off they are no longer sexually attracted to whomever aroused them. Trans people who enter a sexual exchange while passing have blind-folded the person they involved. They have stolen the person’s agency.

    People have a right to have a sexual orientation based on gender identity alone, or on gender identity combined with particular body parts natal or not. People also have a right to have a sexual orientation that is centered on biological sex. The sexual orientation of the grand majority of people in the world is centered on biological sex. I think there is an argument to be made that it is innate, not transphobic.

    The “cotton-ceiling” theory suggests that the reason lesbians won’t have sex with trans women is due to transphobia rather than sexual orientation. You cannot demand that other people base their sexual orientation on gender and/or body parts instead of on biological sex. It is not transphobic to have a sexual orientation based on biological sex.

  • […] the fact that the people complaining about butch flight are so often the ones misrepresenting the cotton ceiling debate as creepy trans women feeling entitled enough to claim unfettered access to cis women’s […]

  • Beta says:

    I haven’t really waded into this debate before, partly because I wasn’t sure how to frame my words so please consider that I may not be the most articulate person here. In reading through all this, this phrase did strike me: “lf a lesbian’s attraction to someone is based on their biological sex rather than their gender there is nothing trans phobic about it. It is a valid sexual orientation.” That seems pretty valid to me. I think it’s worth considering that just because everyone is lumped into the same category like “lesbian”, it doesn’t mean they are all having the same experience.
    Let’s keep this personal, since that limits any tendency to make assumptions. I’m a butch, cis-gendered woman who likes femme women. So, I have a specific ‘type’ for both gender and biology. The biology aspect is important for me. When we construct these identities they are shorthand answers for a question we’ve been asked – ‘why do you like what you like?’ My answer has been that I like vulvas, vaginas, getting my hands wet and tasting them. There’s a definite, visceral, physical, genital component to my desire. I am totally cool with fucking a femme woman who is also trans – but I would like the vulva/vagina aspect in place because it’s pivotal to my desire and attraction around sex. This is different than general social acceptance of transwomen – I do not need to engage with someone’s genitals to socialize with them. I can be quite attracted to femme transmen, largely due to the existence of vulva/vaginaness that’s often going on, but I’m often not allowed to play with these bits so it’s not especially satisfying for me. I’ve had some good experiences with genderqueer/androgynous female-bodied folks that has worked out well so it seems that, for me, the gender attraction is more fluid than my attraction to female body parts.
    So, my take on this is that there are a whole bunch of factors in cis and trans women’s sexual interactions going on at once. This particular element is the one that gets people really kicking, partly because I, and I think this is a common experience, have been asked to justify my desire for pussy over dick for my entire life. And I just don’t accept anyone telling me that’s it not valid. As in, this comment here “If you can only be aroused by the presence of a penis the I think your partners have been doing something wrong.” Well, no. Not okay. Never okay. You don’t get to judge someone else’s sexuality and tell them they’re doing it wrong.
    I think cnlester makes a really valid case to ask cis-people to think about why they would or wouldn’t have sex with a trans-person. If you’re worrying about what your friends would say or if you’re worrying about how your identity might be affected by new desires, then I think transphobia is really messing with your head and limiting your options. If you are thinking ‘my sexual desire is highly linked to a particular set of body parts’ then I agree that this is a valid way to define your sexuality. Saying ‘this transwoman has a dick instead of a pussy and that’s not a body part I’m attracted to’ is not the same as saying ‘this transwoman is not a real woman and I’m only attracted to real women.’
    I don’t know – and perhaps it’s odd that no one has asked – how many lesbians and straight men feel this way and whether this is a large or small factor affecting trans and cis sexual interactions.

  • […] that it’s an individual thing. I wrote a piece a while ago about the ways in which desire for genderqueer people can contain the potential to disrupt someone’s own ideas of gend…r – I also feel that my understanding of myself in terms of gender and sexuality is linked at […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The ‘cotton ceiling’ and gender variance at a gentleman and a scholar.

meta

%d bloggers like this: