Question Four: Will taking hormones change your sexual orientation?
March 26, 2013 § 5 Comments
Panel bios here – and day four’s question…
Do you think hormones can change a persons’ sexual orientation? (we had a long discussion about this, and the people in the room seemed to be leaning towards social and cultural factors being far more important, but it would be good to hear some other experiences)
Maeve: My experience in spending a lot of time with trans men, is that many (not all by any means!) have moved from being part of a lesbian community, to identifying as either gay or polysexual (bisexual, pansexual etc.). I have often been told that being seen as female by a man was a critical barrier in terms of identifying as straight, pre-transition. But once they were being accepted as male by potential sexual partners, it became easier to explore their sexuality. I don’t think I can comment at all on how fluidity in sexual identity might affect a current relationship.
Natacha: This depends on the individual. In some cases people change their orientation after hormones in other cases they do not.
Roz: In the couple of years after transition, being more comfortable made me more sexual around men and I had a good time. My shift to lesbianism followed after I got over that.
CN: Everything I’ve ever seen of the world suggests that sexual orientations slip and mutate all the time, for every kind of reason you could name. I’m sure that changing hormones levels could be one of those reasons, though I don’t know how you’d start unpicking ‘changing just because of changing hormone levels’ from ‘changing because of expected effects of hormonal change (placebo)’ from ‘changing because of physiological consequences of taking hormones (personal)’ from ‘changing because of physiological consequences of taking hormones (social/societal)’. From anecdotal evidence I think it’s fairly safe to assume that a lot of trans people are more comfortable with exploring their sexuality when they feel more at home in themselves, and taking hormones can be an important step in that process.
Naith: I’ve heard many people say that their sexual orientation changed somewhat on hormones, so it’s certainly something that happens. Why it happens could be down to any number of things. But I reckon sexuality is fluid enough anyway that it shouldn’t really be something that matters, I guess.