FTMs in their own words: The Term “Lesbian”
December 31, 2012
from a F2T transgender forum:
Before I properly realised I was trans I knew I liked girls, yet the term lesbian didn’t seem right. I couldn’t stand the word. It felt like it was associated with being a girl and I think subconsciously this is why I hated it so much. I always much preferred the word gay when saying that I liked girls. I now know that I’m bisexual but a bisexual male.
My question is, before you realised you were trans, did the term lesbian to describe your sexual orientation feel extremely wrong or is this just me?
Nope, I never used it because a lesbian is a woman who loves women. I never was a woman so it never applied. I’m just a vanilla straight guy.
Yeah, the term “lesbian” didn’t work for me eitiher, and I really disliked being called “butch lesbian.” I didn’t know why at the time, since I like females and I like most lesbians, but I just never quite fit into the culture. Now I know it’s because I am male, not a lesbian.
Same, I was always ‘gay’ and never ‘lesbian’. it just makes me cringe.
I thought it was somewhat funny that for so long in school people chose to label me lesbian over straight female, when it’s even further off the mark. Actually a gay male. I gravitated toward that label before it fully made sense (before I heard of trans).
I clearly remember my best friend asking if I was lesbian, back in the fourth grade, which outraged me…but I had no idea why. I’ve always stayed away from using the word, and now even though I’m dating a boy and happen to be one (though biology prefers to disagree with me), I don’t really think about my orientation, though I suppose I do have a preference for…feminine persons. It’s just a crude word imho. I actually got in trouble with the teacher for saying it while adamantly denying any homosexuality to this friend of mine. To this day I swear I didn’t love her, but a part of me isn’t so sure about that.
hmm my mom said I could be a manly lesbian, but it didnt felt right either,the point was it wasnt because I was attracted to girls I felt this way, or because I was boyish, it where because I didnt felt like a girl at all..
Since I do still present female in most situations (basically to everyone who actually knows me and deals with me consistently, although I deal with strangers in male mode– weird, I know), most people seem to assume I’m a lesbian. I don’t like the word, even beyond the fact that it’s a female word. To me, it just has a lot of negative connotations attached to it and I won’t even use it for my friends who are actually lesbians. I call them gay.
And I’m not even attracted to women– I’m an asexual who’s sometimes romantically attracted to men, but I don’t usually discuss my sexual orientation with anyone. It just makes it that much more annoying, though, when people think I’m a lesbian.
Never liked to use the word ‘lesbian’, either, even if I at some point used to mostly like girls. It just didn’t feel right. Even attending ‘Girls Only’ -parties I always felt I didn’t belong to that category. (And how stupid was I to not realize what that was about, before? ) I like the term gay, since I’m in the middle of genders and usually like people that are in the middle/outside, too. Or just pansexual or something.
same. when i first came out i just said i liked girls. i never said the words i am a lesbian, in the same sentence.
There was a time where I identified as a butch lesbian, though it didn’t feel right because I’ve always wanted to literally be the “man” in the relationship. Before I discovered anything about transitioning, I labeled myself as such because I felt that was the closest thing to being transgender at the time. Then again, identifying as a lesbian didn’t feel right to me either since technically I have never dated a female (outside of the internet).
I struggled a lot with the term “lesbian.” When I was trying to see if I could live as one as opposed to transition, it was a constant thing. I would try to say “I’m a lesbian” if the topic came up in a conversation, but it always sort of made me retreat because, yeah, it did imply I was a woman. I used “gay”, but that didn’t work either, since, well, I’m not. “Queer” was sort of the last attempt, since it made no implication about my gender, but by that time I was pretty set on the fact that there was no way I could live as female. Funnily enough, now that I’m farther along, when I talk about my first experience coming out (I came out about liking women before I came out as trans), I actually use the phrase “coming out as ‘lesbian’” with lesbian in scare quotes. I would never ever use it to describe myself, but at the time, since I was trying to be female that was the message I was sending to the world whether that was the truth about me or not.
I hated it! But I couldn’t really figure out wihy it bothered me until, I realized I was trans. I did yell at a friend who kept calling me one because she thought it was funny how irritated I’d get.
This is me exactly. Well minus trying to use “Queer”, I instead either avoided all terms or just say “I like girls”. Generally though I just tried not to talk about myself. Even just thinking of the word “lesbian” feels awkward to me.
I’m a gay man, and have always liked men, so the term lesbian never applied to me. However, early in transition I was mistaken for a butch lesbian, and lesbians came out of the woodwork to try and date me. Um, NO. Thank goodness that was a relatively short-lived phase. I was kind of creeped out by women coming on to me and touching me.
I’m sure my friends think I am a lesbian, and I have told a few that I am pansexual but ever since I was little I have been aware that I am a guy in a female body. A gay guy. So the idea of being lesbian kind of repels me. However, people still think I fancy women because of how much I rage about narrow minded hetero men (no offence intended to anyone).
I relate to this. Also felt like some kind of voyeur or spy when females would undress in front of me (like in locker room).
LOL I know that feeling.
I would hide from everyone in the locker room because I felt like a creep- ended up saying “screw this” and looked for ways to just avoid those kinds of situations altogether
This. I would leave the locker room and change in a bathroom stall.
I always wanted to be “the man” too, I even had a girl dump me because I was “too butch” for her.
I gave up on dating women for awhile, because I’ve just always fell for the straight girls. I went to an all female college for a year, where there were tons of lesbians, and you know what? out of all those lesbians dying to have sex with each other, I had to fall for the one straight girl there. I think I am still sort of in love with two of my best female friends from high school, but of course, they’re straight. Though they were really sweet and always let me be “the man” in our friendship. It was basically dating, just without sex.
I think I just never had that emotional connection with lesbians needed to actually date one (without being too manly for her), where I seem to have that with straight girls.
i always used to call myself gay too. i just couldn’t call myself a lesbian. whenever i tried it made me cringe. i used to tell my friends that i felt like a gay man that likes girls trapped in a girl’s body. And this was long before i even knew what genderqueer was, let alone trans* and especially what it meant to be FTM. i never really understood where that description had come from until i started questioning my gender. then suddenly it made more sense, to me anyways, than any word or phrase i’d ever used to describe myself before. it still does. anyways, yea, i get you. lol.
I tried being a lesbian once. It didn’t work.
And by that, I tried to pretend I was just a really, really, really butch woman for a girl I was interested in, as she was exclusively lesbian. In the end, we had to cut it off because I couldn’t pretend I was a woman anymore. It really sucked because I really liked her, but you can’t help who you’re attracted to, so…. -Shrug.-
I definitely know how you feel, guys. My attraction to girls never felt gay: it just felt like how a regular hetero guy should feel about women, and the term “lesbian” always felt really wrong because of that. Likewise, I feel really gay when I catch myself looking at men.
It has never been a word I identified with… I don’t mind being called, butch, boi, dyke, queer or trans – I am gender-flexible with my pronouns, though I prefer sir over ma’am…. but the term “lesbian” has never felt right to me… I think I kind of shocked some of the women at Church when I shared that – it never occurred to some of them that not identifying as a “lesbian” was an option.
For a long time I was confused and uncomfortable being attracted to girls. Being gay (I also couldn’t say lesbian) doesn’t bothered me, just the fact that I was born a girl.