Transsexual sexuality is a complex area in which the terms 'sex' and 'gender' can no longer be used synonymously.
If you want to find out more, in depth, the links page will be of help. There are people who can explain in greater depth and far more eloquently than we can. However, for our purposes we will take a brief look at this most difficult of subjects.
A transsexual woman may be attracted to men or women or both, as indeed any of us can be. A transsexual woman who is attracted to men is classed as straight; if she is attracted to women, she is deemed a lesbian and obviously bi sexual when attracted to both.
Having a male past has an impact on sexuality, whether people choose to acknowledge this or not. Without getting into a ‘nature over nurture’ argument, put bluntly, most M to F transsexuals who have been brought up as boys will have entered into a relationship with a girl/woman at some point as it was ’expected’ or in an attempt to ‘normalise‘, be it subconscious or not.
Transsexuality, although it may have always been there, is often not recognised - or it may be more accurate to say 'acknowledged' - by the transsexual herself; the ways in which they try to make sense of their feelings and condition often leads them to believe they are transvestites and they act accordingly, believing marriage, children and ’normal’ life will make them feel better and their feelings will settle down.
It is important to remember this is not done deliberately or cynically. If you are married, it is very unlikely your partner was aware that they were transsexual at the time you married.
The complexity occurs because under hormone therapy, as a MtoF transsexual starts to respond to the new hormone regime and feel more female, their feelings can alter quite dramatically. Whereas they may have been married to a woman and had children, they often now find their attraction shifts to men.
Some transsexuals have always been attracted to men and considered themselves bisexual previously, but generally speaking after hormones and surgery, they may be ‘heterosexual’ as in a woman who is attracted to men. There is after all nothing wrong in this; if these transsexual women had been born biologically female the chances are the majority would have been heterosexual and never entertained a relationship with another woman.
So nurture may have a huge effect, sometimes leaving a transsexual woman who may well fancy men but only knows how to have a relationship with a woman. Yet another frustration to overcome. There is an incidence of transsexual women in relationships with other transsexual women.
Age also has a part to play in sexuality. Now that the average age of those seeking surgery or help with their gender dysphoria has come down, and with increasing awareness of dysphoria and transgenderism among doctors and psychiatrists and more help available for gender-dysphoric people, it is becoming apparent that there is a higher incidence of post-transition heterosexuality among younger MtoF transsexual women, than was previously thought to be the case. This is mainly because these women are able to become themselves earlier, society being more accepting nowadays of early transition, and younger MtoF transsexual women do not have years of stereotypical male habits and behaviour to overcome.
Unfortunately there are no right or wrong answers in terms of transsexual women and their sexuality, in much the same way as there are no right and wrong answers for any one else of either sex. Sexuality is a personal thing, what is right for one person is not right for the next. For some reason we all have a need to pigeonhole, and unfortunately that cannot be done where such matters are concerned.
To conclude, one would have to state that the incidence of bisexual or lesbian transsexual women is somewhat higher than in the general populace, quite possibly due to life experience. In fact in surveys done the general understanding is that for transsexual women the figure is as high as 50% which quite obviously is greatly at odds with the main population. (The Alliance of Les-Bi-Gay-Transgender). As stated above, among younger transsexual women, the trend appears to reverse.
"In the study taken over a control group of over 100 post operative women, the findings were that 75% of pre-transition MtoF patients were primarily attracted to women, 15% were bisexual and 10% exclusively attracted to men, and about 1% are asexual; post-SRS however,the figures change quite dramatically.
35% remain interested primarily in women for relationships and sexual encounters (down by 40%); 45% are primarily interested in men for relationships and sex (up by 35%); 20% become bisexual or pansexual in their outlook (up by 5%) and a small proportion become asexual (about 2%). These figures using a sample in excess of 100 Post-SRS patients of Dr Suporn, over a period of 3 years." (N.Williams)
We are however not so much interested in the gay/straight argument - it would be fairer and more accurate to say that 35% of post operative ts women deviate from the orientation they had before surgery.
(Interestingly figures given for TV's puts the incidence of heterosexuality at around 75% ( Source:-Tapestry) Also, ALBGT state that in the US there are several groups exclusively for heterosexual transvestites that have very large memberships.
Many psychologists say that transvestites are in the same proportion of gay to straight individuals as the
non-transvestite segment of the male population.)
© Transpartners 2008