My Letter To The Editor Of The Toronto Star
January 7, 2014
Monica Roberts’ Speech To Houston City Council
January 9, 2014

Ask Matt: Can a Gay Man Love a Trans Woman?

By Matt Kailey

A reader writes:

“I am a gay man and have no doubts really about that. I was late in coming out after being married and having children. However, 15 months ago I started a relationship with a guy who I had met several years earlier and who also was previously married with children.

“After we had been dating for six or seven months, he started to talk about how he really liked dressing as a girl and felt he should have been born a girl. I did know he was always quite fem and liked fem things and that was part of my attraction to him.

“Well, now he is well into transition to her, including name change and hormone treatments, and is fully out to family and work. I have supported this transition because I loved/love him/her and know that it was making her happy and it was what she wanted.

“Now, though, I am having a real problem in my head as to how can it be that a gay guy is still fancying a girl. Is it an identity issue? What is going on in my mind? Can this relationship continue?

“We have talked about surgery and I have said I would not like her to have reassignment and she says that she doesn’t want it anyway. However, will that change in a year or two? Just struggling with where I am in this relationship.”

Once again, labels are hanging us up. Remember that “gay” is just a label for your sexual orientation – it is not your sexual orientation. You have the label “gay” because you have a particular type of body and gender identity and you are attracted to people with the same type of body and gender identity.

[pullquote align=”right”]I think you do still see her as a man, at least to some extent, because you are using both male and female pronouns for her, but I’m not sure what she has asked you to do.[/pullquote]Your attraction to this person started out in this way. It’s possible that if you had met this person after she had already transitioned, you would not have been attracted to her. But that’s not the case. So you fell in love with a person who a gay man (you) might have fallen in love with, and now she has changed, but you are still in love with her.

In my opinion, that does not mean that you are no longer gay. It just means you are in love with a particular person, and this person no longer meets a specific set of criteria that a gay man might look for when choosing a partner. But you’ve already chosen a partner – this person – and you are in love with her, so those criteria no longer matter.

I believe that you can retain your gay identity and continue to date this person and be very happy with her for the rest of your life. However, you need to understand that you will likely be seen by the world as a straight couple and be treated as such, so you will have to decide whether or not you can handle that.

In addition, she might resent you retaining your gay identity, because it might signal to her that you still see her as a man. This is a discussion that the two of you need to have. At this point, I think you do still see her as a man, at least to some extent, because you are using both male and female pronouns for her, but I’m not sure what she has asked you to do. It is possible that there will come a time when this will not be at all appropriate, and she will not want this, even if she is okay with it now. Again, have this discussion.

With regard to sex correction surgery, you have told her that you don’t want her to have it, and she has told you that she is not going to have it. Will she change her mind? It’s quite possible. She might change her mind about having surgery, and she also might change the ways in which she wants to interact with you sexually, whether or not she has surgery.

If that is a deal-breaker for you, then that is another discussion that you need to have – now and on an ongoing basis. She needs to know where she stands in this regard. Of course, it’s possible that if and when she does decide to have this surgery, it will no longer be a deal-breaker for you, because the relationship will be that important – but there are no guarantees of this, so again, have this discussion.

If a penis is important to you sexually, and at some point, she either no longer has one or no longer wants to use it in the ways that you would like, you can also discuss an open relationship, where you can get particular sexual needs met while remaining in the primary relationship. Be aware that this works both ways, and she can do the same. This arrangement is successful for many people, but you have to both be on board and you have to lay out the expectations and agreements beforehand.

I usually get this type of letter from lesbians who are dating trans men, and even though that is a different situation, I think that many of the same things hold true, so I am linking to a recent post I wrote called Can a Lesbian Date a Trans Man? I would suggest that you read that as well, along with the comments. I think it could be helpful.

The bottom line is that I absolutely think that this relationship can work, but, as always, ongoing communication is essential.

Readers, what do you think?

  • Mahrk Lyev1111

    Being attracted to the same sex in countries like USA,UK Canada is really easily as i have heard.There are still people there who don’t like people like us but it not as bad as that of Russia cos here we are beaten jailed and sometimes even killed.You can’t hold the hand of the one you care about in the public so as to avoid been harassed we can even set a place to me cos if we are caught we face jail time.Here in Russia we gay are prisoner in our own country.I am currently in a relation with my fiance and we had to leave Russia to be together.Before now his parent were against our relationship cos they had no idea he was gay we sneaked around knowing the risks if we were to be caught.When he finally got heart to tell him family the rejected him and asked he stops seeing me or they were going to turn him in and that scared him a lot his father is a very powerful man in Russia and he made it possible for him not to be able to live the country i mean as long as you have money in Russia anything goes.I was lucky they never got to meet me cos if they did i would have not been here right now writing this article that you are all reading.Probably i would have been in jail.Months passed and there was no way we could see each other cos they had him watched to make sure he is never get to meet me and also to know the person the was he was practicing this profane act with as they called it.They stripped him of all his right to the family assets and made him an outcast i could see he was suffering form the text he was sending me they made his life miserable and made him end our relationship.I knew he was confused and did know what to do to get his life back to make his family see him the way they use to.And i knew that his family were never going to accept his life style cos they are so anti gay.If they were to be a fund riser to fight gay practice in Russia his family will be the first to ask that they host it.I love him so much but he was scared of him family and they also had a grip on him.I know most person don’t believe in what about to say but still if it wasn’t for Mutton Osun a spell caster that i found on the internet i would not have been writing this.It happened maybe by a slim chance or fate that i was a blog were it happened that i read three distinct comment about how he help them with similar problem.I contacted him with an email address that was in the comment.I asked Mutton Osun to cast a spell to make my then boyfriend to make up his mind to run away from Russia with me to be together and also his family as in his father to make it possible for him to leave Russia with me and set a very comfortable life for us were we were going.And i know doing spells with someone you can’t even see is outrageous but i promise you he makes you feel more at else when he calls and he really goes through with his promise cos he did with mine he was really helpful to him and kind.And like other people said he doesn’t even charge you for what he is doing for you.I had to provide some list of materials that he asked that i get for my spell casting.I preferred that i sent the money down to him cos they were not easy to find and even when i found them it was so expensive but he could get them cheaply.He instructed me on how to make the spell work with great effect.It took 7 seven day and night to see it result.On the seventh night my boyfriend call me to tell me we could finally be together cos his father did agreed to do all i asked mutton osun to make him do i just knew at once it was Mutton Osun spell cos it what i asked for and now me and fiance are the happiest right now we can hold hand now without fear of being harassed or sent to jail for we are in love and we are very comfortable here.His father made sure everything was set before we even got here just like i asked it should be.Am going to also leave Mutton Osun email here just like others have done for contact purpose godsofosunx @ rocketmail. com

  • Cavan Ó Raghallaigh

    Suggestion – If you love and are attracted to that person, promote yourself to “pansexual”.