Genderfluid Lesbian Thirsts for Binary Trans Man Friend asks:
I’m a genderfluid transmasculine person. I recently spent a period of time living with a binary trans man, who I initially assumed was cis. We became and have stayed really close friends, having intimate conversations and confiding some of our most personal histories in one another.
More recently, I’ve noticed there’s been more physical chemistry between us, but I identify as a lesbian. I acknowledge that I am attracted to him as a man, but I’m worried that, while I see him as a man, he might think I’m a gender critical dipshit. I’m considering asking him if he wants to be FWBs, but I’m worried it could ruin our friendship and/or friend group dynamics. Should I ask this man to butter my biscuits?
First, let’s acknowledge that your chosen pseudonym sounds like a porn title, or maybe a light novel of some sort. Genderfluid Lesbian THIRSTS for Binary Trans Man Friend. Genderfluid Lesbian Thirsts for Binary Trans Man Friend?! Genderfluid Lesbian NEEDS Binary Trans Man to BUTTER Their—
Anyway, kudos to you for nailing down your desires! That’s the hardest step, and it’s really from there that labels should follow.
As a fellow genderfluid lesbian, I’ve also been into the occasional guy. It’s not always possible to glean someone’s gender from aesthetics, and someone I assume is a lesbian might turn out to be a fashionable dude (“I kissed a very attractive twink in Brighton,” anyone?). However, I’ve made the active decision to prioritize my core identity over fleeting attraction, since I don’t foresee myself wanting to seriously date or have sex with a man.
On another applicable note, I identified as a binary trans boy in adolescence. Though gender was a touchy subject for a variety of reasons, I know I would have felt especially misgendered if a lesbian expressed attraction to me. Transmisogyny-exempt lesbians have a long history of excluding trans women from their dating pools in favor of including trans men — primarily for cissexist and bioessentialist reasons. It would make sense if your crush took issue with you proposing a sexual relationship under your current label.
But at the end of the day, you aren’t required to change your identity to pursue your friend — he might just be stoked at the opportunity to bone you! However, I strongly suggest reconsidering its utility if it’s no longer in line with your needs. Exploring new modes of expression could lead to the fewest hurt feelings — and the most potential for self-discovery.
Most importantly: do you feel like your attraction springs from his transness in a bioessentialist way? Were you into him even when you believed he was cis? Have you wanted other men to butter your biscuits in the past? Do you think you could be attracted to other men, cis and trans, in the future?
What does lesbianism mean to you?
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Fox Auslander is a nonbinary poet born, raised, and based in Philadelphia. They are a chapbook editor at LUPERCALIApress, one of three co-lead poetry editors at Alien Magazine, and one of two co-editors at Delicate Friend. Find them on Instagram @circumgender.