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If gender and sexuality are 2 separate things....

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by AnimalBLUE, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. AnimalBLUE

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    If Gender and sexuality are 2 separate things, than why are there so many gay men who are feminine and lesbians who are boyish or butch?

    I genuinely don’t get it. Does gender and sexuality overlap? If you’re gay are you more likely to suffer with gender related issues?

    Apologies in advance for this thread, I don’t at all mean to sound rude, but I am trying to make sense of it all because it has a major effect on me and how I am feeling. I realise that many gay men aren’t fem and likewise many lesbians who are very fem, however, there are many who would appear to be outside the binary gender.

    I am a lesbian and I’m very boyish/ladish but I wouldn’t call myself butch. Each to their own I guess. If someone was to see my they just say I’m a gay women etc! I am I missing something here? Are boyish lesbians very different to non binary or even transgender? I’m asking because I’m genuinely confused, but just to be clear, I’m not in anyway meaning to sound rude. In the past when people have said to me...well she doesn’t look like a lesbian...then I’ve usually answered with, but what does one look like? However, Since questioning my own gender and being very confused I’ve reverted back to.....no actually in many cases you can tell if someone’s gay but I accept not in every occasion.

    That said...

    However I pretended to be a boy quite a few time during my childhood and teenage years. I wanted to be perceived as a guy and even gave a different name etc in new groups of people that I would briefly meet. I’ve used men’s toilets as felt I fit in. Would any other lesbian behave like this or is there something else going on here? Is it to do with my gender instead?

    I suffer with gender dysphoria ...do other lesbians suffer with this? Is again is this to do with gender and absolutely nothing to do with sexuality what so ever?

    I feel that it’s hard to relate to other women...especially when it comes to fem things and group conversations between women.....do other lesbians struggle it’s being able to relate to fem women?

    I just don’t know what to think anymore....you may wonder the reason for this post. Well I’m 37 a lesbian and suddenly recently questioning my gender identity...I feel perhaps somewhere in between or even trans. That’s my gut feeling. Did I get it wrong all those years ago when I came out as a lesbian? Did I get it confused with gender instead? I’ve often become co fused by fem lesbians because I don’t u derstand how they can be? The more I think about it the more I’m realising this is more to do with me than lesbians. Perhaps as a youngster I saw all these images of butch lesbians and assumed this is what all lesbians are like. Perhaps I assumed all lesbians were boyish and laddish like me....that’s why I’m a lesbian....perhaps I’m wrong.....perhaps I’m not a lesbian at all and actually I’m trans!
     
    #1 AnimalBLUE, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  2. Hats

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    Hi there. It looks like you have a lot of questions!

    Do you identify as a woman who is attracted exclusively to other women, or is it more that you feel you're a lesbian because you're very masculine for a woman and you associate being a lesbian with masculinity? What is your definition of "lesbian"?
     
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  3. AnimalBLUE

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    Hi there Hats! Thanks for you’re reply. Yes I do have so many questions and they going around and around in my head making me feel confused and anxious really. The above questions hmmm, they are also tough ones. I’m exclusively attracted to women but to call myself a women feels a difficult one. Am I a women? I don’t know really. Yes outwardly I say I am as this is how the world knows me. A year ago I would have said yes I am a women, but this is before I had almost had an epiphany! Lol I was on my own and thought to myself, I feel like I’m somewhere in between Male and female say Bi-transgender (I’d never heard of any other gender identities before, only transgender but didnt know much about it). I got home that day and googled....”Does anyone else feel like they are half man and half women or somewhere in between?” As you can imagine I nearly fell off my chair with the answers I found. This has bought me to where I am now 2 months on.

    I guess for a bulk of my life so far I thought that I was a lesbian because I’m masculine and boyish and...it to mention the small fact the I’m attracted to women. However, as time has gone on I’ve met other lesbians and realised not all are masculine which has really confused me and made me for a start question them. I’m now questioning myself ...not them anymore.

    To add to this - I want to be masculine FOR women so that they will be attracted to me.
     
    #3 AnimalBLUE, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  4. Broccoli

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    Hi there. It looks like you have gender identity questions to think through but I thought I'd just throw in myself as a single example of gender and sexualtity being separate as a contrast. I'm not sure if it's helpful or not as it's not answering your question but I suppose I'm hoping it would provide you with a datapoint!

    In my case, yes. I have always dressed in a relatively non-feminine way, largely because I am very sensitive to tight clothing, uncomfortable fabrics, make-up on my skin, etc. and found it more comfortable and relaxing. However, I have always felt completely female. I think there was a subtle shift in the way I dressed when I realised I was gay because it was almost like 'well, I've bust out of heteronormative sexuality definitions anyway so I might as well dress how I like rather than subconsciously trying to dress to fit in and attract men'. I still wear skirts sometimes though when I like the fabric and the way they feel. I guess all I'm trying to say is that it isn't the case for everyone that preferring a more 'boyish' style of dress as a lesbian is associated with being more gender-questioning/non-binary. Will be watching this thread and interested to know what other people's thoughts are.
     
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  5. AnimalBLUE

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    Hi and thanks very much for you’re replies. I am feeling a lot more clear minded about this today...probably for the first time since discovering something about my gender that differs from my assigned gender at birth (Female). I’m starting to recognise because of some helpful comments on here and other websites that there are both fem and masc gay women and men. That gender and sexuality are separate things. However, as a gay person it’s much easier to be more flexible with you’re gender and this may account for what seems a higher number of mas lesbians and a higher number of fem gay men. This is because for heterosexual people in a TRADIONAL sense, you must be fem as a straight women and be pretty to catch a mans eyes or a masc straight man to protect, bread win and provide for the women. So I guess as a gay person you can break out of these restrictive expectations and explore more. When I refer to a higher number of masc lesbians and fem gay men....it could be higher but perhaps not as high as some think including myself up until now! Where perhaps I thought It was say a ration of 85% masc lesbian and 15% fem exist, it’s probably more like 60 masc and 40 fem but that’s just my own prediction.

    In addition, butch lesbians and fem gay men are more likely to stand out and therefore expose people more to the idea that this is how all gay people are, when in fact, there are probably gay people all around us all the time and some we don’t notice.

    So I guess the 2 questions that I need to ask myself are;

    Am I a lesbian who takes advantage of the flexibility of being able to explore and express myself outside the restrictive gender norms of fem women.

    Or

    Am I someone who is attracted to women exclusively but also feel that my assigned gender at birth doesn’t match how I feel and what I feel I am. For example that could be trans Male or non binary but I’m leaving it open for now.

    Thanks again for you’re comments as it’s helped me gain some clearer u derstand it of this!
     
  6. Mihael

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    I’d say not being able to relate to women and not understanding why someone would want to be feminine is gender related rather than sexuality, although being gay can contribute to those feelings. Transgender is a broad spectrum. You have the people who transition from female to male or male to female in all possible ways, and you have all those who are happy with being a mixture of genders. I think the terms for an in between gender that you are looking for are: non-bianry gender, genderqueer, androgyne, agender/genderless, bigender, genderfluid.
     
  7. Broccoli

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    I think your last post is very clear-sighted AnimalBLUE and the questions you have asked yourself are astute.

    This is very true, and I think easy to forget!
     
  8. Guest10

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    Sexuality is entirely separate from gender. Gender is who you are, and sexuality is who you are attracted to. There is not a preponderance of butch-like lesbians, or feminine gay men. I live in a town that literally drips with LGBTQ+ people, and there are a LOT of gays and lesbians who you'd never suspect were -- this town is like that. People here are so open minded and accepting that if you don't identify yourself as LGBTQ+, no one knows, and even if your looks or mannerisms give you away, no one cares. I know some rather butch-like straight women, and some kind of girly straight men. Who we are is who we are, and who we are attracted to is who we are attracted to.

    Hugs,
     
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