Sexual orientation and gender identity are not mutually exclusive. Sexual orientation is who you are attract to, who you want to have sex with or be in love with. Gender identity is your internal sense of who you are – whether male, female, or anything, or nothing in between. So it amazes me that people do not think that there are gay or bisexual transmen. There is some thought that when people transition that there is some automatic attraction to the opposite gender or sex. That is so far from reality. The reality is that transguys have sexual attractions to a multiplicity of genders just like everyone else.

From my own walk, there is an expansion of orientation. In my pre-transition life, I primarily dated women after I came out as gay in 1998. In high school, I dated boys because that is what I thought I was supposed to do. But when I accepted my gayness in 1998, a whole new world of freedom opened for me. I became more of the self I could accept at the time. It was one of the bravest times of my life. Also, one of the scariest, in that homophobia became an all too real thing, especially in my family. Even my hotep cousin had something to say about it … LOL. My attraction to men became dormant. I actually thought it was magically cured by my lesbianism. But once I began my transition, there was a shift.

This isn’t a story about one day waking up and saying “I think I like beef now.” It is really a description of a part of the journey many only whisper about. My mentor calls this “orientation expansion.” This is a fitting description of this process. I began to notice that I was attracted to women and men over the course of my time in transition, which is still in progress. And the thought of that was very frightening to me. This was not what I had planned on nor did I think this would happen. I also began to notice strains of homophobia / biphobia within transmasculine communities. Sometimes in transguys space, there is the “no homo” vibe or the “stop acting like a bitch” vibe. But there are also brothers that will check that language and stand up to that homophobia and biphobia. Like all communities, transmasculine communities also have their share of anti gayness.

I have also had to confront my own inner biphobia. And that has been transformative. What I realize is that who I love is not determined by a person’s sex or gender but by the condition of the heart. I have had to confront my own internalize sense of self loathing, which I consider part of  my own fundamental darkness. Doing spiritual work and therapy about these issues has given me a level of clarity about my own self that I have never experienced.  This has eased my anxiety and fears about being bisexual. I have come to understand that living authentically and walking in truth is more than just embracing my transition. Walking in authenticity involves also confronting shame that has its origins in bad theology. It involves the on going effort to deprogram self defeating thoughts, rewiring my self to embrace the Divine within.