I Will Always Be Trans Before I Am Bi

by Nathaniel Corns about a year ago in lgbtq

No experience within the LGBT community is the same.

I Will Always Be Trans Before I Am Bi

Judging by the title, I wouldn't blame you for thinking this is going to be a rage piece—a rant against cis LGB people. It's not. I've come to terms with the fact that, as a trans person, I have to be cautious of every single cis person I meet, regardless of whether they are also LGB. I want to explain what I mean by that, because there is every chance that there is a cis LGB person reading this and thinking, "but why? we're in the same community," and you wouldn't be wrong, but for trans people it's not that simple.

Let me give an example: a few nights back I was in a gay bar with my friends, and I was having a really good time. I'm a transgender man, and I pass quite well having been on testosterone for quite some time now. Any trans person reading this doesn't need me to continue with the story, because they already know what happened. But for the sake of everyone who isn't trans, I'll continue. So, I'm standing at the bar waiting to be served and a guy comes up to me. It starts out a normal conversation—he talks about how busy it is tonight, how loud it is, how good I look, etc. I already have a partner, so I'm not interested—and I tell him this—but he keeps going. Eventually he puts his hand on my back, and I can tell he can feel my binder through my shirt, because of the confused expression on his face. When I tell him I'm trans he recoils his hand like he's just touched a naked flame, and starts borderline shouting at me for "tricking" him as a gay man, and that trans people "shouldn't be allowed in gay safe spaces." (I also want to add—that's a very watered-down version of what he actually said to me. His language was actually pretty colourful—no pun intended). Thankfully, the situation defused there.

It's not just gay men that trans people have to be weary of though. There's a whole debate in the lesbian community at the moment as to whether or not they can accept trans women. If trans women are women, and they are exclusively attracted to other women, then the logic would follow that they are lesbians, right? Actually, what I have just said is a very controversial statement within the cis lesbian community. I've heard some claim that trans lesbians are "forcing lesbians to have sex" with them, and that if a lesbian claims to not like penises she's being "transphobic." For any cis lesbian that is reading this—no one thinks you're being transphobic for being penis-repulsed. No trans woman will force you to sleep with her. She understands. Please don't make her feel more alienated than she already feels. And should the situation ever arise where a trans woman is wanting to have sex with you, just politely say "I don't want to have sex with you" like you would with anyone who you don't want to have sex with, and that should be enough.

I really want to stress that I don't hate cis LGB people. Many of them are my close friends and people who I interact with on a daily basis. Many of them campaign for trans rights like their life depends on it, even if it doesn't. I know this will be one of my more controversial pieces, but I need you to understand that this is what so many trans people face every single day.

Cis LGB people can never understand what it is like to be trans, just like straight cis people. They can never understand how it feels to avoid speaking to new people, because their voice might "give them away." They can never understand the fear of handing over ID whilst holding your breath, because the gender on it doesn't match the gender you're presenting as. They can never understand the total disconnect with your body. They can never even begin to understand the hoops we have to jump through to get access to life saving healthcare, and the barriers that cis people put in the way of that.

Being trans quite literally effects EVERY aspect of my life, and that's never going to stop for the rest of my life. Things will get, and have gotten, but it's still there with every job I apply for, and every time I walk down the street. Despite being bisexual, cis LGB people focus on my trans-ness first, and they set it as a priority.

The cis bisexual experience is so different to the trans bisexual experience.

If in some dystopian timeline trans people are banished from the LGB community, I would go with the trans community, and there would be no doubt in my mind.

And because of that, to the whole world I will always be transgender before I am bisexual.

Nathaniel Corns
Nathaniel Corns
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Nathaniel Corns

A 21 year old trans man stumbling his way through life. Recent English Literature and Film Studies graduate. Pagan, activist, bisexual.

See all posts by Nathaniel Corns