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I'm 43 years old. My partner and I have been together for seventeen years. Recently I realized that I identify as male. I have long presented physically as a genderqueer female. When I explained my feelings to my cis male partner he revealed that he is not attracted to males. He does not mind or possibly prefers a genderqueer-presenting female, but he tells me the "physique" needs to be female. There have been emotional exchanges between us about this. We want to stay together but my physical presentation has become an issue. The bottom line being that I want to be physically male. He has warned me that he will no longer feel attracted to me sexually if I become physically male. We would be just loving coparents and close friends instead of loving coparents and sexual partners. I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure.

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He's less adventurous regarding sex than me and seems to have much less of a sex drive than me also. But because of my increased feelings of well-being and confidence, we are having more sex now than ever before. He seems to enjoy this. But I wish he would open up to more options than "cis hetero vanilla" sex. I have already come out to him as a trans gay man pointed out that the two—the amount of sex we're having and the fact that I now know myself to be a gay man—are interlinked. I have also told him I would prefer more MM-style sexual interactions.

Perhaps this simply will take a lot of time and patience and making sure I match my speed of transition to the speed of his adjustment to it. At the same time I may do some male-male sexual self-care on the side. Is this a reasonable scenario? What do you suggest I do?

Did I Blow It?

So... your hope is that transitioning verrrrrry slowly will somehow turn your husband into a gay man?

I'm sorry, DIBI, but gender can't be critical to your identity and sense of self—something crucial that must be expressed—and utterly irrelevant where your husband's identity and/or sexual orientation is/are concerned.

Some people are straight, DIBI, just as some people are gay or bi or asexual. Or trans and straight, gay, bi, or ace. And your physical transition—by which I assume you mean taking testosterone and getting top and/or bottom surgery—may result in your husband, a straight man, no longer finding you sexually attractive in the same way he has for the last seventeen years... or no longer finding you sexually attractive in any way.

And, I'm sorry, but that's a risk you're gonna have to run to be yourself.

Transitioning is scary and many trans people cite the fear of losing a longterm romantic/sexual partner as a reason they hesitated to transition sooner. But you only recently realized your trans, DIBI, and from the sound of things your partner is being supportive—he loves you and wants you to be happy and wants you to be you. It doesn't sound to me like he's trying to coerce you out of transitioning. He's simply being as honest and transparent with you as you're being with him.

You seem to think your husband's attraction to "genderqueer-presenting females," i.e. cis women with more traditionally-thought-of-as-masculine traits, means he should be able love you sexually and romantically after you've transitioned physically—that is, once you're a gay man who presents male. But it doesn't necessarily follow that someone who's attracted to masculine women is going to be attracted to men. Or a man.

Personally, DIBI, I find effeminate gay men extremely attractive. But I've never been sexually attracted to a woman and I'm not romantically attracted to women and never have been. It simply isn't the case—or isn't always the case or is only rarely the case—that someone who's attracted to genderqueer or gender-nonconforming women is gonna be attracted to men or vice-versa. And I don't think that's about societal pressure. (If societal pressure couldn't keep me from sucking dicks, DIBI, I don't see how it could keep me from eating pussy if that was something I wanted to do.) Sex-specific sexual orientations are just as real and just as legitimate as transgender identities. And while some people's sexual orientations are fluid... your husband is telling you that his is not.

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But, hey, anything's possible. Even if the odds are slim, DIBI, the only way to find out for sure how your husband is gonna feel after your transition is for you to transition and see how he feels. I've met some formerly straight-identified cis women who partnered with trans women before they transitioned and are still with their now-transitioned partners, DIBI, and I have to assume there are some formerly straight-identified cis men out who've made the same leap. It's also possible that your husband won't be the one feels differently after your transition. Right now you say you want to sustain both your partnership (friends and coparents) and your sexual relationship. But after your transition you may find yourself wanting to be with other gay men and no longer sexually attracted to straight cis males.


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