Sex change

Are there cases where a biological man requests a sex change to become a lesbian?

and

Are there cases where a bilogical woman requests a sex change to become gay?

In the first case, there is not merely examples in the literature but also there is a board member who is in transition for precisely that reason. However, I don’t feel I should bring the story back up beyond that; I’ll let her, or her partner, also a Doper, identify her if they so choose.

Thanks, my question has been answered.

I wanted to know if gender identity can be separated from sexual orientation.

But now a new question pops into my head that obscures the immediate conclusion I was expecting, and frankly may not be fair to ask of the board members you refer to. So I’ll get to it right away.
It just occured to me that a motivation for sex change to be gay/lesbian could be to accomadate a gay/lesbian person you wish to connect with or please.

Is there any truth (in general) to that speculation?

One of my friends since childhood was considering a sex change while he has had gay relations he is almost exclusively heterosexual. After having a sex change he would continue to pursue women as a woman.

While trans-gender people are lumped in with gays for political or social reasons, it is largely unrelated. Desire to change your sex and desire for the same sex are different things.

They are totally independent. If you start out being attracted to a particular gender, a “sex change” will not change that.

As another data point, my spousal unit used to work with a man who had a sex change, and who identified as a lesbian after the transition was complete.

That scenario is extremely unlikely. A sex change isn’t something for which you just pop into the doctor’s office one afternoon to have done. It’s a process which typically involves months or years of counselling and hormone treatment, followed by extensive, irreversible surgeries. Anyone who wished to undergo sex change purely to accommodate a person they were interested in would probably have some sort of mental disorder (other than gender identity disorder) and probably wouldn’t make it through the pre-treatment counselling which is required in most jurisdictions.

Same here. My friend has already gone through her complete transition, and she’s madly in love with the woman she was with just before she transitioned.

I’ve just finished reading an interesting biography that challenges stereotypes about people who have had sex changes. It’s about a lesbian woman who was raised as a male with a male’s body, was very interested in mechanics, worked in the engine room of a ferry, was married and had a daughter, then underwent a sex change. She did lots of manly stuff with her friend (and biographer), including lots of long walks/camping trips. The book is as much about this friend’s attitudes, changing from shock to disbelief to questioning to reluctant acceptance as it is about her. Becoming Drusilla

I don’t want to hijack this thread, but I want to say that a post like this is why I admire Polycarp more than words can say.

That was a very dignified post, which gave relevant information, but retained the privacy of a poster who presumably may not want too much attention to brought to her attention.

SF and comic book writer Rachel Pollack is a self described “transexual lesbian”.

Also, people’s sexual orientation sometimes shifts when they have sex reassignment. This has always been true, but until fairly recently, a person wanting SRS would need to say (even if it wasn’t true) that part of their desire for SRS was to have a heterosexual “target”, i.e., if a woman was attracted to women and wanted a sex change it would be approved so she could be heterosexual, but if a woman was attracted to men and wanted a sex change, she may well have had to lie to get the go-ahead. The confusion between sexual orientation and gender identity eludes many, including therapists and medical professionals.

You kiddin? There are lots. It always amazes me when people have a hard time digesting this fact. If cissexual people can be gay or lesbian, why not trans people too? Gender identity and sexual orientation are two totally different things which do not necessarily have anything to do with each other. A person of a given gender identity can have any sexual orientation at all, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, there are reports that is being done a lot in Iran, not because the people are actually trans, but because gay is forbidden, and some gay and lesbian Iranians succumb to the heteronormative pressure and persecution of gays, getting the operation as a way out. That is a total and reprehensible abuse of sex reassignment, a flagrant violation of the international Standards of Care, and a human rights issue. Transsexual people need to oppose this abuse strenuously.

Interesting question. No. Lots of biological women crush on gay men and lots of biological men crush on gay women, but that’s not enough motivation to undertake the interest alterations your body and legal identity that comes with changing gender.

That’s why often stories about men who changes gender to become lesbians are trans women who married a biological women at a young age, fathered children, only to finally transition around middle age when she can’t take being a man anymore. It’s often presented dismissively in the media as a construction worker or fireman other other macho man undergoing nothing but a midlife crisis, which it really is not.

Now that transsexualism is starting better understood we’re seeing it more common transsexuals begin their gender change in their teens and twenties (or even as children) to end up as either lesbians or gay men.

Sexual orientation has to do with what ‘class’ of people you feel sexually, and presumably romantically, attracted to. (‘Class’ because it’s always a subgroup of any plausible defined group – a given man may be attracted to buxom redheads in the 17-35 age range, but not necessarily to Ann Coulter, Aretha Franklin, or his own grandmother.) In short, it’s whom you want to have sex with.

In distinction from this, gender identity has to fo with what you feel yourself to be. I know myself to be a man “inside” – and that has only a little to do with the body parts that identify me as one to the world. I’m generally comfortable with the gender identity I have. And it is not defined by whom I feel sexually attracted to.

The transsexual person “feels like” the opposite sex from what his/her body “says he/she is”. If you as a man can imagine yourself waking up one morning in a woman’s body (yeah, snerk, but we’re not talking sexually “in” but rather inhabiting it in place of your own) – if you as a woman can imagine the reverse, waking up in a man’s body – then you can get a sense of how a transsexual person feels. And it has little or nothing to do with sexual orientation.

A gay man wants to make love to another man as a man; a Lesbian, to another woman as a woman. A transsexual phenomale (i.e., body appearing male) is a woman inside – whoever she wants to make love to, she wants to do it as a woman – despite what her body “says” about her biological sex. If attracted to men, she does not want gay sex, she wants to have a man make love to her as a woman. If attracted to women, she does not want vanilla straight sex, she wants to be with another woman as a woman. And it’s quite possible that issues of sexuality have nothing to do with it – she may jsut want to conform her body to what she knows herself to be inside where it counts.

My best friend’s mother-in-law is in such an odd situation. She is a lesbian who “fell in love” with an transsexual (male who identified as female). The transsexual was attracted to women, (so pre-op was technically heterosexual). The transsexual was in the process of preparing to have the surgery (going through the counseling, etc.) when my best friends MIL met “her.” Before the surgeries were completed (and “he” legally became “she” they got married so they could still be legally married after the surgeries, despite my state not allowing same-sex marriage. He is now She and they are married. Granted, the transsexual didn’t do it “for” my best friend’s MIL, but I have a feeling that if the transsexual didn’t do it, her MIL wouldn’t be in a committed relationship with the transsexual.

From personal experience, I know that gender identity has nothing to do with sexual orientation and a person can identify as a “lesbian woman,” despite being born a “heterosexual male.”

There’s been a lot of discussion amongst transsexuals around that very question, and it gets problematic because sexual orientation is now understood to be fixed and immutable (which is why “ex-gay” programs fail). The prevailing thought amongst trans people, which I concur with, is that this is seen in persons who had always had an underlying bisexuality, and the transition just frees them up to express the other side of their sexuality, when it hadn’t seemed feasible before. It has to do with more fully inhabiting one’s own self, one’s own body and life and ability to express oneself. Not with an actual change of sexual orientation. It’s a freeing up of a potential that had always been there, but had previously been blocked by circumstances.