Submitted by AuroraAustralis in Lesbians

The top comment is an excellent crystallization of why I feel illegitimate as a lesbian. I don't know who this person but I think she's stunning in all the pics of her. But I guess if I like some of them, according to the commenter, I'm a guy. Or at least half a guy.

I'm not looking to call anyone out or even looking for reassurance. Maybe they're spot on. But every time I say that I'm worried my attraction to women isn't "sapphic enough" I have a hard time explaining what I mean and I think here of I've found an example. Some people say "there's no wrong way to be a lesbian, there's no wrong way to be a woman". But it seems to me that in some circles there absolutely is a wrong way. And apparently I fall into that category, so now I feel like crap.

I'm so sorry to link Reddit but when I talked about this before I felt like I couldn't explain what I was referring to. This I think expresses it in case I had confused anyone before.



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solaslux wrote

It looks like the top commentor is projecting their insecurity about how a person shares sensual photography of their self.

Perhaps they are exposing an internalized fear of the male gaze, or more likely saying an opinion they've associated with that type of pose/etc with a common disapproval among whichever peer group such they're signaling their in-status through reinforced dialogue.

I don't know if that helps you feel like less crap but I hope you can find a way to pick through the feelings with a focus on your own pride and self-confidence.

Hot girls can be hot and have cringe "male-likeable" pics and you can like them without being less of a lesbian. Cleanse the lesbian correctness police from yourself. <3


AuroraAustralis OP wrote (edited )

I should also mention that I am a trans woman. It's hard not to feel afraid of being "male-minded" when a certain part of my life my brain's been marinating in testosterone.


solaslux wrote

Your awareness of "both sides" gives you some complex perspectives. I might not know the best way to ask this, so here goes: do you have to constantly fight the "boy brain" while you reinforce your lesbian sexuality?


AuroraAustralis OP wrote

I'm not sure what it would mean to have a "boy brain". My impression from this post would be to be more interested in cleavage and long legs than a more masc look (although I will emphasize that I like both equally). I mean I thought that being gay as a woman means liking women in any shape, clothing, or attitude. But if someone I'm assuming is a cis woman says "no guys like this, lesbians like that" I feel like I have to defer to that. They've been a woman into women longer than I have.


solaslux wrote

I get what you mean. Would you agree that, just maybe, there is no wrong way to be a lesbian? Like deferring to this attitude makes some kind of sense. We're always learning more about how others navigate the paths we want to follow.

What I meant by boy brain is just the cumulative experiences that shaped the pre-transition self. Sifting through your thoughts and filing them as like affirming your transition self or not sounds like a huge drain on your operating energy.

I really just want to emphasise that nobody should tell you how to be a lesbian, especially not a redditor policing women's bodies.


AuroraAustralis OP wrote

The time I spent living as a man does sometimes feel like a millstone around my neck, I could say that I'm afraid my brain has been marinating in testosterone for too long. But maybe it's a subconscious reappropriation of my religious upbringing, like being assigned male at birth is a kind of "original sin".


postleftpuppy wrote (edited )

Please watch Jessie Genders “Trauma of masculinity” especially the second part that I linked. It’s a deep dive into masculinity that has helped me very deeply understand my own struggles with toxic masculinity, but it’s also a deep dive into transitioning, and how you feel pressured too internalize a new identity. How you are enslaving yourself yet again. Me and u/lettuce disagree on a lot. But goddanm with gender. Gender doesn’t fucking exist, for anyone. Not for cis dudes, not for terfs, not for nobody. There is no millstone around your neck. There is nothing to live up to besides your own personal journey towards peace.

In the past I’ve been ashamed for my masculinity. Too many terfs I was around. I’m kinda tired of this delicate form of cis feminism and “female” and such. It still feels defined relative to masculinity, just in opposition to it. And that (defining relative to masculinity) is still traumatizing to me. I have felt the need to be “not like the other guys” for so long. I just want to be a buff cutie. Hypermasculine in my own sort of way. It’s not my job to be insecure because my genuine self has the potential to make other people uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean I won’t make accommodations. But I’m not going to cage myself and my identity, and it’s not my duty to do so. Gender doesn’t exist and I am tired of living in fear of its grasp.

So no your attraction is valid, and anyone saying it’s not is probably insecure.

A lot of my friends are lesbians of some type and they love boobs haha. That’s a personal thing. I love (non-gendered) large chests and muscles, being chunky, face tats. That’s my personal thing.

Like instead of guarding your thoughts 24/7, you try just liking what you like. If you think your thoughts are oddly gendered, do some introspection. The mind is relatively transparent with enough self-loving introspection. Your thoughts are fine.

The local feminism center is hosting a survivors solidarity dinner (female identifying is not required). I’ve been super scared of going, but I think I should go.


Johto65 wrote

I often read this: "gender doesn't exist", and I mean, partially I get it. Not everyone has a gender, and gender isn't confined by any strict rules or specific attributes, it's entirely a social construct and can mean anything and nothing to each individually. But it still exists though, doesn't it? I mean, I identify with a gender (could be broken down to non-binary woman), many others identify with a gender. So for many gender does exist, right?


postleftpuppy wrote

I would argue no. There is no such thing as unified gender. There is your identity, in your own mind. We can debate all day about how generally healthy it is to apply gender to that. There’s collections of people that have various models of “gender”. But there is no like, gender to be found. Maybe it’s a fun tool for self-representation and group identity or whatever. But I see it as very psychologically harmful, unless engaged in with in a very unserious way. Many transwomen feel the need to prime themselves to be oppressed because that’s baked into the identity. Maybe this is me just being a grumpy gender nihilist but I’ve only seen gender operate harmfully in me and my friends lives. I question weather such binary identities are even useful to begin with.


Johto65 wrote

Of course it's not unified. That's kinda the whole point of my comment. But for many, if not most people, almost everything is viewed through a gendered lense. Gender identity, gender expression, gender expectations and gender perception, all describe the ways in which we perceive and express gender, inward and outward.

Many of it is toxic, especially gender expectations, that's true. But it's an experience many people identify with, even if it's meaning is completely different from person to person. Gender abolition is a neat idea, but today gender definitely still exists and I'm not sure that will ever change. In a sense, gender is just a form of expressing an experience, thoughts and ideas, that would exist either way. Maybe abolishing gender would just abolish the terminology, not the problems. I'm not against gender abolition though, I think it'd be a start at least. But it doesn't feel right for me personally to say that I don't have a gender, tbh. Even though I don't fit into the gender binary myself.

There's a difference between simply observing gender as it is, in this context a linguistic category for a spectrum of self identified, non-universal experiences. Or ideology (gender binary). The latter obviously doesn't exist, because it's a forced ideal that doesn't capture reality.


TotallynotJessica wrote (edited )

No matter what you do, there's someone who thinks it's wrong. Purity testing is stupid.


baikonur wrote (edited )

i think the comment was about the commenter's perception of cultural cues, not about some kind of predisposition of sexuality. however, would not the point of sexuality be to like what you like as long as there's mutuality with your possible partners


AuroraAustralis OP wrote

would not the point of sexuality be to like what you like as long as there's mutuality with your possible partners

This was always my perception, but (and I'll admit that maybe I'm deficient in correctly interpreting other people's meanings) my impression from the discourse I've seen on wlw subreddits is that that's not enough. If I were a cis woman I guess I would care less about being "male-minded" but as a trans woman it feels like something I need to fix. My worst nightmare is someone I'm in a relationship with telling me that being with me feels like being with a man.


Circe wrote

My worst nightmare is someone I'm in a relationship with telling me that being with me feels like being with a man.

I mean I hear you, that would hurt a lot. But on the other hand…. There are cis lesbians who would be described by other cis lesbians as “like being with a man.” The opinion of any one person doesn’t necessarily reflect general opinion, and especially not the opinions of people who you most care about.

But if someone I'm assuming is a cis woman says "no guys like this, lesbians like that" I feel like I have to defer to that.

TERFs are usually cis women too, remember that. Some cis lesbians aren’t explicitly anti trans but have extremely cisnormative views. Others are absolutely accepting and supportive, and it’s very hard to tell online what type of person they are from one comment. It’s really dangerous to take stuff like this too seriously without at least knowing what people really mean.



baikonur wrote

i get the feeling. i feel outsider to lesbian culture because of variety of reasons


anoneesus wrote

Well I'm a straight dude and I don't see that woman as my type. Too overwhelming. I feel zero insecurity about my sexuality or "straightness" or whatever you want to call it.

People on the internet are dumb. I feel you.