How Does Sexual Orientation Work When You're Transgender?

Sign from Twin Cities Trans March. Image © Transguyjay

What Does it Mean to Be Transgender

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and / or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.

How Does Sexual Orientation Work When You're Transgender?

A lot of people get confused by how sexual orientation works when a person is transgender. Partly that's because the terms sex, gender and sexual orientation are often used interchangeably when they are actually quite different.

A good way to think of it is that sexual orientation tends to line up with your gender identity, not your biological sex.

Below is how a trans reader named Joanna broke it down for us:

If you are male and,

you like guys: you are gay.

you like girls: you are straight.

you like both: you are bisexual.

If you are female and,

you like girls: you are straight.

you like girls: you are lesbian.

you like both: you are bisexual.

However, if you are transgender things are complicated by two factors, how the world sees you and how you see yourself.

If you are a transgender woman, but the world sees you as male and,

you like guys: they think you are gay.

you like girls: they think you are straight.

you like both: they think you are bisexual.

If you are transgender man, but the world sees you as female and,

you like guys: they think you are straight.

you like girls: they think you are lesbian.

you like both: they think you are bisexual.

But,

If you are transgender and see yourself as female and,

you like guys: then you are straight.

you like girls: then you are lesbian.

you like both: then you are bisexual.

If you are transgender and see yourself as male and,

you like guys: then you are gay.

you like girls: then you are straight.

you like both: then you are bisexual.

...No matter what your body looks like!

That a good start.

People should also know that transgender folks can also be asexual and not be interested in sexual relationships. Individuals who are asexual tend to not feel sexual attraction. Just like teens might know they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or hetero, it is a also possible for a teen to clearly know that they are asexual.

Trans folks can also be pansexual. Pansexuality (sometimes called omnisexuality or polisexuality) refers to feeling attraction to people regardless of their gender identities, sex or sexual orientation.

What it All Comes Down to

Being transgender and gender identity in general might color how someone relates to their sexual orientation, but just like it is possible for a cisgender person to exhibit any sexual orientation, so too is it possible for a transgender person. 

Here is more information on gender identity and sexual orientation that you might find helpful:

Are Being Transgender and Non-Binary the Same Thing? 

What You Need to Know About Being Gender Non-Binary

What Are Gender Roles?

Am I a Lesbian if I Have an FtM Partner?

Understand the Gender Spectrum