General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Why would gays identify with bi and transgender rather than straight, assuming that a committed relationship is the goal?

Asked by ibstubro (18770points) February 18th, 2016

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39 Answers

Seek's avatar

I’m not certain what you’re asking.

If they’re gay, they’re not going to identify as straight, because they’re gay.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t understand either.

Being gay is very different from being trans. Two completely different things.

zenvelo's avatar

They don’t “identify” with bi and/or transgender. In fact (according to Dan Savage) there is even a bit of discord between gay and bi-identified people.

They find support amongst each other because they are outside of the strictly hetero paradigm.

NerdyKeith's avatar

The only circumstances a gay person does not identify as gay, is if they want their sexuality to be a secret.

Some bisexuals actually identify as gay, as they are mostly attracted to the same gender (but still have a little bit of attraction to the opposite gender). There are also bisexuals who identify as straight, because they are mostly attracted to the opposite gender.

But just to point out, being transgender is in reference to a person’s gender identity and not their sexual orientation.

ibstubro's avatar

GLBT as a an identity group is the basis for the question.

@zenvelo addresses that, thanks.

Seek's avatar

Are you suggesting that bisexual and transgendered people do not have a goal of a committed relationship?

tinyfaery's avatar

The LGBTQA moniker is an umbrella term used to show that someone is not heterosexual; sexual outsiders. There is in fighting. Some people do not accept bisexual people or transgender people. We don’t all think the same. I’ve been with a woman for 15 years and still identify as bisexual and some people do not like it.

And why do you assume all gay people want a committed relationship? Or that anyone does or does not? Not all straight people want a committed relationship. What are you really asking?

NerdyKeith's avatar

I just want to interject something here and I’m speaking out of experience from being a member of the LGBTQ. There are a lot of gay men who are not interested in monogamy (excluding myself). They are not interested in settling down with one partner. Thats their own business and personally it wouldn’t be for me.

However there is still a very significant portion of homosexuals who are interested in a dedicated monogamous relationship with a member of the same gender.

With all that said @ibstubro many of us are not clear on what it is you are asking here. Could you clarify yourself please?

Misspegasister28's avatar

Bi girl here, even though I’ve dated more guys than girls (I’m currently in a relationship with a guy), I still identify as LGBT because, well, I’m not straight, I’m bisexual. I like both boys and girls. Identifying as straight would erase my attraction to girls and it would make it seem like I was never in a relationship with my ex-girlfriend.

There is still a lot of biphobia and transphobia within the LGBT community though. Some gay people say I’m a slut or wanting attention or have a straight-passing privilege because I’m bi. It’s very hurtful.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Misspegasister28 I totally agree with you. And its very unfortunate that these attitudes exists. In a big way, its actually a double standard. There is enough division in the world as it is.

I personally regard myself as a supporter to bisexuals and transgenders. In fact, I’d have no problem dating a bisexual guy (sadly some gay men would have a problem with that)

Misspegasister28's avatar

@NerdyKeith Yeah! I believe since we’ve all had somewhat similar experiences with the hetero/cis norm of the world, we should support each other and work together to make things right, safe and fair for us!

That’s really awesome! I’m glad you’re a supporter. I just hate how bisexuals are stereotyped as slutty and greedy.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Hetero married bisexual here:

If monogamy with the “one” is the goal one’s sexual identity doesn’t have to change.

Jak's avatar

I can’t see that the “straight” community has any sort of monopoly on “committed relationships” anyway. What is the current divorce rate in the US? All the songs are about forever, but it seems to me that forever is nothing but a concept perpetuated by the media and companies with a sales agenda. Why can’t we just accept that relationships, like pretty much everything else in this life, are destined to end at some point? Maybe then we could get rid of a lot of acrimony and unhappiness in our lives.

JLeslie's avatar

I get what your asking I think. I get it from both sides. I’ve always known gay people and I don’t see them as different, or outside of the norm. I’m attracted to men, other women are attracted to women. So what? I don’t perceive it as though gay people are in the wrong bodies, or are attracted to the wrong sex.

Trans people feel either in the wrong body, or at least identify as the gender not typical for who their body physically represents. [I hope I didn’t word that in a way that might be offensive. I don’t know all the language to use.] In that way it’s very much a self identity thing wrapped up in physical traits and genes, and also there are social norms of course.

But, all those groups do share being outside of the norm statistically, all of them have gender as a central issue, and joining together gives them support and power. It makes sense to join together, especially for support and to attain power.

Plus, the hateful part of the straight community lumps them altogether so in a way they can’t escape it. It’s like when I tell Jewish people who don’t identify as Jewish that they might as well be a little familiar with Judaism and history, because the antisemitic people aren’t going to care that you say you aren’t Jewish, Hitler would still make you wear a star on your sleeve. The haters don’t even know all the differences between being gay or a transsexual, etc, they just see it all as abnormal or something to fear.

I remember watching a show where Mormons who wanted to decriminalize polygamy talked to advisors in the gay community to get advise on how to navigate their fight. Interesting bedfellows.

ibstubro's avatar

How is being gay a completely different thing from being trans, @Mariah?

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ibstubro I’ll answer this one if you don’t mind.

Gay / homosexual is a sexual orientation; its in reference to a person’s sexuality

Trans / transgender is a gender identity; its in reference to how a person identities their gender.

The two terms, answer two entirely different questions. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. Being Trans doesn’t automatically mean you are gay. A male to female transgender person, can actually be attracted to the opposite gender they identify as. That would make them straight.

Mariah's avatar

Yes… @NerdyKeith summed it up well, they are completely separate concepts…

ibstubro's avatar

Then how, @Mariah, would a gay woman identify (GLBT) more with a straight transgender person than a simply straight person, given that all 3 are in a committed relationship?

Mariah's avatar

Why do you assume any given gay person would identify more with the trans person?

Anyway, as others have said, they are both persecuted minorities and often feel some sympathy for each other because of that, but are otherwise pretty much completely separate concepts. I wasn’t sure what your original question was asking, I thought you thought being trans was somehow the same or similar to being gay.

ibstubro's avatar

GLBT doesn’t imply group identity?

Mariah's avatar

I mean, it’s a term that’s used, but that doesn’t mean that every gay person is buddies with every trans person.

ibstubro's avatar

A “term”?
So you think GLBT is just a handy term.

Mariah's avatar

As opposed to what?

NerdyKeith's avatar

LGBT / GLBT is an umberella term for all gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender people. It is a term that is used to unite several groups of minorities into one community.

As to how a person identifies themselves, be it on the bases of sexuality or gender identity; is up to the individual.

tinyfaery's avatar

You are obviously fishing for a certain response. What is the real question? You’ve been on this site long enough to know the basics about what the LGBTQA community is about.

People identify with each other for all kinds of reasons; sexuality and gender identity are minuscule factors in most people’s lives.

Seek's avatar

(What’s the A? I thought the last letter was I, for intersex)

NerdyKeith's avatar

A is for “asexual”

Seek's avatar

Oh, I’m in the club now, too? Neat.

srsly though, intersex should be on there

Jak's avatar

Hey, me too! Yaay! Will I be added to any mailing lists? I think the bottom line here is that you can’t reasonably lump all people together of any perceived group and make any sweeping generalizations about any perceived behavior. Everyone has a lens of perception which colors and influences their decisions. Since you still haven’t clarified your question, I must conclude that you are coming from a place of meanness and conflict.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Welcome to the club :)

ibstubro's avatar

I didn’t see where you requested any clarification, @Jak.

”...you can’t reasonably lump all people together of any perceived group and make any sweeping generalization.”
Then why the “LGBTQAI”?

What leads you to conclude I’m coming from a place of meanness and conflict?

Seek's avatar

The reason for the letters is to include all the non-hetero, non-cis people for the sake of conversation, as people who may have experienced institutional discrimination or had to hide their identities due to societal expectations.

I, personally, don’t consider myself “part of the community”, though I tend to fall in the asexual spectrum (the Google term, if you’re interested, is demisexual) and do not consider gender or biological sex a factor in determining whether I find someone attractive. I’m attracted to intelligent people with strong personalities. Since I am married and in a monogamous hetero relationship, I do not experience the discrimination that others in the LGBTQAI community do.

Even within “the community” there is in-fighting and discrimination. It’s a huge thing.

The biggest thing to remember is that while it’s convenient to refer to “LGBTQAI issues” the community is made up of individuals, and those individuals cannot be swept into their “letter” neatly. Some bisexual or pansexual people will choose to never enter into a committed relationship. Others can’t wait to pick out wedding clothes. Some trans* people are gay and some are straight and some are bisexual or pansexual. Some gay people are polyamorous and some are firmly monogamous.

I cannot imagine why you’d ask about separating gay people from bisexual and trans* folk, unless it was under the mistaken impression that bisexual, pansexual, and gender-nonconforming people, as a whole, prefer not to be in a committed relationship.

I hope that’s been cleared up for you.

NerdyKeith's avatar

It’s not lumping everyone into one group definition, which is the point most people here are making. LGBTQAI is more of an alliance of groups rather than a mere mish mash or combination. In a way it’s sort of similar to gay/straight alliance groups.

If all the different racial minorities got together to create something similar, it wouldn’t make all racial identities the same thing. It would be an umbrella term as a way to forge an alliance of different minorities.

Seek's avatar

Actually, the umbrella term “minorities” works as a decent analogy.

Politically, women are “minorities”. People of non-Caucasian races are minorities. People who are non-Christian are minorities. Members of the LGBT community are minorities

But you can’t exactly say that a white atheist transgendered woman has the same exact plight as a black, gay, Christian man. The umbrella term “minority” fits both, but for different reasons. That doesn’t mean the term itself is non-valid, since it is still useful currency for the idea of discussing minority rights.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ibsturbo,
What is confusing about your question, is you initially appear to be asking about gay, bi and trans individuals and committed relationships.

Yet your additional responses are revolved around the use of LGBTQAI (and other variations of that acronym).

Perhaps your question should have been “Why is the term LGBT used when each letter means something different from each other?”

Most of us have no problem explaining why. I believe we eventually did so quite effectively after we understood what it was you were trying to ask.

ibstubro's avatar

I admit the question was somewhat awkward, @NerdyKeith, and yet @zenvelo pretty much got it in the third post, and I acknowledged that?

Simply put, why is there more of an assumed affinity (LGBTQAI) between a gay woman and a trans woman, than a gay woman and a straight woman, if all 3 (or 6) people are traditional, or married couple relationships?

Seek's avatar

Maybe because the gay and trans women have both had to field awkward or even violent family conversations at Christmas dinner?

NerdyKeith's avatar

“Simply put, why is there more of an assumed affinity (LGBTQAI) between a gay woman and a trans woman, than a gay woman and a straight woman, if all 3 (or 6) people are traditional, or married couple relationships?”

Ok well firstly being married in my opinion isn’t really relevant to the unity between any members of the LGBT or even identifying as a member of the LGBT. Its a separate issue.

But to answer why trans women and gay women accept each other more easily is because many of them have shared experiences of discrimination. They have empathy for each other. And I dare say, so to many if not all members of the LGBT or LGBTQAI. Shared empathy is indeed the goal of being part of this umbrella term.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, the married thing was a lot of what made the OP confusing to people.
I was just trying to set a baseline for discussion.

It’s been my experience that a gay family settled in the middle of straight America assimilates pretty easily.
On the other hand, as @JLeslie somewhat inelegantly (no offense) put it:
I get what your asking I think. I get it from both sides. I’ve always known gay people and I don’t see them as different, or outside of the norm. I’m attracted to men, other women are attracted to women. So what? I don’t perceive it as though gay people are in the wrong bodies, or are attracted to the wrong sex.
Trans people feel either in the wrong body, or at least identify as the gender not typical for who their body physically represents. [I hope I didn’t word that in a way that might be offensive. I don’t know all the language to use.] In that way it’s very much a self identity thing wrapped up in physical traits and genes, and also there are social norms of course.

It seems to me that being Trans actually comes with a set of challenges that are equally foreign to a lot of gays and straights?

Thanks, @NerdyKeith, for the thoughtful and insightful discussion.
This is something I’ve tried to discuss many times (not necessarily on Fluther) and it’s always ended in flames.

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