- I started my gender reassignment surgery in 2020 and my friend Lucy was by my side the whole time.
- Through our open relationship and honest conversations, I realized that I’m also attracted to men.
- Now I’m open to meeting men and exploring my sexuality outside of my relationship with Lucy.
I toyed with bisexuality in 2016 – well before my gender reassignment. I had lived as a man and experimented with men, but I found each experience exhausting and unsafe. Even through the brain fog of undiagnosed gender dysphoria, it was clear that I was uncomfortable with the full range of my sexuality.
It wasn’t until I became a woman in 2020 that I finally explored all sides of my sexuality. Luckily I had to do it in a non-monogamous relationship with my supportive partner Lucy.
During my transition, I had honest conversations with my girlfriend
I wasn’t alone in watching the dark comedy that shaped much of my life as a young adult. When I switched in 2020, I had been in a relationship with my cisgender friend Lucy for two years.
From the beginning we had an open relationship. We didn’t want to narrow each other’s sexual horizons in our 20s, but we still liked each other enough to start a relationship. We’re deeply committed to one another, but casual sex and easy dating with other people have always been allowed—we leave room for exploration and experiences not found within the relationship.
But as I made the switch, I noticed a change in who I was looking for outside of Lucy. Since communication was an important part of our open relationship, Lucy and I had long conversations about the progress of my transition and my dating. Gradually, the topic of my sexuality came up. I couldn’t avoid it; Gender and sexuality are so closely related.
During these conversations I realized that I am also interested in men.
After the transition, I had a crush on a man for the first time
I’ve always been passionately attracted to women, so we were surprised when I felt attracted to a man for several weeks. He was an elderly gentleman with remarkable skill at designing custom Lego projects.
I was completely amazed by the skill he showed in his special interest. His calm and polite manner calmed my nerves. He was really handsome too. I’ve never pursued anything because he’s a dedicated family man, but the thought of him stayed with me.
I couldn’t hide the feelings welling up inside me and Lucy could only grin at my predicament. She had long been familiar with what I was dealing with.
One swarm became two, then three. Some of them were adamant, but usually happily gushed about how awesome it was just to talk to him. My love of just chatting with them suggested that these interests were not superficial; I was interested in men and dating them.
Lucy found that terribly amusing. She teased me relentlessly about the belated puberty I was going through and my girlish excitement about these new feelings. I shyly told of an encounter with a man I was in love with. There was no need to ask me for details as I was happy to spill everything. She made fun of me like a dear best friend and then calmly explained what I was feeling and why I was feeling it. This kind of open and reflective examination of my sexuality was possible through our ethically non-monogamous relationship.
Now, 3 years later, I’m more open about my sexuality
Men are now on my radar as a dating option — something that would be unthinkable without honest reflection and long conversations with my girlfriend.
I feel like I’ve calmed the uncertainty of my sexuality that has swept through my life. I couldn’t find peace with others until I learned to take care of my gendered self through the transition.
Progress has been gradual, but the version of me that has emerged is more sure than ever about who she is and who she wants to be with. Instead of looking at my romantic engagements with uncertainty, I look to the future with wonder.
My relationship with Lucy is still open and we will keep it that way. This open relationship is not just a means to an end; It is a memorial to the effort and trust we have built bit by bit over the years.
Every relationship is different, and we all deserve a comfortable relationship where we can grow as people. Mine taught me about sexuality without sacrificing the comfort of attachment.