I know they are just labels but… Started dating this girl and now we are pretty serious. Issue is she’s trans and has a penis. I’ve never been attracted to boys but no one can tell she isn’t a girl (new to our school). Does this mean I’m gay?

Thanks for your question. Many teens, young adults, and older adults have questions about their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a term that refers to who someone is attracted to sexually and romantically. People can be attracted to people of a different gender, same gender, all genders, or neither. The bottom line is that only you can identify your sexual orientation.

Gender identity is a person’s internal feelings of being a woman, man, both, neither, or something else. Gender identity is not defined by genitals (whether someone has a vagina or penis). How we understand ourselves and others to be boys or girls, men and women, is about a whole range of ways that we interact across society. When you are attracted to someone, it usually happens before you know what genitals they have, and reflects aspects of personality that are often aligned with genitals, but not always. Trans women are women, they just happen to have different genitals. Being attracted to a trans woman does not make you gay, because you are attracted to a woman.

If you two interact sexually (if at all), it may look different than how it would look with a different young woman, but that is always the case. Sex between two different people is always going to be different. That is why communication is going to be key so that you both know what types of touch you are and are not interested in or okay with.


For more information check out these health guides:

LGBTQ: Sexual Orientation

LGBTQ: Gender identity

Sexual Decisions

Sexual Consent