I’m a lesbian trans woman but not transitioning. People assume I’m just a straight man–somewhat logically, I’d admit. I read as “man” because I like to wear suits/ties/vests/etc, though in my mind I just dress very butch. That’s the image of myself in my head: a gay woman who likes androgynous clothing.
I feel very cringy every time I try to explain I’m a lesbian because the reactions are very never positive… lesbians just shame and attack me. Nobody believes me and it’s depressing. 99% of the times I try to communicate my experience to other lesbians I get [this reaction] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo_IKJJ609o) The other 1% is still very suspicious. I completely get that I look like a man and gay woman are not attracted to me physically, that does not bother me at all… I’m happy dating bi and queer woman and do not ever approach gay women with sexual intent. Still, other lesbians tell me over and over to knock it off because I’m just a straight man. I’ve lost friendships for this. I’m in my 30s and I have given up trying to explain my experience to anyone. I do not mind that society in general does not understand, but it’s so tough to be rejected again and again by the community. I’m tired that my only safe space is the closet and that the only way I can have friendships with other lesbians is pretending to be a straight man. I’ve contemplated transitioning many times just to be accepted by other lesbians, but what others think does not seem a very good reason to do so. All I want is to be taken seriously, but somehow it is impossible and it’s affecting my mental health.
If you have any tips about how I could explain who I am in a way that would be better received I’m all ears.
Definition of transgender: being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth
Definition of gender identity: an individual’s self-conception as a man or woman or as a boy or girl or as some combination