“I’m trans, not gay”

By Sonay Ibrahim

A TRANS MAN who identifies as a straight male has shared how others often mistakenly just assume he is gay.

The man in his thirties, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared his experience after visiting a sex shop this week, where he said he had an awkward encounter with a member of staff and two other customers due to being mistaken as a gay man.

He said that he had to clarify that he was buying certain products not because he is gay, but because he is trans. 

He had experienced similar uncomfortable instances at Pride events, adding that after his transition, some people seem to not understand the meaning behind what he was explaining to them.

“People need to understand the difference between sexuality and gender,” he said.

“There have been times where a man has flirted with me but has then got offended when I explained that I identify as a straight male. No means no.” 

He said that public judgement and presumptions also disrupt his basic human right to use public toilets.

“I can’t stand to pee yet,” he joked as he explained that he feels obliged to go into disabled toilets when out because of public judgement of his appearance.

He feels obligated to make others more comfortable at the risk of his own comfortability – which is something that he did as a homosexual woman who never truly identified as a female.

When asked of his opinion on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plans on reviewing where transgender rights stand in The Equal Rights Act 2010, he responded: “He should focus on other laws; people are dying out here.”

He hopes that the UK is encouraged to become more aware of transgender rights so that the people in his community do not feel pressurised to validate their identity to others.

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