So for all that I KNOW gender expression is separate from sexuality (heck, I keep trying to get my parents and others to understand this) it seems to me they DO often sort of correlate.
I mean, there ARE a lot of gay women and men who fit the stereotypical media portrayals of them, even as there are plenty who do not...
And me, well, as someone who might be most inclined to consider herself bi (although currently questioning whether I should just give up dating guys for the time being) I know that frequently when I am with women, especially girly-girl types, I take on a more "masculine" way of acting, and when I'm with men I take on a more "feminine" way. This is true both in platonic interactions, and especially sexual (although my experience here with women is limited, so I suppose I'm talking from limited experience and mostly fantasy)
And well, I have to wonder if the fact people always accused me of looking and acting manly as a way to insult me while I was growing up influenced the way I express myself now (I still get pegged sometimes as masculine, even when I'm acting on the more "feminine" end of my personal spectrum), which in turn influences my discomfort with men and my attraction for women. Just a question.
But anyhow, what's it like for you? Do you feel like the way you tend to express/think of yourself gender-wise has some sort of influence on your sexuality? If the way you think about one starts to change, do you notice that the way you think about the other starts to change as well? Do you feel like your gender-expression is heavily influenced by past experiences? Just some questions to get started, feel free to expand on this topic if you desire...
Hmm. Although I would say the only relationship between gender and sexuality is the perceived relationship that mainstream (and, I suppose, not-so-mainstream) society has created, I find that, because a lot of people do buy into the stereotypical ideas about gender and sexuality, they do end up somehow linked. Basically, there's correlation because we've been taught there should be.
In my personal experience, I've found that, in my current same-sex relationship, I'm a lot more comfortable expressing my feminine side than I was when I was single. I always sort of struggled with feeling pretty feminine, but thinking that I had to act more masculine to prove I wasn't straight and to attract other girls. I didn't want to "pass" (and I still don't). I didn't want people to assume I was straight. So, by presenting as more masculine (in behaviour, image, whatever), I felt like I was, to some degree, protecting against that. Now that I'm actually going out with another girl, though, I don't feel the need to "prove" that I'm queer. I'm more free to just express my gender as I feel it.
Posts: 406 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2005
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Exactly, gender is a construct, meaning it is made up by people. Depending on your environment you can express yourself by your attitude, clothes, or other choices that make you feel comfortable in your own skin. But people have stereotypes of what girls and boys "should" do.
Sexuality on the other hand is merely who you are attracted to enough to have a relationship with: sexually, emotionally, etc. Sometimes people are attracted to both sexes, one sex or no one and it is all right.
This means that sometimes when people expect a star athlete to be heterosexual they will be shocked to know that he is gay because it doesn't fit into what they know about gays. Or when a normal looking girl is a lesbian they think that she just hasn't met the right guy yet, because she doesn't look like a stereotypical lesbian who wears flannel. straight and gay people all fit into a spectrum. Some girls hate being girly but are boy crazy and some guys love being clean and having nothing but friends that are girls and they're straight.
Posts: 28 | From: Mexico | Registered: Jul 2009
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