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Samara 🦑 Larkin @squidlarkin
, 25 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
between TERFs telling me I'm a straight man because I've always dated women, and trans-inclusive cis lesbians telling me I'm bi because I've hooked up with men in the past, is there any identity more carefully guarded than that of the trans lesbian
I think the issue is that these are younger cis lesbians who had the privilege of growing up in a world where lesbian identity is acknowledged and understood, they've always had a framework for their feelings
they've forgotten their history, they don't realize that the framework they depend on was established through queer politics, by those who experienced the same identity but had to carve a space for it through trial and error
in some future generation, trans lesbians will grow up knowing that "trans lesbian" is a thing they can be, they'll transition without fuss and will be more likely to skip the whole sleeping-with-men experimentation phase
and some of them will probably be assholes toward those who have whatever unimaginably weird marginalized identity is only starting to be accepted at that point

but I hope we'll have become more aware of the importance of this cycle by then
anyhow, let me make this clear: if someone says "I'm a lesbian", SHE IS OFF-LIMITS FOR MEN.

if she adds "but technically I'm bi", that changes things... FOR HER SPECIFICALLY. this does not invalidate the boundaries of all lesbians, which are so important
(I apologize for using "she" instead of "they" in the previous tweet, nonbinary people can be lesbians as well, but I wanted to say that in the way that would most directly get my point across to the young cis lesbians who are trying to gatekeep my identity)
but anyhow even though I already brought it up in this thread that's getting quoted out of context, I want to talk more about my experience with compulsory heterosexuality as a trans lesbian, because it's one of those concepts that I lacked a framework for
if you don't know about comphet, it's the phenomenon where women, as a result of patriarchal heteronormative socialization, tend to overestimate the degree to which we're attracted to men. to talk ourselves into going along with things we might not actually be fully ok with
that meme about "liking girls and the idea of boys" is a perfect illustration of it. if you're attracted to an idealized concept of masculinity, to celebrities and other unattainable men, hypothetical men free of toxicity... that doesn't mean anything if ACTUAL men disappoint you
and you might think "but you're trans! you were socialized male. how could you be vulnerable to comphet? that'd be compulsory HOMOSEXUALITY and that's obviously not a thing"

which is exactly what I thought as well! but brains are good at surprising us, it turns out
you see, growing up I didn't know I was a trans lesbian, because I didn't know that was a thing you could be. I thought trans women were like, gay men only more so, because that's what the media showed me. all I knew for sure was that I wasn't a straight guy
and I DEFINITELY liked girls (because I'm gay as hell), but since I "clearly wasn't" trans, that left only one option: bisexual man

and sure, that kinda fit. because I was attracted to... the idealized concept of masculinity

so I MUST like men, right???
never mind that I just couldn't seem to find a particular man I was totally into

never mind that I found spaces for gay men, with all their performative (if queer) masculinity, entirely off-putting

I still tried to make it work, somehow
because heck, if I was a guy and I only ever slept with women, wouldn't that make me straight? and I KNEW I was queer

the last thing I wanted was to be a straight man trying to appropriate queerness, but... I knew that was exactly what I looked like
so even as I transitioned, taking my sweet time about it because I was still so scared of pretending to be more queer than I was...
I still hung onto the "bisexual" label. in fact, I leaned into it even more heavily, because I felt that having men sleep with me would be incredibly validating for my womanhood

and if THAT doesn't sound like compulsory heterosexuality, I don't know what does
and even though I was extremely aware of the danger that men represent to a trans woman, and I was very selective about how I explored those desires, I still ended up in some situations that I deeply regret

hashtag #MeToo
um. I was about to go into more detail about my specific sexual desires but now that I said that out loud I'm kind of preoccupied with crying

gimme a minute
*deep breath* so anyways.

realtalk: I like being penetrated. there's a particularly shitty radfem idea that dildos and strap-ons are unfeminine and that by using them we're reinforcing patriarchy. I hope most of us have left that nonsense FAR behind us in 2018
and despite identifying as totally a lesbian now, I'm still not repulsed by the "male" body, and as such I include the genitalia of pre-op trans women and AMAB nonbinary folks in my personal list of Approved Phallic Implements
which is delightfully freeing, because it means I can still get my needs met despite being pretty much 100% done with cis men
and if the stars should align and manifest an actual specimen of the idealized, safe, non-toxic concept of a man with really nice abs that I've fantasized about, I reserve the right to hit that, on MY terms, without turning in my lesbian badge and sword
but no that doesn't mean that I'm "actually bisexual", because women will always be who matter most to me. when people choose labels for themselves, they choose them for a reason. just trust that they know what they're doing.
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