Humans are naturally curious creatures - it's a primate thing.
As kids, we tend to explore those curiosities and ask whatever random question popped into our heads. As adults, we learn that some stuff just isn't our business. Some questions are intrusive or uncomfortable.
We don't necessarily "mature" beyond ever having an inappropriate or intrusive curious thought. We are just mature enough to know we aren't entitled to those answers, and that it's unfair to make someone uncomfortable by asking those questions.
But then there's Reddit...
Reddit user Spunkybluepuppy asked:
"What’s something you wish you could ask trans people without any judgement?"
Curiosity isn't a good enough reason to treat a random stranger like a science experiment - but there are plenty of people willing to talk openly about their experiences - and they're the real heros of this thread.
Stopping Cyclesperiod yes GIF by U by Kotex BrandGiphy
"Do periods go away when you start T? Is there a way to get rid of them without surgery?"
"For some folks, yes, for some folks no."
"Some IUDs can stop periods, like mirena, or for some taking birth control without the sugar pill week can stop periods."
"For transmasculine folks The most reliable way to get rid of periods is by having a full hysterectomy with oophorectomy , which also helps reduce the amount of estrogen in the body."
"My period stopped after two months on T. My friends' stopped after he had been on T a bit longer, not certain of the exact number. But both of us had a last period that was a real b*tch. Worst cramps ever! I'm glad I'm done with it now! 😂"
"Yes, my cycle ended about 6 months into T."
"Do you get to choose a size?"
"For trans guys, it depends on how much skin they can safely graft, I think. But after the maximum is established, yep."
"NB transmasc here, MtF wife So for masculine bottom surgery:"
"It really depends on a lot of things. First HRT will grow your clitorus, this averages 1-4cm of growth, some surgeons require either a certain amount of time on HRT/ certain amount of tissue. So from here there are 2 commonly surgical options, each have their own pros and cons and have different methods of being done : 1- metoidioplasty, sometimes referred to as a Meta 2- Phalloplasty sometimes called a phallo. Either can have urethral lengthening, some surgeons will require one depending on the surgery. An issue with urethral lengthening is that the urethra can become blocked/collapse which is obviously no fun. Scrotoplastys are also common to also have done, usually that's done in 2 surgeries where they create the scrotum and then add testicle implants later."
"For a meta what is happening is the ligaments that hold the clitoris to the body get cut and released from the pubis, giving you more shaft. 4-6cm is average length. It will basically look like a small penis. Benefit of it is it can get erect without further surgery. You will likely have more sensation compared to a phalloplasty. You also don't have a giant penis 24/7. Depending on length you may or may not have issues standing to pee."
"For a phallo there's usually multiple stages to the surgery. If you have a meta you can still get a phallo in the future but not vice-versa. So you'll have a donor site, either your arm or you thigh is pretty common, you'll get some say in length but it really depends on how much tissue they can use and the goal is generally average size. They cannot become erect on their own. You have to get an implant for that which is an extra surgery and more money on top of the money you've already spent to get a phallo. Because the tissue is donor tissue taken from other parts you won't have as much sensation if any. Some say they never get sensation to the shaft, some do get some sensation to the shaft. The lack of sensation can actually be problematic during healing because you can't feel if you accidentally bump your penis into something. And with a phallo it will always be full length as it can't deflate like a cis-penis would."
"For transfeminine bottom surgery: So there are a few different ways to make a neovagina. A common way is by taking the penile tissue and inverting it, so the length here varies based on how much tissue. Another procedure uses rectal tissue, the benefit here is that is has some self lubricating capabilities, unlike with penile inversion. Though due to risk factors it's less commonly done. Another surgery involves taking peritoneal tissue from the abdomen to create the vagina. This is a newer surgery for transgender women even though it's a surgery that has been used on cis-women for decades. It also has the benefits of self lubrication and having a stretchier vagina compared to penis inversion. Length here varies quite a bit on what tissue is available for use. Most surgeons operate with the goal of length of cis vagina when aroused. Though some will result in a short vagina. Dilating the vagina after surgery and for years afterwards will help maintain depth overtime. Anecdotally I've heard of dilation once you're past recovery stage to only be necessary if you aren't sexually active and it can depend on the type of surgery you received."
"Edit: I came here from a trans sub honestly expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the really great questions. It was fun to spend some time answering questions. I think there really isn't enough good conversation on trans topics. The people who are the loudest on trans topics are generally the ones who are not transgender, incredibly misinformed, and do not care to listen to other points of view or scientific information. So I really hope there were some good conversations that might have brought issues to people's attention/ broadened the understanding of what being transgender is. Anyways, have a great rest of your day! If you comment a follow up question to my comment I will do my best to answer if possible. :)"
Most Manly ExperienceThats It Season 7 GIF by One ChicagoGiphy
"Trans men… do you realize the manliest experience you’re having is being told you’re not a man?"
"That’s like 60% of being a man."
"This was hilarious and validating thank you"
"You know what's the crazy thing? I've always been bullied for being a girl. Decades later I come out as a girl and now the same 'manly men' tell me I'm a man. Like make up your mind! JEEZ!"
"Does sitting down feel different after you get bottom surgery"
"At least for this one trans woman, Sitting down the three months after bottom surgery is a b*tch. You're still recovering and all the irritated flesh is very painful."
"Then eventually sitting down is the same except for the fact that I no longer have my privates in the way."
"However for me personally, when I sit down my belly button feels weird because my nerve endings regrew incorrectly."
"Over a year post-op, and it feels way more natural & easy. There's no extraneous crap between my legs any more, and I can sit like a degenerate bisexual much more easily now."
"Is it still possible for a person to have an orgasm after reassignment surgery? Not a doctor, but my understanding of the process of creating the genitalia (F-M or M-F) would seem to make that prospect incredibly dim."
"The sheer number of nerve endings in the clitoris and tip of the penis make it seem impossible enough survive the surgery to provide the same sensations"
"My surgeon uses a technique that leaves the neurovascular bundle fully intact, the tip of the penis just gets reduced in size to form a neo-clitoris. I had my first orgasm 34 days after surgery and the intensity is pretty much as before, I just can have longer ones now."
"To add to what many people are saying here... there is a risk of losing sexual sensation after surgical intervention. We all know it. Before surgical intervention is performed, that risk will be made explicitly clear to the patient, they will have to acknowledge that it is a risk, and confirm, often in writing, that it is an acceptable risk, and that they are prepared for that outcome."
"It is, however, considered an unintended side effect these days... something that decent surgeon will be able to avoid almost all of the time."
Just A Phase
"Is there any part of you that is genuinely worried that it is 'just a phase'?"
"Yeah. That's why it took me over 10 years to accept it and begin my transition"
"Yes. Most if not all trans folk wonder this at some point, this is why a lot of us are depressed."
"Yep! I think that’s fairly normal with any identity tbh. It’s annoying because rationally I know that I have dysphoria and prefer certain pronouns but my irrational brain is really good at making me second guess myself"
Functionsstudying busy philipps GIF by Drunk HistoryGiphy
"If you’re transitioning MtF and are on hormone replacement therapy but haven’t had bottom surgery yet,"
"1) does the penis shrink up and become unusable?"
"2) can you still have penetrative sex (penis in vagina)?"
"3) can you get someone pregnant via question 2?
"I’m a cisgender woman and am genuinely just curious"
"1: It varies! Some people retain full size, some people shrink. The jury is out even among the community on if you can control it, and to what extent. 2: Yes! 3: Yep! Fertility is generally harmed by hormones, but not always completely gone."
"I am talking purely from personal experience."
"1)yes it does, but primarily when soft, you lose random erections which work as bodily check if your penis is healthy, which means it's recommended to get it erect every so often so the muscles don't atrophy, which could lead into it being unsuable."
"2)If I wanted then yes."
"3)Possibly...The funtioning sperm count heavily decreases on hormones, but that doesn't mean all of it does. Usually it's recomended to freeze your sperm before taking hormones. Still wouldn't count on it as 100% save from getting someone pregnant."
"This actually hasn't been studied systematically in trans women very extensively (there are huuuuge gaps in the medical literature), buuuuut there are cis men who get testicular cancer and can't go on testosterone replacement (like, their tumors were hormone sensitive, so it's risky to go on T again), and we know a fair lot about them. Since testosterone is what mediates penile response, what applies to them seems to apply to trans women who are either pre- or non-op. Thus, to answer your questions:"
"1)It's not that simple. When you nuke testosterone, some people lose the ability to have erections, but most retain it to some degree. What disappears is nocturnal erections--ie morning wood--and the biological function of that is to exercise the skin, vascular contractions, and so forth of the phallus. Unless you work the phallus out, you'll lose size and function, but if you use it regularly, it seems to stay just fine, according to the literature."
"2)Why wouldn't you be able to? Many girls don't want to, because it makes them feel dysphoric, but those who do can. Some need help from cialis or viagra, but that's not exactly a big deal."
"3)HRT has major effects on fertility, radically reducing the likelihood. However, 24% of girls with testes on HRT still produce some amount, albeit small, of sperm even years and years into transition. So, yes! HRT is NOT birth control."
"I work in medicine. Often times it can be apparent that someone may be transitioning, but it’s never right to assume anything about anyone."
"I’ll usually see their given name before I meet them, and it’s standard practice to have a pt confirm with their legal name and dob."
"What do you think is the best way of being asked if you have a preferred first name other than what is 'legal' in that situation?"
"I usually stumble with something like 'Hi I’m looking for John Doe is that you? Nice to meet you, is John okay or do you go by another name?' "
"But it always feels clunky."
"Looking for advice."
"EDIT: My main clinical setting is an urban hospital in a large network of hospitals. This makes any change to charting/intake very well out of my reach, unfortunately. It is a discussion that I hope continues to climb to the administrators."
"I don't know if this was to avoid using my birth name (most likely it was) but I've had doctors use just the surname when calling me and then confirming by asking for my birth date or ID."
"the way you say that is perfect, i don't think there's a better way to do it. big ups for actually asking, way too few people do that!"
"love that! you can still say that, if you don't want them to assume you thought they weren't cis (some people may feel discomfort from that) you can say its because some people don't like their name or go by a nickname they use as a first name (you can make up a person in your life, if you want to add in small talk, for example, both my parents don't use their legal names simply because they're too used to what friends and family have been calling them)"
"These answers are the dialogue that's missing right now."
"After years of trying to understand, I finally feel like I get it. Thank you all for educating and enlightening! Media dialogue seems elusive and circular - these answers made clear sense and I feel like I learned something."
"No- thank you. This comment made my day, aside from this post going viral. I’m so glad that you showed and interest and even happier that you learned something after years of trying to understand!"
"It’s been really nice to talk about it without pushback for the most part. I feel like education is what’s needed for it to be understood without malice."
"Media dialogue on trans people not being very helpful to understanding trans issues is very much by design - media has grown increasingly hostile to trans people in recent years."
"thanks for reading and learning :))"
When people are willing and able to freely talk about their experiences, we can all learn a lot from one another.
It's PRIDE month. It's time to be loud and proud.
Well, every minute of everyday we should be loud and proud.
But this month gives you an extra special buzz.
So in the spirit of learning, we will be taking questions from the class.
I know cisgender straight people still have a lot they don't understand.
What do you need to know?
Redditorhre_nftwanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to be as aloud what they've been waiting to ask a queer person. Safe space for all. They asked:
"What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?"
There is always a good way to ask questions. I don't mind many of them.
I'm Outcoming out gay GIF by AT&T Hello LabGiphy
"What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying 'um, OK' or 'that's nice' sounds like I'm dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive."
"It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don't want confetti and vice versa."
So Many Letters
"I know you guys want to be inclusive and all but I always feel behind on all The letters you add to LGBT, so is it fine I just say 'LGBT+?' This is not meant to not be inclusive, I'm all for LGBT+. But sometimes it gets a bit too many letters for me personally. So will I offend you guys if I only say LGBT+?"
"Lol all the labels I identify with are included in the + and I just say LGBT. I don’t know anybody who has been upset over hearing the shortened version. You’re good to keep using the acronym that you already say."
I Don't Get It...
"What does non-binary mean? I'm from Italy and I've never met someone who came out as non-binary or even transgender. My brother met a guy once and he (my brother) said he looked gender-fluid. Gender-fluid Is the only term used here, nobody talks about non-binary."
"I know that non-binary means that you don't identify with one gender specifically (I guess), but I really really don't get it. I'm bisexual (although I've never gotten in a relationship with a woman) so I always felt like I could relate to most people of the community in one way or another."
"But this is just something I can't seem to understand, also because I've never met someone like that. I know I might never be able to get it because I'm cisgender, but I was wondering if some of you would like to take some time to share their experiences with me so that I can understand you a little bit more."
"I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is 'queer' part of the acronym? Doesn't it encompass 'lesbian' and 'gay?' Is there a nuance I'm missing?"
"One of the unintended benefits of the term 'queer' is that it's a good way of saying 'Not straight, and it's not really important for you to know why or how.'"
Hello ThereArt Peeing GIF by badblueprintsGiphy
"Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?"
So far, nothing here seems offensive.
You Like It?Fab 5 Netflix GIF by Queer EyeGiphy
"I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not."
"Do asexual people not want sex/don't feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don't have crushes/attraction in any form?"
"Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships."
"Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are. There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic."
Chosen at Birth
"Why is intersex included when it's a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong."
"Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It's the variation from the normal binary gender/presentation of that, which aligns them with the queer community in most cases."
"For non binary folk: I'm having trouble wording what I want to ask, like, why I guess? I identify as a woman but don't fit in with the typical stereotypes or gender roles, but I still consider myself a woman. I don't feel like activities, or behaviors, or clothing or whatever has to have a gender to it, so why specify that you don't identify as man or woman? Idk maybe because it's not something I've struggled with, it's hard to wrap my head around! Either way, I 100% support anyone who identifies any way!"
ExtraGay Hearts GIFGiphy
"Do you have to pay an upgrade fee to go from the LGBTQ membership to the LGBTQ+?"
"Omg dude, you can get it for free with Amazon Prime! You didn't know?"
I Like You
"How do you know you are attracted to the same sex? I personally wanted to know this because I am struggling with my sexuality. I have an attraction to men at least as far as I know. But I am constantly going back and forth with women. And it's been very confusing. So I guess it may be how do you know if you're attracted to anyone?"
Ask all you want. Just be respectful. It's easy...
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
When it comes to gender roles in relationships, our society has a horrible habit of jumping to conclusions about the wants and needs of men and women.
For example, men are so often the notated aggressors or otherwise the buffoons of the story, clumsily chasing women with their pants down and one thing on their mind.
But men are people too—despite their best efforts—and have standards they must adhere to when entering into a relationship.
Redditor SnowyAcid asked:
"Guys of Reddit, what turns you off?"
Here were some of those answers.
Dudes Have Feelings
"Disinterest in my emotional state. Listen, I may not get emotional often, but when I have a moment, don't blow it off like 'you're a dude, get over it.'"
"Thanks for some cool comments and folks engaging this. Important note: this was a take on my past, my Fiancée (GF of four years) does not minimize any of my feelings, and that includes the occasional angry outburst. She is a phenomenal woman"-shock1918
Reciprocation Is Important
"I just went through this after a relationship where I adored the girl with all my heart and it just wasn't reciprocated. If you're not happy, move on."
"Ultimately does it matter if she's not interested or playing a game? If it's not fulfilling your needs and making you happy, find someone who will."
"Unfortunately, at least imo, it's that simple for relationships. If you are spending more time unhappy or wondering if she even feels the same, it's not worth it."-bambles_
Look At The Ducks!
"I have ducks that hang out in a lake near my place."
"I've told five women (on dates) that I frequently take walks around the lake because I love the ducks and the scenery is nice and three of the five said that that 'is weird.' Specifically that I think ducks are neat."
"I'm still confused why it's such a hot topic. Ducks are cool, and chill. Wildlife in general is fun. Isn't it? Am I crazy?"
"To be clear I didn't go on and on about ducks or anything. Just that I enjoy the walks because I like the ducks."-LedgeEndDairy
Yes, in fact, sometimes men do not fit your staunchly depicted gender norms.
In fact, sometimes men DO like to look at the ducks.
"Projection and thinking that you can read my thoughts."
"Ask questions, I'm happy to answer, but don't assume you know what Im thinking or why I did something, especially if its based on your experience with a previous partner."-dr_freudenstein
"When a toxic person decides to 'test' you for a reaction like a fucking science experiment and then blow up when the results weren't exactly what they overthought."-MasterCrouton
Ohhhh...THAT'S That Smell...
"I dated someone for a while before we spent a whole week together."
"5 days in and they finally decided to take a shower and didn't brush their teeth until day 6 even with me saying things like 'hey, dinner had a lot of garlic, do you wanna brush your teeth with me?'"
"Also noticed some other odd and disgusting habits of skin and scab picking and eating. No matter how nice they were I couldn't get over the lack of hygiene."
"Hardest break up of my life because how do you tell someone you're really nice but disgusting without hurting them?"-MissChievous8
Grow Up, Please
"Women that act like teenagers. I've met 18 year olds (obviously) that act like kids and I've met 25 year olds that act like kids."
"And no matter how hot they are I'm immediately turned off by it. I don't even really know how to describe it but their immaturity and glaring lack of real world life experiences make them seem annoying and petty."-genio_del_queso
Goodbye, Good Luck
"This will ultimately get buried. I spent 11 years trying to prove to someone that I care/loved them, we split up in 2012, and had 2 children."
"Spent many years coming over to fix things, spent time with the kiddos, played video games with them, and her, bought food, helped with bills, and taking her to the store, I'm ok with all of that, that's how I was raised to be is help others."
"When I needed somewhere to go I stayed with her, that was fine also, the biggest problem I had was, If I came in the door with a smile I was berated with who did you go f**k this morning, or why did you take so long to get here."
"Just in general being told that I'm trying to f**k everything, and have been told at one time I had to look at the floor at the grocery store, she even went as far to tell random women that I wanted their number, and I should go f**k them."
"I think I'm good now as the last straw was I was accused of sleeping with her 18 yo daughter and her 18yo friend that stayed the night, the next day I packed my stuff and just said I can't do this anymore, and left."-CaptainZzZz
Men have a limit, a threshold, feelings, wants and dreams—something we often forget because even men are told to sacrifice these things.
Put Your Garbage IN The Garbage
"Littering. I briefly dated a woman who was drop-dead gorgeous, sexy, fun, sweet, and seemingly smart and level-headed. During a nice evening walk, she was drinking a Coke from a plastic bottle and tossed it into the bushes when done."
"Flabbergasted, I asked her why she did that. She responded that it's OK: there are people who will clean it up. I asked her politely to please pick it up. She protested. I picked it up and took it to a bin that was just up the street, in the direction we were going."
"By this time she was calling me crazy and insisting she didn't do anything wrong. I was having no more of it, took her home, and left."
"She seemed so great in many ways. But this thoughtlessness and refusal to admit her mistake for something we all learn as kids is a bad thing was a deal-breaker. Had she admitted she was wrong and learned from her mistake, we might have had a chance."-BubbhaJebus
Don't Make Me Fight
"Openly flirting with other people. I went on a first date with a younger woman last weekend. She was just clamoring for attention from any place she could get it and made NO attempt to hide it. I lost all interest."
"The most she can ever expect from me is maybe FWB, but I probably won't even do that. It was a huge turnoff."
"Too bad, she's a great looking woman, pretty sharp. Younger, so I'll blame it on that. I'll probably not go out again. I don't need to train a puppy."-PhaedrusHunt
Men Have Agency Too
"Being guilted into sex. It's just expected sometimes that as a male - if someone comes on to you that you'll want to accept their advances. Seems that often times the guilt trip gets thrown at you if you decline even for just not being in the mood."
"From experience this seems super common for women to guilt men when declining sexual advances and it just seems acceptable at this point. If a male did the same to a women you'd never hear the end of it though."-JustLikeJD
Did anything on this list surprise you?
Did any of the things you thought you knew about men and what they wanted out of a relationship just go straight out the window?
People continue to surprise us despite best efforts.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Getting asked out often comes as a surprise, but it can be even more surprising if the one asking isn't someone you would expect.
Straight guys usually don't expect dating offers from gay or bi guys, so they can often be caught off guard when asked on a date. How they handle this surprise varies wildly between individuals, though.
Reddit user AppropriateAd5471 asked:
Were You Talking To Me?
Same thing as if a woman asked me out; turn around to see who they were actually talking to
Laugh and ask who set them up
I Ain't That Straight
Well... How good looking is the man asking? Does he look like Rob Beckett or Jason Momoa?
Cause Rob Beckett, it ain't happening, mate, no hard feelings.
But... Momoa? Sh*t, I ain't that straight.
I've always said that I ain't bi but Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds.
Do You Dabble In Man On Man Activities
Oh my god this happened to my husband last night. He sold a guy a guitar, and completed the transaction in person. Right after the guy left, he texted and said "By any chance, do you ever dabble in man on man activities?". So he just texted the guy back "No" and he was all like "OK, no worries then!".
I think that was the first time a guy ever hit on him/propositioned him. He's 60. I had to chuckle at the phrasing "dabble in man on man activities". Good stuff.
i'm not gay, but thanks for making my day.
This is the correct response.
Thanks For The Compliment
Politely decline. And be very pleased with the compliment. I am married and have been for decades. But it's always nice to feel attractive. My kink is monogamy so I would turn down anyone that isn't the wife regardless of gender.
Wanna Grab A Beer?
Tell them I'm not gay, but that it'd still be cool to hang out and go for a beer or something. This has worked for me so far.
That's Really Flattering
“Awh that's really flattering! But I'm not interested. Sorry!"
It's Annoying At Work
This sort of happened to me at work, back when I was an associate at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was single at the time, a guy begins hitting on me mid-shift as I'm trying to assist him and at some point his flirting becomes more aggressive. I did the thing of politely declining because I needed the job, but I really just wanted to tell him to piss off, as I was busy working.
It never occurred to me this might happen to men. As a woman working in retail it happened a lot
My Girlfriend Would Get Jealous
Had this happen A LOT while in the marines. Always caught me off guard, but I would throw a compliment their way but politely use the line "my girlfriend would get jealous" or just say "I don't swing on that side of the plate". Always left them with a compliment though.
Redditors Recount The Wedding Objections They Witnessed | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Politely decline, you never want to make a person (regardless of gender or sexual preference) feel like sh*t for trying to take their shot.
Sometimes gay men don’t take a polite decline for what it is though, and think you’re just playing hard to get, which is a bit annoying.
Sometimes straight men do that with women too, it varies from annoying to terrifying
Consider The Possibilities
About once every two years I see a man I find attractive and wonder what it would be like. Otherwise I don’t think about this
Uber driver did this to me while driving me to an NBA game. I just said no thanks and got out of the car at the end of the ride
Just A Kiss
This happened to me a few years ago, but it was in a gay bar. I said “sorry man, I’m not gay, but you’re hot so thanks for the compliment”. He then said “you don’t have to be gay to get a little tongue action” - so I kissed the man. Can’t say I enjoyed it, the beard was scratchy 😂
No Harm In Some Platonic Cuddling
I'm straight, but I won't say no to dinner and cuddling.
It's actually happened to me, and I politely declined an adorable gay man wearing a tiara. He was struck by how kind I was and thanked me for being "cool." This was 16 years ago or so...
Let's Be Friends
Be flattered. Don’t really get asked out ever as a guy. But I’d decline. Doesn’t mean we couldn’t be friends though.
Just Not Interested In Men
I have been asked out multiple times by gay and bisexual men, and have said I am flattered but not interested in dating men.
Is there an option other than politely declining like a decent human being? I mean, after I get over the shock of someone expressing interest in me.
I Enjoy The Company Of Women
In my past I have politely declined the advance with something my Dad said many years ago: "I'm flattered you feel that way but I enjoy the company of women. But if I ever get my fulfillment of women, I'll give you a call." Was told that it was the nicest put down they had ever heard.
Even if you're 100% not interested in them, it can still feel great to know someone is interested in you. Your best bet is to just politely decline and go on with your day.
Since we grow up in a world where it is assumed that we will be straight, we don't receive a lot of education on the LGBTQ+ community. Most places receive zero education, as decades of homophobia and gay erasure rear their ugly heads even in modern society.
So curiosity from straight people is natural. It's welcome. It only helps break down the walls between our communities.
Here were some of those answers.
The Clever One First
What's on the gay agenda for today?
For the lesbians, today is gardening and obsessing over hot female actresses.
I mean we do that every day but whatever.
Take Note, Straights!
What are the creepy or offensive things things that well-meaning non-lgbt people say?
The question "so which one is the girl and which one is the guy" is pretty offensive. We are not trying to fit ourselves in a straight mold. Were both girls/ were both guys. It's like the whole point.
Asking whose on top can be pretty intrusive if you don't know them well.
Asking a trans person their birth name or what's in their pants is super rude.
Are there "straight jokes"? Straight people use jokes about being gay all the time, especially guys.
I don't think it's the case for everybody but one of my group of friends is like 80% LGBT+ people and YES. So many jokes and puns about straight/cis people. But none of them are insults and I never heard a violent joke about straight people.
We DEFINILTY have jokes about the straights™ though. Like about heterophobia or straight pride.
This Is A Good Perspective, Listen Up
I'm not straight but I've always wanted to ask a trans person what they mean when they say they "feel like a man/woman". I guess it's probably not entirely tangible but I've always found it intriguing.
Imagine waking up every day of your life feeling like something's wrong. You're perfectly healthy, your life is great, but there's something wrong. You just don't know what.
The feeling gets worse when you look at yourself in a mirror, or see your body. It gets even worse when puberty starts and you watch your body change and you hate it, but you don't know why. There's just something wrong.
The feeling sometimes gets better when you look at people of the opposite sex (for me, girls). Sometimes, it gets worse and you get frustrated for no reason. Maybe you have a crush on one of those girls. Maybe you just want some attention from them. But then, if you had a crush on one of them, there would be some happiness. There just isn't. Never. Your life is great but you're miserable and you can't figure out why.
Then one day a random thought occurs. I wish I were a girl. Then you understand what was wrong with you all your life.
The way I experienced it, it's a mix of discomfort, longing, and envy. I wasn't comfortable with my body (mind you, I had an awful life, which is why I didn't explore these issues until I gained some control over it in my early 20s) because I was male. I was hoping something would change without really knowing what. I envied girls simply for being girls.
This might be controversial, but I wouldn't say I "feel" like a woman. I'm a woman. Just not physically, alas. Even now after successfully transitioning, I'm aware that I'm still biologically male. It still bothers me. But I can live my life as a woman and that's a massive weight off of my shoulders. I can look at my body or into a mirror. I wake up in the morning without that residual feeling that something is wrong. I am no longer miserable.
Identity is a difficult question and everyone has their own perception of it. I don't think you'll ever get a definite answer on your question. The best you can get is a variety of testimonials and personal experiences, few of which you will resonate with.
Moms Trying To Be Better
What do (or did) you need from your mom?
(Mom of a trans teenager. I do my best to support him, and want to learn to do better)
The most important thing is to affirm his identity. Use his new name and pronouns. Making mistakes is okay, but work on it.
Otherwise, help him protect himself. There is a ton of hate directed at transgender teens, and someone of his age isn't going to have the emotional maturity to deal with it all. Whenever someone wants to deny who he is, have his back.
If he hasn't started puberty blockers yet, it's 100% worth it. Puberty blockers now means no mastectomy later. And if he changes his mind later (he probably won't) they're mostly reversible.
It's Common Because Women Are Nice
How come it's common for a gay man to befriend straight women but it's uncommon for a lesbian to befriend straight men?
I'm gay and my sister a lesbian. My female friends have never requested to watch my husband and I have sex. Straight men are always asking my sister if they can watch my sister and her wife have sex. there's your answer.
Your First Gay Movie
I've been fortunate enough to have quite a few close friends who were gay in my lifetime, so I've got no "how do things work" kind of questions that haven't been answered.
However, one of my favorites that I always ask when we're in the process of becoming friends... If you're around my age (mid-30's), and a gay guy, did you first realize you might be gay when watching the volley ball scene in Top Gun? And if not, why are you lying to me about when you first realized you were gay?
I remember a reading an interview with John Cryer about Duckie in Pretty in Pink. And he was saying how people would come up to him and thank him because that's how they realized they were in the closet.
And he said he was kind of shocked because he didn't realize Duckie was closeted, but when he mentioned it to the other cast they all knew.
So, of course, that's when I first realized that Duckie was gay in that movie.
How does "gaydar" work? How reliable is it?
Gaydar is just that... Recognizing that someone is likely to be LGBTQ. It can be based on any number of things - mannerisms, hair and clothes, subtle references and symbols that might not obvious to people who aren't "in the know," etc.
As to efficacy? Moderate? But there are also some false positives - people who are assumed to be LGBT but aren't.
The Gays. They're Everywhere.
What did you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
As a father of a LGBTQ daughter how do I not rage at people who oppose the fact my daughter exist.
Seriously though this comment made me smile. You seem like a wonderful dad. You don't have to hold in your anger at people who are pissed at your daughter for simply existing. Take the protective father stereotype and use it for good! :)