When you find out that the person you love is of a different gender than you’d thought, you end up with a lot of questions. Amidst the cacophony of questions I had about her, her experience, her thoughts, the vocabulary, the pronouns, the medical information, the surgical plans and all the other minutiae, the one thing I kept circling back to had nothing to do with her. It was about me:
I’m a self-identified gay man whose partner is a woman, so what does that make me?
I like this article for taking on the complexity that is sexual orientation.
Gay is typically thought to mean a man who’s attracted to men. But that’s glossing over a few things.
Is it men who are attracted to masculine genders? That makes them androphilic (as opposed to gynephilic; attracted to feminine genders)
Is it men who are attracted to male bodies? I can’t find a term for that, so let’s call it phalophilic (as opposed to gynophilic; attracted to female bodies).
We assume most gay men are both androphilic and phalophilic. But that may not be the case.
There’s also the reality that, as a partner transitions, it may pull their partners preferences along. So they may experience a sort of “induced” sexual fluidity (for lack of a better term) to maintain concurrence between sexual and romantic attraction.