Ask JT! Am I Still Gay if the Man I’m Attracted to is Trans?

Ask JT Gay Advice Column

Hey JT,

I have a simple question that I’m sure has a complex answer. I’m a gay man, and I just started volunteering at a LGBT community center in, well, let’s just call it a red state. Or redNECK state would probably be more appropriate, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I started volunteering here because you’ve mentioned in the past that volunteering is a good way to meet local gay people, and you were right!

But something happened that I didn’t think ever would. I’ve become very attracted to, and went on a few dates with, a gay transgender man. I didn’t know he was trans at first, just that he was the hottest guy at the center. He was really assertive in asking me out, and I was so surprised because I thought he was so hot and I’m just average looking.

We’ve been out a few times, and haven’t had sex yet, but I know that’s not too far away. I know he has female genitalia, and at this point I don’t even care.

So my simple question is: am I still gay? Or does this make me technically bi?

Chap In Suspense

You’re a man that’s attracted to another man, CIS, so you can still check off the “G” box in the LGBT census report.

Sure, the man you’re into was born biologically female, but he was always a man in his soul, and as a gay man, you’re attracted to more than just his genitals – you’re attracted to his gender, which is male.

This can be confusing for some people, and I still dream of a day when people won’t get so uptight about labels, but this is one area where I think the LGBTQIA community is miles ahead of their non-ally straight peers. Because of all the letters in that acronym, we see humanity as a magnificent tapestry with many shades and hues, where words can have flexible definitions and those who don’t conform to a specific expectation are still granted their right to live how they feel is true to them.

Of course, not everyone in the LGBTQIA community is so open-minded, but that is our party line, and it’s a good one.

So there’s your simple answer, CIS. You’re gay.

Hi JT,

I’m a med student in his early 20’s who is about to begin his internship on January, so after that I pretty much have to say goodbye to whatever little free time I had. In the meantime, while I’m enjoying my holiday, I’ve suddenly gotten this interest in reading something other than med text books and by that I mean I’ve gotten an interest in reading gay-themed novels, partly because I’m sadly single as well (sobs).

So I wanted to ask you, which ones do you recommend me for a start? I’m mostly looking for ones that have a bit of everything, romance (not too cheesy, though), smut, drama, comedy and adventure… Thanks in advance.

Single Doctor in the Process

A gay doctor who likes to read fiction? Something tells me you won’t be single for long after you establish your practice. I can already hear the throbbing … let’s say hearts … of the other single gay men in your area right now.

Okay, so, books! Yay, books!

To start off with, I’ll have to be honest and say you’ll be looking for a long time if you want to find romance, smut, drama, comedy, and adventure in one book. That’s a tall order, and I can’t even think of a “straight” book that has all that.

I have a few ideas of my own, but I also want to thank all my Twitter buddies who helped me out when I crowd-sourced this one.

First, I want to thank my new buddy, author KJ Charles, for being so helpful, and I also want to plug his book (which is getting killer reviews on GoodReads), The Magpie Lord, which has comedy, adventure, and two smoking hot male main characters. So it hits a lot of items on your list, Doc.

KJ recommended some great reads: The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox, Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall, and the Whyborne and Griffin series by Jordan L Hawk. All solid reads with queer leads.

Thanks, KJ!

@rjmedwed reminded me that Christopher Rice’s books are must-haves. I particularly liked his first outing, A Density of Souls. Real good, with a huge cast. Not much humor, but adventure and sexy-time.

The Honesty Blog recommended Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys, and @allanj69 mentioned Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series, as well as Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop.

Sultry TheBacklot.com diva Liz pointed out Josh Lanyon’s Moriarty & Holmes series, and really, all of his stuff has smut, romance, and adventure. And John got all high-brow on us and recommended The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal, which is really an essential read for gay men.

And finally, Mattie B cemented what I was going to say, which is Hero by the late Perry Moore is a good win if you’re into YA.

To add to the list, I’d recommend some work by good friends of mine: Brent Hartinger’s entire catalogue (and definitely start with his classic The Geography Club, now a movie!), Michael Jensen’s sexy historical novels Frontiers and Firelands, Ulysses Dietz’s Desmond and Vampire in Surburbia, and Chris O’Guinn’s Fearless and Exiled to Iowa. Send Help. And Couture.

I know that’s quite a list, SDITP. Happy reading!

And if any readers have books they’d recommend, sound off in the comments!

Hi JT,

I’m 18 and newly out. I had a hard time dealing with my sexuality, but I’ve finally become comfortable with myself and can call myself gay. Now that I’ve crossed that bridge, I’m ready to start understanding gay culture. Do you know any good movies with gay characters (hopefully on Netflix)? I see there’s a bunch, but I don’t know which are worth it and which are terrible. All I ever hear is about how bad gay movies are. Are there any good ones?

New Gay

From books to movies? Okay, let’s see what’s out there.

First, the movie you’re contractually obligated to watch: Brokeback Mountain. It has its critics, but this is the movie that hits you so hard, you don’t even realize it. Most people I’ve spoken with have said the first viewing of the movie didn’t leave them with the feelings they expected, but then as they thought about it over the next few days, the effect finally hit them and stayed there. Brilliant performances from Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and of course the greatly-missed Heath Ledger.

Another Gay Movie is practically a straight-up (gay-up?) spoof of American Pie, so I’m not sure how that would fare with someone who was in kindergarten when Pie came out, but it’s a cute movie. Skip the abysmal sequel, though.

Camp is a fun, light-hearted, musicals-infused teen comedy, so I’d give that one a go. And Jeffrey is a great time-capsule of what it was like to be gay and living in New York in the early 90’s.

If you have the stomach for horror movies, Hellbent is probably one of the best gay horror movies out there. And the love interest is crazy sexy.

One movie you should really check out, though, is Shelter, which is unfortunately not on Netflix streaming, but it’s such a great, understated, mellow gay love story, and has my favorite final shot of any gay movie out there.

Happy viewing!

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To ask JT a question, email him at jtadvicecolumn@gmail.com (and try to keep it to three paragraphs). Or you can be super tech-sexy and ask via Twitter.

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