Early this month, the supposed sexual-orientation label “SuperStraight” trended on forums like TikTok, Twitter, and 4chan. People claimed this new “sexuality” describes straight people who only want to date or have relationships with cisgender people of the opposite sex. On March 4, Urban Dictionary added attraction to the Super Straight definition: “When you only are heterosexual but you are only attracted to the person that was born the opposite gender.”
What’s this Super Straight business all about?
A viral Tik Tok popularized “Super Straight,” though some say it actually started with Neo-Nazis on 4chan. While Snopes has found evidence of the Nazi connection, they’ve been unable to verify the origin claim.
I’m a gay man. Being attracted to hot guys is part of what makes me who I am.
Regardless of how it got started, “Super straight” is transphobia — one more in a long line of tropes manufacturing outrage over a tired fallacy. Gay people are not immune. In fact, many of us are at the center of the story — pushing the notion that somebody is trying to force us to date or have sex with trans people.
That’s a toxic absurdity that just doesn’t want to go away.
But you know what? I’m Super Gay, the kind of gay gay NEVER attracted to women, and I have a story to tell about a sizzlin’ hot trans dude. For people who don’t understand this issue well, let me tell you about …
This one time at band camp
To set the stage, I’m not a frivolous guy. I’m not much interested in light entertainment. My idea of a good time at the movies is a heavy drama with a complex storyline. Give me a tragic tear jerker over a rom-com any day.
But once in a while when I’m in the mood for frivolity, I’ll join the 21st century and browse YouTube. Nothing serious! Cat videos, Turkish barbers doing ASMR, and hot guys cracking jokes or pranking their friends.
As I was scrolling through vids the other day, I spotted this one really cute guy laughing while clutching a broken broom. It might have been his gorgeous hair or brilliant eyes, or maybe his smile drew me in, but I clicked and watched. Turns out he and his boyfriend were laughing over a house cleaning malfunction. And when I say laughing, I mean practically rolling on the floor.
I watched the whole thing and laughed along, and then something he said surprised me. I even subscribed to the channel.
I admit I subscribed partly he’s sizzling and his boyfriend is cute as hell. Watching them happy and laughing together is a nice antidote to the winter/covid blahs.
But you know what else? That hot, funny guy is transgender, and he is BRILLIANT at showing his viewers his normal, happy, loving life.
Dating a trans guy?
Would I date this transgender YouTube creator? Thinking carefully, I’d have to say that’s a moot question. He’s too taken, too young, too hot — honestly, too “outta my league.”
Know what doesn’t enter my analysis? His status as transgender.
I watch his videos and see a smart, attractive, funny young man. My forebrain with its attraction instincts doesn’t even stop to consider “trans.” I’m attracted to him because he’s my type. Nothing about that attraction is conscious. I don’t choose to be attracted, I just am attracted.
That’s what my sexual orientation is all about. Unconscious attraction to hot guys is part of what makes me who I am. It’s why I identify as gay.
Would I date a trans guy?
People ask that question sometimes, like it’s a tough question. I don’t have to dig very deep to be honest with myself. If this guy asked me out for coffee or drinks, I’d jump. Spending time with a hot guy like that would be awesome.
If he wanted to make out, I’m pretty sure resisting would be difficult. Because again, I’m a gay man. Dating and making out with hot guys is part of what makes me tick.
Would I have sex with him?
I don’t know. I (obviously) don’t have sex with most people I’m attracted to. I’m not sexually compatible with every man I’m attracted to or who wants to go out with me — let alone with hot trans guys who are totally out of my league.
But you now what else? This hot guy’s boyfriend of several years is a cisgender gay man who has evidently answered the question for himself. Yes, he could date the guy. Yes, he finds himself sexually compatible with his trans boyfriend, a man with whom he is clearly deeply in love.
If I denied my attraction, who would I be?
Now we’re down to the nub. What if I’d quit watching that video when I learned that hot guy making me laugh was transgender? What if I’d made a conscious decision to stop thinking of him as hot? What if I’d clicked away because he’s not a cisgender man?
That would be me rejecting a person I’m actually attracted to solely because he’s trans. That, my friends, would be the definition of transphobia.
What if he lived near me and asked me out? What if I turned him down only because I knew he was trans? Would that not also be transphobia? Look, nobody is obligated to have sex with anyone. Entering into a sexual relationship (or even a quick hookup) is a deeply individual, deeply personal, complex proposition.
Trans people are unique too
I don’t know what this guy’s genital status is. Transgender people are unique and have bodies with a whole spectrum of characteristics. I DO know he looks hot without a shirt. I know he’s got a body type that revs my engine. I wouldn’t presume to ask him about his “parts” unless sex was actually in the offing. And even then, I’m not certain how his answers might impact me.
If I met a guy I was really into and made a snap decision to rebuff his advances, I’m afraid I’d be missing out on something wonderful. So I know I have to keep my mind open.
Super Gay, Super Straight, Super Transphobic
I may be super gay, but I won’t be transphobic. “Super Straight” is trending as justification for transphobia. A bunch of loud, transphobic young men are expressing their disdain for transgender women they don’t even know, categorically rejecting them as a class of people.
Well, sorry fellas, but “Super Straight” is not a sexual orientation. If you’re attracted to a hot woman and then reject her merely because you learn she’s trans, that’s actually a denial of your innate sexual orientation.
Nobody is saying you have to date or have sex with anyone. That’s your choice and must always be your choice. But getting loud on the Internet and acting like transgender women as a class have cooties? Come on, guys, grow up.
Think about that hot trans woman you’re loudly proclaiming you’d never date. (Same goes for gay guys who categorically reject transgender men.)
Your sexual orientation is what attracted you in the first place. Your transphobia is what killed your interest.
James Finn is a former Air Force intelligence analyst, long-time LGBTQ activist, an alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY, an essayist occasionally published in queer news outlets, and an “agented” novelist. Send questions, comments, and story ideas to [email protected]
The preceding originally appeared at Prism & Pen; Amplifying LGBTQ voices through the art of storytelling. Republished by permission.