Queer Attraction

Beauty beyond binaries

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
Jun 1, 2019 · 2 min read
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A marcher in the 2010 San Francisco Pride Parade wears a sign reading “I Love People Not Their Plumbing”. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen.

As an agender trans male, I find it impossible to define my sexual orientation with conventional terms. Though I’m primarily attracted to men, words like “gay” and “homosexual” don’t fit well when I don’t identify with any gender. Though I have some sexual attraction to women, “bisexual” doesn’t suit me either, whether defined narrowly as “attracted to men and women” or more expansively as “attracted to same and other”.

“Pansexual” is too broad, as my attraction to people is not independent of their gender presentation or body parts. Words like “androphilic” and “gynephilic” sound too clinical for my comfort. And terms for attraction to non-binary people specifically are more obscure still, especially outside of LGBTQ communities.

For now, I’ve settled on “queer” as the most accurate self-description I can come up with. Here are some of the things this queer person is attracted to:

  • Large, expressive eyes. Self-explanatory; a common attraction.

Beyond this list, there are some more explicitly sexual features I am attracted to, which I won’t go into at this time. While I respect that some folks are truly attracted to people independent of their plumbing, I also respect that many folks have a definite preference for particular genitals or other sex characteristics when seeking sexual partners. Neither of these orientations is wrong or bad. What’s wrong is judging another person’s attraction — or attractiveness — based on arbitrary, binary standards of beauty.

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