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10 Myths About Transgender Sexuality: Challenging Stereotypes


  • Gender and sexual orientation are two different aspects of a person’s identity.
  • Being transgender is not a mental disorder.
  • Transgender people can identify as straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation. 
  • Transgender people can have happy and healthy long-term relationships.
  • Being transgender doesn’t determine your sex drive.
  • Not all transgender people undergo gender-affirming surgery.
  • Trans people have a variety of options available if they want to have children.
  • Find support for your sexual health and intimacy needs at

Lack of understanding, limited representation, and social stigma continue to fuel myths about the transgender community. Myths about transgender people and their sexuality have real-world consequences and place trans people at greater risk for harm. Challenging these harmful myths is important to creating a society where trans people can live happier and healthier lives.

Myth 1: Gender and Sexual Orientation Are the Same Thing

Your gender and your sexual orientation are two separate pieces of your identity. These terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

Your gender identity refers to how you see yourself and your gender. You may see yourself as feminine, masculine, or somewhere in between. This may or may not align with the sex you were assigned at birth.

On the other hand, sexual orientation refers to who you’re emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to. You may identify as straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation. Gender doesn’t determine a person’s sexual orientation.

Some educators drive this point home by saying that sexual identity is who you go to bed with, while gender identity is who you go to bed as.

Myth 2: Being Transgender is a Mental Disorder

Being transgender is not a mental disorder. This myth has been denounced by leading public health, mental health, and medical associations across the globe.

Being transgender is a natural aspect of human diversity. The myth that being trangender is caused by a mental disorder is rooted in outdated and stigmatizing beliefs about gender. The World Health Organization acknowledged this historic misrepresentation and removed “gender identity disorder” from its list of mental disorders in 2018.

Some gender-nonconforming people struggle with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria describes the severe distress a person may experience when their gender identity doesn’t align with their assigned sex at birth. However, not all trans people experience gender dysphoria.

Myth 3: All Transgender People Identify as Gay or Lesbian

gay couple on a couch

Some people assume that all trans people identify as gay or lesbian, but this doesn’t hold up to current research. Research demonstrates that cisgender and transgender people alike have a diverse range of sexual orientations. This means that transgender people can identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bissexual, or any other sexual orientation.

A survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality revealed that 77 percent of transgender respondents identified as an orientation other than straight. This included 23 percent of transgender respondents who identified as lesbian, gay, or same-gender loving. An additional 23 percent identified as queer, and two percent identified as other.

This myth largely stems from the harmful and incorrect belief that transgender people are confused about their sexual orientation and gender. For example, some people incorrectly believe that trans men are actually masculine lesbians and that trans women are actually feminine gay men.

It’s helpful to remember that trans men are men and trans women are women. Your gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate and distinct aspects of your sense of self.

Myth 4: All Transgender People Undergo Gender-Affirming Surgery

Not all transgender people undergo gender-affirming surgery or medical transition. Some transgender people medically transition, but many do not. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to transition.

Gender-affirming surgery, also referred to as gender confirmation surgery, covers a variety of surgical interventions to help bring someone’s body into alignment with their gender identity. These procedures might also be referred to as gender reassignment or sex reassignment surgery.

It’s difficult to determine the exact prevalence of gender-affirming surgeries among transgender people in the United States. Some research suggests that between 42-54 percent of trans men, and approximately 28 percent of trans women, have undergone gender-affirming surgery. However, many researchers believe that the prevalence is underestimated and recommend additional research to confirm these findings.

There are many ways to transition. Some transgender people may wish to undergo gender-affirming surgery as part of their transition journey, while others may not. Access to care, social support, stigma, and discrimination can also impact a person’s transition journey.

Each person’s transition journey is valid and deserving of respect, regardless of whether they choose to undergo gender-affirming surgery.

Myth 5: Transgender People Are Hypersexual

couple hugging

Being transgender doesn’t determine your sex drive or how much sex you have. Similar to cisgender people, transgender people vary when it comes to sexual desire and behavior.

For example, some trans people have low sex drives, while others have high sex drives. Some trans people have a single sexual partner, while others have many. Some trans people identify as asexual.

There’s no evidence that transgender people have different sex drives than cisgender people. This myth stems from harmful beliefs that queer and transgender people are sexually promiscuous.

Certain hormone therapies can affect your libido. This is true for cisgender and transgender people alike. Transgender people undergoing hormone therapy often notice a temporary increase or a decrease in their libido.

Transgender women who use testosterone blockers or estrogen replacement therapy may experience a decrease in libido. Transgender men who use testosterone replacement therapies may experience an increase in their libido. Research suggests that these changes are typically temporary.

Myth 6: Transgender People “Trick” Others Into Relationships

The idea that transgender people “trick” others into sex or relationships is rooted in harmful and false assumptions that LGBTQ+ people are deceitful or predatory. These harmful beliefs do not align with the lived experience of transgender people.

The majority of people living in the United States have been raised to understand gender as a binary system and not a spectrum. Coupled with the fact that cisgender people make up the majority of the population, it’s challenging for some people to understand transgender and other gender-diverse identities.

Unfortunately, this harmful myth also distracts from the fact that transgender people are more likely than cisgender people to be the victims of physical and sexual violence. Research shows that transgender people are at least four times more likely to experience violent victimization than their cisgender counterparts.

Myth 7: Transgender People Are Only Interested in Relationships with Other Transgender People

Just like cisgender individuals, trans people are not a monolith in who they are attracted to or form relationships with. Transgender people can be attracted to people of any gender identity.

Some trans people may prefer to have partners from within the LGBTQ+ community. This preference can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as sexual orientation, shared experiences, or access to a supportive LGBTQ+ community. However, many trans people have relationships with cisgender and heterosexual people.

Myth 8: Transgender Can’t Have Healthy, Long-Term Relationships

Just like cisgender people, transgender people can have happy and healthy long-term relationships. Like any other person, trans individuals can have varied preferences for or experiences with sex, intimacy, and relationships.

Transgender people often face unique challenges within their relationships. For example, research suggests that transgender people and their partners often face challenges related to:

  • Body image. This includes working through the impact of body image on sex and intimacy. This can be especially challenging during gender-affirming transition.
  • Disclosure. This includes the process of disclosing your gender identity to sexual or romantic partners and their loved ones.
  • Social norms. This includes working through society’s norms related to the gender binary and heteronormative expectations for relationships.

Healthy relationships can be a source of love and support throughout a person’s life. The presence of a supportive community, including a supportive romantic partner, can have a positive impact on a trans person’s wellbeing during gender-affirming transition.

Myth 9: Transgender People Can’t Have Children

children watching a video

There are many ways for transgender people to have children. However, factors like gender identity, medical history, and available resources can affect how easy it is for a trans individual to have children. Counseling on fertility options prior to medical transition provides trans people with more options for having children in the future.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and surgery to remove one or more reproductive organs can lead to permanent infertility. Research also shows that transgender people often experience discrimination while seeking fertility services. This underscores the importance of having qualified and compassionate providers to provide care to the transgender community.

Transgender men may still be able to conceive and carry a baby to term if they haven’t undergone surgery to remove their reproductive organs. Transgender men may wish to preserve their eggs prior to beginning medical transition. This can make it easier to take advantage of assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), in the future.

The most popular fertility options for transgender women include “natural” conception, sperm cryopreservation, and microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE). However, some of these fertility preservation options are cost prohibitive.

Myth 10: Trans People Always Struggle with Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction can affect anyone, regardless of whether they’re transgender or cisgender. Similarly to cisgender people, a transgender person’s risk for sexual dysfunction depends on a variety of personal risk factors, such as their age and personal health history.

Certain gender-affirming medical treatments can affect sexual function, such as:

  • Hormone therapy. Gender-affirming hormone therapy can contribute to reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, or changes to genital sensitivity.
  • Surgery. Gender-affirming surgery can lead to changes in sensation, arousal, and ability to orgasm.

Fortunately, many of these effects are temporary, and support is available to help trans people have fulfilling sex lives. Research also suggests that many trans people experience improved sexual satisfaction related to improved body image and reduced gender dysphoria following gender-affirming care.

Most forms of sexual dysfunction can be overcome with medication, couples therapy, sex therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Happier and Healthier Relationships with eDrugstore

Challenging stereotypes requires ongoing commitment to education, outreach, and advocacy. This is one crucial aspect of being a good LGBTQ+ ally.

At eDrugstore, we work to combat stereotypes related to topics like gender identity, sexual health, and sexual dysfunction. Take advantage of our blog and our free medical consultations to address your health challenges, such as hair loss or erectile dysfunction.

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