Social media’s newest term for sexuality “super straight” is used to direct criticisms towards the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender women. As allies of the LGBTQ+ community, it is unnecessary for straight people to participate in furthering this concept.
By Lenin O’Mahony
To preface this article, I discuss LGBTQ+ topics and terms as a cis-gendered straight male, and therefore lack full understanding of all concepts and terms, especially in how they are used. I am speaking from my perspective and personal knowledge, and any mistakes made are not intended to insult and devalue the experiences or lives of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Recently on social media sites such as Instagram, TikTok, and more, have seen the birth of the term “super straight.” Super straight itself refers to being solely attracted to cisgendered women. Many complaints have been voiced, comparing this movement to the “straight pride” activists, and some have called the term “super straight” transphobic. Those who defend the term have argued that others cannot define their sexualities, and that it's what they want.
I actually dealt with this concept personally more than a year ago. I was having a conversation with my former girlfriend about sexualities, and she explained that a straight male can have a relationship with a transgender woman, and it is still straight. Why? Because she is a woman, regardless of being transgender. While I cannot say I fully understand what it means for someone to be trans, or why they are trans, I do respect that it is their life and their decisions relating to how they live their life.
At the time I had this conversation I felt like I could not have any relations with a trans woman, and disagreed with her saying a straight person, which I identify as, being able to have relations with a trans woman and be considered straight. I felt like that wasn’t the same, that a trans woman can be a woman, but they’re still trans. I thought that if male/trans-woman relations were straight, then I couldn’t be straight. This is essentially the mindset of “super straight.” I was informed that if I only like cis-women (individuals who are born with female genetalia and identify as a woman) that it was only a preference, not a sexuality. This confused me, because now the lines between preference and sexuality were being blurred in my eyes. This was a concept I never fully understood from the other perspective until just recently, when discussing the “super straight” concept.
The difference was explained to me recently in a discussion with two close friends, both members of the LGBTQ+ community, like this, if a trans woman is a woman, then her status as trans is on the same level as any other characteristic about her. Trans women, blonde women, Asian women, thin women, smart women, are all characteristics of a woman. If I only liked blonde women, I would not claim my sexuality to be “super blonde.” That would in fact be a preference in the woman I date. Maybe I would never date a thin woman, but that would not change my sexuality. That is why members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community are frustrated with this term “super straight.” It essentially claims that a trans woman does not belong among other women.
Personally, while I see nothing wrong with being solely interested in cis-gendered women, and being open about that as I am, I feel like the “super straight” concept was coined just to make fun of queer sexualities and to use LGBTQ+ terminology against that same community. It is another chance for certain individuals to cause unnecessary fights while holding some artificial moral high ground. I do not need to call myself super straight in order to explain I am only interested in cis-gendered women, I simply live my life as I want without coining new unneccesary terms. As a cis-gendered straight male, I rarely find the need to explain to someone that I am not who they initially assumed I was. I am usually assumed to be straight and cis-gendered, although that is not a privledge often afforded to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Melanie Moyer '22,