RELATED VIDEO: I appear with Laverne Cox on Huffpost Live to discuss loving trans women When I met my boyfriend Aaron and disclosed that I am trans, he did not question his sexuality.He recognized me as a woman, and my being trans did not negate my womanhood. Don’t get me wrong, I see our loving partnership as a blessing, but not in the same way others view it.It’s important that we begin truly accepting trans women as who they are, women.
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We tell men to keep their attraction to trans women secret, to limit it to the internet, frame it as a passing fetish or transaction.
In effect, we’re telling trans women that they are only deserving of secret interactions with men, further demeaning and stigmatizing trans women.
We are worthy of being seen and are not dirty or shameful.
Until we begin checking how we delegitimize the identities, bodies and existence of trans women and stigmatize the men who yearn to with us, we will continue to marginalize our sisters, pushing them further into socially-sanctioned invisibility, left in the dark to fend for themselves with men who don’t have the space to explore, define and embrace their attraction to various women. Be respectful of people’s identities, bodies and pronouns.
He must do this to maintain his standing in our patriarchal society.
For a man to be associated with a trans women, in effect, is to say that he is no longer a “real” man (as if such a thing exists) because he sleeps with “fake” women (as if such a thing exists). As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women. The shame that society attaches to these men, specifically attacking their sexuality and shaming their attraction, directly affects trans women. It amplifies our body-image issues, our self-esteem, our sense of possibility, of daring for greatness, of aiming for something or somewhere greater.
I’ve stood witness to many so-called scandals, mostly published on gossip blogs, where passing interactions with trans women spawn hundreds of headlines, particularly for a man with fame and social capital.
Thousands of words have been dedicated to analyzing whether such and such famous man is now suspect, merely because he took a photo with a fan who happened to be a trans woman.
Misgendering, slurs, threats, anti-trans rhetoric and/or outright ignorance will not be tolerated.