That’s Not My Job: Transition Reactions p3


Continuing my mostly anecdotal recount of fucked up things people have said/done when they’ve found out I’m trans.

Today’s issue: “Does being attracted to you make me gay?”

Look, no one who has made it into my pants with my consent has ever, at any point, told me I made them question their sexuality. They liked me, and that was good enough. My partners have self-identified as queer, as lesbians, as pansexual, and none of that ever changed just because they started dating me.

But if you had a concept of trans women (bad idea in the first place; generalizing demographics? Never a solid plan), and I blow that concept out of the water, and you tilt your head and start to wonder if I fall within the realm of your sexual preferences, that’s great.

I don’t want to hear about it until you’ve made up your mind, because it’s not my job to help you question your sexuality. I’m not a walking experiment for you to engage in. If you want to fuck me, own up to that, just say it. If you don’t know, cool, you don’t need to justify that in any way. But you absolutely cannot ask me to help you figure it out.

I’ve met a guy before, see. He told me he had a collection of trans porn. And I was like, okay, cool, that at least indicates gender variance may fall within his realm of interests. So off we start dating, and he’s all gentlemanly and I think it’s kinda naive but whatever, third date in and we haven’t done much besides hold hands. He spends a lot of time admiring some of my provocative fetish modeling, going on about how attractive I am to him, yadda yadda. Then he turns around half way through the evening, explains he’s having a “mental block,” that he can’t deal with the reality of having a trans woman in front of him.

This came shortly after explaining that I don’t do closets. I was never going to lie about my status as a queer woman, a trans woman, poly, kinky–any of it. I don’t hide any of it. So here buddy is, going on about how he’d have to explain himself if he brought a trans hooker “home,” (figuratively), and how he would lose so much of the precious privilege he had been using to build up his life. He’d lose respect at his cushy job, with his Christian family, with his brofriends.

Buddy was just self-aware enough to realise what respectability politics requires of him; but not so self-aware enough to consider that maybe, just maybe, respectability politics are fucking problematic, and are worth defying. I don’t give a shit if other people are going to question your heterosexuality because you’re dating an openly trans woman, dude. Welcome to my life. So many people withdraw their respect of me when they learn xyz about me, because I have a lot of intersections that do not garner respect from the privileged.

By reducing me to my status as a trans person, he had all but admitted that he valued his heterosexual-passing privilege more than my integrity. He was willing to go back to playing along to the script as long as I didn’t make too much noise. Needless to say, I told him where he could stuff his precious fucking straightness.

I’m not going to say you can’t have a period of questioning. That’s valuable shit. Stew in it. Acquire some clarity. You’ll find your self-esteem will thank you for it later. But keep it to yourself, or share it with people who aren’t the source of your turbulence.

That is a process you have to do, not me. I don’t give a shit if you still consider yourself straight or not when you finally decide that yes, indeed, you do want to fuck me. To tell me it’s more important for you to be considered straight than it is for me to exist comfortably as I am is to ask me to perpetuate the systems that disadvantage me.

If you want me, you have to want all of me. You can’t cherry pick what parts you’re going to take home to mum, because I refuse to lie about who I am for anyone’s sake.

Queer women? Most of them already know what it’s like to draw the short straw in respectability politics. Most of them are right there with me, chanting “down with the kyriarchy” in sync. I’m not saying I’ve sworn off straight cis men, but so few of them realize just how fragile their privilege really is, and frankly I’m getting tired of being the flash point for that revelation.

My existence does not necessitate an apology. If someone doesn’t respect you because you’re dating an openly trans-queer-kinky-poly chick, that’s their fucking problem, not mine. Trying to deflect that on to me? I ain’t standing for it.

Stay keen lovelies,