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I want to make something clear right off the bat: Not everyone needs to date a transgender person. In all seriousness, though, I have to put that disclaimer at the front of this essay because the online discourse machine has a nasty habit of misinterpreting transgender people who try to talk about the struggles of finding romance.And that bad-faith twisting of our words needs to stop.What I do have is sympathy for those in my community who are still finding love—and who can’t even talk about it without risking being targeted by transphobic elements on the far-right.Transgender women—and transgender people generally—do not need any more reminders that society hates us.But of course Jones was willfully misunderstood on social media and—to make a long story short—Fox News host Tucker Carlson ended up devoting an entire segment of his show to the subject with the chyron: “Trans Activist: Men Should Find Us Attractive.”“Now we’re advancing toward mandatory transgender dating,” Carlson told warned his audience. One of the first things I realized was that men were attracted to women like me.“For real.”Adding insult to injury, Carlson referred to transgender women not as “women” but as “other biological men who are transgender.”Jones was stunned by the fact that the conservative TV host would tell people that “[she] was going to force them to sleep with trans women”—and taken aback by the “thousands of commenters [who] helpfully informed [her] that [she] was too hideous to ever find someone to love.” Somehow her attempt to make a complex point to her 17,000 Twitter followers about transgender dating had given rise to a paranoid rant on a top-rated prime-time cable news show, culminating in Carlson worrying that dating sites could one day require men to date a certain number of transgender women for every cisgender woman they dated. “Mandatory transgender dating” would make a great ironic band name but it is not the political goal of the transgender rights movement. I went to a popular Southern transgender conference to gather information, connect with medical providers, and hopefully make a few friends.In every state but two, it is still legal for those murderers to claim that they “panicked” after discovering that their sexual partner was transgender. And while too many of us internalize that message, most of us know it’s bullshit.
But I never had the sort of experiences with men that transgender advocates like Laverne Cox or Janet Mock have written about because I was exclusively interested in women.about the phenomenon of straight men who date transgender women but want to “keep us a secret,” calling those men “insecure as fuck” for fearing that society will perceive them as gay.This is a real, urgent problem that many transgender women have to face—and one that our community’s best writers, like author Janet Mock, have eloquently explored.Although I’m definitely not one of them (), there are some remarkably good-looking transgender people out there—and plenty of cisgender people who find them attractive before realizing that they are transgender and conspicuously changing their mind.
For that reason, some transgender people have to deal with the question of when—or if—to disclose to a sexual partner that they are transgender.We have been together long enough that I barely remember what it feels like to go on a date.