So you’re looking to explore your sexuality. Looking for something a bit risqué, a bit taboo, a bit unnatural. ‘I know, I’ll go with a transgender,’ you say to yourself. Well think again. It’s not as straightforward as that.
Despite what you may have seen in porn, or read on the internet, people who are transgendered are not just there for your pleasure, to do with as you please, before you move on to your next desire. They are people too. So today, it’s time to set the record straight.
Lesson One: not all transgendered people are the same
Just like people in ‘normal’ society, transgendered people come in all shapes and sizes. After all, we are also part of the community.
‘Transgendered’ is a very broad umbrella term, which some people who fall under embrace fully, and others despise. Although commonly used, calling someone a transgender isn’t right. It’s like calling someone by their hair colour, or by the car they drive. In a broad sense, it covers cross-dressing, transvestism, transsexual, drag queen, drag king, gender queer, and transgendered.
To begin with, you could be biologically male and identify as female, or vice versa. You could be male who only identifies as female when dressed as a female, or vice versa. You could outwardly present as one gender, while being a different gender internally.
You could have had surgery or not. You could have had surgery, then further surgery to reverse previous surgery, and even later go and have other surgery to reverse that. The list goes on.
Think of any possible combination and someone out there will identify with it. It’s far easier to say that gender is not simply male and female, but more a fluid existence of which ‘male’ and ‘female’ are two possible outcomes.
Lesson Two: Gender and Sex are two very different things
Someone’s sexuality has nothing to do with his or her gender. Someone who is heterosexual (let’s say biologically male), who undergoes gender transition, may continue to be heterosexual. In other words, they were a man who slept with women; they are now a woman who sleeps with men. Alternatively, they may identify as lesbian, bisexual, asexual, or all points in between.
Another thing to note is the connection or dissociation between the mind and physical body. Some transgendered people have an association with their ‘bits’; others loathe them. Don’t think that because someone has something ‘special’ between their legs that they are happy to use it anyway you want.
Lesson Three: Respect
It may be hard for many to understand, but transgendered people deserve a little respect, just like everyone else in society.
I’m reminded of someone I knew in America who was asked out on a date. They had chatted online a few times, and he seemed nice. She went to the trouble of getting all dolled up. When she got to the bar, there was her date, in old tracksuit pants, looking like he had just spent the day working in the garden. The ‘date’ ended up being them sitting at the bar for a few hours, because there was a football game on, and when she decided she’d had enough, he asked if she could wait until the game was over, before he gave it to her up the ass.
You see he was questioning his sexuality, and he saw someone who was transgendered as a nice ‘half way point’. A kind of ‘try before you buy,’ if you will, to see if he was into that kind of thing. In his mind, the sex would be gay, but because she looked female that made it okay, but deep down she was really just one of the boys. As you can guess, it was a first and last date.
Someone who has been through a gender transition has already been kicked around enough in their life. They have struggled hard to find their own self-identification. To have it belittled is not okay. If you are asking someone out on a date, make sure it’s a date, not a boys’ night out.
Deciding to date someone who is transgendered is a big step, and something many people will not do, due to the social stigma and preconceived ideas about transgendered people. But the key word is not transgendered, the key word is people. We are people too, and should be treated as such.
Lesson Four: finding out someone you are interested in is transgendered doesn’t make you gay
You see a woman who you find attractive. You find out somehow that she used to be male, and now you no longer find her attractive. THAT DOESNT MAKE YOU GAY. I need to stress that point, because far too often transgendered women suffer physical violence by men who feel their manhood has been challenged, and have to prove how much of a man they are.
Transgendered people do not roam the streets looking for unsuspecting ‘victims’ to trick into sleeping with them. Having sex with someone who is transgendered will not turn you gay.
- Transgendered people exist, and in far greater numbers than you may realise.
- Sex and gender are different things. Just as people identify as straight, bi, gay, lesbian, etc. in the general community, so do those in the transgendered community.
- Your sexual desires are not their sexual desires.
- Treat people with respect, as you would want to be treated.
I hope this has helped a little, and in some way increased your understanding of transgendered people. I would like to make this a semi-regular column, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.