Still other times, the response — particularly from cis men — has been overwhelmingly negative: “If I had known, I never would have wasted my time” or “How could you think I’d be interested in that?” or the misguided “I’m not gay.”These misconceptions don’t just negatively affect the trans women involved.Though we had a ton of chemistry, he couldn’t understand the ways in which he constantly invalidated my identity.And, to be clear, I don’t need constant validation of my womanhood, but I do need respect — which J wasn't prepared to give.Trans women continue to be misgendered and misrepresented as “men in dresses” — so when men love us, there is a concern for their (potentially) complicated sexual identity.
One of my biggest fears is becoming another murder statistic: someone for the media to posthumously misgender, leading the public to believe that I somehow deserved to have my life taken away.That didn’t stop the intense expression of confusion that spread across his face.“So you’re a man? “Do you know how lucky you are that I’m not, like, crazy?Because I know plenty of guys who would really do some shit to you.”“No, I’m a woman, a transgender woman,” I answered, trying to make him understand. His entire view of me had changed and there was no going back.Despite one pervasive misconception that transgender people transition for the approval or acceptance of future sexual partners, when I transitioned there was nothing about the forthcoming experience that assured me I would be seen as desirable. But when you’re trans, it’s hard in a completely different way.I didn’t know if I’d ever have the chance to be loved. It’s all too easy to internalize the assumptions that we are rudimentary facsimiles of the people we actually want to be, or that we take on a lifestyle that’s all about mutilating our “God-given, natural” bodies.
It’s not very personal, but it lessens the possibility of a more life-threatening situation. A few people — both men and women — have had a sense I was trans before I even told them.