Friday, 5 July 2013

I Only Date Women And Transmen

I only date women and transmen

Very few things can upset me faster than that phrase. It’s offensive and completely disregarding my existence as a man. Today, I found one that actually irritates me even more.

I like femme women and femme FtMs.”

Really? Gee, that doesn’t make it sound like you see me as just another woman at all. You don’t like femme people, you only like “femme” (completely lesbian word, btw) people with vaginas.

This is a sentiment that I have only ever seen from [a] lesbians and [b] transmen who used to be lesbians. With it comes the term “pansexual”. You know who doesn’t say they’re pansexual? People who honestly don’t care about the genitalia of their partner. Instead pansexual is used by those who put transpeople in an “other” category. “I date women, genderqueers, and transmen.”   Yeah, sorry sweetie, you’re not getting near my bits.

I’ve heard a variety of reasons for the “women and transmen” sentiment, all of them offensive. Apparently I’m “better” than non-transmen because I’ve “lived as a woman.” Uh, no. Not really. Anyone who knew me growing up can vouch for the fact that I’ve ALWAYS been not-a-girl. This assumption that because I have a vagina I must have lived through some sort of universal womanly experience baffles me. It also cuts the lives of women into one pattern — something we know is not true.

Socialized female?
What’s more, the people who hold this view almost never date transwomen. Transwomen have lived as women, it’s right there in the word. Apparently this universal womanly experience can’t be had after age 18.

Then there’s the “but I’m a lesbian!” argument. Honey, if you’re a lesbian who doesn’t date men then maybe you shouldn’t be actively seeking out men to fuck.   I am still a man, regardless of what may or may not be in my pants.  (Besides that, I’m bloody GAY. I don’t need women of any sexual orientation hitting on me.) You want to date a transexual? Check out those lovely transwomen over there.   They‘re the ones who belong in women’s circles.

The transmen who say this actually piss me off the most.  They claim to be “bisexual” or “pansexual”, but they never date men who aren’t trans.  One of the reasons given is that guys who aren’t trans don’t understand their experiences. I can kind of understand this, at least in theory. The problem is that I don’t understand most of their experiences either. I’m not somehow magical simply because I’m trans. My experiences as a transexual man are very different from everyone else I’ve met. The one advantage to this type of guy is that they usually are open to dating transwomen.

The argument that really gets to me: “Transmen make a conscious decision about their masculinity.”  Seriously? First of all, have you met me?   I’m not exactly butch.   Second, I didn’t choose my version of masculinity any more than my fabulously camp friends did. This is simply how I was made, it’s no more a choice than my asthma. I could make a conscious effort to be more or less traditionally masculine, but what purpose would that serve?   The reason I transitioned was to be myself.

Which is really what my biggest objection to the “women and transmen” idea is. I transitioned to be myself. I am not an object to be fetishised, I am not a special snowflake who overcame some mythical hurdle, I am not a crossing of male and female. I am a man who happened to be born with a vagina.  Does this give me a slightly different experience from most other men? Sometimes. Not in any way that counts though. Certainly not enough to put me in some completely different category.

Source: Not Another Aiden - Life of A Non-Standard Gay (trans)Guy