Something that I have thought about a lot over the last seven years is this: why would a man not want to date a transwomen? I see, practically on a daily basis, the hot stares of men as they scope a ladyboy. Most of the t-girls here are slender, with little in the way of silicone, other than maybe a boob job. Men can’t stop themselves. You can see them sliding their eyes up those long brown legs — and legs are something ladyboys do magnificently, never mind those tight little backsides. They know their good features and they don’t hesitate to show them off — exactly as other women here do.
Most amusing, perhaps, is the Western male, the Anglo-Saxon particularly (Mediterranean types have a different take on life.) So often I have been sitting in a bar watching one of them, or sometimes sitting in the same company. I saw them fascinated, practically salivating, over a girl nearby, and then their reactions as one of their companions leans forward and murmurs something crass like ‘You’ll get more than you expect with that one, mate, she’s a bloke!’
Instantly, from practically shaking with lust, the transformation occurs: the face screws up angrily, the man shakes his head. But why? The girl didn’t change; she’s as hot as she ever was. In fact she hasn’t even moved, she’s still standing there, looking as drop-dead gorgeous as only a really hot transwoman can.
It’s not lack of attraction
There is a legitimate reason why one might not wish to date any person: lack of attraction or interest. We all respond to our inbuilt attractions and we don’t generally want to pursue, romantically, people who fall outside those. This is maybe a form of objectification, but everyone does it. It’s hardwired into us.
But that was not the point of the question, which was why one would avoid dating a transwoman if one were attracted to her. Our drooling Anglo at the bar couldn’t wait to get his sweaty paws on the toothsome delight before him, in her six-inch heels and legs that go to the moon. No. Our boy was attracted all right.
This is a whole other can of worms. It’s about a man who finds a particular person attractive and interesting enough to want to have sex with, but will not do so because she has — or used to have — non-standard genitalia.
That there is pure transphobia, open and shut. Our man doesn’t even want to buy someone, whom he really would like to know physically, even a drink, because she’s trans. That is an irrational fear of transwomen, otherwise known as transphobia.
Tip of the Iceberg
There is an imagined ‘bargain’, in which ‘being attractive as a woman’ implies that one’s genitalia, not normally exposed to view, must be of a certain order. But that reduces all women, not just transwomen, to sex objects that are defined entirely by the nature and history of their genitalia.
This idea, that, having paid a woman sufficient attention, or money, for her to consent to have sex with him, the man has a right to expect her genitalia to be of a certain order, is pernicious. This is what leads to the increasing numbers of purely cosmetic labial removal surgeries, amongst other absurdities and, in some benighted cultures, far worse. Goodness knows I’m no feminist, but mutilating oneself in such a way, in order to satisfy the social expectations of others, seems to me to be outrageous.
But if women should not be measured by their genitalia, then why should transwomen be so? Many transwomen have Genital Reconstruction Surgery in order to feel more comfortable as women, and to have sex as women. Are they then to be shunned as ‘fakes’ or ‘cheats’ because they used to have something that they went to very great lengths to change?
Transphobia is deadly
Furthermore, this mindset can be lethal to transwomen. Jennifer Laude was killed because her sexual partner, a US Marine on shore leave, discovered that she had a penis — after he had taken his pleasure of her. Very much the same happened to Gwen Araujo.
Transphobia causes harm on a less drastic level too. I have just spent a week* trying to support a friend who was agonising about whether she should tell a man who had been expressing serious hots for her, that she was trans. Of course I advised her to, but I hated myself for doing it, or rather having to. I had no choice because transphobia can be deadly to transwomen.
My friend was under no moral or ethical obligation to tell the man details about her genitalia. But in order to prevent her getting into a situation in which she might get killed, I had to say that she should inform this man about something that he had no right to know, at least at this stage. Because of transphobia, her genitalia suddenly became the only thing that mattered.
So what if she’s gorgeous, smart, funny, talented, great company, affectionate, loyal and charming? Doesn’t conform to a certain expectation of women, so none of that matters and she had to cry herself to sleep over yet another guy who suddenly lost interest. Telling her that he’s a fool who doesn’t know what he lost out on seems small comfort.
The trouble is, in reducing this lovely woman to the contents of her pants, transphobia does the SAME THING to every other woman. They are also reduced to genitalia, and not just the genitalia they have now, the organs they were born with. Birth genitalia, in this world view, is all that counts. Therefore that’s all a woman is — genitals on legs. How staggeringly presumptuous and demeaning can it get?
Since this article was first published* I have had a great deal of feedback from feminist women, who seem to think that looking like a woman is their prerogative and theirs alone; that transwomen are ‘appropriating their identity’ or ‘colonising their bodies’. I hate to break it to you, sistuhs, I don’t care. Transwomen have been around for many thousands of years and I don’t imagine they’ll be going away any time soon, so suck it up, buttercup. If a transwoman makes herself more attractive to men than you do, too bad. It’s called competition in the free market.
Gwen Araujo’s murderers — who beat her to death with various implements, including a cast-iron skillet and a shovel before setting her on fire — were egged on by women. Why? Because she ‘usurped’ the status they thought they alone had a right to, by dint of their genitalia?
Jennifer Laude and Gwen Araujo were brutally killed by men who had had sex with them but could not stand the idea of others knowing that they had been intimate with someone with non-standard genitalia. Why would anyone suffer like that? Because of transphobia, that’s why.
These transwomen, and countless others like them, were murdered by their lovers because of their expectations. Expectations driven by the people around them, the beer-buddy whispering ‘that’s a man, dude’ and the jealous woman whose spite for what she sees as illegitimate competition led her to encourage a stupid man to think he had been dishonoured — by someone who gave him exactly what he wanted, sex. And that is about as sick as it gets. Seduce a person, achieve your desired end and then kill her because her genitalia don’t look like what your buddies say they should.
Not only is all this transphobic and misogynistic, it is profoundly cowardly because it is all about one thing: fear of penises — and even in the past tense. Big tough manly men indeed, so afraid of a few ounces of human flesh that they will bludgeon a woman to death after having sex with her. It is utterly despicable.
So, the only legitimate reason for not dating any woman is that you’re not attracted to her. That’s fair enough. We all have triggers. We should try to be open and fair, and to look beneath the surface, but attraction is instinctive.
Personally, I don’t give a hoot if you don’t like to date transwomen, because you’re a transphobe. But don’t give us the crap about preferences, or ‘dating is about making babies’. You know perfectly well that dating is not primarily about marriage, but about getting your cock serviced and the fact is that a transwoman is just as adept at that as any other woman — and possibly a good deal more so.
Not dating transwomen because you’re transphobic doesn’t make you Adolf Hitler. You’re missing out on a great experience, something that might change your life. If you want to be transphobic, it’s up to you. But stay away from places where there are t-girls, if you are. Avoid those places where transwomen, however they describe themselves, congregate, hoping to meet men. Go and be a monk somewhere. It will be safer — for them; because you know you can’t control yourself and you can’t tell the difference. And, quite frankly, the rest of us will not have to be disgusted by your bigotry.
Just don’t give us the bullshit that your reluctance to date someone because of her genitalia is anything other than transphobia.
And for Christ’s sake, stop killing them.
*This article was first written and published in 2015; it has been completely rewritten