- Answer any and all questions about my body and my medical treatment no matter how invasive
- Answer questions about my partner’s sexuality
- Listen to their stories about other trans* people they know
- Listen to them talk and give them my opinions on trans* celebrities
- Celebrate with them all fictional depictions of trans* folk, no matter how misrepresentative or outright transphobic
- Congratulate them on their correct use of names and pronouns
- Obey when they refer to me incorrectly and tell me that I “must forgive them”
- Smile sadly and thank them when they tell me how brave I am
- Use the accessible toilet and be grateful
- Stay silent if they misidentify me as gay and cis
- Sympathise with their excuses for their and others’ transphobia
- Approve their use of the word ‘tranny’
- Act ‘gendered’ enough but not too ‘gendered’
- note: these prohibitions overlap with no middle ground
- Never, ever, express or articulate any kind of sexuality
- this one may be trans*-woman-specific?
- Stay quiet when cis-specific issues are being discussed
- Never raise trans*-specific issues
- Never get angry or upset about cissexism and transphobia
- Never call out cis people on cissexism and transphobia
- Not mention specific legal protections for transsexual people to my employers
- Only be transsexual without having any other identities
- Silently excuse myself from activities and events which structurally exclude me
- Do so without raising any attention or being noticed by anybody
- Not hang out with too many other trans* people or seek trans*-only space
- Never repost Asher’s “Die Cis Scum”
- If I die, die quietly, and never blame them.
I ended up thought-vomiting all over your beautiful post and I’m sorry! I don’t want to like, re-center the conversation around this issue, but your post made me think and so here’s what I thought.
w/r/t the point about the taboo against sexuality possibly being trans women specific:
The taboo against trans sexuality reaches trans men too, except within queer FAAB-centric communities where trans men are fetishized as sex objects. (You know, the whole, “Oooh trans guys are so hot! They’re like, men lite! Diet men!” thing.) In most spaces—including cis-centric queer spaces—that I occupy, there is a general assumption that I and other trans men probably do not and should not fuck. I know that from where we’re standing, where we’re inundated with tumblrs of hot trans dudes etc., it doesn’t seem like this, but in ninety-nine point nine percent of the world, trans guys are considered beyond the pale of anyone’s sexual interest.
There’s also this weird assumption that we long to fuck cis straight women, that we probably transitioned because we long to fuck cis straight women, and that because this is our One Goal In Life we are clearly all predatory, far more so than cis men are. It’s kind of a corollary to that thing queer women get from straight women of “You’re a dyke, and that’s fine…but don’t like, touch me anymore. You’re not into me, are you?” And when trans men are beaten or killed it’s often because we have transgressed and managed to become romantically or sexually involved with a cis, usually straight-identified woman. Or because cis men think we have, or think we plot to, whether or not it’s true.
I haven’t thought about this enough and my brain is all confused! I’m sorry that this is so patchy as a response. I think what I’m trying to say is that when trans men are allowed to have sexuality, it’s either as a fetishized subset of men, or as freakish predators out to get cishetero women and bring them back to our lairs.
Again, I do not want to re-center this list around FAAB trans experiences; I don’t even go here; I just have a lot of feelings.
It seems to me there’s a useful distinction to be drawn between expressing and articulating our own sexuality, and being sexualized, fetishized, and reduced to the objcets of someone else’s sexual desires. The first is dangerous and gets us cast as predators and deceivers; the second is part of a point I would like to respectfully submit to OP’s list.
- Be flattered by the fetish that turns me into a sex object.
I’d like to add as a corollary to “Stay silent if they misidentify me as gay and cis”
- Be too embarrassed, by having had a binary society bounded into your brain, to correct people when they misgender you entirely(regardless of what stage of transition you may be in, or what gender you identify as).
Because I run into this. In safe spaces. And still cannot just simply say “Oh, no, it’s she.” Unless I’m a little drunk (when inhibitions go away and courage comes forward) and that seems unhealthy for me and for society to me.
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