I’m the first to scream and shout, “Equal rights for all!” when it comes to debates regarding social injustice. I’m appalled and embarrassed that there are states in my country, you know, “the land of the free,” that have yet to legalize gay marriage. It infuriates me when I hear cases like CeCe McDonald’s: a young transgender woman who was arrested after defending herself against verbal and physical assault.
I even dedicated my collegiate studies to advocating for oppressed and vulnerable populations, including the LGBT Community. I’ve heard countless stories of transgender men and women, young and old, who expressed that they’ve always felt trapped in the wrong body until they were eventually liberated, thanks to the advancement of science and medicine. And for those who for varying reasons weren’t so fortunate to live out who they were really destined to be, I’ve cried tears of helplessness for them because there was nothing I could do to make their internal spirits and external shells feel as one.
I know that if a transgendered man expressed interest in me and attempted to pursue, however, I’d without a doubt turn him away—politely, of course. I’m obviously not anti-transgender rights, but as a heterosexual woman, physically born a woman, a part of me just feels that it would be homosexual to some degree on my part if I were to romantically entertain a transgender man. I guess technically it wouldn’t since as humans we’re supposed to fall in love with the spirit (which in such a case would be a man), and not the physical. But it’s still just too complex for me, and out of fear and my own ignorance of something that surpasses my limited understanding, I just couldn’t.
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Image activist Michaela Angela Davis hosted a panel over the summer as part of her MAD Free movement. Janet Mock (a woman who lived her early life as a boy and transitioned into womanhood) was part of the discussion, as she is now a transgender advocate. Like other transgender people, Janet shared her feelings of always wanting to be a girl and how unnatural she felt in a male body. She’s now an accomplished, brilliant and stunning woman with a tall, super-handsome boyfriend who openly supports her calling to advocate for the equal rights and just treatment of the LGBT community. I respect her partner for staying true to his feelings and their relationship, despite the negative scrutiny he gets for dating a woman who was born a man.
When I left the panel, I had more awareness of the transgender community, but views regarding my personal dating life and my will to not date transgender men remained rigid. Though a Christian, I can’t cop my way out by justifying my views with Biblical doctrine because there are other things that I tolerate despite their religious contradictions; it’s an intolerance that has nothing to do with religion.
I thought, though, Janet’s boyfriend and others like him have to be very secure in their sexuality to go against society’s restricted views and knowingly date a transgender person. It takes a very keen understanding to realize that a transgender is indeed (and has always been) the man or woman they became after that surgical procedure, and that their flesh is just catching up to their true identity. I get that part, but because of my own other hangups, I still can’t bring myself to date someone that is transgendered. Could you?
Could you knowingly date a transgender? Are you a transgender or know someone who is? If so, share any dating experiences with your fellow beauties!
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*For a list of LGBT resources, including support groups, check out http://www.glaad.org and other online resources.
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