Dating for me is like the ocean; abundant, people are always attracted to the way the sun and moon glisten on the surface but are always scared of the depths.
Dating for a trans womxn is a world of its own, rotating on two opposite poles; idolisation and dehumanisation.
From the ride of wine, dine and 69 to the harsh traumatic goodbye.
From “you’re probably the most attractive girl I’ve dated” to “well I want to have my own family someday”. From “I’ve deleted my dating apps” second date in to “but my sexuality has also been towards what I’ve known as women from birth.”
Being trans is adverse enough but dealing with men’s self centred fragile egos, in relation to your own identity, is tiring and traumatising to say the least.
When I was younger before I transitioned, before I’d dated anyone, I used to believe that when I transitioned or if all the boys fancied me, all my problems would be solved, but how wrong I was indeed. The film Sabrina starring Audrey Hepburn is the best cinematic analogy for my transition, going from excluded to coveted.
At my last job where I started to transition I was bullied by many members of staff. When I started my new job it was literally like someone hit a switch and said you wanted to be the pretty popular girl well here you go. I felt as if I had won the lottery as no money could match the feeling of being seen as how I’d always wanted to be received. It was such a polarising experience for me, I felt as if I was on a high for half a year in the sheer happiness and celebration of not having to deal with immediate oppression. My confidence glowed and the potential of social opportunities seemed endless.
When guys first meet me they put me on a pedestal, being trans you’re very hyper aware of how you’re seen and the men I’ve dated and men in general treat me as if I were Angelina Jolie, Emrata and Kendall Jenner combined. They tell me how they’re really picky, they tell me how they’re so chuffed we matched and most of them are in disbelief that a womxn can be beautiful and have a personality too. They shower me in affection and initensity and what I didn’t realise at first is that they were validating themselves through me as I was definitely validating myself through them. But once I felt safe enough to tell them about the journey that brought me to the womxn they so want in front of them, Kate Nash couldn’t have put it better when she sang “my finger tips are holding on to the cracks in our foundation.” Those cracks leaking with insecurity pouring out onto me in the form of transphobia, misogyny and even homophobia.
It’s funny how one drop of information can cook up a storm of fragility. It’s funny how one piece of information can change a person’s entire perception of you. Then the pedestal you were once placed on is snatched away and the drop is hard. Alexa play Cellophane by FKA Twigs.
I remember after being traumatised by a guy’s response, confiding in one of my close friends who is also trans and she told me that it’s got nothing to do with you but all to do with them. See what happens is, is that bluntly they don’t see you as Womxn any more and they start questioning their own sexuality and that fear manifests into dumb behaviour.
In this patriarchal world where cisgender heterosexual white able bodied men are put at the centre and everyone else is deemed a lesser entity orbiting around them. It’s extremely degrading to have to tolerate the reductive ignorance this patriarchal culture has imposed. So when men disregard me because I’m trans and not cis, it’s always the same three reasons as follows: 1. Because I was assagined male at birth they see my present being as a lie 2. They’re scared of what people will think, especially their friends as they think they’ll be seen as gay. 3. Because I can’t bare their children. My question to those who think the above is, is the house you live in not real as it was built over time and wasn’t always there? In addition is everyone who’s in an adult relationship a pedophile because everyone was once a child? Also in regards to reproduction, well you can have your own children they just won’t be from me.
The thing is if you remove those fears “and also don’t forget I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” The way Julia Robert’s character in Notting Hill epitomises strength and beauty, but lacks a safe space to express intimate vulnerability, is so relative to my romantic experience. Through therapy and self reflection I look back and thank every single version of myself for being so brave in the face of whatever came my way and the resilience I demonstrated.
I know I deserve someone who has worked on themself too.
When anyone asks me what is my favourite flower I say a rose, as through the thorns they bloom and radiate sensuality through their fragrant being and this has made them a classic symbol of love. I will always be love.