WHY I’M PROUD TO BE A TRANS ATTRACTED MAN
By Mikey Carr
Being bisexual I’ve always been drawn to androgyny, trans people and drag queens in particular having fascinated me from an early age. The first crush I ever had on a man was Guy Pierce in ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’, and ever since the mix of masculine and feminine has excited my loins the way sweet and salty popcorn does my tastebuds.
But with the social stigma surrounding trans attraction (the media making most of us out as sad, lonely and desperately sexually depraved a la Alan Partridge) and not wanting to be branded a “tranny chaser” – I wasn’t in any rush to come to grips with my desires.
Unlike any of my cisgendered love affairs, my transgender trysts were rarely conducted in the light of day. Meeting people online or visiting clubs I’d heard about while cruising web forums or apps like Blendr, I hid this part of me from everyone. It got kind of out of control, with me making excuses to run away in the middle of dinner parties or giving fake alibis as to where I had been, all the while high tailing it all over the city to meet my latest hook up.
I was ashamed to speak about it, but I was never ashamed during. The sex was some of the best of my life, and for the most part – though some were the kind of stereotypical seedy and cold encounters you might expect – I’d bond with my partners in a way I often didn’t hooking up with guys I’d meet out or on Grindr etc. Spending non-bedroom time with them and we’d get to know each other and laugh and joke but always behind closed doors. When I’d see friends afterwards, still so excited by it all, I’d want to share my experiences with them. Only the whole “being shunned as perverted freak” thing would kind of get in the way of that and the shame would kick in like I’d just shelved a guilt pill.
Eventually I came out and told a friend I was bi, and after that got around and went down so well I started telling people about by trans adventures too… much to their dismay. The general reception was uncomfortable silence, gawking laughter or vague disgust . “Ugh, don’t tell me that,” said one of my best friends. “Oh you’re one of those are you?” another sneered.
Straight and queer alike, I could count on one hand the friends I could talk to about it openly and without feeling judged. Still some friends were better than no friends and I was lucky to have anyone at all. So many trans attracted people don’t.
Still even with such friends the fear of being labelled a deviant for being openly trans attracted was hard to overcome. While you might look at shows like Orange Is The New Black or the media’s (mostly but far from entirely) positive treatment of Caitlyn Jenner as signs of changing times, the fact remains that trans attraction is not seen as normal in the same way that heterosexual and (in any decent company) homosexual attraction is.
You see as bad and uncomfortable as it was for me to come to grips with my desires, what trans people themselves go through is incalculably harder. And part of what makes it so hard for them is the very shame that I and others like me felt and are feeling today. Aside from the fact that such shame often causes many to not acknowledge or even mistreat their lovers or partners, just the idea that you are a source of shame to the person you love or are attracted to is painful enough.
Your sexuality doesn’t define you, and though it’s a huge part of who you are, who you are attracted to and who you make love to should have nothing to do with how the world sees you as a person. Unfortunately this is far from the reality that many of us have to deal with every day.
For my own part, I was lucky that I was able to come to terms with my feelings fairly easily with the support of friends. My sexuality grew from there, and never identifying as exclusively trans attracted, I was rarely open about my lovers unless asked a direct question. It was only after speaking to another trans attracted acquaintance about it that I realised how my own silence was part of what was sustaining society’s degrading view of trans and trans attracted people.
As far as trans people have come, for them to take the final step toward being accepted by society, the trans attracted people of the world must be able to stand up and be proud of their feelings and desires. As long as trans attraction is looked at as a niche fetish for the sexually depraved, trans people will continue to be seen as fetish objects.
At the moment society seems to finally be accepting trans people, but only on certain terms that see them presented ask kind of sexless objects to be stared or gawked at. When it comes to trans attracted people however society is still loathe to accept us as we remind them that trans people are people too, and they love and lust just like everyone else. And until we stand up for ourselves and fight for acceptance the same way every minority before us has, nothing will ever change.
So to anyone reading this who has ever been attracted to a trans person it’s time to step out of the shadows and into the light beside the beautiful and amazing people we find so captivating.