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Other times, potential partners seemed to feel pity for me and quietly congratulated themselves for deigning to date me; I’ve had to check the value I’ve placed on cis people who dared to consider me worthy of their attraction.
He was a black guy, of Jamaican descent, and he often explained that coming from a single-mother household put more pressure on him to be a certain kind of man.
Though we had a ton of chemistry, he couldn’t understand the ways in which he constantly invalidated my identity.
I feel like I have to share my entire life story early on — a situation in dating that we’re often told to avoid at the risk of being too overwhelming.
After a number of dates and situations not too unlike the interaction with the MMA fighter, I had to take a serious look at the risk involved with not disclosing my trans status.
And even though I now make sure people know my identity before I’m alone with a potential partner, there are still some aspects of this interaction that seem to show up in my dating life no matter how many precautions I take.
Despite one pervasive misconception that transgender people transition for the approval or acceptance of future sexual partners, when I transitioned there was nothing about the forthcoming experience that assured me I would be seen as desirable. But when you’re trans, it’s hard in a completely different way.
Just a week or so later, Yazmin Vash Payne suffered a similar fate in an apparent stabbing by her live-in boyfriend.
A little under a year from now, I'll be the same age as 25-year-old India Clarke, a recent victim of trans killings.
I didn’t know if I’d ever have the chance to be loved. It’s all too easy to internalize the assumptions that we are rudimentary facsimiles of the people we actually want to be, or that we take on a lifestyle that’s all about mutilating our “God-given, natural” bodies.
Being a person of color that floats between the queer world and the straight world adds all the more pressure.