Editors' Note: Guest blogger Drew Cordes is a transgender woman from Albany, N.Y. She is a 2004 graduate of Vassar College.
When I started to address my gender issues and transition from male to female, I thought there was a good chance I'd never have sex again. Having no attraction to trans folks myself, my thoughts were along the lines of "Well, I won't want to fuck me, so who else would?"
I was wrong. (Thank God.)
Initially, I was excited and happy to learn there were lots of people who found t-girls and transmen to be hot as hell. Why the sizable t-girl porn market didn't inspire me to put 2 and 2 together earlier, I'm not sure. I jumped into communications with t-girl admirers (or "chasers" as they're colloquially known). I thought I'd be talking to people who liked me for me, but after a chunk of conversations I discovered that was not the case.
Most only focused on part of me, and as for which part it was, well, you can figure it out. With many chasers, I felt less like a girl and more like a tool -- a necessary component to obtain in order to have fantasy sex. Their excitement at coming face-to-face with the missing piece led them to dwell on it as if the horny devil on their shoulders constantly crooned into their ears -- "Ohhhh, we're so close! We're so close!" The drooling and awkward conversation caused by such distracted single-mindedness does not inspire amorous thoughts.
I don't always have a problem being objectified; we all like it in certain situations -- from "You're pretty," to "Sweet ass." With an admirer, though, I might be an object to the detriment of real intimacy.
Occasionally, a t-girl admirer was actually a nice, well-adjusted guy. Even in that rare case, however, there was still the baggage and expectation that come with being someone's fantasy. That person's idea of me existed long before we met, and it's impossible to live up to a scenario that was honed over years of locked doors and crumpled tissues. It's nice to be seen as desirable, but other lenses need to be present too. Even if the feelings about it are positive, it's a bad sign if someone's understanding of me revolves mainly around my transness. In this case, the fetish prevents someone from knowing the real me.
My life revolves just as much around countless other things as it does being trans. For example, my red hair definitely factors into how I present myself to the world with clothes, accessories and makeup more than my transness. You won't see me lounging in a skimpy bikini on a beach just as much for redheads' susceptibility to sunburn as my paranoia over my body appearing "male" in some minor way.
Successful pairings for me usually come with someone to whom my transness is incidental. Certainly being transgender is a big part of who I am, but it is not the entirety of who I am. Every relationship I have, platonic and romantic, function best when people see it as one of many characteristics.
It's anticlimactic, but when I tell a suitor I'm transgender, the response I'm secretly hoping for is "Oh. Well, OK, whatever."