|Ask me what type of earrings I wear not why I wear them!|
The next year Mikey Lad notices you from afar in the same nightspot and yet when he comes through the old cack door the bar manager who could be a dead ringer for Mr Scrooge refuses to fix, he finds that you're the "old queer" he saw from last year, but that you've become a bit "developed" around the hips and started wearing long dangly earrings. He then darts out faster than a cat trying to avoid the old cold deflea bath after being lured with Terrys Chocolate Orange trick.
Luckily I've never experienced such a surprising turn of sexual events but I've sure read about them. It seems to be what happens when genders or sexualities fluctuate and frighten the generally misinformed populous. When Mr Higgins the seemingly pervy PE tutor with a McCheesy smile suddenly turns into Mrs Higgins with the squinty eye it can be more than a little disconcerting. Fact is, it happens and there is very little you can do about it! C'est la vie moderne et dangereuse!
In some ways I can sympathise with poor old "Hellenic sexual dynamo" Mick; he came looking for a second helping from the homo basket and ended up being confronted with essence of heter..O..Orgasm. Trust me, for a lot of trans women who had previously identified or been perceived as being "a camp gay man" it can be a total mindfuck! Generally speaking, they are fine with embracing their ongoing gender changes but when it comes to sexuality, it's a whole different ball game (sometimes with new balls being necessarily provided!)
Now for those trans peeps who are lucky enough to be in a loving relationship the experience is somewhat calmly tempered; in many cases their partner can start to adapt their own sexuality and endorse their "bi curious side" because they love their partner too much to let them go. However, those trans women formerly known as "Team Camp Kenneth Williams guys" who suddenly find themselves single as a result of deciding to transition find themselves bewildered by the prospect of adapting their previous dating strategies to the straight market. Likewise for trans men they may be worried whether they are "machismo" enough to charm a Pamela Anderson wannabe into a lifelong relationship. Part of the problem is that trans women and men believe there has to be a "strategy" to find love in the first place.
Love rarely falls in line in life; it's a bewitching but scary emotion, sending you into a tumult when you least expect it to. Look at Jane Austen's narrative; one moment she's being courted by her "Mr Darcy", the Irish superstud and future Lord Chief Justice of Ireland Thomas Lefroy, being on the brink of starting a wonderful courtship, the next minute the only type of love she's getting is satisfaction from her own (extremely vivid) imagination! No amount of scheming and strategizing would have changed these course of events, not least because Jane's family were nowhere near as wealthy as the Lefroys! Since I don't think we'd have the phenomenal oeuvre of work from Jane Austen that we recognise today I'd say she didn't really miss that "sweet sweet love of a good man" people keep harking on about as the ultimate ideal! Neither do I!
When I have dated in the past I've been very upfront with how I identify. It's seemed pretty easy to tell judging by the variety of reactions I've received from photographs or seeing me in person how people feel about me. I read like a ultra long, bejewelled open Tolstoy novel circa 1870. To be quite honest with you lot I just can't be bothered dressing down in a staple Primani tee and jeans and pretending I have a love of Chelsea football club and only drink pints of Guinness to impress some insecure machismo obsessed Gareth Thomas lookalikey who only really wants to buy you enough Guinness' to "charm" the Calvin Klein boxers off of you into his slightly spring laden worn out bed! Guys who say they are "straight acting" to "fit in with their sheepy crowd" aren't worth the bother! I don't want to play to a stereotype of masculinity or femininity. If I want to wear a black lace dress with 9ct gold 1980's drop earrings and amethyst pendant or just in a long black tee and acid wash denim jeans then I'll damn well do so. Woe betide anyone that tells me to "dress my gender"!
Friends have asked me "when is it appropriate for a guy or girl to ask their date whether they are transgender?" There is probably some sort of "relevancy test" you can apply to this question; if asking the question will not impact upon the relationship you have with the person, don't bother asking it! I don't care if someone asks me but usually I've butted in within 5 mins of meeting a person and blurted it out before they even know what I want for tea! Naturally I may be asking as some kind of "education resource" for gay men who may never have thought their camp friends could actually be transgender! Camp men seem to get a very bad press these days; I've met and seduced quite a few who were much more well endowed than their "straight acting" gorilla mates! Granted very few friends of mine ever knew I was seducing that kind of guy but what they didn't know didn't make them any more curious about my gender fluidity so meh it's their luck out :)
Is it ok for men not fancy trans-girls? Naturally! I'm not attracted to the skinny minny Tom Daleys' of the world but that's my (skewered) personal preference. The best thing trans people can do is to try and present as honest and open image of themselves as possible. It may seem easier said than done when you are at the start of your self-realisation process but just remember you are the one taking a massive step forward; you have very little to be ashamed of!
As for those wishing to date trans people here's a list of ridonkulously helpful (or unhelpful) do's and don'ts of trans dating:
- Start off by asking the trans woman/ man for their name, how they may be feeling and general small talk pleasantries. It normalises the conversation. If the tone and register of what you are saying matches how you approach other men/women then you're on the right track.
- Give a compliment on appearance; whether it be- "your hair looks nice, did you get it done professionally at ....(name an expensive local hairdressers) " or "your earrings look magnificent, where did you pick them up from?" It shows the trans person you are interested in the decisions that they have made to prepare for the date and that you've noticed they've made an effort that should be appreciated.
- Ask them how they wish to be addressed; e.g. what pronouns they want you to use or whether you can abbreviate their current name. Just common dead-end courtesy to be frank!
- Ask about their hobbies and interests BUT never assume that a trans woman would only be into "shopping at New Look and maxing out Daddy's MasterCard" or that a trans man "loves football because he's made a reference to Ronaldo's current girlfriend".
- Ask your date about their goals and aspirations; for example a trans male nurse may be thinking about taking medical examinations to become a oncology specialist or a trans female may start thinking about entering the local WI to improve their knowledge of baking sponge cakes.
- Offer to pay half or all the bill. Most trans people are believers in "Going Dutch" and being asked to contribute could make them feel appreciated as a potential equal partner. Assuming a trans woman won't pay her way sets back Germaine Greer's Second Wave feminist arguments back a little in my view (and she doesn't even believe trans women are real women!!!)
- Don't start off the conversation by asking if trans women and men can "actually have sex...like for real" or if they "are prepared to prove it" even if the person has been open with you before a face-to-face date. The answer obviously is yes they can have sex, but you guys and girls should know most people don't have "sex on the brain" 24/7 and they'd rather get to know your personality a bit more before jumping in at the deep end with novelty Donald Dump dildos and Aidan Turner vibratoids. They are not there to be your backbait bootycall after the FHM girls have decided one night stands are no longer for them. So you may have been watching bucket loads of "trannie porn" on the internet (mostly imported en masse from California) and want to seek one out for experimentation. If that's your primary intention then you're probs looking in the wrong place.
- I have been asked more than once whether I've been a sex worker. Predominately because I loved wearing 80's lurex/ PVC leggings out to the nightclubs before they became part of mainstream fashion (2007-09). Don't worry I've always been considered ahead of the fashion curve so it didn't hurt me as much as someone claiming I was a sexist because I had a love of Simone De Beauvoir's authentic feminist existentialism! Très déroutant! Yes some trans women and men may have worked as sex workers but don't label them as an "sex object" because they did it!
- Height questions are usually off limits during first date time; if you wouldn't ask a cis gay man whether taking testosterone would lead to an increase in height, don't ask a trans man!
- Never, ever ask anyone whether "they will ever act or look their age"! Just remember stonking bitchslaps can come from anyone, whether rugby stud or prim Disney princessey.
- Never ask what a trans' person's birth name was. It will seem as if you are not interested in them in the way they are presenting at the time of the date and may trigger off unhappy memories that could end up with you getting lemon cheesecake/ chocolate mud pie faced at will! And we all know that's never a sassy/classy look to end on :)
- Remember most trans people are not Gender Studies professors or gender reassignment specialists, so they're probably not the best placed to ask detailed questions about how trans women choose what breast cup size they choose to have because each answer would be different! Just like some girls want to be buxomly bosomed like Katie Price, others prefer to keep their apples a bit more hidden, like Keira Knightley. Probably could give you an answer as to why that might be the case (modesty vs boastfulness) but I'm not the fountain of all trans/queer/genderqueerfuck knowledge! I'm not trying to beat the Oracle at Delphi at the Miss Oracle Universe Contest and win a shiny but tacky tiara from Trashy Trump or his goggle-eyed cronies!
- Please don't compliment me on how "passable" I am as a woman. Because quite frankly if you have a rating score of 0-10 in your mind at the point of meeting me please bear in mind I have a rating score of 0-10 on how stupidly stereotypically moronic you must be to have such a scale in the first place and I don't think we'd be pretty compatible by the end of the conversation. #SorryNotSorry.