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” or the misguided “I’m not gay.”These misconceptions don’t just negatively affect the trans women involved.Laverne Cox has discussed the stigma around men who love trans women.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.It wasn’t that he necessarily made me feel threatened, but I knew the statistics. No matter how beautiful, intelligent, or successful, we are the ones who have to settle for being nothing more than receptacles for men’s desires and insecurities. “I’m a transgender woman.” I emphasized the woman part.
He was an amateur MMA fighter, came from the hood — apparently a former gang member, as I learned later. We’re the dirty little secrets who get calls only after hours.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.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.Still other times, the response — particularly from cis men — has been overwhelmingly negative: “If I had known, I never would have wasted my time” or “How could you think I’d be interested in that?