Do Americans Really Hate Trans People Now?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

TLDR: The author argues that perceptions among transgender people that Americans hate trans people are skewed by radicalized views and such conclusions lack nuance. Research suggests support for trans people is increasing in the United States, especially among young, progressive Americans, with the majority of Americans favoring protection for transgender individuals.

I read a story on Medium recently that took the United States to task for hating transgender people. It’s author recently listened to a podcast series about parents navigating difficulties they face as parents of trans kids.

What happened here is instructive. The author took a country of over 300 million people and reduced every person into transphobic bigots. How she got to that conclusion shows how powerful stories create reality. Her example also shows why it’s a terrible idea to look at things that make us feel shitty.

Let’s take a look at what happened here so we can learn from the wonderful gift this author gave us. Then, let’s look at what really is happening with American’s views about transgender people.

Radicalization: it’s not a good look

So the author, who is trans, listened to what supposedly is a supportive podcast for those with trans kids. I’m not including a link to it, or to the author’s post, because I prefer offering empowering and supportive content. Not content that radicalizes people. Especially content that doesn’t appreciate the bigger picture. A bigger picture that screams: Hey! The world is getting better and better for transgender people!

Apparently, according to the Medium author, the United States is an “ocean of hate” and this podcast represents an island of queer positivity. And yet, according to the author, the podcast focuses on how these parents are “terrified”, “worried” and “concerned” about the lives of their trans kids.

How is terror, worry and concern positive?

The deeper into her article we get, the more it becomes clear that the Medium author lost perspective. Binging the podcast got her all riled up. What’s really interesting is, in her article she critiques the United States as a hatred-filled radicalized “banana republic” while at the same time expressing views herself which border on hate. Views which are way off the mark about what is really happening in the United States.

In other words, she allowed the podcast to radicalize her beliefs. And in her radicalization she has become the very thing she’s attacking: someone who allowed herself to adopt a drastically skew perspective of what’s really going on. Then she lashed out with judgements about people she doesn’t know.

Transphobic people are doing the exact same thing.

Radicalization is not a good look. It doesn’t matter if liberals or conservatives do it. It doesn’t matter if transphobes or transgender people do it. It’s the same. It’s disempowering, and it’s ugly.

Is America An Ocean of Hate?

But more importantly, radicalization backfires. It turns the radical into a parody of him or herself. And, taken to the extreme, it tends to get a lot of people hurt. Often that includes the radical. Every mass shooter is a radical. So is every suicide bomber.

That’s enough about the article and the podcast. Let’s instead now look at what “America” really thinks about transgender people. This is going to be interesting…

For a more balanced look, let’s turn to Pew. Pew is a leading research firm. It gathers public opinion on almost everything. Including opinions Americans have about the transgender phenomena. What did Pew find in their research? Well, like I wrote above, it’s interesting:

Most [Americans] favor protecting trans people from discrimination, even as growing share say gender is determined by sex at birth.

Pew Research

Here’s what that looks like in a graphical breakdown:

Yes, people are still stuck thinking a person is a man or woman as determined by sex assigned at birth. But you know what almost totally is to blame for that? SCIENCE. That’s right! Science has convinced people there is nothing beyond physical reality. And most people swallow that crap hook, line, and sinker. So they believe sex and gender is a physical construct. It’s not.

Sex and gender are determined well before birth. And that determination is A CHOICE.

Cultures that pre-date science knew better, as many trans people know. That’s why Hijras and two-spirit people have been things far longer than modern civilization, to mention two examples.

Youth change reality

Meanwhile, as old, crusty farts holding to conservative views die off, young people’s attitudes are more closely matching a more nuanced view of transgender people. Their views also promise better futures for such people. Look at this, for example, which also is from Pew:

In other words, in America, the younger the American you ask, the more supportive that person will likely be. Moreover, politically progressive people lean more supportive as well.

So where are these radical, hating, transphobic Americans? Is America really an “ocean of hate”?

These data seem to debunk the assertion. Just ten percent of Americans express strong opposition or just opposition to the transgender phenomenon. That means LESS THAN TEN PERCENT “strongly” oppose. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 64 percent of Americans STRONGLY FAVOR or FAVOR protecting transgender people. It seems, then, that America is an ocean comprising a majority of tolerance, acceptance and support. “Hate” is an exception to the American norm.

Let’s look at another source

Ipsos is another polling agency. Last year, they conducted a poll of Americans on the transgender issue. That poll showed strong disinterest among Americans for having trans women, for example, compete in women’s sports competitions. But other results they found are consistent with Pew’s.

On providing gender-affirming medical care, for example, Ipsos found an overwhelming majority of Americans support such policies. Read that headline below carefully. It’s not written very well in my opinion:

A better headline would have been “The majority of Americans SUPPORT GIVING trans youth gender-affirming care”. Here’s another Ipsos graph presenting the same information. It may be easier to understand. An interactive one can be found on the NPR website. You’re wanting to look at totals representing the “opposed” categories.

It’s getting better!

What shall we take away from all this? Well, first, your stories (beliefs) matter. They shape your reality. They also determine your behavior. The Medium author’s radicalized beliefs caused her to write a way inaccurate story about the United States. And that happened because she listened to a “supportive”, “positive” podcast for parents of trans youths.

Stories/beliefs also attract to us evidence that will tell us our stories/beliefs are “true” . So if we think the world is terrible for trans people, that’s what we’re going to see. But that doesn’t mean that’s the whole story.

Sure, there are those who hate what trans people represent. Those people are frightened by what they see. Trans people confront their long-held beliefs. But that’s not your problem! Indeed, no trans person need encounter such people. Not if they don’t want to.

One of my mentors putting it plain. Those who hate you hate out of their own suffering.

The problem is, a lot of trans people want to encounter them. They don’t intentionally want to. But their beliefs, choices and actions cause them to encounter such people. Some do it because they believe they’re changing the world. That’s great. But others do it while not knowing they’re doing it.

What we resist persists! What we complain about we get more of! If we stop putting attention on the tiny minority of people out there living their lives in deep pain, those people will gradually self-select themselves out of our experience.

And, if we put our attention on all that’s going great for trans people, we’ll see more of that. Then we’ll feel better about life. We’ll feel better about OUR lives. And when that happens, our lives WILL GET BETTER.

That’s how the Universe works.

Don’t believe me, try it

Now, you may think you have enough evidence to prove what you just read wrong. That just proves my points! Don’t take my word(s) for evidence! Test it out! The Universe will prove it to you! That’s guaranteed because that’s how the Universe works.

It continuously wants us to know life can be as great as we want it. That’s why, when we focus on things we think are “going wrong” we feel bad. We feel bad because that feeling tells us we’re not looking at the world the way we couldlook at it. And, as a result of looking at it the way we could, we could feel better. And then have a better life.

If you try it, if you try looking for evidence of everything going right, evidence will show itself to you. But you must know where to look to see it. Otherwise, you miss it. I can help you not miss it. Let’s chat.

How Hate Turns On Itself: A Great Lesson For Trans People

TLDR: A year ago, conservatives inadvertently taught the trans community a lesson about the dangers of engaging in hate, which was largely ignored. The author emphasizes that embracing hate can cause individuals to become what they detest and impact love relationships. The post urges the trans community to focus on love and positivity to attract better experiences, rather than perpetuating a cycle of hate and discontent.

Almost exactly a year ago, conservatives offered a wonderful lesson for trans people. Unfortunately, I don’t think many in our community understood the lesson. So they let the opportunity slip by.

I caught it though. And that’s what this post is about. What happened shows precisely why trans people and those who love them getting on the “hate” bandwagon is not in the best interest of the community.

It seems foolish to “turn the other cheek” these days, given violence waged at our community. And yet, it’s the best option. At no time is such a strategy more needed. Not because it is good for the world, although it is. But because it is good for every transgender individual. Trans-attracted men too. That’s because we can’t help but become what we hate. That’s what conservatives showed us last year.

I’ve seen examples of this over and over. Especially in the trans community. The same dynamic plays out in love relationships between trans women and men looking for trans women partners. We can’t find love if we’re looking at the opposite of that. It’s very hard to have a relationship when we’re complaining all the time about not having one.

But this story isn’t about love. It’s about hate. And it’s a story worth pondering. Let’s look at what happened almost a year ago.

A witch-hunt for “woke”

Last year, conservatives were in a tizzy over “woke” culture. They’re still in a tizzy, a year later. For sure, they’re using woke as a whipping post. In doing so, they’re whipping up lots of donations. Those donations are coming from dominant culture folks (i.e. white people). Folks who are either too busy trying to make a living, or too ignorant to contest what they hear from their “leaders” to really understand what the term “woke”, actually means.

Anyway, these poor people (and a lot of them are economically poor) swallow talking points that point to diversity as the reason their lives are going so poorly. This dynamic really got underway in 2020. Even though woke as a positive diversity message got started as far back as the 1930s.

Last year though, conservatives, especially Fox News, left no stone unturned in their pursuit to vilify woke culture and, thereby attract more viewers, subscribers, votes and advertising income. As a result, corporate diversity initiatives such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs got caught in conservative pundit crosshairs.

Which brings us to the crux of this story. This story is a perfect example of how the haters become the hated.

A woman draped in a pride flag carries a sign with a “woke” slogan. The term “woke” has been around a long time. As early as the 1930s. (Photo By By Montanasuffragettes – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Enter Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is a conservative darling. It’s arguably one of the most successful fast-food franchises in the US. It regularly ranks as America’s favorite fast food chain. The business is owned and lead by a conservative Southern Baptist. As a result, the company sticks to Christian values. This includes the stores being closed on all religious holidays. That includes every Sunday.

Interestingly, the company has a very “real” Christian approach to dealing with people. According to a Chick-fil-A spokesperson speaking for the company in 2012, “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our Restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

That’s not very Christian from today’s far-right perspective. Christians claiming to be so on the right and far right certainly do not act in that way. Still, it’s a respectable way to run a business. And, that way has created a successful restaurant chain. That and their amazingly delicious chicken sandwiches. Seriously, have you had one?

It wasn’t surprising then, given its stated perspective on diversity, that Chick-fil-A designed and implemented its own internal corporate DEI program. And that’s what caused conservatives to turn on one of its own.

That’s right. Once a darling of conservative culture, Chick-fil-A faced a backlash a year ago. Lauded before by conservatives for its support of anti-LGBTQ groups, many of those same conservatives called the restaurant chain out for its “woke” DEI programs. The company also came under fire when its chairman, Dan Cathy, argued publicly that white people should speak up about racial injustice toward Black people.

A Chick-Fil-A location in Hillsboro, Ore., a city near where I live. (Photo By Kingofthedead – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Be like Pollyanna

What we saw last year is a common dynamic. It happens when people lose touch with their humanity. And anyone in “hate” has lost touch. Hate is a VERY powerful emotion. It literally alters the way we see the world. It can turn an otherwise kind person into a killer or terrorist. And, if that hate festers long enough, it will turn on itself. Before long, everyone becomes worthy of hatred to the hate-filled person…Until there’s no one left to hate. That’s what happened when conservatives turned on Chick-fil-A.

The alternative is to let people be. To let people be and for us to be happy. To only look at things that are positive. Yes, that sounds Pollyanna. Do you know the story of Pollyanna? Pollyanna led a happy life. And we can too.

But not if we become the hate that others level at us. And, there’s nothing that can come into our experience that we don’t invite. In other words, if we remain happy, looking only at those things that we feel happy about, in time, our life fills ONLY with happy experiences. That’s because life is a reflection. Our outward lives reflect of our inner lives; the life made up of our thoughts and beliefs.

Doesn’t that explain why Chick-fil-A got caught up in the conservative “woke”-hunt? Conservatives got so riled up, that the only thing they could see was that which they hate. Even in a business they once loved. This also explains why so many on the right believe their way of life is under attack. It’s not really under attack. But insecurity born of fear creates a reflection matching that. So there’s no way to convince conservatives their way of life is not under attack.

Get the message?

This is a good lesson for the trans community. We become that which we focus on. And then, that which we focus on dominates our experience. So rather than focusing on those who hate us, we should instead focus on those who love us.

Ah-hem: ladies…are you getting the hint here? If you’re hating those men who love you, calling them chasers and worse, you’re aligning yourselves with a world reflecting back to you your hate. Men: if you’re bemoaning your struggle to find a trans woman who will NOT call you a chaser, then you’re aligning yourself, through your bemoaning, with a world that reflects back to you exactly what you’re bemoaning.

In both cases, ladies and gentlemen, you become consumed by your struggle. Then the world reflects that back to you.

None of that need happen. But it does happen. And for good reason. It happens to show us all what we’re creating. SO THAT WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.

Most of us, however, will just keep on complaining. And keep on getting results that validate our complaints.

It’s time to take ourselves out of that dynamic. Take a lesson from conservatives. It’s not in your best interest to hate. Hate no one. Especially hate no man or woman who shows interest in you. Especially give up hating yourself. If you don’t accept what you are, or you think what you are is somehow less than, then you are hating on yourself.

What I’m suggesting is easier to do than it seems. If you’re having trouble, I can help show you how easy it can be. Get in touch. Let’s talk.

Relationship Anarchy: A Perfect Way To Cis-Trans Love?

Photo by Orit Matee on Unsplash

TLDR: Relationship Anarchy (RA) challenges traditional relationship norms by advocating for love defined by personal values. However, the term’s negative connotations and anarchist affiliations have created misunderstandings. Despite RA’s merits, it cannot eclipse the ultimate relationship with one’s Broader Perspective, which provides unconditional love and fulfillment beyond what any human partnership can offer whether you’re trans or trans-attracted.

A relatively new relationship dynamic is emerging. More people find it a satisfying way to express themselves romantically and intimately while finding companionship. Trans people especially are finding it supportive. It’s called Relationship Anarchy (RA).

In this post we’re going to look at this new relationship model. Especially what it offers for trans and trans-attracted people. Instead of getting into it deeply, we will compare it to what we recommend regarding relationships. That’s because, it’s a definite improvement on humanity’s past “success” with relationships. And it offers greater flexibility for those uninterested in cis-het traditions. But it still falls short of the ultimate relationship: that one relationship that gives us everything we want. Including satisfying relationships.

So let’s take a look at RA. Then let’s contrast that against the ultimate relationship. The only one through which we get everything we want.

What is RA?

Andie Nordgren coined the phrase Relationship Anarchy in 2006. Her English manifesto on the matter, written in 2012, gives broad strokes on what it looks like. The way Andie describes it, RA sounds great!

Among the broad strokes is the assertion that love is abundant. RA says entitlement runs rampant in traditional relationships and that entitlement should be replaced with love and respect. Andie recommends that people define their values, then use frequent communication to infuse their relationship with those values, alongside a partner who shares them.

The biggest shift from traditional relationships is Andie’s suggestion to “customize” one’s relationship and commitment. Rather than relying on social norms, Andie says, we should define our relationship on our own terms while ignoring society’s expectations.

It’s no wonder then that Wikipedia includes RA in its non-monogamy
and polyamory series.

Because of this flexibility RA fits nicely with trans/trans-attracted relationships. With RA, it’s possible to create a relationship that works no matter what values one has. Especially if one’s values run contrary to societal norms. And every cis-trans relationship does that.

The rise of domestic partnership laws across the country play a role here too. They make benefits once reserved to married people, accessible to LGBTQ people.

Anarchist affiliations…not good

And while Andie describes it optimistically without comparing it to something else, Wikipedia takes a different tack on RA. This is where problems start show up.

That’s because the word “anarchy” itself is problematic. It brings a lot of bad vibes to the table. Further, most people familiar with the term see anarchy as destructive. Even though anarchists claim the concept to be constructive. Historically, the movement has not been constructive, however.

The result is anarchy is seen mostly as “anti-“. It’s also often associated with violence.

We can’t be “anti” something without enflaming that thing we’re against. Which explains why anarchists have made virtually no progress in creating society based on its ideas. And that brings us back to RA. RA and Wikipedia.

The anti relationship

The Wikipedia entry on RA describes its principles as pretty much anti-everything. At least when it comes to relationships. I would argue Andie doesn’t see RA that way. Andie’s characterization is fresh, positive and encouraging. But the Wikipedia entry. Well, see for yourself:

Indeed, this article, featuring two people in an RA relationship, speak in similar language. It’s interesting that one person in that relationship is transgender. The other; lesbian. Their sexual practices are decidedly outside the norm. It makes sense then that RA is a good fit for them.

And yet, both contrast and define their relationship by what it’s not, comparing it to existing, undesirable relationships. Both also inject politics into the mix. I get politics is important to many. But it needn’t be an influence. Especially in one’s love life.

Now it could be the Wikipedia contributor who wrote the article is biased. He could interpret “anarchy” as “anti”. But the article linked in the above paragraph also characterizes RA as a “political” take on relationships. One trying to redefine what relationships look like. One also striving to “fix” power dynamics some RA folks think are bad.

But can we really define something based on what it is not? I think Andie does a better job describing the concept. It seems, however, others turned the concept into a political idea. I’m not sure Andie meant it that way.

The best relationship

Which brings me to the point of this piece. RA is great. It’s offers a fresh view of relationships. It certainly offers better options. Better options for those who feel uncomfortable with amatonormative edicts. It’s again not surprising the couple in this article includes both a trans person and a queer woman.

And yet, all relationships with other people fall short when compared to the one relationship that gives us everything we want. That is, our relationship with our Broader Perspective. While it’s nice finding love in another’s eyes, that love will nearly always be conditional.

Even in an RA relationship.

For even there, a person must find connections with people who have similar values. That makes sense. But even then, people will sometimes end up in conflict. What the couple does in that case depends a lot on how stable each person is within themselves. And there’s no better stability than that found in our Broader Perspective.

Besides, our relationship with our Broader Perspective opens us to a love causing other loves to pale in comparison. It’s strong. It’s lasting. Our Broader Perspective’s love literally overwhelms us in its depths. And it feels freaking great!

Furthermore, through our Broader Perspective, everything is possible. Including finding the perfect partner. That is, if one wants that. In so many ways relationship with our Broader Perspective offers what human ones cannot: a foundation from which to live one’s life authentically.

When we put our Broader Perspective relationship first, other relationships happen easily. (Photo by Oziel Gomez on Unsplash)

Literally all we want..including freedom from death

Our Broader Perspective relationship is here to lead us to everything we want. All our desires get fulfilled through it. Our Broader Perspective showers us with that which we’re wanting. When we put that relationship up front, those things flow easily into our reality.

Human partners can help us get things. They can connect us with jobs. They may even connect us with financial opportunity. But those too often come through filters, filters that often aren’t in synch with what we really want.

In other words, our Broader Perspective knows us best. It knows what will thrill us. It knows the best path to everything we want. Whether that be a material thing, or something else.

But the biggest thing that relationship offers is something no human can touch. It offers freedom from the fear of death. I know, that sounds crazy. After all, so many of us are too busy living. Too busy living to think about death.

Well, it seems that way.

But most people’s fear of death is front and center in their lives. It’s one reason people worry about time running out. Their fear of getting old has its basis in death. So does their fear of being single.

Fear of death takes many forms

The fear of death is pervasive in the world. It doesn’t feel like it’s about death though. That’s because the fear hides behind other fears.

What kind of fears? Fears of being cast out of a group, for example. The fear of losing one’s job is another. The fear of being unable to support one’s family is yet another. As is the fear of one’s human partner betraying us. There are plenty more.

These fears mimic the ultimate fear, which is the fear of dying.

And so people respond to all these fears in predictable ways. They’re impatient. They’re demanding. Some take unsatisfying jobs. They are desperate and insecure. And in that, they cut themselves off from the one thing that can relieve them of all these fears and more: their Broader Perspective.

The fear of ending up here can take many forms. (Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash)

Now I’m not saying don’t have human partners. What I am saying is, first, ground ourselves in the one partnership giving us everything we want.

When one does that, there’s little “need” for anything else. Because everything else flows from there. Including human love.

I’m in favor of RA. I wish it had a different name. RA is closer to the Broader Perspective love I’ve described in this post than any of the other coupling humans form. Including parent-child bonds. Even with RA, however, there’s still a ways to go though.

The better it gets the better it gets

And isn’t that the great thing about life experience? There is always a ways more to go. Because life is eternal. We never get to the end. We’re never perfect. But in the perfection of the now, we are perfect. Not perfect as in “complete”. Not perfect as in “done”. But perfect in our becoming more.

Standing there, I see this RA concept fitting what I want in partnership. With my stability rooted in my Broader Perspective, I know what I’m wanting is on the way. I’m eager to see it unfold. I’ve had tastes of it. And I’m patient for further unfolding.

Andie’s onto something with their RA concept. I’m clear something better exists though. I enjoy that now. Which allows me to feel excitement. Excitement and joy about those finding satisfaction in RA.

Good partnerships elude many. That’s because many look there for something that’s not in a human partnership. That something only comes from a relationship with themselves. I write this blog to show people how to “know thyself”. And in doing that, find happiness from within, instead of looking for it outside themselves.

My clients are finding that happiness. Along the way, they get more of what they want too. Their examples fill me with eagerness. They also amplify my own happiness.

Maybe you’re ready for your version of that? If you are, contact me. Let’s get you started. Let’s find out how “better” life can get.

What Happens When My Advice Inspires A Man To Write A Book!

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

TL/DR The writer shares an inspiring encounter with a man who left his marriage to live authentically and appreciate trans women. Encouraged by the writer’s message, the man is now writing a book about his experience. The writer believes such men are making a difference and urges trans women to focus on the positive, giving up negativity and anger.

I enjoyed an hour-long conversation with a guy this morning. He’s writing a book about his trans-attraction-to-transamory journey. His is a wonderful story of leaving his marriage in favor of living authentically. Living authentically meant enjoying a nice relationship with a trans woman. A relationship he’s currently in.

He said the main reason he began his journey was because of my post “How to embrace your trans-attraction and be married”. I feel appreciation that one of my passions is changing the lives of trans-attracted men (and, by extension, trans women) for the better.

As a result of sharing my passion, this guy now feels his passion too. His passion and appreciation for trans women he feels no shame about. Because of that, this guy, Brian, is now writing a book about his experience. A book I’m sure will help make the world a better place for trans women. I feel honored I played a part in that.

Men are doing their part

I always knew living my passion would change the world. I’m excited about Brian’s choice. He’s going to change the world too.

Many trans women complain that if men would step up, the world for trans women would improve. They talk about all the men on the DL. Men living in the shadows, shamefully hiding their trans-attraction. Meanwhile, I’ve been out for at least five years proudly, publicly sharing my transamory experience. Another man wrote a book about this trans attraction some time ago. Many men are out on social media proclaiming aloud their attraction. And now, here’s another man doing his part by writing yet another book.

In other words, the men are doing their part.

The initial exchange between Brian and I.

Not enough men, you say? There are enough though. Not all of them are writing books. Not all of them are writing blogs or sharing on social media. Some are just dating trans women. Many are doing their parts by becoming comfortable in their own skin. That’s the process. In everyone contributes in their own way.

However, if trans women keep complaining about their complaints, they can’t see the world getting better. They can’t see the men doing their part either. And yet the men are.

Get over the anger and pessimism

And that’s the rub. Life is nothing but a series of moments. And each moment adds to the next. Which is why, if you’re complaining about something, your in-the-now complaint adds to the next moment, creating an experience of more to complain about. Especially in love.

I suggest trans women focus on all the things going right in the world. I talk about them all day long in this blog. Trans-attracted men should do the same. Do that and both parties will find themselves meeting positive, high-quality potential mates. People who see the world getting better. People eager to enjoy life with someone who is positive.

Which is why I work with people. People experience a lot of things in life encouraging pessimism. That’s because pessimism sells. A lot of people make a lot of money keeping you angry, in other words. Meanwhile, a lot of other angry people are looking for people like you. And so you meet such people in your life.

Give up negative judgement. Give up being angry too. When you do, you’ll find yourself getting more of what you want. And less of what you don’t. While you’re learning to do that, I can help.

Why Trans People Are Better Off With SELF-Validation

Photo by Caroline Veronez On Unsplash.

The external world offers unlimited opportunity to bless transgender and trans-attracted people. It also offers unlimited opportunity to put us in bondage. Which we experience depends on what we think. What we think about ourselves. And what we think about the world around us.

For many transgender and trans-attracted people, the latter is more important than the former. We think what the world around us thinks about us is more important than what we think about us. This is a trap. It’s a gateway to hell in a sense. That’s because putting others’ opinions on a pedestal binds our experience of ourselves to what they think.

Freedom comes from giving that up. If we get validation from our own opinions of ourselves, we come into tremendous power. For in choosing to believe in our own value, we can create worlds that otherwise are unavailable to us.

A perfect example of this came into my awareness this past week. Let’s take a look at what happened.

An excellent opportunity….maybe?

I’m going to write about this experience in more detail in a future post. But what came to mind in the experience is so valuable, I wanted to share this part of the experience right away.

A trans woman who works in the television industry reached out last week about a program she’s considering putting together. Like some transgender women, this person realizes a key component to greater acceptance of trans people lies in trans-attracted men being more out about their attraction. So she wants to put together a show about that. The show will follow trans-attracted men through their dating experiences.

The point of this story is the narrative shared. I don’t even know if she’s conscious of the highly limiting perspective her narrative forces her into. Nor do I think she’s aware of how her narrative — which will inevitably find its way into the show — limits what’s available to trans people.

When she contacted me, she had a lot of great things to say about trans-attracted men. Again, she recognized their importance. She also acknowledged how society largely ignores their experience. Furthermore she knows these men staying in the shadows doesn’t help. It doesn’t help them, it doesn’t help trans women, nor does it help humanity progress. Thus her desire to do the show.

But in thinking about casting men, she specifically described these potential cast members as “straight, trans-attracted men.”

Are “straight” men the key to greater trans acceptance? We’re not so sure. (Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash)

Narratives aren’t often overt

Several times in our conversation she used this phrase. “Straight trans-attracted men,” she said, emphasizing the word “straight”. At the time I didn’t question this. It interested me more to help her project. I wanted to connect her with quality men from my network.

So I did that. Of the five men I contacted, four reached out to her. But after that success, I thought about her focus on “straight” trans-attracted men. I thought about it because the idea of the men needing to be “straight” belied a powerful story active in our conversation.

Interestingly, after talking to one of the men I recommended, that man came to me asking my advice. I knew what he wanted to talk about. Can you guess? That’s right! He was concerned about this trans woman’s narrative!

I wasn’t surprised by his perception. He’s not straight. Indeed, he’s about as queer as it gets. But he loves trans women. Not only trans women though. He’s finding himself, like me, embracing something more along the lines of post-transamory, which is something I’ll write about later.

The point is, both of us picked up on this person’s focus. When he contacted her about this, she said her show was indeed open to all kinds of men. I told my client that, in most cases, people aren’t aware of what narratives are shaping their reality. Still, we both agreed this show was important and needed support. So he agreed to go forward with it. I thought that was a good idea.

What “I’m straight” tells us

Here’s the thing: It’s my speculation that trans women wanting to date only “straight” men, is the flip side of another dynamic happening within the minds of trans-attracted men. I see this happening with some of the trans women I’ve worked with too.

Often, you will see on dating sites, men expressing their interest in trans women. But they’ll be sure to mention how “straight” they are. Often, the reason men do this is due to their internalized homophobia. It also reflects their stories about transgender women. They must emphasize their straight-ness because they believe being trans-attracted must mean they’re gay, which by extension means (to them) that trans women are something other than women.

Notice you’ll never hear a [presumably straight] man emphasize his straightness to cis women. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. Except perhaps when a woman questions the man’s heterosexuality. And in that case, a whole different thing is happening.

The fact that men feel they must assert their straightness is the same dynamic happening in trans women who demand only straight men show them interest. Let’s explore this further.

Something hidden’s happening in men asserting their straightness. (Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash)

It’s not in our best interest

Generally, trans women wanting only “straight” men are looking for a guy who is, presumably, heterosexual. Getting such a guy would confirm for her that she’s a woman. In other words, she’s wanting a man to validate her. And the more straight that man is, the more validation she gets. You could say she’s using the man. Using him for something that she could get from herself. Something she would be better off getting from herself.

If she KNEW herself to be a woman, she wouldn’t express a desire for a straight man. Just as pretty much all cis-women don’t bother expressing the need that her potential partner be straight. It’s just assumed because they see themselves as women. There’s no internal conflict.

Some trans women enjoy this internal integrity cis women enjoy. These trans women see themselves as not only whole, but a prize for ANY man lucky enough to be with them. But some other trans women don’t see themselves this way. To soothe what they think is missing, these women seek validation in the eyes of others. That sets such women up for a lot of problems.

That’s because the universe is organized not to give us what we want, but what we focus on. And the biggest thing that dynamic is designed to do is have us develop deeper levels of self-love, self-appreciation and worthiness.

When any person relies on another to validate themselves, they’re going to attract experiences showing them why that’s not in their best interest.

Lack of self-love and appreciation and worthiness invites people into our lives matching all that. Which means, we’re going meet people who equally are not self-validating themselves. Which explains why many trans women struggle meeting secure men. It’s because they, the trans women, are equally insecure.

What’s really happening

In the human dating dynamic, all kinds of people meet all kinds of people. It’s quite often that a bi-sexual man, for example, will end up with a “straight” woman. Vice versa too! I know a woman who married her high school sweetheart. They married right out of high school. Twenty something years later, she came out as gay, divorced her sweetheart and hooked up with a female. She’s been with that woman ever since.

People hook up often before each person understands themselves. (Photo by Oziel Gomez on Unsplash)

The fact is, all kinds of men will find themselves attracted to trans women. That’s because many trans women are attractive! A bi man might find a trans woman attractive enough to want to have her as his partner. A non binary person might as well. Labels people give to themselves and one another don’t matter, really. A preferable option: give up on trying to label our partners. We’ll enjoy greater freedom.

But if a person depends on their partner for validation, such as some trans women do, then they’re setting themselves up for trouble. In a lot of cases, men asserting their “straight-ness” don’t make good partners. They’re insecure. Some struggle with “toxic” masculinity. They’re also often still trying to figure themselves. And they will sometimes end up leaving a partner they once chose. Because that person was someone they chose out of themselves being unclear about who and what they are.

So while this television industry worker is doing something great for the trans community, inherent in her effort will be the trope that the only valid men for trans women are “straight ones”.

Holding out hope

So audiences, particularly men, will once again get mixed messages. Those struggling to see themselves as straight, even though they may not be, will think this show is saying “you’re wrong because straight men don’t suck dick.” Or “straight men don’t take it up the ass.”

Both of these are bullshit tropes. There are plenty of men who take it up the ass who are heterosexual. And, there are plenty of men who like sucking dick who aren’t attracted to men. I should know, I’ve spoken with MANY OF THEM.

Nothing is perfect because everything is seeking greater perfection. I think this show is going to break ground. It will open new avenues of understanding among people. It may even bring trans women and trans-attracted men closer. And yet, I’m slightly disappointed that the creator of this awesome idea holds to a distorted idea about the men she hopes to liberate.

I could be wrong. I hope I am. Let’s hope, should the show get the green light, that it helps more men – and trans women – than it hinders.