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.

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