Labels are like too tight pants. Have you ever gained weight, then tried to pull on pants that no longer fit? It’s uncomfortable, right? Belly and love handles spill over belt loops like foamy beer overflowing a stein.
I spoke with a trans-attracted man recently who claimed heterosexual as his label. He came to me like many trans-attracted men, stressed out. So much so he stressed his straightness to me, holding it before him like a shield in hopes it would deflect that super scary label: gay.
I explained to him problematic features labels come with. Labels, I said, offer boundaries far too narrow, so narrow they restrict everyone’s humanity. Like a collective pair of too tight pants.
Boundaries separating “straight” from “gay” restrict in the extreme, especially in men. One whiff of suspicion triggers some straight men so profoundly they resort to violence. That’s how uncomfortable such labels are.
This guy, Trevor I’ll call him, struggled with his heterosexuality while facing his attraction to Pre-Op transgender women. I told him he had nothing to fear about being gay because most traditional gay men wouldn’t find transgender women attractive, not because they are women, but because they aren’t men. Not in any sense that a gay man would usually find attractive.
This eased Trevor’s mind a little. Then something funny happened that wasn’t funny in the moment, but reflecting on the conversation after the fact made me smile.
Visibly relieved, Trevor and I next talked about how he could explore his trans attraction. He had never been with a transgender woman, wanted to try it, but didn’t know how or where.
I never encourage men to go after such explorations. Especially when they feel like Trevor – insecure, shame-filled and nervous – because stories triggering such feelings are so strong, one is bound to have unsatisfying experiences. Experiences like this:
When a man feels shame and embarrassment about his trans attraction, those feelings tell him he’s on the way to meeting someone matching that state, and what will happen next won’t be fun. But most men don’t know this.
Rather than pursuing anything, I suggest the man exercise patience while sorting out his stories. In doing so, he will naturally attract trans women into his experience. The more secure he gets in his stories, the higher quality women he will meet. And, searching becomes unnecessary, nor do costly websites. Instead, the women will come to him.
My case is a good example. In recent weeks, I’ve met an Army company commander who now works at Google who is trans, a former data and communications tech who is trans, and two successful business owners who are trans.
What I offer works, you see.
Anyway, as I worked with Trevor, helping him ease his anxieties, he suddenly said something interesting.
“Now I’m thinking about wanting to try sex with men.”
That didn’t surprise me at all. This statement explains why labels unnaturally confine human experience. These thoughts Trevor entertained about sex with men were normal.
You see, humanity in general comes to earth to explore, play and delight in wide varieties of experiences. Sexual experiences along with every other experience are all within bounds.
When a person rigidly clings to labels and subscribes to their limits, stories associated with that clinging not only restrict what that person knows will delight them, stress between what the person knows and what the person believes creates stories which in turn create all kinds of mental turbulence…and realities matching that turbulence.
What’s interesting is how calmly Trevor accepted this new thought. He sat there thinking about it, tried to deny it only for a moment, then let it pass. I know this was the authentic Trevor, the eternal being here for the fun of exploration, I was now talking with.
So I told Trevor what I knew he was ready to hear; that he is an eternal being free of any label and delightfully eager to explore all kinds of life experiences. And, in that delight and play, he positively influences people around him and the world in general, which is exactly what Trevor knew he would do when he decided to incarnate. I told him his trans attraction, if pursued, would extend into the future a path so exhilarating, exciting and satisfying that he would not only relish his unfolding life, he would positively affect the lives to those around him.
That resonated with him, I know. But almost as soon as he acknowledged what I said, that too tight label reasserted itself and I felt Trevor get uncomfortable. Before that though, he said something else:
“I love you.” Yes, he said that to me.
That didn’t surprise me either. At the bottom of all this life stuff, we are flowing love eager to love. I know when I freed myself of the confines of any label, my love flowed and continues to flow, just like Trevor’s did in that brief second.
Which is enough. For once your eternal love shines through, there’s no going back. Only forward. Including embracing your trans attraction.