Transgender actor, activist, writer and producer Jen Richards pins the tail on the donkey.
In a recent article she wrote, she says about seeking out cisgender men to have sex with: “What I’m really seeking is affirmation of my womanhood, and this is the most available means of doing it. No one is more anxious about their sexuality that straight cis men, no one more frightened of being labeled “gay.” This is especially true for first-timers. Hooking up with them is like handling a volatile explosive—and I like the rush. I need that intensity. It’s the only thing that keeps the din of self-doubt and self-loathing at bay. Their wanting me is the proof I need of who I am.”
I know not all transwomen are looking for cis-trans relationships or validation from such pairings. That’s not the best approach to self-validation, but if you are looking for that, and you’re frustrated that you’re not finding what you want, you should continue reading.
There’s no need to review all the things transwomen say out of that frustration. If you’re a transwoman, you already know them and have probably said some of these things, or agreed to them when you heard friends say them.
Thankfully, alleviating your frustration couldn’t be easier. Having the relationship you want couldn’t be either. The first thing to do is recognize that your frustration is a negative emotion. It doesn’t feel good to be frustrated and no one likes it.
I know that sounds like a “no duh” statement, but you gotta get that when you’re in frustration, it’s very hard to step outside it and realize you’re frustrated, then do something productive about it.
The next thing to do is not as easy, particularly if you have consistent complaints that accompany your desire to have what you want. Your desire may sound something like this:
“I want a cis-het man to love me as the woman I am….but…”
The “but” turns your desire expression into a statement of frustration. You gotta separate the two in your head, separate the desire from the frustration. Then eliminate the frustration. How? By telling yourself new stories about your experience and desire, or better yet, new stories about experiences you haven’t had, but you want to have. For example:
New stories about past experiences:
- “It’s ok, those are in the past.”
- “That was the old me, I know what I’m doing now.”
- “I’m sure glad those experiences are behind me.”
- “I’m ready for something different.”
You’ll notice these stories make no judgements about anything. They simply acknowledge what is about these past events: they are in the past. They are behind you.
Here are new stories about the experiences you haven’t had, but want to:
- “I’m eager for something different”
- “I’m excited about how great these new experiences are going to be”
- “The experiences coming my way are a perfect match to me”
- “I’m going to like what’s coming to me.”
If these statements don’t give you some measure of relief, a sense of feeling better, then they are just “affirmations” and they are going to do diddly squat for you. You want to make up a statement, a thought, that gives you positive expectations, feelings about whatever experience you’re going to have next.
Now if you’re like some of the transwomen I’ve spoken with, you probably don’t want to confront your relationship frustration head-on. You probably have too much momentum behind your stories about your past relationships and going head-to-head with them is probably just going to add fuel to their fire, rather than create a more positive flame and accompanying positive results.
So start with something easier instead. Notice the stories I gave as examples have really nothing specifically to do with relationships. They could apply to any experience coming your way. That’s what you should start with: the easy things. Start with how your day is going to go generally. Start with how breakfast is going to go, how your commute is going to go, how the next hour at work is going to go, how your next conversation with your friend is going to go.
Then when you have that experience, no matter how the experience turns out or what you think of it, create stories that highlight even the smallest positive aspect of that experience. For example:
“What a delicious breakfast. I’m a great cook.”
If you’re not a great cook and it tasted shitty, you gotta find a positive aspect: “I didn’t burn the house down!” might be all you can find, but you gotta find a positive aspect, so if that’s the only one, find it and use it.
- “That was a great set of music I listened to during my commute”
- “I appreciate my work provides me with money I can use to get some of the things I need”
- “I appreciate the opportunity my friend offers to practice being positive!”
Telling new stories about your every day experiences begins training you to see the world differently than you see it now, immersed in your stories which create disappointment, frustration, victimization and similar feelings and their associated experiences. So long as the stories you tell yourself are causing better feelings within you, you will, in time start having experiences consistent with your new stories. So long as you focus only on these good stories and don’t give any air time at all to your old ones, you will one day find yourself sitting in front of the guy you thought was impossible to find. And behind him will come many, many more. Guaranteed.
And when that happens, you too will have pinned the tail on the donkey.