[I write from my point of view. I date women, I'm a trans woman, I transitioned years ago, I pass. Don't cry if I don't talk about your experiences.]
So you’ve scored that hot date with the woman that you’ve been drooling after for the last week. Or your friends set you up with someone that they swear you’ll be totally into.
And you know what? They’re as hot as you thought they’d be. You talk, you flirt, you seduce. You end up kissing, taking the taxi home and entering the bedroom. And *then* The Fear sets in.
The Fear, caused by you knowing that you’ve got an Imperfect Body. That you are not as Good as Them. The traitorous little voice that is constantly comparing your body to theirs, that whispers “they Know About You”. You pick up your clothes, you run out of the flat into the unforgiving night.
It’s all bollocks, objectively. You transitioned years ago and you made a damn good job of it. Nobody guesses your past, nobody comments on you in the street. But by fuck do your internal fears start confronting you in the bedroom.
It happens to the best of us.
Let’s get the trans politics out of the way first: should you just be upfront about your past before the date? It would certainly save a lot of hassle. If you tell them straight away and they react badly, at least you know that they’ve got issues of their own that would get in the way of anything between you two, right?
But why should you be telling someone about your past? It’s not their right to know. They’re attracted to you. This person, here and now. Why should you tell them about the broken leg from when you were 13? Or the money you stole when you were 22? Those facts don’t make any difference to this date and the sex you’re about to have. Why should your gender?
If you look, feel and smell cis, (young transitioners in the house shout “I got my shit together in time”) then you haven’t got a problem, to be honest. But if there’s the slightest chance that they’re going to read your history and that they might react badly to it, then you’re running a risk.
The panic defence
The panic defence isn’t a valid one, although it’s used often enough in courts of law, but it’s a startlingly real situation that can occur. A lover realises that you’re trans. They react so badly to this “deceit” that they take out their anger/shame/internalised-self-hatred on you, physically. This is commonly heard about with opposite sex cis male / trans female pairings, but it happens in same sex encounters as well.
It’s a real risk, one that could get you hurt, or even killed. We can oppose this all we want, we can shout and scream about it in protests and online, but in the real world, alone with a stranger, your life is not worth a political point.
But hey, you’ve got that male muscle to protect yourself with. Right? RIGHT? Like bollocks you have. If you transitioned before the onset of muscle mass, or magically lost that bulk somehow, then you’re fucked if you’re with a violent stronger partner.
So play it safe if you think there’s a risk, m’kay? Or work out. Working out is good.
Let’s be positive
Putting aside violence, there isn’t really any practical reason why you should be upfront with someone. Go have that fun, have that fuck, take it, give it, whip them, tease them, lie strapped to the bed moaning for more.
But if you think this might be more than a one night encounter then you’ve got some thinking to do. Because at some point your past will come out. It might be next week, it might be 40 years down the line, appearing just when you’re happily living in a lesbian commune, wearing cheesecloth. It will come out.
So you’ve got to be honest about it somewhere. Which is all very well saying that, but how the hell do you tell someone about what is a fundamental part of your life, but which, rightly, shouldn’t be relevant today?
This is where it gets tricky, as there is no one solution. Oh, I wish there was – it would make life so much easier for us all. But you’re going to have to play this one by ear.
Go back to what I said earlier – do you think that will they react badly? Well, if you think they will and you *still* want to pursue a relationship with a backwards bigoted fuckwit, then just be honest about it from the start. Hey, they might surprise you (well, they might). And if you tell them now, before you’ve got sweaty and naked, then at least they’re less likely to fall back onto physical violence in response to some kind of egotistical self-flagellation.
There’s still some dangers with that. Mainly, you’ve just given up a very private piece of information to a complete stranger. Now, this might not have repercussions for you depending on how out you already are. But if you’re hiding your trans status from society and fear it being used against you, you’ve just given a bigot a big fat blackmail/fuckupyourlife card. And the panic response is still possible. So again, play safe kids, y’hear?
So what about those nice people, the 90% of humanity who really don’t care? Well, you’ve got some breathing room. The biggest piece of advice would be to not make it into a big deal. People are so empathic, so reflective, that if you’re calm and chilled about it, then likely they will react in the same way.
Choosing that moment well, and telling them in a coherent rational way, is going to be determined by your personality, your wit and your charm. I can’t help you with that. If you find talking with people hard then you’re going to have to master the basics before your start telling people about major life events that may impact on current relationships.
Don’t say: “I’ve got a secret to tell you”. A secret? Your password is a secret. Your life isn’t.
Do say: “This isn’t a big deal, but…” Because it isn’t a big deal.
Don’t say: “I know you’ll probably hate me, but…” Just stop being so fucking preemptively passive-agressive.
Do say: “Oh, that happend to me when I was a boy…” Because slipping it in like that is the epitome of not-a-big-deal
Don’t say: “I used to be a man”. Because this isn’t a cheesy hollywood script
Do say: “Anyway, less about me, tell me about you…” Because this is a fucking date we’re on
So, that’s it. Hit submit, close WordPress and…
What’s that? Sorry? You don’t pass? You still have a cock and balls? Jesus fuck, you could have said at the start.
Okay, now you’re in a whole different ball game (ball game – hur hur). Because now you’re bringing your own special kind of smash to the gender binary and societally dictated body norms.
And to be honest, I’m not going to go into that here. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had to worry about that, and I was dating a bi guy for most of that time who really, really enjoyed his be-cocked redhead girlfriend. Somebody else can write that. Suffice to say, if you don’t tell them up front, pulling down your underwear is going to result in The Crying Game theme playing.
You did the trans crap years ago. You look like the average cis. (You don’t look like the average cis? You fuck gender up a bit? I applaud you).
Situation: You’ve got a hot cis girl that you’re interested in:
- Shag. Just do it, you know you want to. You’ll never see her again and you pass, so who the fuck cares?
Situation: You’ve got a hot cis girl that you want to go on long romantic walks with, get to know, raise chickens together:
- Fuck, then tell her. (slightly dangerous, some will say duplicitous)
- Tell her, then fuck. (Great)
- Tell her, end up sobbing at home with ice-cream. (Bad)
- Tell her then get the crap beaten out of you. (Very bad)
- Tell her. She tells you the same thing. You both look confused. You fuck. (Awesomely great)
All situations outside of the simplistic ones discussed above are outside the scope of this post. Use some fucking common sense. Do not say “but you told me to…”. Learn some practical self-defence.