Question #10: “I think that the transgender thing is just and excuse to sleep with men.”
This one has come to me twice in the last week. After the eye roll, face palm and deep, deep breaths, I was able to stop and unwind what really bothers me about this statement.
First of all it is exactly that: a statement. I doubt that the people who came to this “conclusion” had ever had much meaningful conversation with anyone transgender prior to talking with me, or in one case, about me. So let me rephrase as a question: Is being transgender an excuse to sleep with men?
Now let me see if I can sum up my answer: No. Perhaps even “Hell no” is more accurate.
Setting aside the fact that I am not and never have been attracted to men, gender identity is not about sex. When I began this transition, I was aware of the reality that I may never experience physical intimacy again.
Furthermore, we live and move in a culture where on the whole being gay/lesbian carries less and less of a stigma. Not that it is without hardships, but on the whole the acceptance of the “LGB” portion of the LGBT community is several steps ahead of the “T” in terms of social understanding.
Here’s another shocker that I have learned this last year: being gay or lesbian is not all about sex – anymore that heterosexual dating is (or should be) all about sex. It’s about attraction, connection, and emotional intimacy.
The irony is not lost on me that the conservative evangelical base – the same people that are so adamantly glued to their concepts of sexual purity and behavior – often seems to be the first to sexualize the behaviors of those they don’t understand. Perhaps it just makes it easier to judge us from high up where they sit.