A response to “I’m attracted to Trans women”

I keep seeing this fucking article. It’s so gross. It means well, but it’s super fucked up. At first all I saw were criticisms by trans women. Now I see “Allies” posting it around and praising it, so here’s a response you can link to.

About four years ago, I was an exchange student in Thailand, a country known for its large, open transgender population. While most men avoided trans women, I saw no difference between them and cisgender women (women who were born biologically female). I was attracted to trans women, in other words, and I spent the next three years of my life in confusion and shame.

Well, lets talk about how he talks about Thailand later, but first, “Shame.” Because it’s so fucking shameful to be attracted to us. This is transmisogny, cissexism, and homophobia. It’s shameful because “we aren’t really women” so it’s gay. Fuck YOU.

I came across two terms that described what I was feeling. Trans-attraction and trans-orientation. Neither one is official or common, but their use is growing due to the increasing demand for a way to categorize people who are attracted to transgender people.

Also known as, you aren’t really women, you’re something else entirely. Because trans men and non-binary people don’t exist I guess? Fuck YOU.

I don’t always describe myself as trans-attracted, but the label helped me feel like I had a place in the queer community and it helps others understand my sexuality.

And here we have the straight guy appropriating queerness. They only way you would think of yourself as queer is if you don’t see us as women. Fuck YOU.

My year in Thailand made it a second home for me, and I returned last spring for a study abroad semester. Once again surrounded by the transgender community, I started thinking about my sexuality almost every day and this inner conflict re-arose

This comes off as some really fucking creepy racialized fetishization. Why does this guy keep making a big deal specifically out of Thai trans women.? Creepy.

Also, inner conflict. Yeah, that only happens because you don’t see us as women. Fuck YOU.

It was the shaming of trans-attraction that was ridiculous — not my sexual orientation.

Well then thanks for increasing all that shaming in the first half of your article. And your sexual orientation isn’t anything but straight.

 One was fear of rejection. It must be so painful to be turned away and shunned by someone you like because he does not see you as a “real” woman, whatever that means.

Oh, you mean like someone who will adopt a whole new label just to distinguish his attraction to you from attraction to cis women. FUCK you.

 Finally being open about my sexuality was liberating for me, too.

Says the straight guy.

I’ve had enough of this shaming. It’s created a disgusting culture of trans-attracted men using trans women for sex but never forming a committed relationship with them. Most trans-attracted men are only trans-attracted at night. Then, during the day, they run back to their heteronormative relationships with cis-women of whom they are not ashamed.

Yeah, people treat trans women like shit. Why are you giving these assholes an excuse?

So yeah dude. GO FUCK YOURSELF.


9 thoughts on “A response to “I’m attracted to Trans women”

  1. Thank you. I’ve discussed this with other trans women who read it differently (which is fine; we don’t all have to agree) but this really pinpointed many specific parts and the constructs that I found gross. Instead of asserting that he’s heterosexual because he “saw no difference between [trans] and cisgender women”, he disproves his entire point by taking the term “trans oriented” and ducking his own heterosexuality. Instead of explicitly asserting that heterosexuality includes attraction to trans women because we are women, he creates some rationalized other category that only further marginalizes us in order to wash away his, and other dudes’, shame or whatever.

  2. Thanks for this critique. I’ve been trying to understand what many people have found so offensive and disgusting about this article, and this helps some with the understanding. I’m cis and trying to be an ally so forgive me if I say dumb things.

    I totally understand how the term “trans-attracted” is super third-gendering and exoticizing, and I get how it’s offensive that he acts like he is a special snowflake for being attracted to trans women. But when he mentions “shame” and “inner conflict”, I don’t understand how that is saying it’s shameful to be attracted to trans women. I figured it was more a statement about the shame heaped on trans women and men who are attracted to them. In fact I thought that was the point of the article – that the shame is societally-conferred bullshit and it was a process to get over it. Anyone mind explaining to me what’s going on there?

    Anyway thanks again. Learning process for me.

  3. While it is, in general, a good thing to point out how horrible it is for society to view being attracted to a trans woman as “shameful”, doing this by separating trans women from the category of women (while saying things like “I saw no difference between [trans] and cisgender women”) is misogynistic, cissexist, hypocritical bullshit disguised as ‘good’.

    It makes me cringe when I see cis people using terms like “trans-attracted”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen terms like that used by cis people in a way that doesn’t invalidate trans people’s genders.

  4. HEY MIDORI!!!! haven’t heard from you in a while. Yup. Petty much.
    Deepa Chari: “I lived my life in confusion and shame.” Does not indicate being shamed, it indicates being ashamed. In other words, because it is shameful to like trans women. Does that clear that up?

    And the problem isn’t that he had to get past that. If this had been said in a support group for partners of trans women or trans people in general, then there wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is he’s saying this shit all out in public where he’s reinforcing harmful tropes. And he’s not gonna be able to learn and move on from this. He’s just broadcasting his racism, cissexism, and transmisogyny to the world, and claiming supporter status and praise in the process. He could be using his status as a straight white cis male to promote voices more marginalized than his, but he isn’t. He’s speaking for and over us, and in the process doing harm.

  5. That makes sense. I get the impression that one of the most offensive things about this article is the cookie the guy expects, as if saying you’re attracted to trans women constitutes advocating for them, as if he’s doing them a favor by getting a boner. In that case I guess he might have done better by making the article about this woman and the journey of his relationship with her, to discuss her humanity instead of trying to pretend he has some kind of relationship to “the trans community” at large just because he is sexually attracted to a trans woman… Well, he might have done better by not writing the article at all. But I wouldn’t say he is *definitely* not gonna be able to learn and move on. If he continues to have contact with trans people and allies and tries to understand where he’s going wrong, maybe he will get better at empathy with time.

  6. “I get the impression that one of the most offensive things about this article is the cookie the guy expects” Nope. The most inexcusable thing is the fact that he gives predators and abusers of trans women an excuse. The second most inexcusable thing is that he third genders trans women and has creepy racist exotification of Thai culture. and these aren’t things that are merely offensive. They cause harm. He’s also speaking for and over trans women. Not fucking cool. And now I’m done explaining. If you refuse to see that these things cause actual harm and not merely offense. I’m done.

  7. {Edited to remove slur}

    Thats a lot of swearing but I still dont really get the problem. The guy was being honest.
    You seem not to understand the huge stigma among men being attracted to transwomen carries. If you think it doesnt exist, youre basically just wrong. Surely ihis attitude is better than the current general status quo (specific attraction to “[edit: slur redacted]” as EVERY guy STILL calls transwomen is a basis for ridicule?)

  8. HI PON! Or should I say Alex Brady of the Art Institute online:







    1. I’d really fucking appreciate if you didn’t use transphobic slurs and hate speech on my blog. Yes, I have to deal with that in daily life, but I don’t want you shitting up my comments section.

    2. “that’s a lot of swearing, but I don’t really get the problem” Did you read my post? The problem is that he fetishizes and increases stigmatization of transgender women and gives justification to our abusers.

    3. “You seem not to understand the huge stigma among men being attracted to transwomen carries. If you think it doesnt exist, youre basically just wrong.” Uh, the stigmatization of those guys is directly related to the stigmatization of trans women. And his transmisgoynistic article increases our stigmatization and oppression.

    4. “Surely ihis attitude is better than the current general status quo” his article increases our oppression. Better isn’t good enough.

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