Trans porn, trans women, and the fetishization of “tgurls”

Screen-shot-2014-04-07-at-6.21.12-PM-640x426.png(Bailey Jay)

Content warning: this post contains mentions of trans slurs and descriptions of transphobic violence.

Porn featuring pre-op/non-op trans women has always been popular among straight men and continues to be widely popular. I specifically mention the terms “pre-op/non-op” because that’s the only kind of trans woman that seems to be popular with straight men. Everyone knows, if you wanna be a trans porn star, you better keep your dick.

The fetishization of women with penises is at the very heart of why trans porn is so popular. But why? Why are straight men (and there are female trans chasers too) so obsessed with trans women who have penises? How could it be that many straight men would not date, love, or marry a trans woman but he will jerk off to her on the internet? If you want to see the fetishization of trans women happen in real time it’s easy, just go to craiglist’s “m4t” section and read and weep. Straight men will fuck us, but not love us. All they care about is that we are “passable”, not that we are strong, determined, beautiful women.

They don’t really see us as females, they see us as a third sex. We are never simply women, or even trans women, but rather trannies, tgirls, gurls, tgirls, transsexuals, TS, TS gurls, shemales, ladyboys, chicks with dicks,etc. TERFs third-sex us as well, calling us male-to-trans, MtTs.

What’s the one glaring difference between cis porn and trans porn? The genitals are different. That’s all it is. But why do straight men consume so much porn featuring women with not-commonly-seen genitals? I hesitate to wager a speculative hypothesis: novelty and taboo are dominant factors. For straight men used to having sex with cis women and watching  porn of cis women, trans women represent something they see as “exotic”. Trans women make up roughly 1% of the population. Many Americans don’t personally know any trans people. Perhaps they have heard of Caitlyn Jenner. But you bet they’re watching trans porn. Our rarity makes us anomalies to the cis world, strange creatures who are Othered so strongly that we become a separate metaphysical category: the tgirl.

When you combine the novelty factor with the social stigma against trans bodies it creates a taboo whereby trans porn becomes “dirty”, “naughty”, or otherwise scandalous. This why straight male celebrities who get “caught” dating tran women often end up in media scandals and their masculinity is challenged. It’s why so many straight men might hook up with trans women but not bring them to thanksgiving dinner. The taboo nature of trans people, and especially trans women, fuels the fetishization against trans women. When straight men consume too much cis porn they become bored and the taboo nature of trans porn leads to it’s long-time, overwhelming popularity among straight cis men.

Why does this matter? Why am I talking about this? Because let me give you a scenario, a scenario that is drawn from real life. A straight cis male is horny, watching trans porn. He gets so horny that he wants to find a trans sex worker to fulfill his fantasy. He goes on craigslist and finds someone. He has sex with her, cums, and then has a sudden feeling of disgust (stemming from the taboo), feels his heterosexuality and manhood are threatened because he just slept with a non-cis woman and possibly got off on her having a dick. He gets enraged and defensive, “panics”, and then brutally murders the trans woman for having the audacity to be herself. I am not making up this scenario at all. It is straight up pulled from real life, often involving trans women of color. Sadly, this so-called “panic defense” is admissible in court as an excuse for murder in most states.

This is why the fetishization of trans women is so dangerous. It fuels violence against trans women by men who have been so poisoned by the stigma in society against trans people, especially trans women, that they want to fuck us or be fucked by us yet are so disgusted by us that they will kill us afterwards. Or maybe they will skip the sex and just kill us for being who we are. Or beat the shit out of us until we are an inch from death. It happens. all the time. all across the world. 

So next time you internally Other a trans woman, remember, your attitude of fetishization and objectification of her body is indirectly fueling the exploitation of trans bodies and the brutal violence against those bodies. Your fetish is dripping with blood.

But don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being attracted to trans bodies. I get it, trust me: trans people are beautiful and our bodies are special and wonderful as well. The problem is not finding trans women attractive. It’s the automatic mental operation of putting us into the metaphysical category of an Other, an automatic third sex option ticked off, why it’s so common for straight men to only call us gurls because they want to highlight how we are so different from cis girls, a whole other creature: a tranny. mtf. tgurl.

There is nothing wrong with third sex/gender, or thinking that you are third sex/gender. I actually prefer to think of myself as third gender. It’s what I feel most comfortable with. But I would never say that all other trans people are third gender, because many feel they are firmly within the gender binary and I respect that. It’s the way in which we are thrown into the third sex/gender category without our explicit consent. It’s the way our bodies are seen as exotic and other worldly, like a living breathing sex doll with “unique features”. This widespread attitude is dangerous and fuels much of the transphobic violence against trans women.

If we are going to put an end to transphobic violence and the dangerous fetishization of trans bodies, we need to, as a society, become more accepting of trans people, especially trans women, as normal members of society, not deviants or perverts. We need to end the Jerry Springer-esque “freak show” phenomenon that fuels the stigma against us. We need to end medical gatekeeping. We need to stop the myth that trans women who like women are autogynephilic predators and the falsehood that trans women who like men are just hyper-gay. We need for more people to get to know us on a personal level, to see that we are people like everyone else, with hopes, fears, and a desire to be safe, loved, and respected. But most of all, we need cis people, especially cis straight males, to do their own work of educating themselves about the dangers of cis normativity, cis sexism, and toxic masculinity.

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63 Comments

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63 responses to “Trans porn, trans women, and the fetishization of “tgurls”

  1. noro Glitter

    part 1:
    l’m not english-native, therefore please don’t comment spelling or grammer
    mistakes ❤

    i would rethink this a bit. lthought a while about the differences of "sissy"-
    porn and "shemale" porn. Which often features the same bodys. but in
    different positions and With completely different personalities. The "shemale"
    is nearly always of female gender and in a dominant position. while the
    "sissy" is nearly always of male gender and in a submissive position The
    penis of the "shemale" is central, while the penis of the "sissy" is neglected.

    Like

  2. noro Glitter

    part 2:
    in the “shemale” section are two kinds of films .. the “suppress” the
    “shemale” porn – aka a guy fucks a shemale in her ass and the films where
    the “shemale” makes the guy suck her penis (which is a gesture of
    submission in porn) or fucks his Wife .> because of this i think the shemale
    porn is a sexualization of the conflict of maleness With strong (having a
    penis) woman

    The sissy-category is Widely different. Often the sissy has to suck a penis of
    a man or drink his cum —~> therefor submits to other man and sees his Wife
    getting fucked by other man Often a Woman forces or tricks the sissy so that
    he becomes hertoy. .> because of this I think the sissy porn is a
    sexualization of the conflict between man. which always show aggression
    towards other males and try to deny them there maleness, which produces
    fragile masculinity. One way of of this denial is to point out the contact of the
    man With Woman therefore contact With woman always is a risk of becoming
    more female Which is sexualized to the evilness of the Woman, who tricks or
    forces the man to submit to her and other man

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amber

      Sissy porn and transsexual porn aren’t the same thing…. which you obviously realize. And whether the trans woman in a porn film is the top or the bottom doesn’t have anything to do with the philosophical underpinnings of trans porn’s popularity in general. Unless you’re trans you probably should just listen to trans people on this because your view makes no sense and is borderline offensive.

      Like

      • noro Glitter

        I am a trans woman and pretty sure that I am able to think myself about porn wich includes bodys like mine… (before you “you are a fake” me, my twitter is @glitterkind)
        I think the top/bottom thing is very important in the interpretation of the popularity of porn wich includes trans woman, since there is much more power-structure in porn wich includes trans woman than there is otherwise. To think about this powerstructure and what is mirrored through it, is something i missed in the post and I think it’s important to understand them to understand there popularity. I reflected this powerstructure in my 2 comments and this interpretation is up to debate, but please don’t call me borderline offensive after I tried to ay down a interpretation of cis men’s weird psychological structure of maleness.

        I’m a bit freaked out by the fact, that you obviously can’t imagine a trans woman to have an other opinion than yourself.

        Liked by 2 people

      • noro Glitter

        my interpretation of porn wich includes trans woman is just, that it’s not about trans woman, but about the imagination of cis men. Therefore all i wrote was about the thoughts of cis men and not(!) about trans woman and can’t be offensive … maybe there is a language barrier and some things aren’t understandable (see part 1 – I’m not that confident about my writing-skills)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Trans porn, trans women, and the fetishization of “tgurls” | The Lotus Tea Dragon

  4. A Person

    Just wanted to say that I’m a transwoman from southside Chicago and one of my friends from high school who is also trans just shared this on Facebook and it’s spreading like wildfire among our group (which includes a handful of other transwomen) and we’re all very appreciative that you wrote this

    Like

  5. Amber

    Since you appear to be white (correct me if I’m wrong), you should stop using “third gender” to refer to yourself; that is used to refer specifically to indigenous genders other than male/female, which were violently reclassified and eliminated during colonialism by our ancestors. “Non-binary” is the equivalent for a white person. We literally cannot have a “third” gender because there is no such thing in our culture. To claim that gender is appropriation.

    For the record I am also a white American nonbinary person who was assigned male at birth. I agree generally with what you say here. But white trans people need to always be extremely careful to remember that we are just as capable and guilty of cultural appropriation as cis people.

    Like

    • transphilosopher

      Hi Amber,

      I appreciate the concern but I’m gonna have to disagree with you: I don’t think it’s culturally appropriative for white people to think of themselves as third gender. It’d be one thing if I was identifying specifically as Hijra or Two-Spirit – that would be appropriative for sure. But other cultures don’t have a monopoly on the idea of there being three kinds of things.There being at least three kind of things is a culturally universal idea. I personally don’t like the idea of “non-binary” for myself because I don’t like how it defines an identity in terms of what it is not, instead of what it is.I just think of myself as trans. If someone were to ask me what my gender was, I would say “trans woman”, not “non-binary”, though technically it is true I could identity as non-binary femme or just femme. But as a non-binary femme I like to think of my gender as existing alongside the genders of man and woman, as a third category. Like I said before, other cultures don’t have a conceptual monopoly on the idea of there being three or more kind of things. So long as I dont go around calling myself Hijra or Two-spirit or whatever, it’s fine.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amber

        It wasn’t concern, it was criticism. White trans people do this REALLY frequently, and I can’t stand to see it and not at least attempt to make them look less like ignorant fools to those educated on the subject. As a philosopher you should actually be very concerned by the fact that your theory is lacking an intersection.

        It’s really not a matter of a “conceptual monopoly,” and you’re not in a position to say “it’s fine.” You’re a white woman who thinks she’s capable of deciding for indigenous third-gender people whether it is or is not appropriative to claim the freedom to occupy a gender category that her ancestors tried to eradicate through colonial binarism, which was an explicitly racist project.

        Like

  6. Chelsi Parker

    Everyone always tries to portray men who watch trans porn, or who are attracted to pre-op/non-op transform as having a fetish, or not seeing them as “real women”. The simple truth is, for most men who are attracted to transwomen with penises, it is no different than someone who has a preference for plus size, long hair, blonde, redhead, Asian, tall, short, or any other female body type or ethnicity. To say that just because someone is sexually attracted to a woman with a penis is a pervert, or has a fetish, is just as narrow minded and wrong as it is to say that someone who is sexually attracted to a curvy woman instead of a stick thin woman has a fetish. Transwomen who choose not to have surgery to change their genitals, and find a man, or woman, who is happy with them just as they are, don’t see themselves as “sex objects” or the focus of a fetish. They feel that they are lucky to have found a person who accepts them as the woman that they are, and does not want to make them change. Not every woman is born with a vagina, or needs one. The idea that without one you are not a real woman, is what really hurts transwomen, not them being portrayed in porn as sexual beings. When people learn to accept transwomen as humans first, and trans second, life for all transwomen will be much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amber

      You don’t understand what a fetish is, let alone specifically a sexual one. Having a particular attraction to trans women solely because they have a penis IS a fetish, by definition, because it separates a part of a subject from the rest and treats it as the important sexual object. Same as a foot fetish, in which the foot becomes the sexual object, except a foot is not an oppressed gender identity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • noro Glitter

        Chelsi never mentioned attraction “solely” because of the penis. Chelsi wrote about the possibility of man with a preference for penisses like a preference for haircolor without the mention of exclusivness. That kind of thing can be problematic (for sure it should be discussed between individuals to protect them from objectification) but it’s not a fetish, if there us no focus on the penis – which chelsi explicitly mentioned is not the case. “trans woman as humans first, than as trans”

        Like

      • keke

        amber oh my goodness!!!!

        Like

  7. Monica Miller

    I am glad that there are men who find us attractive. Yes, some of them are into dick. Others are not (I would never let a guy touch my male junk, but that’s just me). I don’t lose a lot of sleep worrying about whether there are men out there who find us attractive for the “wrong” reasons, or in a creepy way. There are plenty of men who have creepy attitudes towards ciswomen, too, and I have no plans to police (or even peruse) the porn world.

    What does matter is social acceptance of relationships between men and transwomen – for men to introduce us to their families, friends and co-workers as their girlfriends/fiancees/wives/SO’s. The normalization of dating transwomen is the prize. Yes, portrayals of us in media can be a potential influencer. But the far more important factor is that we continue to increase our social visibility, which will eventually lead to greater acceptance as dating material.

    Like

  8. Cynthia

    See and you all fell into the same trap that those men are. P*** is just a form of entertainment and like any entertainment people shouldn’t be trying to gain their morals or values from it.

    Like

  9. SimpleGuyHere

    Porn is where most men discover trans women, but it is not where the story ends. Craigslist is where many men connect with trans women, but it is not where the story ends.

    Greater social acceptance and social inclusion will change how trans women are sought out by men and portrayed in the porn industry.

    This article is informative in some aspects – but what is the actual point besides stating what was stated in the above paragraph?

    Most men will be able to move beyond the fascination or stigma of a woman with a penis, especially if he gives himself the opportunity to know a trans woman on a deeper, more personal level. Their own self worth and clarity about their identity is what determines how consistent they can be as they pursue relationships with women who are trans, whether they have a penis or a vagina. Trans women with vaginas have been killed by lovers for being trans, it is just more difficult to determine and less likely to be announced publicly.

    Straight men are straight because they are attracted to women, not vaginas. This article does not do a good job of bringing that point home.

    The porn industry is the only industry that consistently employs and pays trans women, regardless of their passing privilege or lacktherof. The porn industry is doing what it has done to and for women, since it’s inception. Women benefit from the porn industry in some aspects and are victimized by it in other instances. The genitals a woman has does not change that.

    The real issue, which will be resolved with time* and the efforts of the activist community – is that men are only able to actively meet trans women through sex work or dating websites that also revolve around sex and hookup culture. This is a breeding ground for penis-centered conversations in general. It does not help men move away from the fascination / fetishization of women who have penises. Social inclusion and visibility outside of these industries is what is doing the work that will trickle into these communities inevitably.

    I think you focused on certain issues that have already been dissected heavily. Or, at least it doesn’t feel like you have written about anything that can bring greater awareness and conversation starters to cis men and their identity issues.

    Women are not their vaginas, and they are also not their penises. Let’s start with that conversation and elaborate on that powerful intersecting truth.. Trans women are not the target audience here, but without the proper sentiments – those are the only people you will reach with articles like this.

    I have been with a women, who is trans, who has a penis, for six years. I am not attracted to her penis, I am attracted to her. I am not attracted to penis or vagina. I am attracted to women, femininity, and womanness. This is not a difficult state of mind for straight men to come to. It requires education. Reprogramming. Who is equipped to do this and how, that’s what I want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Every guy I meet seems to start out talking about sex, at which point I end it. I’m not sure I will ever meet a nice guy, to be honest. I could care less about sex right now. Overwhelmingly, we are just a fetish for most men. It’s depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well written and well expressed. I particularly appreciate this:

      “Straight men are straight because they are attracted to women, not vaginas. This article does not do a good job of bringing that point home.”

      Thank you for speaking out on behalf of transamorous men.

      Like

    • You said, “The real issue… is that men are only able to actively meet trans women through sex work or dating websites that also revolve around sex and hookup culture.”

      Not saying that’s never the case, but for the record, none of the trans women (or trans men) I’ve dated were people I met through sex work or dating sites. Granted I live in a diverse metropolitan area and travel a lot.

      Just sayin’.

      Like

      • SimpleGuyHere

        I met my wife in real life, so I understand what you are saying – but, dating sites are where most people go to purposely connect and hook up, and trans people are certainly not excluded from that platform. If you are gay or bisexual or pan, you are more likely to know where and how to find real people for real connections within specific communities. Do you think that has anything to do with it?

        I stand in my belief that most cis hetero men have no idea where to actively* meet a woman who is trans outside of hook up sites or through another trans woman. Men are constantly inboxing my fiancée on Facebook and Instagram asking if she has any “other trans girls” to hook them up with. That is certainly the doing what they can to actively meet a trans woman, rather than happening to meet a woman who is trans.

        There would be nothing wrong with this if cis men knew how to act, in general, when trying to connect with a woman. It always comes with oversexualization, unnecessary and/or rude questions, and a serious lack of understanding of the seriousness of a woman who is trans opening up to a new man.

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      • Hey SimpleGuy, the Transamorous Network is working with another group to host a conference in Portland, Oregon this summer for men who are trans-attracted/transamorous. It is specifically designed to help men approaching your wife learn how to own their trans-attraction in ways that don’t harm the community and be proud about their transattraction. It would be great if you and your wife could help spread the word about this conference. Might that be something you’d want to do? It’s going to be in early August. A perfect month to visit Stumptown!

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  10. Janine

    I have a love/hate relationship with porn.

    It was through trans porn that I was able to discover myself as a trans woman. It was a great moment of clarity to see women who were what I could be and who I knew I wanted to be.

    Unfortunately, it was also what kept my in the closet. The stigma that came with trans women and only knowing them through pornography, I felt like if I chose that life, I only had that as a viable option. No one would want me as anything else. I couldn’t be a parent, or be near children or even be out in the daytime.

    It was only with time and research that I was able to not only learn more about myself, but to remove the conditioning I had gained over the years. It’s been ten years since I knew and it feels like I’m just starting to live my life now.

    These days, the love and hate continues. While trans porn does help me normalize my own body in a sexual way, I also get immediately frustrated if I come across a phrase or description that feels belittling.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Trans porn, trans women, and the fetishization of “tgurls” – The liberation of sissybitch alliej

  12. I’m a trans female porn actress/model (along with many others things such as musician, activist, mentor, etc) and while there are things I find very problematic about the whole scene, I don’t think it’s very prudent to blame trans porn for transphobia; for most of us in the business, it’s the only way we can pay the bills. On one hand yes, producers profiting off our dysphoria and making slurs into something sexy is a serious problem; on the other hand things are rapidly changing in the scene. Many trans female performers are opting to shoot and produce their own porn which is more often than not based in trans activism, body image love, and self empowerment. As the large scale producers are slowly giving way to niche and artistic styles, this has allowed many of us in the industry to take control of the situation and put out something more positive; where the porn is more based on activity (BDSM, situational stuff, etc) rather than a trans woman having a penis.
    In my honest opinion, I feel a lot of the bigotry trans people deal with stems from TERFS and their unabashed crusade against trans acceptance. For anyone who doesn’t know, the term ‘shemale’ did NOT originate in porn, it originated in a book entitled ‘Transsexual Empire’; written by a 2nd wave TERF by the name Janice Raymond. This effectively halted the trans acceptance progress that had been gaining momentum since the late 60’s, and it restored public paranoia and hatred towards the community.
    Anyway, I do very much appreciate this posting and do agree with you that there is indeed a lot of dangerously problematic issues in trans porn. However, keep in mind a lot of us performers in the business are doing our best to change it for the better ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • As someone who was all the way through transition when Raymond’s book came out, and as a non-disclosing dyke in the lesbian community, I was horrified by Raymond’s transphobic screed. Having started transition in the early 1970s, I would say that rans acceptance was *not* happening. The only way to survive was stealth or you might very well get you ass kicked but good.

      I agree TERFs, trans exclusionary radical feminists, act badly but they aren’t radical and they aren’t feminists. They are reactionary. Many of them are ex-transmen or wannabe trans men who opted to be butch dykes who could not hack transition, and who can blame them? Wading into a man’s world is very tough. And kicking down is always easier. They don’t take on the patriarchy. They take on a subgroup of other women, hence Julie Sarano’s apt title for her book, “Whipping Girl.” The young prince can’t be punished for being bad, so they take a commoner, a boy, and whip him in the young prince’s place.

      How do I know this–that some, though by no means all, of them are failed transmen? I passed as a dyke and without knowing what I was up against I ran into these women and heard them recount their stories in various places from restaurants to living rooms. Just one example of one who bemoaned, “I *thought* I was a boy, but then the women’s movement came along and so I decided to be lesbian. Now with this *trans thing,* what am I supposed to do?

      We’ve all seen the anti-gay politician be exposed as cruising the men’s rooms or caught in a motel with a gay stud.

      I won’t go into it here, but Raymond was grinding an ax about something in her personal life that boiled over and Mary Daly, another ex-nun and Raymond’s graduate advisor, put together the slipshod book that is almost comical in this century, were it not for the harm and hurt it caused. Read Sandy Stone’s, “The Empire Strikes Back.” She was also stealth lesbian until someone decided to expose her to the Olivia records collective. A lot of us went to ground when both Stone and Renee Richards got pilloried in the news at the time. There were a couple others whose names are less well known, but I will not throw gasoline on that fire.

      Shemale was not so much what Raymond called it as male-to-surgically-constructed-female.

      The final irony is that the TERFs are in a dither that postop “wimmin” will be infiltrating their ranks and, Lordie!, sleeping with them. Well, you can’t tell we were not born exactly the way we look. That’s a distinction without a difference if there ever was one.

      Voight-Kampff tests for everyone? Heaven forbid you fall for one of us.

      Like

  13. Hello, I just wanted to comment in support of your writings. I think you handle yourself well and with a great deal of factual investigation, as well as a even temperament. I enjoyed your article and it has allowed me a better insight into the worries and concerns of the trans community. I’m a bisex male so any more understanding i can get is welcome!

    Thank you!

    Like

  14. TL/DR: this is an interesting sharing of your current understanding. As a philosopher, I’m eager to see you go farther than that.

    There is a lot to unpack here.

    First, full disclosure: I own and operate The Transamorous Network. Part of our mission is to make the transgender community safer, by helping trans-attracted men proudly own their natural, normal and respectable attraction to transgender women.” Through The Network I have spoken directly with a lot of these men and many transgender women as well. I’m also transamorous myself. So I have a lot of background and experience on this topic.

    Ok, now for the substance: Congratulations on this blog, Rachel. More voices are good. Particularly if they expand the conversation, rather than revisiting what has been. After all, is that not the purpose of philosophy? To expand our understanding?

    While your post accurately reflects the opinions, perspective and experiences you have, it is not breaking new ground. “Fetishization” has been around forever, particularly over the penis (no matter what it’s attached to). Besides the penis, fetishization occurs for virtually every body part – and many non-human objects I might add – and is NOT shameful. To shame people for their human-to-human fetish (so long as no violence is occurring) is to misunderstand what is going on between two, consenting people, and to miss entirely the broader perspective informing that consent. And for sure, when a transgender sex worker and her John enter into a transactional agreement, that’s exactly what is happening…consent. Consent to be fetishized, and consent to be paid for that “work.” That consent exists whether they are meeting in person, or by proxy via porn.

    There’s too much shaming going on in the human race, and in the trans community specifically. Please, let’s give it a rest.

    As a comment above noted, it’s accurate to say many men find out about transgender women through porn. But there is more going on than that, and as a philosopher I think you’ll find it fascinating to dive into the “more” here. For there are precursor events happening which orchestrate these men’s encounter with trans porn. Do you think it’s an accident or coincidence that they “find” such porn? I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences. So my answer is “no.” Indeed, these men have come into the world naturally attracted to transgender women AS WOMEN. The experience you describe above may appear as a fetish to you. And only for you, your conclusion is “right”. But, over time, for those men courageous enough to persist, it is a transitionary stage. To say all men who watch transgender porn are “fetishizing” transgender women not only shames men trying to make sense of who and what they are, it sees them one-dimensionally. That’s a complaint I hear a lot … from transgender women: they don’t like being seen one-dimensionally. No one does because no one is.

    What you’re describing is a snapshot of a fluid dynamic. As acceptance of trans-attaction increases, the dynamic will be better seen, understood and appreciated. IMHO, a lot of progress can happen from women who happen to be trans seeking to understand this dynamic, rather than condemning it. Yes, transgender people already have a lot on their plate with their own transition. Noted. But you’re also extraordinary. That’s why you came into the world with this gift.

    Now, violence on trans people is just that and only that. As with everything, there is much, much more (deeper) going on when a transgender woman dies. Does the violence need to decrease? Of course, it will and is. Be careful, however, focusing too much on what the media is showing. As a former journalist, I know the media hyper-focuses on (bad) news: it sells. So we can’t know as individuals what proportion of violence on transwomen happens relative to all the other transwomen out there who are not having that subjective experience. All experience is subjective. And statistics are susceptible to that subjectivity.

    Your experiences, feelings and beliefs are valid and real. For you. I’m sure you don’t need me to confirm that for you. It is pretty near impossible to know, however, what another’s experience is as all experience is subjective. Even talking with them directly sheds little light. The best way to understand is to DEEPLY experience your own life experience. Not trying to “mansplain.”
    Although it may seem so. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Troy Kennedy

      My brother, you always put things in a clear perspective and I’m honored to call you a friend. I’ve dated trans women for the last 30 years, the last 16 years I’ve dated trans women exclusively. I’ve been speaking out for well over a decade as a trans attracted/amorous/accepting man and do see the need to normalize our relationships.

      But I feel there are tons of generalizations in this article. I did not start my attraction to trans women from porn. I met a young trans woman in the mid 80’s and struggled with that attraction. Ironically, my brother went through exactly the same thing at the same time. Because of the demonization of trans women/third gender/two-spirited peoples by both European colonialism and the religions of Abraham, that true history and knowledge of trans folks had been buried. As long as society, with the help of religion, continues to preach the false narrative that this is something unnatural, we will continue to have men denying their attractions.

      I’ve interviewed hundreds of men over the past 15 years. Some were introduced to trans women through porn, but there are a ton of men who have run into trans women in “real life”. We weren’t told that trans women existed. When I was in the 5th grade, I knew I was attracted to women. When I was 20 years old? I met my first trans woman and I was smitten/shocked/confused/intrigued/angry/excited all at once. Porn for me came a while afterwards although I always enjoyed straight porn.

      The stories of the trans attracted/amorous/loving men are simply never told. I have been in three LTR’s over the last 16 years. One of my relationships lasted almost a decade. She helped raise my children, our families are still very close and my sons still look to her as a stepmother and now a grandmother. Men like Perry and I are out here fighting for and with trans women. To simply use a broad brush and claim most/all men view trans women as a fetish is wrong.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jonathan C. Hayden

        When will men like myself and some of the other men on here who are proud of their attraction and towards Trans-women not be generalized when women talk about us. Not every man fetishizes Trans-women. It’s true many of us were introduced to Trans-women through porn or some type of sexual experience, however, men like myself, Perry, William and Troy are attracted to Trans-women not because of their penis, but because of the chemistry we have connecting to their spirits and hearts. Men like ourselves have evloved and gone through our own transition from objectifying and chasing Trans-women to openly expressing our respect and admiration for our sisters, lovers and friends. We discovered that what and who we are enamored to is more than a fetish but a way of life for us. We live our truth proudly and openly and even try and educate other men so that they too can feel comfortable living their truth. The same way we cannot talk about all Trans-women, they cannot in turn talk for us. Too many Trans-women think they know us and they don’t; they judge us and don’t know who we are. If I were to generalize all Trans-women, then the entire community will rally and try and vilify me. Men are blamed for many of the problems Trans-women go through, however, it’s rare Trans-women take accountability for their own actions. For example, the author makes reference to the fetishization of Trans-women through porn; granted men and women watch the porn, but the supply is just as equal as the demand, meaning that women choose to do porn and escort, they are not necessarily forced into the industry. Granted they do it for survival, however, survival still has consequences and we must be responsibility for our own actions.

        I have never seen Trans-women as Other or a 3rd sex. Trans women are women point black and period. My sexuality it is not based on genitalia, so I just don’t like Trans-women for their penis. Gender is also not based on genitalia. I use the trans-supportive because I consider myself to be more than just Trans-attracted. Chasers are Trans-attractive, however, the difference is that men like me are friends, brothers, fathers, uncles, basically strong men who don’t just objectify Trans women but hold them up with high regards. Trans women are our sisters, not just our cum recepticles, but you will never know that if all you see us as is sex starved fetishizing men. We want love, affection and commitment just like you and we are struggling to find our place just like you. As many negative experiences I have had in the past, I don’t generalize all Trans-women women, so please do judge me. I am not collateral damage from past experiences, I am a man who sees Trans-women holistically and not sexually.

        Like

  15. William David Jones III

    Meh it’s as I have told some other guys in a trans attracted group women’s choices in men aren’t always the best granted that’s not always the case I personally can testify I’ve been turned down because I was “lame” i’ve been the booty call and have alot of misfortune as far as dating trans females but I’m not blaming them all a whole there is always exceptions to everyone and anything no one group thinks and behaves %100 the same I love trans females especially pre or non op girls I admit some of it has to do with the whole chick with a dick thing but I’m not ashamed of what I love it’s who I am and as I always say if you are not yourself then who are you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Troy Kennedy

      And there’s nothing wrong with that William. There are tons of men who feel the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And this is the thing: As there is a WIDE DIVERSITY within the community of women who happen to be trans, there is EQUALLY a similar diversity in the men who love or are attracted to them (in however way). So, what really matters are the stories we tell ourselves about the person we’re wanting to be with.

      Transgender women: If you’re complaining about men with a broad brush, about the kind of men “out there”, that there are no “good” men…then that’s what you’re gonna get: those kinds of men. Change the story you tell about men and you’ll find good men everywhere. Period.

      Like

  16. If people want to date trans then they can and thats upto them. I applaud people such as trans for being what they want to be and achieving their dreams and why not? Men maybe like them as its a forbidden fruit but i believe they can be loved like anyone else

    Liked by 1 person

  17. People can be whatever they want to be why not?

    Like

  18. SimpleGuyHere

    I am interested to know how trans women, who are serious about having a life partner, go about meeting new men that at least* they can rest-assured are safe. Safety being the number on quality, what is number two and three on the list of characteristics that make a man desirable to you?

    I am with a woman who values intelligence, loyalty, and spiritual soundness – so that is what she chose. I see many trans women 25-35 choose men who should not even be considered dateable. You have to first want better and know you deserve it. Once you get past the safety issue, then what? How does a woman of trans experience take control over her options and choices when she feels her options and choices are so limited?

    Where do you look to find a good guy? Do you automatically make a dating profile and include “Trans” in your profile? Do you take your chances trying to find a nice, well-rounded guy who you can be sure is open and non-violent?

    I know this is an important discussion. As Perry said – there is so much more to unpack. We are capable of listening and applying the information women are willing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are valid questions Simple Guy. And you’re right. There are so many transgender women, particularly in the age group you offer who are using absolutely the wrong criteria to choose partners. But this approach is not restricted to younger women. These women focus – ironically enough – on many of the same things Rachel is saying men are focusing on: superficial, objectifying aspects of masculinity: Sixpack abs, full hair, wealth, etc.

      You’re right, it would be interesting to know what are the real, enduring qualities (if any) they are looking for. Some, I believe, aren’t thinking beyond these superficial qualities. Which is the same place the men are! Why do you think these women end up meeting such men? They’re a perfect match!

      So, again, making judgements about the men does little service for the community. It simply shames the very men who would most accept them…given time for them to move along the path of their own self-acceptance.

      As transgender women move through THEIR transition to becoming who they are and accepting that, the men who love them AS PEOPLE are going through a SIMILAR PROCESS. This post does little to explore that, or the reasons why transgender women have the experiences they have with the men they CHOOSE through their stories.

      We transamorous men (the ones who have gone from “trans-attracted” – finding ourselves attracted to these people – to “transamorous” – openly and eagerly and proudly wanting a romantic relationship with the person we find attractive) are open to listening, then applying what we learn. The question I offer to Rachel here is, is she open to having such a conversation? Or is she stuck in the story from which she wrote this post.

      Like

  19. Princess Sophie of Amazingness And Glory

    ok, my name is sophie. I am speaking as person who lives as a trans woman everyday, and i am speaking as also a person highly into feminization and sissy porn. a trans woman just like any woman as a whole has a lot of needs and are each individuals just as complicated and complex as anyone else, and outside of the porn world everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, but when it comes to porn, im sorry, some of us girls like to get dirty and that is just the way it is. porn can also help encourage people who defy gender norms to come to terms and accept themselves and their sexuality. yes, some men, like with woman, dont have the best intentions, ive been through a few bad relationships myself, but a girl gets as much respect as she demands.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Nunya Beezwax

    ….Seriously? The amount of irony in this article is absolutely ridiculous. If you don’t like trans people you’re transphobic, and now if you like trans people you’re transphobic, and going even further to say that they’re anything but a regular man or woman is transphobic? Then isn’t calling someone transphobic transphobic? I mean you’re marginalizing them by including the words “trans” in the phobia. I’m beginning to think people need a dictionary for their birthday. And even if it is just “fetishizing” them, when will you attack guys with a petite fetish or a big butt fetish or big titty fetish? Where do you draw the line? I mean the asian fetish is even categorized by nationality for fuck’s sake! Filipina, Japanese, Korean, Thai… The list goes on and on! Swallow some brain cells.

    Like

    • “If you don’t like trans people you’re transphobic, and now if you like trans people you’re transphobic”

      “But don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being attracted to trans bodies. I get it, trust me: trans people are beautiful and our bodies are special and wonderful as well. The problem is not finding trans women attractive. It’s the automatic mental operation of putting us into the metaphysical category of an Other, an automatic third sex option ticked off, why it’s so common for straight men to only call us gurls because they want to highlight how we are so different from cis girls, a whole other creature: a tranny. mtf. tgurl.” Reading is helpful.

      “going even further to say that they’re anything but a regular man or woman is transphobic” …Well, women generally like to be recognized as what they are–women–and not something else, yes. There aren’t “regular” men and women and then some other kind. There are men, and there are women, and there are other genders, but you’re not usually going anywhere good when you start talking about “regular” and “not-regular.”

      “I mean the asian fetish is even categorized by nationality for fuck’s sake! Filipina, Japanese, Korean, Thai… The list goes on and on!” Fun fact: Asian women generally don’t like being fetishized, either.

      Like

  21. Trans porn has done much good for the world. It has provided transwomen (and very occasionally transmen) with a way to make money, which is important in a world that dislikes employing us. It also is often the first way many transpeople I have met even learned that being trans was an option. Transporn often provides unrealistic expectations but that is literally what all porn does. And I have noticed that there is a definite trending away from trans slurs in the porn community and more and more sites are changing their “shemale” “tranny” categories to “transgender” or at the very least “transexual” (which is still more tasteful than the other slurs). Many transpeople have been able to pay for things such as our very expensive surgeries or even just college through things like being a camgirl.

    Also, not all transwomen want srs. knowing that non-op is an option that people can be attracted to is pretty empowering to girls such as myself.

    Like

    • no my friend at the end porn is a disaster for people working on it and seeng it, the final of the film is the loneliness.I know is difficult find a good job for ladyboy. But you must try. And i know a lot of people see porn and. even, you can know yourself better,so, seeing trans porn. But why?because the society, jumps ladyboys to prostitution and porn, and they are a lot of beautiful,between them of course, as usual in porn, and this thing, their beauty i so so dangerous for men.look for a ladyboy, married her and thats all, both of us will be happy.

      Like

  22. I love you’re blog. This is a REAL and current story. Thank you for touching my life with your words. I will follow for all time! – Phicklephilly

    Like

  23. Miss Remy

    Greetings my name is Remy. I am a woman.. By means of transition. I am also Perry Grubers business partner on The Transamorous Network.com.

    Thank you Rachel for bringing this topic to the table. I feel as Perry, Jonathan and William do. The men still in the “fetish” stage of their own personal transition need to be cut a little slack. We as trans vilify these men based on our negative experiences with them. But with each negative experience we perpetuate our own story in a negative way. If u keep saying “all men want is sex.” or “no men want to date me.” then that’s what the universe will bring u a lot more of what you don’t want. We have to rewrite our stories ladies. And u can start right now… By acknowledging the transamorous and transsupportive here in these comments… See NOT ALL men are chasers. I know several of these men personally and they are strong intellectual loving men with much to offer. And are all actively working towards making trans lives and the lives of men like themselves easier, safer, happier and more joyous. I thank admire and commend you. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I would like to say that I don’t think trans porn is that common amongst people. I just think that in comparison to trans people it seems like its way more common than it actually is. 1% of people being trans is going to be hella dwarfed by even 5% of cis people being into us as a fetish.

    But yeah good read! Haven’t seen you around for a while, glad I bumped into your blog again! 🙂

    Like

  25. in many states is a excuse to murderer?really? wow, is that civilization?

    Like

  26. i likea lot your short essay, is exactly describing what happens, the circus or porn world version trans,
    And too about men that goes at night with them and nobody knows it in their houses,
    And too there are decent ladyboys working in prostitution , not all of them, but there are decent people between them , for example a ladyboy called A.she is southamerican.
    And there is an important thing about ladyboys must do : dont calling attention of people when they goes on the street, is just my point of view,

    Like

  27. pardon me..its a trans gender same with biseksual?

    Like

  28. Ms. ReDress

    Thank you for this article. It’s something we all have to contend with (straight and queer transwomen alike) at some level and it comes with many dilemmas. Myself, I want to be with a man who desires me and I’m glad when they are not only cool with me being trans but they are understanding and supportive of my journey and they see my trans nature as a strength and as part of my beauty. I certainly hate when someone is attracted to me and then rejects me when they realize I am trans. So, yay, transamorous! And WHATEVER can be done to normalize straight men being partners with male-attracted transwomen would improve the world and increase our safety and acceptance. It distresses me when so-called transamorous men are condemned as outright fetishists.

    BUT! It all too often it feels like I am an “experience” to be had, a check mark on a Bucket List. “Screw an MTF: Check!” There’s no intent to follow through with me as a person. afterward. Worse still, their desires for me are often shaped by what they see in porn, and I am not interested in being someone’s She-male Top or having my body and genitals handled in such a way. And I do think porn causes us to be viewed as less than human “she-creatures”. Of course, cis women also have the problem of porn-fueled men using and abusing them….Porn isn’t great for fostering empathy, suffice to say….

    The other dilemma I don’t hear discussed enough is that I MYSELF had a long and active porn consumption habit before HRT changed my desires, altered my libido and affected what turns me on. A few months on HRT I am about was about as interested in porn as an average cis woman, which is to say not at all. But I still have with these desires within myself—–in other words I can still somewhat RELATE to what these men are excited about.

    I don’t talk about it much because I am afraid I will be labeled an autogynephile and someone will revoke my status as a “real” transwoman, but there WAS a certain amount of trans porn and sissy porn that fueled MY desire to transition: I recognized and discovered myself in those fantasies, which is not that uncommon. There is much more to my decision to transition than that but it IS an element to my own psychosexual makeup.

    This gets me into trouble when dating sometimes because I can easily speak that language and arouse a man’s interest with it and then be disappointed and irritated with them because that is NOT how I really want to be treated.

    So here in early transition I am left with vestiges of my old testosterone-filed impulses clashing with new estrogen based identity. I sometimes get into a situation thinking I want to be fucked like a porn star but really I just want to be held and adored….it’s a recipe for disappointment at best and potential violence and abuse at worst.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transphilosopher

      Thank you for sharing your story – I can definitely relate to a lot of it myself. I first learned about trans people through porn and I don’t think I’m alone in that. But that minimal exposure is what made me put off transition for so long – It seemed like a far off dream for porn stars. I didnt even know about HRT – i just thought they all had breast implants lol. Sometimes I think – what if I had known trans women in real life or had good role models growing up that weren’t just from the porn world? Would I have transitioned earlier? Who knows. But I think there’s a danger when so many people form their first thoughts about trans women through what they see through porn. It’s totally unrealistic in so many ways. Oh and yeah, HRT/transition also killed my old habit of watching porn – I’ve also heard that trans men going on T experience increased desire for visual-objective pornography.

      Like

      • T- jacks the libido in men and that includes all men–trans men. Some of us long-term transitioners (I am MTF in the old way of saying it) are drifting back to prometrium, the “good” progesterone and have noticed an uptick in daily energy, better sleep cycles, and slightly increased libido, but nothing like being a 17-year-old in unwanted male puberty.

        I also have gone back to injectable estrogen for better skin plus it is easier on the body.

        Like

    • Thans for sharing your story. Wow, and for your honesty and candor. It’s great to see a response that is full-bodied, if you will – recognizing all sides. Porn is an interesting topic. It’s a gateway to many explorations. And, like many things, it can both serve and destroy.

      I don’t need to tell you your experiences are valid. It’s difficult to know why a person chooses certain actions however. Have you spoken with the guys you experienced as checking of a bucket list? My experience talking with these guys – and being one myself – is that it is far deeper than some experience to have then cast aside.

      The trans-attraction-to-transamorous spectrum, which represents the transition path many men like me take as part of their self discovery certainly can feel that way to women who encounter such men in such stages. But the way all of us interpret an event doesn’t necessarily correspond with the experience of others in that same event. That’s why I believe it is so important to open a conversation about the dynamics between trans-interested, trans-attracted and transamorous men: so that we can dispel with unhelpful stories – stories that simply cause people to repeat experiences they don’t want to experience – and begin fostering stories which produce everything everyone wants.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I love this good, healthy discussion. I’m surprised it didn’t also touch on trans erotica, which is porn that takes place in the imagination. Authors like Crystal Veeyant, Maxwell Avois and Sara Desmarais write very well for erotica authors and they know how to tell a story as well as turn you on.

    Like

  30. Pervert Johnson

    I am outraged that someone would commit violence against someone for feeling guilty about having sex with that person. I definitely want to have sex with a hot feminine shemale with her ding-dong in tact, but I would worship her and respect her.

    Like

    • Well if that’s true, you should start your respect by not referring to us as “shemale.” that’s a highly disrespectful term. You need to read and educate yourself should you hope to have any luck with any trans person. Your comment leans into the “chaser” idea of things and could be taken as you are only looking to fetishsize

      Like

    • Well if that’s true, you should start your respect by not referring to us as “shemale.” that’s a highly disrespectful term. You need to read and educate yourself should you hope to have any luck with any trans person. Your comment leans into the “chaser” idea of things and could be taken as you are only looking to fetishsize. Stop treating trans people as tho our purpose in life is to fulfill your sexual desires.

      Like

    • This response offers awesome insights.

      First, obviously “Pervert Johnson” is not his real name. So, if he is a real person, and not making fun of all this, he’s in a very early stage of his attraction to transgender women. Second, that he could be – simultaneously now – “outraged” about someone else’s behavior towards a transgender woman AND oblivious to his own offensive acts (by using terms supposedly widely known to be offensive), makes his comment seem to be bait: as though he intended to get a rise out of the people on this thread.

      So I’m not taking his comment too seriously because of that.

      For the benefit of others who might read this, this person is doing us all a favor. He is illustrating exactly the kind of thing we’re addressing with The Transamorous Network. Like dumb high school teens who are “pussy-whipped” by their first-time experience with vagina, people like “Pervert Johnson” are unconscious about what’s really going on with them. Thank goodness that (1) people like him are going through a PROCESS, a process that will eventually smarten them up. (2) transgender women who don’t want to be on the receiving end of such men’s behavior can EASILY tell stories – to themselves and others – that create conditions where these men never come into their experience.

      We all get experiences consistent with our stories. That’s how life works. So if you don’t want to experience “chasing” behaviors, you gotta tell different stories.

      Like

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