Tuesday, September 29, 2015

When dating trans people - I

So this is not another whiny impression of myself that I often do on this blog. With this entry, I am drawing on my now-past relationship of nearly 11 months, and I am hoping that these pointers could be a lifesaver, a relationship-saver, to be precise, when/if you are dating and/or are in a relationship with a trans person. This time I am doing the "don't"s.

1. DO NOT OUT THEM. No matter how good your intentions are, just do not out your date/boyfriend/girlfriend as a trans person. It is a no-no. It will always be a no-no, under any and all circumstances. Many trans people are alright with claiming and owning the identity that has given many of us years of anguish. But some may not even be ok with whatever the definitions and boxes that cis people impose on trans people. Furthermore, do not out them in relation to you, that is, do not out them to explain yourself, in many cases, your own sexuality. As a sexual being, you had formed much before meeting your trans other, so why use them to validate/exemplify whatever the sexuality you are claiming? When people in your life know your date/boyfriend/girlfriend well enough, when your date/boyfriend/girlfriend feels alright to disclose whatever about their trans identities, their bodies, etc, that's when THEY, not you, go into the "coming out" mode. Never before, and never to justify your own sexuality. Or to represent your date. I was shocked to hear from an ex that he had not only outed me to a group of people I have no idea about, and in most probability, will never have an idea about because I never met them (and never will because all I am to him is a body part, but that's dealt with later, down below). The same "do not out them" also applies to the stages of their transition, especially the bodily one.

2. DO NOT USE THEIR BODY PARTS AS SLURS. It's called "abuse", "transphobic abuse". Very simple. If you call your trans girlfriend "a dick", she will most probably walk out on you and will never look back - kudos to her! When I got called a vagina, I should've walked out, alas look at where all my insecurities brought me - to a deep sea of indignity... Trans people like myself are infinitely aware of our bodies and everything that our bodies came to represent to us in our long struggle to claim our identities and our bodies. I am sure there are many [trans] guys out there who don't mind being called their body parts that they very often have extremely complicated relationship with, all throughout their lives. But the fact remains that they will not, ever, be ok to be called that when you're in the middle of a fight. It is also an absolute no-fucking-no to identify their gender via their body parts, something that will completely lock their doors forever for you. Like my ex-boyfriend outing me + telling people that because I am a trans man, he, in his turn, must be bisexual. Beyond belief. Once you have done that, no matter what you say afterwards, all they will keep hearing is the slur, the abuse, the complete disregard for all their reality contained in the fact fact that they had been labelled "a woman" because of the presence of the embattled vagina when they are trans men,  or "a man" because of the presence of the embattled penis when they are trans women. When you use your trans date/boyfriend/girlfriend's body parts as the main determining factor for their gender, what the fuck are you doing dating them anyway? If you really feel that a trans man is a woman because of their body part, are you not just a condescending cissexist who is more than less saying "this poor trans persons should be elated I have deigned to be with them"?

3. DO NOT EXCLUDE THEM from your life. Most trans people have written - in their heads - thousands of treatises on the politics and realities of belonging, and the last place they want to feel excluded from is the lives of their dates/boyfriends/girlfriends. If you are  unable to let them in your life fully, do not go beyond the meet-and-greet politeness. Many of us, especially since transition, find ourselves in a social limbo. Transitioning is a lonely process, it is a risky process to one's well-being and safety, not to talk of other things. If for whatever the reason, your trans date/boyfriend/girlfriend feels that they are excluded, in most probability they are being excluded, whether you realise it or not. So what kind of a relationship it is when one has only the private sphere for the personal life? It's called "a-booty-call", not a relationship. If that's where you are comfortable, do not even attempt to go any further in your dealings with your trans date, definitely do not jump the gun and move in with them after the third one-night stand. If things went so far as to the fact of you two living together, tough titties, deal with it, and with all that a relationship entails, be a human.

Dating and being in a relationship with a trans person is not easy. All relationships are not easy. Multiply that by 100-fold when you're with a trans person. With these insights, I am finishing my entry on DatingTransPeople101. Someone will surely find them useful.

With my Brussels gig cancelled for whatever the unknown-to-me reasons, and with the messy, bloody and blood-curdling break-up taking most of my living and breathing in the past month and more, I am at a point of wanting to leave the tried-and-true methods of recuperating from a broken heart and a million breaking parts inside my head. With the autumn deeply set in Ulaanbaatar, cooped up in my apartment with my cat thanks to the common cold that has claimed my weekend and more, I am dreaming tropics, and snow, alternately... The only things that wake me from these are messages, one of them especially horrid, that a friend got beaten up and kicked in the face because she talked about me. So much hate for the dude whose only fault has been to philosophise about love empirically and theoretically, and demand dignity for LGBT people in Mongolia. Well done, haters.

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