Writing this chapter, I feel somewhat weary, I’m writing about something that’s very personal to me but I think that it needs to be said.

A lot of people wonder why I bother my ass dating while my situation is so complicated and I can kind of understand why. But I’m not making a huge effort when I date online, I’m just having fun with it.

A lot of people also don’t understand what I could possibly be trying to achieve. Am I looking for straight boys who don’t mind the fact that I am currently identifying as male? Am I looking for gay guys who will no longer be attracted to me after my transition? Honestly I don’t believe that sexuality is that simple. There are bisexual boys and many other forms of sexuality that society refuses to acknowledge and understand.

I want to talk about a certain type of boy that I encounter often. It may surprise you to discover that my profile does actually gain a lot of interest. I chat to many people, but the majority of the time they just want discreet sex (which I never want, it’s just not my style). It can be difficult to find boys who a) are genuinely interested in me as a person and b) are willing to go on a date with me in public.

But every now and again somebody pops up who I have a real connection with. We chat for a while and I can tell that I’ve impressed them. I can be extremely charming when I want to and I know for a fact that I’m excellent at flirting. They’ll usually drop hints every now and again that they are afraid to be seen with me. That’s a really difficult thing to hear. That most boys are terrified of getting spotted walking alongside me on the street or sitting down to dinner with me. It’s also so difficult to know how to respond. Generally, these boys are upset by their attraction to me. They ask me whether this means that they’re gay or a freak. They are scared. And that’s such a difficult thing for me to encounter.

They want me to meet them in secret, or they want to come to my apartment so they can “experiment.” I never do this because personally, I am seeking a real connection, not a “no strings attached” arrangement. It saddens me to see these boys who know that they would face an awful lot of criticism if they ever admitted their attraction to trans women.

Why are there men out there who are have an attraction to trans women? Who knows? Why are there trans women in the first place? Why are there gay men and gay women and a number of other people who are made to feel different on a daily basis?

What I do know is that the stigma around this particular occurrence needs to be abolished. Because I have seen what happens when men are too afraid to accept this attraction. Every now and again, I’ll encounter an older, desperate and unhappy man with an attraction to trans women. His eyes light up when he sees me and he has an expression that conveys an almost desperate hunger that turns my stomach. This is all because they’ve learned to suppress this desire that they have.

This is wrong. I don’t believe that these boys can help their attraction and they should feel free to be spotted on the street with me without being ridiculed. Now that people are finally beginning to take trans people seriously, they also need to recognise that trans people deserve love and not question the ones who are attracted to them. It’s not a perversion to be attracted to a certain type of woman. A woman who’s tall, blonde, fat skinny, tanned, pale. What is the big deal about attractions to trans women? If the universe has trans people, it’s only natural that the universe has people who are attracted to said people.

What usually happens in these situations is that, after meeting a boy who I genuinely have an attraction to, he will block me or never go online again. He will disappear from my inbox because he got scared. It’s not me he’s afraid of. It’s everyone out there. And that’s the end of it. All because society has decided that I don’t deserve romance.

This stigma is what led to me being stood up that day. It’s what leads boy to block me. It’s what has made me slightly cynical but also unwilling to get attached to anyone I chat to online. It’s what leads to the worthlessness and loneliness that trans women often feel. All because there is a significant group of people out there who believe that people like me don’t deserve a partner. It’s wrong and it needs to change.

Watch my video about my struggles for online dating below:

Read my essay about getting stood up here.

2 Comments on “Disappearing Acts.

  1. Pingback: Boys, Girls and Me. | Laylah Talks

  2. Pingback: My Teenage Group | Laylah Talks

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