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Feeling undesirable

September 4, 2012

I’ve been thinking about this quote by Néstor Perlongher (a gay Argentinean poet & activist): “We don’t want to be persecuted or discriminated against or killed or cured or analyzed or explained or tolerated or understood: we want to be desired.”

Lately, I’ve been feeling alternately sad and angry about the cis world, particularly the cis gay male community; I have lots of reasons to be angry, but right now I’m just sad because I feel left out. When I started transitioning, gay men smirked or laughed (or at least looked confused) when I expressed an attraction to guys: they left it very clear that I could never be “one of them”. Now that I “pass” as cis, people assume I’m a cis gay male when I’m in lgbtq spaces, but men still lose interest when they find out I’m trans. I don’t want to be part of a community which has so many problems with inclusion (not just trans inclusion), but I’m still attracted to men, and it would be nice to be desired.

I know that some cis men are ok with trans guys, but it’s hard to know who they are. My theory is that most men would answer “no” if asked “would you date a trans man?”, but that many would date a trans man if they found out after getting to know him. If that were true, I’d eventually find someone if I started hitting on large quantities of men. But it’s really tiring; every rejection gets me so down on myself that it takes months for me to regain confidence (plus, I suck at the art of flirting!).

It’s not only being trans that makes me feel undesirable: I actually love being trans, and I love my body, though it isn’t always easy in a (cis)sexist world. I don’t feel ugly, exactly, but I do know I’m not terribly attractive (because of my personality, my voice, my inability to dance…). I really identify with this quote by transartorialism: “…sometimes to me it feels like we build our primary bridges into (gender)queer communities by arching our backs in bed, and that makes it so much harder for those of us with bodies and minds and personalities that are not the model of desire in our “communities” and even less so on the outside.”

Most of the time I don’t mind being single; family and friends are enough. But every once in a while I see two men together and I feel a longing to have that for myself, and it saddens me to know that it probably won’t happen. Of course, the idea of finding someone is scary, too: I’ve grown wary of cis men, so I’m really apprehensive of trusting them with my body. I usually try to ignore the sadness until it goes away and proceed with life as usual; I wonder if I’ll every break the cycle and actually do something about it.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2012 2:38 am

    I know rejection is rough, I’ve been through it.. but there are *so* many people out in the world. Keep putting yourself out there, it will be worth it.

    • genderkid permalink*
      September 6, 2012 12:24 am

      Thanks, man! I’m feeling better now. It isn’t the actual rejection that’s rough for me (every guy found out while we were still flirting and they just stopped pursuing me; nobody was angry or insulting). The worst part is knowing that things can’t get better. Any advice column about flirting/dating says “you get better with practice”, but even if I become a pro, most people still won’t be ok with me once they find out. It’s demotivating. Thankfully, I’ve gone back to “not caring”.

      Your blog gives me hope and I read it often because many posts resonate with me (about trying to be “stealth” at school, for instance; there aren’t many people writing about that) :-)

  2. September 7, 2012 11:26 pm

    I did not know you were gay! :O I have the same theory: “that most men would answer “no” if asked “would you date a trans man?”, but that many would date a trans man if they found out after getting to know him.” but obviously have never tested it out…

    There are a couple of transguys who write about navigating cis gay male spaces. Check out a recent post in Tips for Trans Men about that, our you can ask Matt Kailey from Tranifesto.

    As for being stealth at school, check out Post Transition Guy for one.

    However, one thing I’ll say is most of these people are writing from the US (or similar) and I know the culture can often be extremely different in Latin countries. On that note, I’d love to read more details about your experiences with all of this.

    • genderkid permalink*
      September 15, 2012 12:02 am

      Whoops, I just saw this comment. Thanks for the links! I’ll check them out :-D It’s true that things like this are very culture-specific (they even vary wildly between cities), but many things still ring true. I’m in a couple of facebook groups for Latin America trans people and sometimes this topic comes up; I could send you the links if you want.

      I recently told my theory to a more experienced (trans) friend and he didn’t outright deny it, but he said that he’d rather be with someone who’s into trans bodies than someone who’s merely tolerant (his theory is that if you don’t disclose up front, even if the guy ends up accepting you, he probably won’t be super enthusiastic about your body). I hadn’t thought about it that way; sometimes I still naively believe that some people can be attracted to a person whatever their bodily configuration. But it’s true that we deserve to be loved fully, in soul and body.

  3. September 23, 2012 10:24 pm

    I relate to this, to some extent. I think, for me, it isn’t an issue of feeling “undesirable” but, rather, not being visibly queer anymore seems to lead to more noticeable rejection. Prior to transition, I believe that being visibly queer was an automatic deterrent to some (who rejected me visually, and who I wasn’t aware of) and a huge magnet for others (who didn’t reject me aesthetically, and who I did become aware of). So, it resulted in what seemed like a lot of non-rejection. But, now that I’m assumed to be a cisgender male, I eventually a.) reveal that I’m trans* and then b.) notice the resulting rejection.

    Which makes me wonder if maybe something similar is going on with you? It just *seems* like more rejection, because of the coming out against the cisgender assumption process, and it’s harder to be a trans-lovin’ magnet because it isn’t aesthetically apparent?

  4. September 30, 2012 2:55 am

    I lived as a transwoman for a little longer then a year, so I know all about this!
    Now, I am androgynous and atttracted to males, and the same kinda things happen to me
    Feel free to talk to me anytime XD

  5. May 1, 2014 2:16 pm

    Just saw this older post: My theory is that what cis gay men are willing to try varies wildly depending on the circumstance. For instance, flirting at a club, it’s quite possible that they just wanted to get into your pants. If sex is the primary (or only) goal, then I accept that it may be simpler for some cis gay guys to stick with what they know they like. So, hard as it may be, you can’t let yourself get upset by a guy who rejects you for that. With actual dating and romance and crushes, I think that the person matters more. A guy who is really interested in you as a person is more likely to be willing to try something new. A rough analogy – if I’m on a gay sex site looking for nothing but sex, I will cut out men with small penises from the get go (trans guys are exempt from this rule). But if I’m dating a guy and have a crush, there is no way I’d become less interested if I discovered he had a small penis: we’d work around it. So while it may be scarier to risk being rejected by someone you have a crush on for being trans, I also think there’s probably less of a chance of it.

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