Stop shaming men that fall in love with trans women.

Many men are attracted to women, and trans women are among these women.

Society has not created a space for men to openly express their desire to be with trans women. Instead, we shame men who have this desire. We label them, cheaters and “chasers” to the “trade,” clients, and pornography admirers.

Society tells men to keep their attraction to trans women secret, to limit it to the internet, keep it as a passing fetish. In effect, this tells trans women that we are only deserving of secret interactions with men, which only further demeans and stigmatizes trans women.

Men should not be shamed for merely interacting with trans women – whether it be through a photograph, in public, or otherwise. This kind of pervasive ideology says that trans women are shameful, that trans women are not worthy of being seen and that trans women must remain a secret, invisible, and disposable.

If a man is seen with a trans woman, he will likely deny his attraction, trash talks us, and in the worst case scenario, murder the woman in question. Men do this to maintain their standing in society. Society tells men that associate with trans women, that they are not “real” men because they sleep with “fake” women.

This way of thinking is harmful, misogynistic and pervasive. It not only puts shame on the men that are attracted to transgender women, but also puts trans women’s lives at risk of being harassed, assaulted, and even murdered for being who they are.

It affects the way that we perceive ourselves. It amplifies our gender dysphoria issues, our self-esteem. If trans women believe that the only way we can share intimacy with a man is through secret hookups, booty calls, etc. it will lead to us possibly engaging in risky sexual behaviors. This makes trans women more vulnerable to criminalization, disease, and violence.

It leaves us thinking that we are not worthy to be seen and if we are it increases our risk of violence from men who take out their frustrations about their sexuality on us with their fists.

Sylvia Rivera said, “I will no longer put up with this shit.”

I am with Rivera on this.

I am a trans woman.

We are not secrets.

We are not shameful.

We are worthy of respect, desire, and love.

There are many kinds of women. There are many kinds of men. Men desire many kinds of women.

Transgender women are among them and let’s be clear: Trans women are women.

In my experience with straight men that have been attracted to me, they almost always wanted the entire thing to be a secret. I understand why because of the shame put on them.

There was a guy that I was hanging out with and purchased a rose for him at a local flower shop in Miramichi, N.B and requested it be delivered to him on Valentines Day.

Turns out the person that took the information from me used his name to ask around to see if he was a gay, which not only delegitimizes my identity but also insinuates men that desire trans women are gay (as if its a bad thing to be gay).

My own sexual assault happened at the hands of a man that wanted the entire situation to remain secret. Which validates the need for society to change the ideology of men that desire transgender women.

I’m currently seeing a man who is scared to kiss me in public or walk with me in a store, all because the society we live in will judge him for it.

If you want to be apart of the solution, stop delegitimize the identities, bodies, and existence of trans women. Stop stigmatize the men who yearn to be with us. Stop allowing your family and friends to treat trans lives lesser than.

We all deserve to be loved for who we are. #LoveIsLove!