Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

big hairy mole

7 Comments

what should they know and when should they know it?

about five years ago, a nearly life-long friend of mine who’d gone through sexual reassignment surgery and was embarking on dating men asked me a question. she wanted to know at which point she should ‘reveal’ the truth of her past.

it was a hard question for me to think about answering. on the one hand, i felt that as a cis-woman it wasn’t my place to advise. on the other hand, this was a dear and very close friend who was asking me really only for my opinion.

but there were even more difficult aspects of this simple request. my fears for her safety made me want to say that she should make sure the person knows before the situation gets involved enough to rouse desire in the guy. (my friend is straight). i know all too well how dangerous the world can be. there are countless stories i’ve heard from people and in the news about men attacking women who are transsexuals. they often feel mislead, betrayed and enraged if they have felt attracted to someone they find out wasn’t exactly ‘female’.

still, i was conflicted by the fact that on the occasions that trans-women have approached me for the purpose of a date, they have felt the need to tell me that they weren’t ‘born’ women. an unnecessary precaution as far as i’m concerned, since even before my own child presented herself to me as other than the son i’d thought i was raising, it seemed to me that a person who’s had to go such lengths to become the woman they’ve always known themselves to be is perhaps more woman than i am, who by accident of birth was born one.

now that i am the parent of a trans-girl i feel even more of a disconnect between the things i feel it’s necessary for others to know and the things that happen if they don’t know such things in advance.

my daughter is a girl and has always been one. the fact of her male body is to her mind a cruel birth defect, one that will be surgically repaired at the earliest possible convenience. so what if it was a cleft palate that was surgically repaired? would it be necessary to inform a potential ‘date’ about that? what about if it was a big hairy mole that was removed?

why is it considered necessary for trans-persons to reveal all? isn’t it only because cis-privelege demands it of them? even some of the most open-minded within the lgbt community think that transgender/transsexual people should be ‘out’ about the gender that was assigned at birth. i know. i’ve met them!

so, and i’m asking for opinions now, what should they know and when should they know it? how much of a person’s past identity, whether physical or merely their ‘history’ must they reveal? and why? should i be required to let a person i’m interested in know that 40 years ago i used heroin? that i’m fatally allergic to bees?

some people who think trans-folk should reveal themselves before dating insist that it is deceptive not to. but what about their own pasts histories do they withhold? what about their own medical histories do they deem private matters? isn’t insisting that transsexual/transgender persons tell all just another way to discriminate between “them” and “us”?

my daughter is very out in the open about herself,and prefers not to hide things she’s not ashamed of. and society needs to see people like her. to know that they are normal. but for myself, i think that it is no more necessary for a girl to reveal such things before we date than it is for her to tell me about a big hairy mole removed from her ass.

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7 thoughts on “big hairy mole

  1. I really wrestle with this. Because of the safety concerns you’ve mentioned, it seems like something you want to disclose before getting intimate. However, if you disclose right off the bat, there’s a chance you will be rejected before the person even gets to know you. It’s definitely not something I feel needs to come up on first meeting. As you said, there must be some amount of privacy for the trans person.

    • as a cis-sexual person it is impossible for me to speak to the things transsexual/transgender people feel it is their right to keep private. but i think that the result of disclosure can often result in rejection or discrimination. i personally don’t consider that it is my right to know what ‘parts’ someone was born with…still am acutely aware of the things some people will justify if they are not ‘warned’ or told….thanks for weighing in!

      • Maybe I’m generalizing too much, but I also think transwomen are at far more risk for violence over not disclosing their status to a potential lover than transmen are. Straight men feel far more threatened by the possibility that having sex with a transwoman somehow makes them gay. Women, on the other hand, seem to be able to love a person for who they are and can work past the physical body more easily. Women are much stronger emotionally when it comes to this issue.

      • i have found this to be the case. but rather than believing that the reason for this is that women are just more understanding, i see society’s hand in it. after all, in our western culture lesbianism is generally more palatable than male homosexuality. so women aren’t as repulsed by the notion that the man they are attracted to was once a woman. it doesn’t take away from their own femininity the way that a man possibly being attracted to a woman who was once a man might take away from his sense of masculinity. maybe?

  2. I think I’m beginning to understand the root problem behind the whole “deception” thing. Cis-males who have never had any question about their sexuality tend to place an almost sacred reverence on their genitalia. It is nothing short of an abomination that a trans woman would choose to do any sort of damage to that particular “big hairy mole”. Not only that, but somehow they feel that they have been personally injured. Just think about a room full of men watching something on TV and they see someone take a groin shot. Every man in the room will bend over and cover their crotch and most of them will groan as if they felt the pain personally. It is as if every penis in the world were somehow interconnected and to hurt one is to hurt them all.
    Some very open-minded and accepting men that I know struggle with the idea that I plan to have my birth defect removed. They can accept me in theory, but when they have to face the reality that I am actually changing sex and going to do irreparable harm to that part, they get very uncomfortable.
    Project forward to a time when I have all the right parts in all the right places and some unsuspecting man finds out that he has been attracted to a blood traitor who actually did the unthinkable to the sacred object, and you can see where there might be an irrational reaction.
    I’m not saying it’s right, or it’s rational, I’m just saying it’s real. I don’t especially relish the idea of having to carry around a sign describing my past, but I also don’t want to be on the wrong end of an irrational reaction.

    • great insights! and something i, as a cis-woman, would never have even considered. i do know that a straight male if attracted to a trans-woman sometimes feels threatened…as tho it means he is a little ‘gay’. but this, i’d never even considered! thanks so much

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