Stories

Exploring Transgender Today

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How Do I Know What I Don’t Know?

I remember twenty years ago, the word “transexual” wasn’t really a term spoken with the respect it’s given today, not at all.

It was only the word “tranny” basically. It also wasn’t anything that openly discussed in even the most liberal circles. 

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Some people did, but I didn’t meet them until far later in my life. I know that in pornography, videos, magazines, and conversations with kids, few people were confident or educated enough to explore and admit any inclinations to explore intimacy with trans people.

I didn’t know any trans people in junior high or high school when I was growing up, and I know that none of my teachers had the curiosity, clue or inclination to educate us on the silent but certain reality of gay, lesbian and even transgender people; so I didn’t know really how to ask specific questions when I met trans men and women at the Pride Parade in Toronto, or various events around the queer community I started to explore as I got older.

One of the biggest problems that I think exists in my personal experience, is the struggle to not sound like I’m sexualizing or minimizing the transgender people I meet.

When I meet a trans person, after going so long in my life without meeting one, I want to keep my emotional self-awareness and integrity high enough to sustain my honor to counteract the inclination to either oversexualize a trans person, or to do the opposite if I don’t feel like a foundation is manifesting that I am familiar with.

Not wanting to get it wrong, when exploring such new territory isn’t easy, especially when I don’t want to be part of the problem, and say the wrong thing and hurt their feelings when I really am just speaking out of the most innocent type of ignorance.

So, I gently go forth, and try to make love the best I can…

In love,
Addi Stewart

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