How I Stand in Solidarity with Transgender Women

Solidarity. It’s very important to some people, and less so to others. Some of us have zero need for it in our lives, for reasons that may be connected to wealth, privilege, power or exploitation (no need to lie, fuck it. Not in these days and times!)

Some of us have a real desire to have our community and our friends and family share the same feelings, values and beliefs as we do in our daily lives, whether they’re in the same room as you, talking to you, or you haven’t seen them in weeks, or they are working and playing with a whole other group of folks that you are not connected to.

You still hope that they share the same passions and dislike the same poisons (socially and morally), not alcohol and such, LOL. But that isn’t something you can exactly ask someone and get the perfect honest truth about.

I’ve met quite a few people who say they respect women and they respect porn, but when push comes to shove or when a real unexpected moment of truth comes to light, sometimes it is revealed harshly and disappointingly that this person does NOT respect women and doesn’t respect sex the same way I do. At that point, I stop working with and talking to them.

Sometimes those lines are blurry and more complex, and sometimes those lines are NOT blurry at all—they are hard and sharp, and difficult decisions have to be made. That’s when personality, identity, and integrity come into the light.

Something that isn’t very easy to know is how someone REALLY feels about trans folks. They can easily say, “Oh yeah, I’m cool with them, it’s all good,” with a calm tone and not make a fuss when in an open public setting with trans people. Or with  gay and lesbian people. Or Black people. Or (insert marginalized other-than-white-male group).

It’s simple to put on a mask and costume, and pretend that things are all good. Sex isn’t demanded. Intimacy isn’t required. Touch isn’t requested. But there are things that cause the truth to come to light, and it doesn’t have to be “Can you make love with this trans person right here and now?” but something simple like “Will you shake this trans person’s hand?” or “Can you give them a hug?” And what if the answer is NO?

What if YOUR SEXUAL PARTNER is someone who says they are transphobic? Or unable to touch a trans person? Or read a trans person’s story on the internet? What if it’s someone you’ve been in love with for months or years? What if it’s someone you have personal plans with? What if it’s someone you have deep dreams with?

Some serious decisions have to be made at some point. Sometimes we just have to say, “No, that’s not cool” and let them know that we won’t tolerate any transphobia. And sometimes we have to have a conversation about it, that their “jokes” and snide comments need to quit.

Maybe they don’t understand the depth of their insensitivity. Who knows? Talk it out, though. It comes to a point, with some people. You never know if some of your cis lovers are transphobic of your trans lovers, so sometimes you gotta stand your solid ground, and ask for a moment of truth to come to the light.

Be the Man who Advocates for Trans Women

I wish you well,
Addi Stewart

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