Trans women who date men have a difficult time wrestling with how and when they should disclose their trans status to their partners. Trans women face serious repercussions should a partner or potential partner react violently to the revelation. Trans-identified women are routinely beaten and murdered by “surprised” heterosexual partners. According to law enforcement sources, there are two transgendered individuals murdered each week in the United States, and it’s likely that the numbers are higher, with cases of violence not reported or not properly classified for what they really are: hate crimes.
In the video below, trans activist Zinnia Jones makes some very convincing points about the whole notion of trans disclosure, noting that the acceptance of the irrational and inappropriate violent behavior of men who discover that they have had sex with a trans woman fosters a continuing cycle of violence, as it creates a tacit acceptance of seriously wounding or killing a woman because it upsets a man’s delicate masculine sensibilities. The notion of disclosure presupposes that there is something that needs to be told to a potential partner. If a person is HIV-positive, arguably this would be something one would have a moral obligation to disclose to a partner, but it is also the responsibility of the other to ask about one’s HIV status and to wear a condom to avoid the risks. However, in a sexual situation with a post-op transsexual, there is no demonstrable harm caused by the (presumably safe) sex itself, why is it that men who hurt or murder trans women they have had sex with can simply state that they’ve been somehow harmed by having consensual sex with someone? If the notion of having sex with a trans woman who is indistinguishable from a cisgender woman is so potentially damaging to the psyches of these men, it should be on them to ask the question, not on the woman to disclose her full medical history to any potential date.
Trans women have gone to hell and back to remake themselves into women, as the notion of having to advertise oneself as somehow not really a woman is insulting. Imagine a cisgender woman dating someone who secretly holds racist views, and later in the relationship she reveals that while she appears to be white, she has African ancestry. Would his racist rage and infliction of violence upon the girl be justified?
Arguments conflating non-disclosure with deception in the minds of straight men, including comparisons with rape, are not valid arguments because they have presumably had conceptual sex and enjoyed it leading them to the “betrayal.” Zinnia Jones again hits the nail on the head in her discussion on this subject in the following video.
We don’t feel that trans women should feel that they forever have an asterisk on the their woman status, and the injustice of it all, while fine to argue about disclosure in the abstract, it kind of falls apart out in the real world. Common sense should tell you to avoid bigoted, homophobic men, getting a feel for whether you’re going to get a transphobic reaction from disclosure.
Just as a cisgender woman who was unable to conceive would have some obligation to reveal this fact to her mate, it isn’t inconceivable that she would not be obliged to reveal it on a first date, or even after several sexual encounters. If you are a trans woman who needs to disclose your trans status in order for someone to realize that you are indeed trans, you are under no obligation to reveal your status until the natural progression of the relationship and building of trust warrants such disclosure. Of course if you are asked, lying about it is a no-no unless you are fearful of bodily harm, but otherwise it seems to us the onus is on the man, not you.
The best possible situation is of course to find a genuinely decent man who is not prone to violence and is accepting of all the flavors of sexuality and gender that this world possesses… but you knew that already.
Also read: Why to Avoid First Date Sex