I am not a subtle person when it comes to love. I like to use the word “passion” a lot. I like to kiss. I like to hold hands. I like Public Displays of Affection. I like walks on the beach. I am a hopeless romantic. I am also a respectful individual who respects people’s rights and boundaries.
I do my absolute best to balance passion and joy and open communication, along with silent nods of acknowledgement and soulful eye contact. I NEVER make a big or small deal out of noticing someone who might be or IS transgender!
I was coming home the other day from my favorite island beach, and I was around a group of four people. They were all quite attractive women, including one who I am quite certain was transgender, from various observations I made in the moment.
I had already been on the beach with one of my lovers, so I had no intention of going over to speak to them. But there was a part of me that was certainly interested in them—all of them. I’m a sex worker and a highly passionate human, so I find myself attracted to 7 or 8 out of 10 random people on any given day of the week. Still, I think about what I would have said if I was interested in going to say hi, communicate, flirt with, or possibly even pick up one of them?
First, I would be as open and honest as I felt humanly comfortable doing and being. The second thing I would do is ask a few simple and gentle questions: “Is this your first time to the beach?” or “Did you find the water warm enough to swim? A few basic ice breakers to establish a tone and communicate respect.
The third thing I would do is be a little flirty and certainly playful, but never sexual or aggressive. We must never bring any more toxic energy into these people’s lives. The fourth thing I would do is talk to everyone in the group and not single out anyone on first sight. It’s not about them being trans or not, but applies to many other attributes of humanity.
We do not need to place special observational treatment and judgement on a person just because they are from a particular culture, for instance. And we wouldn’t set aside someone for being overweight. The god’s honest truth is: transgender lives are some of the MOST endangered lives on the planet, across the planet. To center them is always vital and needed, because they rarely ever are highlighted, BUT that is a fine line to walk.
My ultimate point about this hypothetical conversation with these four people: Connect to the one or two who you gravitate to the most, and let the chips fall where they may. If you are attracted most to the trans person, that’s perfectly fine as long as you do NOT ping them loudly and brazenly (to “ping” is to publicly discover a trans person) and do not fetishize them for being trans.
I have always felt it right to let a trans person disclose their status to me, even if I know or think I know or was told by someone else. Just keep your mouth respectful and calm. Let them tell you what they want you to know, and when. Then your heart will go PING if they come back to you!