Juno Dawson shares with us some of the transphobic attitudes she’s come across in the dating world, and what’s so wrong with them.
The number of transgender hate crimes recorded by police increased 81% in 2017-2018, it was reported earlier this year. There is a general ignorance around what it means to be transgender and here at Stylist we want to do our best to support people and give voices a platform to talk about the issues they face.
That’s why we reached out to Juno Dawson, transgender woman and young adult author, to highlight some of the myths and misconceptions that trans people come up against when dating.
“Too often in the media people write about trans people, but they don’t talk to trans people so I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there,” Dawson explains.
From being accused of trying to trick straight men into a date to being boxed into a “kinky” fantasy, Dawson shares with us six of the biggest myths out there about dating a trans woman.
Myth 1. Dating a trans woman changes your sexuality
“Trans women are women, trans men are men. So if you are a straight man who fancies women there’s a possibility you might fancy me and I don’t think that makes you gay.”
Myth 2. You transitioned to trick straight men into sex
“I think we’ve got to stop with this myth that a whole minority group of women are evil, liars and deceptive. It’s just transphobic. In some parts of the world men have even got off murder charges claiming that they’d been tricked into dating trans women.
“Us being honest about our past is integral to our safety, so I see no reason why a trans woman would lie about who she was in order to get with a man. “
Myth 3. It’s a compliment to be told you don’t look trans
“What does that really mean? To be told you look cis gender actually means A. there’s something wrong with being trans which there isn’t, and that we only really value women if they look small, petite, thin, beautiful. In 2019 are we still judging women only on how they look? All trans women are valid.”
Myth 4. You should be delighted I want to date you in secret
“Even suggesting that comes loaded with the connotation that there is something shameful about being seen with a trans woman. No.”
Myth 5. Dating a trans woman is an exciting novelty
“We are not here to tick a kinky box for you. When you take a trans woman out on a date she has a backstory and a history, she has hopes and dreams and these hopes and dreams probably don’t involve ticking off your wish list. Sorry about it.”
Myth 6. You only transitioned to gain some sort of sexual thrill
“Transitioning has taken me the best part of ten years. It’s been exhausting, I’ve faced harassment and transphobia from all sides. Being transgender is not a zany whim. The only reason a person transitions is because they know with every fibre of their being that they should have been a woman. And that’s the end of it.”