Sunday, 8 May 2011

Admiration

    The attitude within our community towards 'admirers' - people who find transgender people attractive - is not always a positive one. Tales are told of evading spaghetti-armed pests in gay clubs, and of some members of our community whose pursuit of one-night-stands, we are told, demeans us all. I am aware of at least one support group that as a result has a policy of not allowing (genetic) men presenting as male to attend, something that would have prevented me from attending a year ago had the Swindon group had it and that I know caused problems for a long-time-post-op friend when she went along with her perfectly normal bloke husband.
    I've encountered a few admirers myself, and none of them lived up to the stereotype. Amiable middle-aged blokes, not my kind of romantic interest at all even if I was in the market but I'm very happy for the full-time-TV of my acquaintance who's heading for a civil partnership with one of them. I had a slightly surreal in-depth conversation about Rusty Old Wrecks and other machinery with another last summer, gosh how girly I have become!
    Another admirer of my acquantance is a bit different from the stereotype too. She's a vivacious and attractive twenty-something girl who very much prefers her partner to be presenting as female rather than male. I'm fully aware that my attitude towards her is completely different to that I have towards male admirers and as a result I find she has challenged some of my assumptions on the subject. Being challenged is good, so I thought I'd share.
    So as someone who's grown up with a lifetime supply of testosterone and a full set of male gender conditioning classes the idea of being 'admired' by a gay bloke is a little uncomfortable, while that of being 'admired' by a heterosexual girl isn't. Do I detect some double standards and an air of repressed homophobia about it all? Perhaps, and if so it's a fleeting view of myself I don't like. The next time I hear a lurid tale of someone's narrow escape at Pink Punters, perhaps I'll ask them what on earth they expected might happen if they attended a gay nightclub wearing rather risquée clothing, and the next time I end up having a surreal chat with a harmless admirer I'll simply remind myself that this is another thing millions of women everywhere have to put up with all the time. I just hope my twenty-something self was enough of a gentleman with respect to the non-trans women of my acquaintance when I was doing something similar.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny. I noticed that you made a couple of references to gay men admirers of transgendered people. In my experience I have found that gay men in general have no interest in guys who present as women and as for post-op transsexuals the interest is even less. It is true that there are many 'admirers', some are simply that but others seek some form of connection. Those I have encountered were usually middle-aged men and surprisingly, to me anyhow, some women. How they perceive us (post-op) or why they are attracted could be for a couple of reasons. I have found one or two lesbians interested in me, quite a few young heterosexual men and several married men. Mostly I feel it is simply for sex and then usually one night stands. When you analyse the spectrum of sexuality you discover all sorts of different liaisons and preferences and attitudes to those things are always going to be different too.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  2. Yes, it's true, I was being simplistic in defining in terms of the ...er... coupling being sought. By "gay" in this context I was meaning "A bloke who is looking for someone with the physical attributes of a bloke" and it is more complex than that.

    I've received no such attention from "classically gay" men.

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  3. I've not gotten any attention from so-called "admirers," mostly due to the fact that I'm not much a real-life part of the "community," nor have I used sites like URNA, Flickr, etc.

    If I did get attention, it would be unwelcome. I suspect that most "admirers" find something appealing about a person who looks like a female but has a penis. I'm not interested in someone who is interested in that. Not my cup of tea.

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  4. In this case I've only met them as friends-of-friends, I'm not involved in that aspect of our community either. But yes, not my cup of tea too.

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  5. O god, I just wrote a long piece and it got swallowed up in an error message. Damn damn damn.

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  6. I'm sorry to hear that. Not a censorious comment, I hope?

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  7. The term 'Admirer' in this context is about as far reaching as the term 'person'. You cannot expect to like all people because they are so varied, therefore it should be no surprise that you will not like all admirers.

    I don't wear dungarees, a Ben Sherman shirt and a big man's watch when I go out so it is no big surprise that male admirers don't know that I am lesbian, I am not that sort of lesbian, they have to be told.

    Once they know, they can still be nice people, and you can still have a nice chat. It is only one or two that insist on putting their hand up your skirt before they get chucked out.

    At the end of the day the attention is very flattering, and tells you that you are doing something right.

    Suzie x

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  8. Maybe I missunderstood,maybe I'm off the subject, maybe I should remain silent but...we are all allowed to have uncomfortable feelings when faced with another human beeing and as long as we have refinement of thought and action, which you seem to have, Jenny, there is no need to not like what we see in ourselves.

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  9. Not really something I've had much experience with other than the odd facebook message and the brief time I was a member of Tvchix.
    Admirers generally conjure the same negative image with many and while there are some genuinely creepy folks out there it would be unfair to label all the same way.
    Lucie xx

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  10. I was the scruffy bloke when I encountered the creepiest admirer I've met. I think I intimidated him :)

    It's always worth examining something you feel uncomfortable with, whether you eventually find it valid or not.

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