Transgender writer and activist Janet Mock lambastes critics who shame men for dating transgender women in a piece at her eponymous blog. “Trans women are women,” she writes in light of the recent so-called sex scandal involving popular hip-hop DJ Mister Cee, who on Thursday acknowledged receiving oral sex from a transgender woman — and retracted his resignation from Hot 97.
The comments and conversations surrounding hip-hop DJ Mister Cee’s sex scandal-turned-resignation has been appalling, and has led me to this essay, which isn’t about him soliciting sex from someone he perceived as a trans woman. The Mister Cee “scandal” sheds light on society’s ignorance, similarly exhibited when Chris Brown, Chingy and Chad”Ochocinco” Johnson took photos with trans women; similarly exhibited when folks gender-policed Joseline Hernandez to the point where she Tweeted a nude photo to prove her cis-ness; similarly exhibited when Eddie Murphy, LL Cool J and a list of other powerful men were accused of being”caught” seeking trans women.
This anti-trans woman ideology is harmful, misogynistic and pervasive and travels way beyond the comments section of gossip blogs, and as Sylvia Rivera once said, “I will no longer put up with this [s–t].”
I am a trans woman. My sisters are trans women. We are not secrets. We are not shameful. We are worthy of respect, desire, and love. As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women. And let’s be clear: Trans women are women.
The shame that society attaches to these men, specifically attacking their sexuality and shaming their attraction, directly affects trans women. It affects the way we look at ourselves. It amplifies our body-image issues, our self-esteem, our sense of possibility, of daring for greatness, of aiming for something or somewhere greater. If a young trans woman believes that the only way she can share intimate space with a man is through secret hookups, bootycalls or transaction, she will be led to engage in risky sexual behaviors that make her more vulnerable to criminalization, disease and violence; she will be led to coddle a man who takes out his frustrations about his sexuality on her with his fists; she will be led to question whether she’s worthy enough to protect herself with a condom when a man tells her he loves her; she will be led to believe that she is not worthy of being seen, that being seen heightens her risk of violence therefore she must hide who she is at all costs in order to survive.
Read Janet Mock’s entire piece at Janetmock.com.
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