Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gay Men Just Don't Understand Transwomen

Guest post by Pamela Hayes
Janet Mock crafted a well-written article about how Don Lemon, a black gay man, a CNN correspondent had no grasp of trans people because of dumb questions he asked Chaz Bono. And she is absolutely correct. Don's questions were stupid, juvenile and cursory. But I doubt if he meant a bit of harm. From my experience, a lot of gay men usually don't get us. Gay men, like many straight-identified people think trans women are simply gay men, who refuse to accept that they are gay. So we take hormones and "mutilate" ourselves to mimic women and buy vaginas to justify having sex with a man. And some gay men go positively bonkers when they see trans women with handsome, worthwhile men.

I remember reading where southern writer, William Faulkner-- author of such short stories as A ROSE FOR EMILY, DRY SEPTEMBER, to name a few--said that it was the responsibility of white people to bring black people along, to teach Negroes the importance of manners and education so they could comport themselves effectively and prosper in a democratic society. I don't know when Faulkner uttered these bothersome words because many (blacks) had no chance of prospering or receiving adequate education prior to the Civil Rights struggle.

But I digress. Trans women should take Mr. Faulkner's advice and tweak it to meet our needs. We have to bring gay people along, let them know who we are, our likes and dislikes, our dreams, hopes and aspirations. And make no mistake some gay folks will be impervious to our tutelage.

And in all candor, I doubt if that would be fruitful because the sad truth is, SOME gay people don't give a damn about trans people for a variety of reasons, one of which is envy.

Over the years, I've heard countless gay men tell me that they wouldn't do what I did (switch sexes) because they would make an ugly woman. What an incredibly shallow comment.

I and other trans women have had gay men fight us, out us, embarrass us, disrespect us and I've gotten negativity from lesbians as well. So trans women cannot bring those types along because they are unwilling to learn, but I still say try. And it's unfortunate that gays and lesbians don't believe in the old adage about there being strength in numbers. If we all worked together, we could accomplish plenty.

1 comment:

James Pate, MD said...

I think there needs ro be much more dialogue between the various groups lumped together under the LGBTQI banner. Thanks for your post.