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In every state but two, it is still legal for those murderers to claim that they “panicked” after discovering that their sexual partner was transgender. And while too many of us internalize that message, most of us know it’s bullshit.So, if you overhear a transgender person venting about dating online and think we need yet another person to tell us that we’re disgusting and repulsive, think again. The truth is that it would be almost impossible for a cisgender person to find every single transgender person on the planet unattractive.But of course Jones was willfully misunderstood on social media and—to make a long story short—Fox News host Tucker Carlson ended up devoting an entire segment of his show to the subject with the chyron: “Trans Activist: Men Should Find Us Attractive.”“Now we’re advancing toward mandatory transgender dating,” Carlson told warned his audience. One of the first things I realized was that men were attracted to women like me.“For real.”Adding insult to injury, Carlson referred to transgender women not as “women” but as “other biological men who are transgender.”Jones was stunned by the fact that the conservative TV host would tell people that “[she] was going to force them to sleep with trans women”—and taken aback by the “thousands of commenters [who] helpfully informed [her] that [she] was too hideous to ever find someone to love.” Somehow her attempt to make a complex point to her 17,000 Twitter followers about transgender dating had given rise to a paranoid rant on a top-rated prime-time cable news show, culminating in Carlson worrying that dating sites could one day require men to date a certain number of transgender women for every cisgender woman they dated. “Mandatory transgender dating” would make a great ironic band name but it is not the political goal of the transgender rights movement. I went to a popular Southern transgender conference to gather information, connect with medical providers, and hopefully make a few friends.We have been together long enough that I barely remember what it feels like to go on a date.So when it comes to the ridiculous panic around transgender dating—which typically revolves around cisgender men dating transgender women—I have no skin in the game.It was a point that required a thousand characters of text to express properly.She was raising the controversial but obvious idea that, as humans, our romantic preferences and our prejudices don’t exist in separate bubbles.
So it was sadly unsurprising when that Laverne Cox interview got quoted on another news site beneath the headline: “Laverne Cox says men who are ashamed of dating trans women are ‘insecure as f*ck.’”If you scroll through the many disgusting responses to that article on social media—which I won’t dignify by reprinting here—you’ll find dozens of people reacting as if the actress had been talking about all straight men, not just the subset of straight men who are already interested in dating transgender women.Over a quarter of Americans on a recent survey said they wouldn’t even want to be friends with a transgender person—and only thirteen percent said they would be comfortable “engaging in a sexual act of any kind” with a transgender woman.Media representation of transgender women has—until relatively recently—been almost uniformly negative, depicting us as serial killers, deceivers, and “men in dresses.” 2017 has now seen a record-high number of transgender people who have been killed—cruel violence that is often perpetrated by men who have had romantic relationships or sexual encounters with transgender women.Although I’m definitely not one of them (), there are some remarkably good-looking transgender people out there—and plenty of cisgender people who find them attractive before realizing that they are transgender and conspicuously changing their mind.For that reason, some transgender people have to deal with the question of when—or if—to disclose to a sexual partner that they are transgender.