In the wake of these tragedies, I try to to nix my own feelings of dread and shame as soon as I meet a person.
Now I typically come out via text message or on my online profiles.
A little under a year from now, I'll be the same age as 25-year-old India Clarke, a recent victim of trans killings.
One of my biggest fears is becoming another murder statistic: someone for the media to posthumously misgender, leading the public to believe that I somehow deserved to have my life taken away.
That didn’t stop the intense expression of confusion that spread across his face.“So you’re a man? “Do you know how lucky you are that I’m not, like, crazy?
” or the misguided “I’m not gay.”These misconceptions don’t just negatively affect the trans women involved.
I vowed as I left his place in the middle of the night that I would never put myself in that dangerous of a situation again.
And even though I now make sure people know my identity before I’m alone with a potential partner, there are still some aspects of this interaction that seem to show up in my dating life no matter how many precautions I take.
Despite one pervasive misconception that transgender people transition for the approval or acceptance of future sexual partners, when I transitioned there was nothing about the forthcoming experience that assured me I would be seen as desirable. But when you’re trans, it’s hard in a completely different way.
I didn’t know if I’d ever have the chance to be loved. It’s all too easy to internalize the assumptions that we are rudimentary facsimiles of the people we actually want to be, or that we take on a lifestyle that’s all about mutilating our “God-given, natural” bodies.