Lately, the Transgender Community has been under even more scrutiny than usual about when it is appropriate for them to disclose their status as Trans. This latest spark in the interest of the Trans Community stems from a recent interview on the popular show The Breakfast Club, where a guest said that if he found out a woman he slept with was transgendered then, “she dying,” which is completely unacceptable, but not uncommon when it comes to the attitude of today’s society towards the transgendered community. Already Transwomen have higher rates of murder, domestic violence, suicide (50% of transpersons report having suicidal thoughts or have acted on them), discrimination in housing and employment; Transwomen also are more affected by HIV/AIDS.
Another case of the murder of a Transwoman involved a Pilipino Trans Woman and a US Marine, who claimed he was in such shock after finding out that his sexual partner was Transgendered. The list goes on and on sadly, the Transgender Community has faced discrimination and violence, most stemming back from Colonial Rule. In the United States and other parts of the world, Transgendered individuals were seen as a third gender, but with the colonialization of the world by European powers, native cultures were forced to adopt their newly conqueror’slaws and cultures.
So we decided to survey CisGendered and Transgendered individuals about what they thought constituted a situation in which disclosure was deemed necessary.
It was a general consensus, that Transgendered individuals should disclose their status with persons who they are seeking long term relationships. It is always a good way to start a relationship off on an honest note. When disclosing, it is advised to do so in a public place because of the risk of a violent encounter. Furthermore, advice from a Transwoman, be prepared for the worst, and by no means is this encouraging violence, but instead to have some form of self defense incase the situation goes south because you don’t want to be at the hands of an angry man without a way of defending yourself.
When we asked about LGBT hookups, specifically trans hook ups, the answers got fuzzy. If someone has already had Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS), then their most common answer was that it wasn’t on the top of their list to disclose, mainly due to the fact that it was just an act of casual sex. The Cis-Gendered responses varied, but the most common answer was that the two parties involved in the consensual sexual act was up to them to verify their gender status if it was so important to the cis-gendered individual.
As for those who have not had Gender Reassignment Surgery, meaning they still retain their original sex organs, then the risk of a violent encounter increases if disclosure is not done in a proper way. Due to the fragility of masculinity, we advise you to disclose, especially if alcohol or other substances are in play, once again in a public space where help can easily step in incase the situation escalates.
On another note, we found that disclosure of someone’s Transgender status didn’t apply to the work place, 100% of people who were surveyed said that it was not an employers business to know such an intimate aspect of someone’s life; although one trans participants did mention that if your name has not been legally changed, then it may cause some confusion when applying for a new job.
A majority of those surveyed did say that disclosure of someone’s Transgendered status should be made to medical providers, due to certain diseases that are more common among men and women, similar to how some diseases and conditions affect certain ethnic groups. Other than this reason, there is no other reason to disclose, not to the police, not to your work, not to anyone, except those who you are seeking a long term relationship with, or for those who haven’t had Gender Reassignment Surgery in cases of hook ups as well, just as a safety precaution.
We would like to make it clear, that we believe Transwomen are women and they are deserving of equal rights. We hope this blog post has helped in clarifying some situations and brought more visibility towards the Trans Community in a positive light. We know that without the help of the Trans Community, the entire LGBTQ Community would not be able to experience the freedoms we have today because The Stonewall Riots, were in fact started by trans women of color. Rock on Trans People, We support you!
On a side note, it is time for those who do love, date, or engage in sexual encounters with Trans women and Trans men, to stop being shamed or ashamed of who they are involved with. These situations lead to the Trans individual to feel like a dirty little secret, increase the chances of domestic violence, and add to the stigma that the Transgender Community experiences. If you decide to engage in a relationship with a Transgender person, please do so in a respectful manor and remain honest with them and yourself, just as you would expect honesty from someone you’re engaging in an adult LGBTQ relationship with, show them the same honesty!
Just because you’re involved with a transgender person does not make you less of a man or even part of the LGBTQ Community itself, you just happen to date someone who belongs to the community. Being Trans is not the same as being a gay or lesbian, it simply means that they are transgender.