Tag Archives: Trans Woman

8 Tips For Dating A Trans Woman, From a Trans Woman

Trans women are women. Period.

And, as with dating any woman, there are many DOs and DON’Ts. Transgender writer Leila Blake recently sat down to school cisgender on people on how to have an amazing relationship with a transgender woman.

Here’s what she said:

1. Don’t use the word “tranny.”

That is a derogatory term used in porn and it turns transgender women into objects.

2. Don’t expect her to teach you.

Leila says that too many cisgender people ask her questions that they could just Google themselves, such as “What’s the difference between a cross-dresser and a transgender person?” She’s not a textbook. Ask Jeeves.

3. Don’t expect her to roll right into bed.

Society frames transgender women in terms of what they’re able to do sexually – who can forget the awful Crying Game scene that demonized a sexy woman who dared to have a penis? In real life, don’t expect a transgender woman to want to move straight into the bedroom.

4. Don’t hide her away.

Leila says that for many people, “We’re ‘good enough’ for sex but not to be taken out in public.” Don’t be the idiot who tries to hide your relationship.

5. Steer clear of stereotypes.

You know that it’s bad to stereotype – not all black people are rappers, not all Asian people are math geniuses, and not all white people are trailer trash. But when it comes to transgender people, you might be holding stereotypes you didn’t even know you had, especially if you haven’t met a transgender person before. Don’t assume that all transgender women have penises (or don’t), that they’re all sex workers or criminals (like on Orange is the New Black), that they envy cisgender women (trans women are women) or that they want to look stereotypically feminine (butch trans women exist). Don’t excuse your ignorance by saying, “Sorry, I didn’t know.”

6. Don’t bring up sexual intercourse on the first date.

This is one of Leila’s personal rules. Not all transgender people are comfortable with their bodies, so they may not be comfortable discussing sex. Some are. Some aren’t. Tread lightly and wait for her to bring it up first.

7. Talk about sex before you do it.

Open communication is important in any sexual relationship, especially queer sexual relationships, cisgender or not. Before you sleep with her, ask her what she’s comfortable with.

8. Support her transition.

If you’re in a relationship with a transgender woman for a long period of time, especially a woman at the beginning of her transition, then be prepared for a lot of changes. Transitioning is difficult, emotionally and physically and financially. Support her.

For more of Leila’s tips, read this recent piece.

Conscription is Discrimination – Trans Woman Questions Colombia’s Constitutional Law

A case was opened by the Constitutional Court of Colombia last week questioning whether military service requirements in the country discriminate against trans citizens.

Trans woman Grace Kely of capital city Bogota was denied employment as a nurse by the municipality government when she was unable to present a military service card. Kely was encouraged to apply to the nursing position last summer by the City’s subdirector of LGBT affairs, Juan Florian, but her application was suspended. She claims that, because of the social and institutional exclusion she may face in the military, she should be allowed to work without meeting the national conscription requirement.

She brought her case to the LGBT Affairs department of the Ministry of Social Integration claiming the requirement violates her right to work, right to privacy, and right to live without humiliation. After a month her case was rejected by lower courts arguing no infringement took place and that compulsory military service is a priority — no exceptions.

By this point the case had gained the attention and support of LGBT organizations. The National Transgender Community Network , activist group Diverse Colombia, and others joined a Social Integration Ministry ombudsman in submitting briefs to the court arguing the specific intolerance and potential rights infringements faced by queer service men and women, and the severe conditions faced by the trans community in particular.

The argument against the requirement goes that transgendered people face not only the social exclusion, discrimination, and abuse of the military culture, but are also subject to institutional discrimination. The military in Colombia still assigns uniforms and identification based on birth gender, creating a constant reminder of the otherness of a different gender identity. Furthermore, certain procedures such as nude public medical examinations create other opportunities for discrimination.

The City supports Kely’s case as well. Gustavo Petro, the Mayor of Bogota, filed a concept with the court referring to a 2011 study on sexual diversity finding 98% of queer people have faced discrimination. It also found a higher likelihood of discrimination amongst transgender people.

The military in Colombia began to allow LGBT servicemen and women in 1999 after a ruling by the high court. However, that ruling still allowed for military leadership to expel someone from service for moral or social disruption or indiscretion, which has since been used against open homosexuality, creating a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation where LGBT people can still be targeted.

Military conscription in Colombia mandates that only volunteers can be involved in armed combat. Average conscripted citizens generally serve in functional and administrative positions. The policy has been continuingly controversial and is an ongoing topic of discussion in political spheres, potentially leading to the courts willingness to take the case