TRANSformative Loves

transformativeloves

Love is a feeling that everyone in the world  tries to discover at least once in their life. Most people think of that love that will transform them, one that exists in fairy tales, movies, and even in the telenovelas, that we, by custom, watch daily.

The truth is love is beautiful when it is truly found. And as we all know, there are many kinds of love, even when we think we are in love. Similarly, there are many types of relationships: abusive, toxic, obsessive, troubled, sexual, modern, old-fashioned, and so on.

I once had the good fortune to discover a relationship with a man who was my partner for many years. His name was Bobby. I will not say it was a fairy tale relationship, since, unfortunately, there was no happy ending. Bobby died in June 2010. However, during the whole time I was at his side, Bobby gave me the respect that I deserved as the woman that I am.

We had our criticisms, judgements, bad times and even encounters with people who did not understand or could not accept our relationship. But none of this took away from Bobby the privilege loving me and discovering who I am as a person. Bobby wouldn’t hide. Instead, he was proud to have a woman like me as his partner, and that in return would fill me with pride and made me love him more.

The relationship between a cisgender man and a transgender woman  is a very special kind of love. And though the experiences are different for different trans women, we often encounter an important question: Why can’t a man who is attracted to a transgender woman can admit to it and perhaps find a feeling of true love with her?

Not all men are like that. Bobby, for example, was never one of those who would be ashamed to be with me. However, the question deserves recognition. The problem in many of these cases, and with most men who like trans women, is that they can not accept that they can be in love with women who are constantly signaled and rejected by society.

My perspective in these cases is that these men are afraid of being signaled, criticized, judged, and in some cases even verbally or physically assaulted by being in public with a transgender woman. Many of my friends and I have encountered this dilemma. The reality is that many men of all types, sizes, flavors and colors like trans women. The problem is that most of these men just want to use us as if we were a sexual object, even when there is a desire to formalize a relationship.

For example, married men who prefer to have secret sexual encounters with trans women, do so not so much because it is an affair, but because of who they are interacting with. Nowadays, the internet facilitates making such meetings, whether for paid sexual services or simply because they want to satisfy their sexual appetites. The most interesting thing is that they love to have sex with us, and will do so as often as they can.

Some would argue that they do not pay for sex, however, they still want to have sex with us in any way possible. That is, as long as it’s hidden from everyone — whether because they may be married or simply because they have not come to terms to the idea that they really enjoy being with a transgender woman.

What is interesting to me is that there are also men who like transgender women who are not married and enjoy being with a transgender woman for several reasons: “trans women strive more to look better,” “there is something trans women in calling me a lot of attention,” etc.

But why don’t these men who like trans women give themselves the opportunity to discover what it is like to have a normal relationship with a transgender woman? Why not invite her out for coffee, to the movies, the beach, to dinner, etc.? These men are selfish and only want to satisfy their sexual appetite (even through deep down in their heart they want to have a formal relationship with a transgender woman). What happens is that the fear of being judged by society is stronger than the feelings in their heart.

After all, we trans women are people who really know how to love, know how to respect, we know how to give true love, and  we also dream of our fairy tale. Unfortunately, there are very few Prince Charming — few who can be honest with themselves and who can give themselves the opportunity to love us as the women we are. The fact of the matter is, it takes a lot of man to give us the true love that we trans women deserve.

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About the author

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby is a nationally recognized transgender Latina woman activist, academic, public speaker, community organizer and artist. Bamby has created and found several organizations and projects such as Angels of Change, the first trans youth calendar aimed at providing trans youth with a positive image and the TransLatin@ Coalition. Bamby has participated in numerous state and national conferences and colleges as a presenter and motivational speaker. Bamby has been recognized locally and nationally for her great work in the community.

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