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But it doesn’t take long for some readers to react as if transgender women are trying to make it compulsory to date us.

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.

about the phenomenon of straight men who date transgender women but want to “keep us a secret,” calling those men “insecure as fuck” for fearing that society will perceive them as gay.

This is a real, urgent problem that many transgender women have to face—and one that our community’s best writers, like author Janet Mock, have eloquently explored.

Considering that just 0.3 percent of the population is estimated to be transgender, that is staggering.

Unless there’s a small handful of transgender people who are cleaning up while everyone else stays home, it means that a great number of us are dating.

It was obvious to me even then that these were not gay men. If these lobby men wanted to have sex with other men, Atlanta had over a dozen gay bars at their disposal—and yet they were here in this hotel on the edge of the city.

But I never had the sort of experiences with men that transgender advocates like Laverne Cox or Janet Mock have written about because I was exclusively interested in women.

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They wanted us so badly that they found out which weekend the conference was in town and drove here—but they were still ashamed to flirt with us somewhere more public.This happens almost every time a prominent transgender woman tries to have a nuanced public conversation about sex and dating.Over the summer, transgender activist Zinnia Jones tweeted: “I don’t see a problem with telling straight guys who are exclusionary of trans women partners that they should try to work through that.” That’s a different sentiment than what Cox was expressing—and probably a more radical one—but Jones followed that tweet up with ten more, beginning by saying that “nobody has to be with anyone they don’t want.”Jones added that while there may be some “baseline rate” of people who have an “actual true preference” for a non-transgender partner, the fact that “incredible numbers of straight men” secretly date us suggests that “touching a trans woman’s body or genitals is probably way less of an issue than most people think it is.”Jones was not commanding anyone to sleep with transgender women, but she was suggesting that people could probably stand to examine their aversion to us as viable romantic options.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.

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