I saw an acquaintance – shes a twoc – online talk about feeling ugly bc of an inability to connect with masc types of people. And she mentions that part of her feelings of ugliness are because she doesn’t see many port, fat ppl, and ‘visibly’ disabled ppl in happy, healthy relationsihps. It reminded me of my recent post written on my five year anniversary with my bro. And how I don’t talk about my relationship often because it is special and precious to me. But this makes me think that maybe… there is some benefit to talking more about this.
Thinking over the port I know many are lesbians or are in some kind of relationship with women. I’m literally straining my brain to think of any other port in my even most vague acquaintanceship that is in a long-term relationship with a man. And, well, other than Janet Mock, I’m not really coming up with anyone (and I’m being very… ‘generous’ to describe Janet as an ‘acquiantance’ but we have met and talked before so…).
This darth of port in long-term relationships with men is kind of interesting. I know that part of this is that my own selection bias, since I probably know a disproportionately large amount of wlw port. But I think this also has an impact on… how unwilling port who’re attracted to men are to discuss this in the types of ‘activist’-ish type circles that I run in.
I’ve certainly bitched about this in the past. How within certain radical corners of ports, who you date is a marker of ideological purity. As in, I’ll never be as radical as some of them simply bc I’m in a relationship with a man and I’m attracted to men and I’m not about to become a political lesbian (which, yes, I’ve seen this advocated for).
I’ve also been talking around this in terms of my periodic discussions about intimate partner violence and the devastating role it plays in port lives (and, sadly, deaths). Much like cis society, men are killing us. IPV obviously happens in any kind of relationship. But… when you look at the lists, our intimate male partners are killing us. And that’s only the extreme conclusion, since there are a myriad other ways that men abuse women they date.
This post is titled, “I, a heterosexual” as a way to poke fun at one of my anons who accused me of silencing queer port and of being a Heterosexual (how awful). The actual discussion had nothing to do with sexuality and this was literally just being used as a silencing tactic. Like I said, I will never be radical so long as I date men. Which fine.
But it is also true that positive, loving, healthy, happy relationships between trans women and men (cis or trans) aren’t really easy to find. You don’t hear about them often. They’re almost like urban legends, “hey, so a friend of my cousin’s next door neighbour’s aunt is trans and she met her doting husband at the grocery store”.
Also notice how I’m tap-dancing around using both ‘hetero’ and ‘straight’. If you’ll recall, I don’t actually suscribe to the idea that our gender and sexuality are two distinct things. For me, at least, they are one and the same. But also… as with the anon, labelling any and every port who dates men as ‘straight’ creates problems. Like me. I’m nonbinary and in a relationship with a cis gay man. This is not a straight relationship.
But as far as ideological purity is concerned, what matters is that my partner is a cis man. My own identity is irrelevant. Because only trans women dating women (but especially other trans women) is radical, revolutionary, and whatever else I’ve seen it called. A trans woman in a happy, healthy relationship with a man is boring and mundane.
I think that’s what kills me. Since port who are in happy, healthy relationships are pretty fucking rare in my experience. Moreover, for me at least, there’ll never be anything mundane about any port in a happy, healthy relationship (however this is defined for them). PORT deserve love. We do. All of us and in the ways that would fulfill us.
So… I think I might start talking about my relationship a bit more. Maybe. I’m also not sure how… generalizable my experience could be. I’m in a relationship with a gay man. I’ve heard lots of port having to reassure their straight male partners that they aren’t gay. But… my br0 is gay.
We met on okcupid. But we met when I was Butch and had a beard and dressed as masc as I’d ever dressed. But I also told him I was bakla quite early on in the relationship. So while my presentation has changed over time (more femme less butch), my gender/sexuality remained the same. I think a lot of this was… smoothed over by the fact that we are both somewhere on the ace spectrum (so while he’s, other than me, only had sex with cis men, sex isn’t a very important part of our relationship. Things might be different if he had any real interest in having sex with men or anyone else.).
But. Yeah. Either way. I’m thinking I ought to talk more about being transpinay, mentally ill, disabled, overweight but in a happy, healthy relationship with a man. And I might if I can think of things to say (my mind is drawing a blank atm). We’ve been together for five years. And, imo, we are happy and healthy (in our relations), so telling stories might just be a way for other port to know that this is possible. That we can have relationships that are awesome.