The LGBTQ community has been at the forefront of the media spotlight in its push for equal rights, and with the Senate’s passing of the act legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states love has reined supreme for same sex couples nationwide.
However, with recent attacks against transgender women – physically, politically and in the media – a hot topic of discussion as it pertains to the LGBTQ community has been the transgender woman and if she should disclose being transgender while dating.
“If you think trans women should disclose and “be honest,” then why don’t you work on making the damn world safe for us to exist in the first?” wrote Janet Mock, author and trans advocate, in response to dehumanizing comments made by comedian Lil Duval.
Mock added, “The ‘I’d kill a woman if I found out’ rhetoric is precisely why so many women hold themselves so tight – the stigma and shame attached to our desires need to be abolished.”
I had a chance to catch up with Chicago native and popular transgender model, dancer and entertainer Sidney Starr to get her take on dating while transgender.
On common misconceptions and hardships:
Transgender women aren’t much different from cisgender women in how they love and date, according to Sidney, who opened up to me about her experiences with dating. “Me being transgender doesn’t affect the quality of my dating life,” the entertainer explains. “In fact, I have guys all the time that want to be in a serious relationship with me, but I’m too focused on my career to have time for a serious relationship. Dating isn’t difficult for me.”
Many cisgender individuals raise concerns about transgender women being deceptive in their approach to men who may not know their original gender, but this is a common misconception that Sidney claims is the worst.
“The worst assumption made about transgender women and relationships is that we all have to “deceive” a man into believing we are cisgender women in order for him to be with us, when in fact it’s the complete opposite.” As far as when she feels the time is right to reveal her gender, Sidney has no issue with making it known if a guy doesn’t already recognize her from her Internet fame.
“I get a lot of different reactions when I reveal that I am transgender,” she offers. “The most common reaction is disbelief that I’m even transgender, and in their words it doesn’t change anything because ‘I’m bad’. But there are those rare cases where some guys begin to question their sexuality because they find me attractive and they feel it changes them because I’m transgender.”