When my self portraits get a lot of notes on tumblr, I always get meditative about my visibility as a woman relative to my visibility as a trans woman. All women are subject to sexualization and objectification in our culture (spoiler alert), and my fascination with that is obviously something that influences the stuff I create. I volunteer for sexualization and objectification suspiciously often given my politics, my insecurities, and my long history of abusive boyfriends. It’s a running joke. I just love attention, ha ha ha.
But the kind of objectification I feel when I’m read as trans makes me cherish the comparatively uncomplicated objectification I feel when I’m not. When I disclose that I’m trans to new friends or potential partners I’m no longer just a tall giggly girl with too much blush on. I’m a modified man, the queerest person in the whole world, a sexual deviant dying to hear all about the private fantasies most people wouldn’t casually admit to a “real girl.” Or… you know what I mean by ‘real,’ they say. I’m new to all this. And I do know what they mean. By the time I finally walk away from them they make sure I know.
I haven’t figured out how to be open about being trans while still getting common respect, and that bums me out. I come back to this problem often; I don’t think I’m going to solve the puzzle any time soon. So I delight in moments of validation that feel normal, moments when I feel like the person being objectified is at least a version of me.
Sorry for the sincerity. And the disorganized thoughts. It’s been a long couple of weeks.