I wish to talk about how I feel objectified by my ex-partner who was a man when I was with him (and at the time defined himself as a transvestite), and who now identifies as a transwoman. Whilst I was with my partner he was open about being transvestite, told me that he had bought a dress and started shaving his legs. My position on this was that it was absolutely his right to do that, but I told my partner that whilst I was supportive of his choices, in all honesty it didn’t appeal to my own sexuality, (and I believe it is anyone’s right to have their own sexual preferences). As a result he would dress up in private (please note this was not at my request, but something he chose to do I suppose as a form of compromise). However, I often felt objectified and fetishized by this partner, having a fuss made over some garment I was wearing for example, which made me feel uncomfortable in the way it would trivialise my experience of being a woman by reducing it to an item of clothing and a focus on ‘femininity’ which I didn’t feel represented me or my worth as a human being. In addition, this partner would fantasise while having sex with me that we were a pair of lesbians. Again, I fully support and respect lesbians, but I am not one, and I felt in some ways that I was having this narrative projected onto our relationship, which again felt like a compromise of my own sexuality. Eventually we broke up amicably, but we have remained friends. The problem I have is that this person has felt it their right to ‘transplain’ the difficulties of being a woman to me on several occasions, which I find is becoming an alarming trend coming from a lot of transwomen. For example, he explained what it was like to be street-harassed and suggested I couldn’t know what it was like, as though I had never experienced it! I believe it is the right for any person to express their sexuality if it doesn’t conform to gender norms, and I believe transpeople as all people are deserving of respect, but I am deeply concerned by some aspects of the trans-activist movement which appears to be dictatorial about notions of sexuality and gender, and what a woman and sexuality is, and even who we should be sleeping with. Speaking specifically about my ex, they call themselves a woman, but this individual exhibits all the signs of middle-class white male privilege in the confidence they have to express themselves and indeed to mansplain. To be fair to my ex, who is an intelligent and sensitive person in many ways, they do have some awareness of this and accept they have privilege due to their upbringing, but unfortunately many in the trans-community do not. They demand they are accepted not only as women, but even in some cases a superior form of woman due to inherently sexist notions which all relate to appearance – quality of make-up for example – rather than life experience. Some even argue that a lesbian to not want to be with a transwoman who has a penis is transphobic. I don’t wish to disrespect anybody, but for some (not all) transwomen, being a transwoman is not about ‘feeling’ like a woman, but about wanting to be admired as a woman and having a festish for this, as with my ex. I do not suggest this is in any way wrong morally, but it is an infringement of women’s rights and indeed insulting to women when it is demanded that they play along with such a fetish even when it means denying themselves their own definition, thoughts, feelings and sexuality. In my case, to do so would be to claim that I am therefore a lesbian, which I am not (again, no homophobia in this statement, I’m fighting for the rights of straight, gay and bi women alike to define themselves and their sexuality here in saying this). Unfortunately, because as women we are brought up to be people pleasers, and indeed because we experience so much aggression at the hands of men, we have always been grateful for allies, which transwomen have always been seen as. But ultimately, natal women should be the ones who define what it is to be a woman, not people who were born and raised as men.


I am a man. I was also assigned female at birth, so for a large portion of my life I was expected to present and behave as a female, and was perceived to be one. All the while, my mind thought and acted as a man, and I often was confused as to why I was being treated differently to other young men. Like my peers, I cracked typically “masculine” sounding jokes at the bar, and prior to transition these were rarely acknowledged, and I found myself commonly being ostracised as a result. I noticed women making these jokes as well, and they received the same lack of recognition. Prior transition, remarks were made about my high voice, and I found it to be a great effort to make my voice heard in all male environments. I assumed it was because it was physically not as loud, but I have since found out, that upon hearing a female sound, the other men ignored my comments by choice. That being said, while I was being perceived as a woman, people were more caring towards me. There was an assumption that I was inherently vulnerable, and so people insisted that I travelled home in cabs which they happily paid for, doors were opened for me, and I was offered help carrying heavy loads. One could argue that as a young man, I still need such assistance, but society dictates that I am no longer entitled to it in the way a woman would be. I was raised as a strong independent person, with the firm belief in my upbringing that gender was an arbitrary and irrelevant concept that was never going to hold me back. I believed this for many years. Unfortunately, it was only after beginning to live life as my true male self did I begin to discover the reality of sexism. I have gone from being a slightly bizarre and “eccentric” female, who was always held at wide birth, never fully being accepted on an equal level; to being a well liked and respected man. Other men were openly delighted after I came out as male. They made remarks, with good intentions, implying how much better my life was goin to be now that I was on the “winning side”. Nothing in my personality had changed; it was only my presentation that had miraculously “improved”. One could argue that I was simply experiencing difference between the gender roles. Unfortunately, I can say with conviction, that the world treats me better now that I am living as a man. The very reason that I am posting this account anonymously is because misogyny has made me feel a sense of shame about my history. I am fearful that should people learn of it, I might lose my newly established rights and status that I have since “earned” post transition. I defend none of it and my discoveries horrify me.


When I first married my husband I became thrown into a family of ‘hard working self made men’ seriously that’s how they called themselves. My father in law was always so busy living upto his own standards that his wife ( mil) would always have to sort out all the work in the house. She would paint, hang wall paper and do diy, all paid for by her ‘little job’ she had. When we graduated ( both in same year with same degree) my husband went to work for his father, one job he needed a decorator to paint the walls of an office white, he was desperate and needed it doing adapt to complete the job. So he gave the job to me, I was competent and professional, turned up and started the job. Until lunch time when my father-in-law turned up , saw the work and was pleased, saw me and went nuts and sent me home! His reason ‘it’s unprofessional to have a woman on a building site, women don’t have the same skill set’ (keep in mind the back story of his wife at home) A little later into our marriage one of his most senior and experienced specialist colleagues , an engineer who was a world leader in his field turned up in the office as a woman. At the age of 60 he was bravely going through the transition. I am glad to say she was welcomed ( after much sniggering) I do believe however she’s still the only women in the company besides the receptionist!