Monthly Archives: May 2016

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Dating While Trans 1.

Dating is so much harder when you are transgender. One of the reasons for this is some people tend to think that we are “tricking” people if we do not fully disclose the fact that we are transgender all the time.

On OkCupid currently I don’t explicitly say that I am transgender. I do leave lots of clues behind for people who would be more intuitive but I avoid saying so to protect myself…

Here is a conversation I had online with a guy on OkCupid who felt like he was tricked…

Sophia: Well, because you specifically asked, I am a trans girl.

I am kinda early into my transition currently and learning to embrace new life experiences.

I usually don’t mention it super early with new people for my own safety reasons, but when asked explicitly I don’t lie about it unless I feel like it would be dangerous for me to say so.

I do not edit my pictures, they are very honest as to how I look, but in fact I may look better in person as some of these pictures are 6 months+ old and I am still going through a lot of changes.

As for girls, before transitioning I identified as a gay male, but now that I am transitioning I am more open to dating girls and giving new life experiences a try.

Butthurt Guy: Makes sense. But my only critique of that approaches is until you are biologically a woman it’s disingenuous and takes advantage of others to present yourself as one.

Sophia: So biologically a woman, i assume you are talking about if I had surgery or not.

The state of my genitals are not really your business. What makes me a woman isn’t the state of my genitals but the state of my mind. I am a woman and I am not tricking or miss-leading others about this. This is the most genuine way for me to live.

This is something that I am not only deeply involved in with and highly educated with but what my reality of life is. Your critique is a very surface view of very complex social issues that I have to navigate in a daily basis and I can tell you that nothing about what I am doing is taking advantage of anyone nor is it disingenuous.

Butthurt Guy: My intent was not to offend, but here’s the smell test, if you weren’t being disingenuous regardless of the complexity of the conversation then you wouldn’t feel the need to conceal the fact that you are transgender. We are still cool, I’m just calling a spade a spade lol.

Sophia: I don’t hide the fact that I am transgender. I don’t disclose it right away because by being transgender I am in a very ridiculously marginalized group.

You don’t disclose most private parts of your life that is not very relevant to the conversation do you?

Most of my trans friends have been physically and/or sexually assaulted for just being who they are.

If we do not disclose this private fact about ourselves right away it is because that we want to protect ourselves from physical, verbal, sexual violence and from people who form mislead opinions of who we are without meeting, knowing or attempting to learn about the difficult lives we lead.

Butthurt Guy: Chick im black you’re preaching to the choir lol. Nevertheless I get your point

Sophia: I wouldn’t hold you being black against you if I met up with you and I didn’t know you were before.

It is difficult when people tell me that I am tricking others by not telling them the state of my genitals. That is a private matter that is irrelevant till there comes a point where it is relevant. If I have a preference for guys who are circumcised and I don’t want to sleep with anyone who isn’t, that doesn’t give me a right to ask every guy that comes by me if they are or not.

Sorry I don’t mean to be harsh but me living my life genuinely is not tricking anyone.


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Having a Voice

Throughout the country, us transgender people have been relentlessly attacked this year. We have been attacked by the people who want to take away our rights to use public facilities that match our gender. This is not a post about how wrong this is, there are already plenty of people who are writing about either side of the issue, but this is an article about having a voice.

I live in Capitol Hill, the gayborhood in Seattle WA, and in this state the democratic party does not hold primaries but we hold caucuses to determine how to split up our delegate votes between the Democratic Party candidates. While doing so we also do smaller votes within the caucuses to determine who gets to actually become one of those delegates.

I decided that I wanted to represent my community and fight back so I came up with a short speech as to why I felt that I should become a delegate.

I am Sophia Lee, I am an immigrant, person of color, woman and transgender.

I live my life in the intersectionality of these marginalized groups and I understand what it is like to be ignored, made fun of and even attacked for being different. My friends and family currently face homelessness, unemployment, discrimination for just being who they are.

And especially my transgender family is under attack.

I feel like we need to stand up against these attacks and in order to do so, we need a voice in how our future goes and I want to be that voice.

While I was able to become a delegate of my Legislative District, I was unable to go beyond that and I didn’t get enough votes to become a delegate of my Congressional District…

While there are many other ways to have a voice, I was deeply disappointed that within this election year where attacks on transgender rights were becoming one of the biggest battles, that my community was not willing to send me out to be able to have a voice in my own civil rights fight.

I said before that I will not be a Silent T, and I will continue to push and be a voice for my transgender family.

I will make my voice be heard.


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The Trans Experience

There is something that is totally unique about the trans experience that nobody else is able to properly relate to. Till recently transgender people has never been in the media, and even when we were shown it was just a dead transgender sex worker, or a crossdressing man in a very transphobic joke.

The average cisgender person is never given a chance to learn what it is like to be trans and while many people are very accepting of us, they do not really understand us at all.

The question is though, how much responsibility do we hold to educate them?

Even when we ourselves are baby trans, there are so many things that we ourselves do not understand either that we slowly learn from other trans people or from interacting with the rest of the world. It is unfair of us to expect others to automatically know these things.

Of course that doesn’t mean we should expose ourselves to bigotry and harmful transphobic attacks to educate people. It should never be the responsibility of marginalized communities to take on the emotional burden of educating the rest of the world.

But I personally have a policy, that as long as someone who is genuinely trying to learn, asks me a question respectful way, I will always help educate them. If these questions are too personal or rude in nature I will also explain to others why their questions are so in lieu of answering them even. This is what I am willing to do to help better the world for the next generation of our transgender family.


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Math, #40toNoneDay

On April 27th I saw on Twitter, a hashtag #40toNoneDay which was referencing the fact that 40% of homeless youths identify as LGBTQ. This is a staggering number, 40%. I thought that this number needed much more analysis.

According to Wikipedia, the total number of homeless youths out there is about 2.5 million in 2013. And so there are about 1 million homeless LGBTQ youths in the United States.

Also according to Wikipedia, the percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ within our country is 3.8%. That means that out of the 74 million number of youths out there a total of 2.8 million youths are LGBTQ.

The total percent of LGBTQ youths who are homeless are 1 mil / 2.5 mil * 100 or 35.5% while the total percent of non LGBTQ youths who are homeless is 1.5 mil / 71 mil * 100 or 2.1 %.

That means that LBGTQ youths are about 17 times more likely to become homeless than their non LGBTQ counter parts are.

I am not sure how much we can really trust these numbers as it is very difficult to get an accurate count of people who are LGBTQ due to people not wanting to disclose their status, and is also difficult to get an accurate count of how many homeless people there are.

This doesn’t change the fact that these numbers are terrifying and there needs to be more done to support LGBTQ youths.

While I have not seen any statistic to confirm why LGBTQ youths have such a higher rate of homelessness, it is not something that needs to be studied. It is due to family rejection…

Sources:

Percentage of LGBTQ people in the US: 3.8% Wikipedia

Total number of youths in the US: 74 million Census

Total number of homeless youths: 2.5 million Wikipedia