I can’t explain with words how creepy I feel after someone approaches me with an inappropriate question about my wife. It literally turns my stomach. This has been happening since my wife and I went public about her transition. I always get questions about whether or not she wants to, or already had bottom surgery. I have been asked about her breast development and cup size. If we still have sex the “old fashioned” way, or any sex at all. It truly is amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always answered any question from a partner or family member of a transgender person and I always will. I think it is important for them to have a better understanding of transition from a partner’s perspective, and I believe that it comes from a genuine place. It is the coworker or acquaintance who asks a ridiculous question that makes me angry.
"WHY THEN DO THEY THINK IT IS OKAY TO DO SO IF YOUR PARTNER HAPPENS TO FALL UNDER THE TRANSGENDER UMBRELLA?"
A coworker in a work environment would never ask you about your partner’s genitalia. Why then do they think it is okay to do so if your partner happens to fall under the transgender umbrella? Society teaches us anything other than their definition of “normal” is wrong. So if you are transgender, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, or non-binary you must be some kind of freak. As such, it is perfectly okay to be mistreated and face discrimination by others. When I am asked what I deem to be a rude question, I make sure to tell the person asking that it is in fact an inappropriate question. I continue by letting them know that they should never ask such questions to anyone in the community as it is extremely offensive.
So recently I was in the supermarket when I got a phone call from a friend. She was calling to ask me a question for an acquaintance who obviously did not have my phone number. My wife and I had only been in this person's company twice before, but I am pretty sure that my friend filled this person in on my wife’s life journey. This acquaintance wanted to know if my wife and I had sex and if so, did we have traditional sex or did we mix it up. Question number two was, if we did have sex on a regular basis, would we be interested in another person joining us. I swear I thought my head was going to explode off my body right there in aisle five. I wish that I had not answered my phone because this was not a conversation that I wanted to have while choosing my meals for the week.
"ON WHAT PLANET IS IT OKAY TO MAKE A SEXUAL ADVANCE ON A MARRIED PERSON THROUGH THEIR PARTNER?"
I knew that I had to educate my friend and do it fast. First, I told her that outing a transgender person without their permission was very dangerous. Transgender folks get murdered all too frequently just for living as their authentic self. Only if that transgender person tells you that you can share that information with someone is it ever okay. I am sure as I sit here right now and type this, had my friend not told this person that my wife was trans, he would never have known. This apparently gave him the green light to ask such obscene questions. Then, I had to explain that my wife is in fact, a married woman. On what planet is it okay to make a sexual advance on a married person through their partner?
This acquaintance totally sexualized my wife. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He thought of her as a chick with a, well you know the rest. I was angry, flabbergasted, and disgusted all at once. What a dirtbag to think of my wife as a fetish. He must have thought of my wife as less than in order to ask such a horrendous question. My wife, like the rest of the transgender population, is a human being and deserves to be treated like one. If those of us who are allies of the community don’t speak up change will never occur. You do not need to out your partner or anyone else in the community in order to correct the transphobic things you hear people say. Of course, I had to share what happened during this phone call with my wife.