Transgender Fetishism and the Culture of Chasers
By Mila Madison
There is nothing quite as puzzling as the concept of the trans chaser. For those who are not in the know, a trans chaser is someone who is interested in a transgender person solely based on the fact that they are transgender. Mostly comprised of men who consider themselves “straight” but are attracted to trans women who look female and have male genitalia. There are also female chasers while trans men and non-binary people can also be found in the crosshairs of a chaser.
“THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE CHASER ARE USUALLY ROOTED IN FETISHISM AND THEY ARE PERPETUATED BY THE GROWING TRANSGENDER PORN INDUSTRY.”
The aspirations of the chaser are usually rooted in fetishism and they are perpetuated by the growing transgender porn industry. Trans porn is the fastest growing sector in pornography. It uses derogatory terms such as t-girl, tranny, ladyboy and shemale, words often used by a chaser when pursuing a transgender woman. According to data reported by pornography website RedTube, searches of transgender content has increased by 47% since 2013. It also says that men are 455% more likely to search for transgender related content over compared to women. There is also data showing that states where transgender rights are suppressed, such as North Carolina and Texas, tend to be the highest consumers of this type of content.
Transgender chasers are said to see trans women and men as objects of their fetish or fantasy. Normally they do not see the person inside. Their only interest is usually sex and the fulfillment of a fantasy. Some scour Internet groups, focus groups and community centers with the hopes of feeding that fantasy. They use social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to find transgender people and message them. The chaser is often viewed as creepy and stalker like. Many trans people have experienced the advances of a chaser in some shape or form.
“THE PERPLEXING AND IRONIC PART OF THE TRANS CHASER IS THAT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THE ONE THING THAT MANY TRANS PEOPLE HATE MOST ABOUT THEMSELVES.”
The perplexing and ironic part of the trans chaser is that they are interested in the one thing that many trans people hate most about themselves. That is usually pre-operative genitalia. This is one of the biggest issues the trans community has with chasers. Most of us want to be seen as who we are and not as an object or the very thing we dislike most about ourselves.
At the root of the problem is how society sees the transgender community as a whole. The portrayal of trans people in the media and film, the discriminatory laws being passed and propaganda being spread by hate groups with the intention of confusing people cause the subject of transgender people to be taboo. Most of their education on the subject comes from these outlets including the adult film industry. At the root of a fetish is the thought that it is forbidden and needs to be hidden. For example many men are afraid to date a transgender woman out of fear of being labeled as gay. Transgender people are often portrayed in film and TV as a joke or trying to trick a person. This adds to the problem.
Unfortunately things will not change until transgender people are normalized in society. This is the only way to break the taboo. People would be more accepting of dating someone who is transgender if society didn’t see it as something bad. Many of the problems we face as a community are ultimately tied to transgender rights. As those rights are achieved, as we are more normalized in society, the less of an issue these things become. For now however, we have to add trans chasers to the mountain of issues we have to deal with as a community. Remember not all people are chasers just because they are willing to date a trans person. It is only those who see us as a fetish or a sexual object. This is also not to say that there aren’t transgender people who are okay with chasers. There are some who don’t have a problem with it. To each his or her or their own I guess. Whatever you do, just be careful out there. Dating is hard for everyone, but just like everything else we deal with, it is a little harder for trans people.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!
Love and peace,