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How to know if im (platonically) fetishizing (?) trans guys.


hermi1e
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CW: transphobia

hi people!!

I wanted to post because I realized like 10 minutes ago that I might be platonically attracted to my best friend, and then i realized that he's the third person I've had a squish on, and also the third trans guy. My squishes have all been trans guys. I want to ask about this bc I'm worried that it is transphobic of me. I'm exclusively attracted to men, but I only have had romantic/sexual crushes on cis guys and I've had entirely platonic crushes on the three trans guys I've known well. (One was a close friend at my summer camp, another was an acquaintance at school, and this current guy is my best friend at school.) So basically, I only ever get squishes on trans guys, and only ever get sexual/romantic crushes on cis guys.

I'm speculating that maybe i don't see trans men fully as men (hella transphobic!) so I never see them as potential sexual/romantic partners the way I see cis men. Also worried that I'm viewing them as people i wanna be platonically close to because i view them as gay-best-friends/platonic girlfriends (ugh i'm so sorry for saying this). People who aren't gonna be attracted to me, even if they do like girls, and who i thus can feel comfortable around. Which, again, is fucking transphobic, bc i'm not seeing them the way i see cis guys (which is usually with a lotta nervousness, bc i view them as people i could date. Except for cis gay guys. I feel comfy around them). 

Ik this is confusing and i'm not even conscious or in-control of a lot of it, so it makes sense that others might not be able to help much, but I'm wondering how I can tell if this is a prejudice and how others might suggest I work on this. I obviously need to evaluate how I see trans guys n stuff, but i'm not exactly sure how. Anyway, thank you! Have a lovely day!

Edited by hermi1e
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Well, you can't really help who you get attracted to. It might be some unconscious prejudice that causes it though, but that doesn't really change the fact you have no sexual or romantic desire for them. And I definitely don't think you're fetishizing them. 

It could also be that those particular 3 trans guys just felt more like friends to you. 

Edited by SurrealEntity
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I don't really know if it's transphobic tbh? If it is because the things that you said (not seeimg them fully as men and therefore not seeimg them as potential partners) then yes, absolutely, but it could also be that these particular men are just not your type? 

It can be really hard to leave the transphobic point of view we usually grow up with and hold trans people to the same level and expectations as cis people (I am agender and I struggle with this quite a lot). Smth I do is imagine scenarios of the thing that I have trouble processing and I imagine a cis person doing it, and then I imagine a trans person doing it and I tell my brain that there's no difference. 

Obviously that's an oversimplification: there IS a difference between trans and cis people, as they would have different experiences and would be prone to doing different things, but that's how it is with everyone, so really it's not that big of a deal if it happens to be a trans person. Of course, in a sexual situation the difference would take a major rol, I think, so I cannot really help you there. But maybe if little by little you start holding trans men to the same standards as cis men (not only in romantic or sexual scenarios, but in everyday life), a change could be made. 

Also, it's absolutely okay if you never get a crush on a trans man, you can't really choose the ways of the heart, after all (I've learnt that the hard way lol). In any way, it is really cool of you to ask this and actively try to make yourself a better person, I wish you luck in your dilemma! ? 

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This is a question I've been mulling over for myself. (though not exactly the same details).

I've come to the conclusion it's not that I secretly think "trans men aren't men" or afab enbies are "women-light."
I think it's that I have a level of comfort and comradery with fellow AFABs, and a level of learned anxiety and distrust towards those raised in toxic masculinity.

Another theory I have is that the few people I've felt some form of attraction to are those who shake up gender expression expectations (whether that's crossing the binary or just being unique within their gender norms). I think this is more about how they are speaking out against the gender norms that trap me (even before I realized I'm agender) or have potential to be a solid friend due to this rebelliousness/confidence and it's not specifically about their gender. 

__________________________________
TANGENT
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((Also just want to throw it in there that having phobic assumptions doesn't make us "bad". It's part of being human and it's important to process them so we don't unintentially harm others.)) For example, I've realized I need to shake my stereotype that transmen are "adorable tea-drinking city-dwellers." The problem is I watch one youtuber transguy so much, that it's overriding my logical knowledge that transmen are as diverse as everyone else. ((But that's on me and not the youtuber))

_________________________________
DOUBLE TANGENT
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I find this raises interesting questions -- does the "problematicness" of attraction to a gender/assigned-sex combo lessen if it's not romantic/sexual attraction which can be linked to power-dynamics / claiming / entitlement, whereas platonic/aesthetic/other attractions don't have a negative connotation. Is is possible to feel attraction to specific gender/assigned-sex combos in a non-problematic way? Does your own gender/assigned-sex combo play into if it's problematic or not? 

Being asexual/aromantic, I have been wondering how current-genitalia/assigned-sex play into gendered attraction, but now I'm really getting off topic. 

 

Edited by CharCharChar
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  • 1 month later...

Personally, I don't find "fetishizing" a useful term, and I feel that it's pretty much inextricably linked to kink-negativity to the point where I'd be happy just completely tossing that term in the trash heap.

A lot of times, when people talk about "fetishizing" as a harmful thing, what they're really talking about is objectification. Which is treating someone else as if their thoughts/feelings/desires don't matter, all that matters is how they can meet your desires.

The fact that you seem to be more inclined to have squishes on trans guys doesn't strike me as a concern at all. What's important is how you actually treat the trans guys in your life, not what types of attraction you feel towards them.

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/13/2020 at 2:32 AM, CharCharChar said:

I find this raises interesting questions -- does the "problematicness" of attraction to a gender/assigned-sex combo lessen if it's not romantic/sexual attraction which can be linked to power-dynamics / claiming / entitlement, whereas platonic/aesthetic/other attractions don't have a negative connotation.

Continuing the double tangent. Trying to separate sexual and aesthetic attractions is somewhat hard for me anyway but in general it is possible aesthetic attraction can be just as problematic as it then enters the realm of racism, media influenced beauty ideals, and even ableism because it is basically judging people on appearances. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/3/2020 at 7:55 PM, hermi1e said:

CW: transphobia

hi people!!

I wanted to post because I realized like 10 minutes ago that I might be platonically attracted to my best friend, and then i realized that he's the third person I've had a squish on, and also the third trans guy. My squishes have all been trans guys. I want to ask about this bc I'm worried that it is transphobic of me. I'm exclusively attracted to men, but I only have had romantic/sexual crushes on cis guys and I've had entirely platonic crushes on the three trans guys I've known well. (One was a close friend at my summer camp, another was an acquaintance at school, and this current guy is my best friend at school.) So basically, I only ever get squishes on trans guys, and only ever get sexual/romantic crushes on cis guys.

I'm speculating that maybe i don't see trans men fully as men (hella transphobic!) so I never see them as potential sexual/romantic partners the way I see cis men. Also worried that I'm viewing them as people i wanna be platonically close to because i view them as gay-best-friends/platonic girlfriends (ugh i'm so sorry for saying this). People who aren't gonna be attracted to me, even if they do like girls, and who i thus can feel comfortable around. Which, again, is fucking transphobic, bc i'm not seeing them the way i see cis guys (which is usually with a lotta nervousness, bc i view them as people i could date. Except for cis gay guys. I feel comfy around them). 

Ik this is confusing and i'm not even conscious or in-control of a lot of it, so it makes sense that others might not be able to help much, but I'm wondering how I can tell if this is a prejudice and how others might suggest I work on this. I obviously need to evaluate how I see trans guys n stuff, but i'm not exactly sure how. Anyway, thank you! Have a lovely day!

Hi so I'm a trans guy and frankly, knowing that you are acknowledging some possibly internalized transphobia is a big step in the right direction for the subject. It's very easy to see trans guys differently than cis guys because of how trans people in general are portrayed in the media and growing up in a blatantly transphobic society doesn't help either. However, it's obvious that you want to consciously battle this way of thinking. While it is impossible to choose who you are attracted to and in what way you are attracted to them, there are many internal and external factors that go into it. This is also why first impressions are always such a big deal. Everything about a person from the way they look down to the way they walk can affect the way you feel about them. The nature vs nurture argument is important to note here. In reality, nature and nurture both affect the way we perceive the world and I would say that they way you perceive trans guys is from the nurture side of things and growing up in such a transphobic society. Things that are learned can be unlearned so, maybe in the future, as you hopefully move towards unlearning the perceptions you have of trans men, the way in which you are attracted to them could change to. Remember, nothing is set in stone. the way you are attracted to people now could change in 5 years or 15 but as people grow and change so do their preferences. It's ok to just be you as long as you don't actively hurt another person. this is an obvious and conscious effort on your part to not hurt others and that is enough for right now. I hope you enjoy the wonderful path you are leading and make many new discoveries along the way!

 

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On 3/21/2021 at 4:02 AM, IdentityCrisis said:

, as you hopefully move towards unlearning the perceptions you have of trans men, the way in which you are attracted to them could change to.

this is such a great and interesting point

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  • 4 weeks later...

I can relate to seeing a pattern in platonic attraction because before I knew I was aroace I always ended up having "crushes" on closeted gay men. Who I later found out ( from a mutual friend or directly from them) that they were actually gay. And I realized this pattern was because I felt the most comfortable around these men. I felt no sexual or romantic interest coming from them which felt comfortable and preferable. And since they presented as hetero I thought I was hetero. And misinterpreted my platonic attraction as romantic.

I know our situations are different but I guess my point is that if you genuinely feel comfortable around your trans friends and you are treating them as real friends then it doesn't seem wrong that you keep befriending trans guys.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/27/2020 at 1:12 AM, Ettina said:

Personally, I don't find "fetishizing" a useful term, and I feel that it's pretty much inextricably linked to kink-negativity to the point where I'd be happy just completely tossing that term in the trash heap.

A lot of times, when people talk about "fetishizing" as a harmful thing, what they're really talking about is objectification. Which is treating someone else as if their thoughts/feelings/desires don't matter, all that matters is how they can meet your desires

I have to politely disagree. Fetisizing is a useful term. 

Merriam Webster-

"an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"

So it is something often not inherently sexual but becomes a fixation sexually to the point where it could be interfering with your healthy expression. Could be being attracted to shoes for example even when no one is wearing them because for some reason you associate it with being sexual. It could be to the point you cant feel feelings without shoes around. 

It can also be used in a non sexual context too of something you are obsessively attracted to. 

However I don't think the term applies here. 

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