Illustration by Sam Taylor
Last time, I wrote about two of my favourite subjects – me and sex. Me having sex, in fact, and some of the things I like about it. Some of you got upset with me about this. Again. Seriously, if reading about explicit sex freaks you out, why do you like a page called "VICE" on Facebook? If my column is too much for you, read Gardener's World. There might be some stuff in there that's more your speed.
Anyway, back to me. Much of the criticism I received revolved around the fact that I am trans. As in "transgender". As in "was a boy, now a girl". We all have TVs, right? We’ve all read magazines before? We all understand that transgender people exist? Okay – well, I’m one of them. I've never made a secret of it and I'll mention it whenever it's relevant, but I guess sometimes I just totally forget to remind everyone. How remiss of me.
Thank goodness, then, that there are people out there who will do it for me at every possible opportunity. I’d like to give special thanks to one chap who checked in pretty much hourly for two days to talk about his obsession with my genitals. He’s got theories about them. He’s spent time thinking about them. He’s RESEARCHED them, ffs. Apparently all he could find was me "avoiding the issue", so therefore I must still have a peen and be totally ashamed about it.
You know, I couldn’t give a fuck what you think I have between my legs, but I’ve made a decision not to talk about my junk because, politically, I object, as a trans woman, to being reduced to a set of genitals. That and the fact that I like to keep all these losers guessing. Mainly, though, it’s because up until a couple of years ago, the only time you would see someone like me in the media is if they were answering questions about "the op". It was really quite rude, to be honest. Dehumanising. Othering. Reductive. Look it up.
The other thing, of course, is that you’d be suuuuuper lucky to get anywhere near my love parts – so don’t go acting like you have any business down there. I don't fuck dickheads who hang around comment sections obsessing over other people’s orgasm control centres. So it really doesn't matter if you're not ready for my particular flavour of jelly because no one’s offering you any. Put your spoon away.
And yes, I am aware, theoretically, that some people may not find me attractive – either specifically because I am trans or just because they don’t – and that’s fine. You’re not obliged to want to fuck me, but nor do I feel any obligation to go around constantly apologising for who I am. What did you want me to do, end every sentence with a caveat? "Don’t be fooled, boys, I don’t really have any sexual charisma – I’m just one of those pathetic transsexuals." Well, fuck you. My experiences and enjoyment of sex are just as valid as anybody else’s, and I’ll write about them however I please.
I'm sorry if I'm not behaving as you’d like me to. I'm sorry I'm not just a punchline in one of your favourite shows, or an anonymous face in a porno you secretly jacked off to. I'm sorry that I've got a range of views on various different subjects and that some people have managed to look past the fact that I am trans to actually enjoy my writing. And maybe they think I'm hot regardless? It's not against the law, you know.
So yes, carry on, but if you’re trying to undermine me in future, could you find some new and interesting ways, please? I don’t really mind you banging on about me being trans, it’s just that it’s soooo dull. Frankly, I’ve had better people than you lurking around comments sections ready to insult me with this crap. I miss my wee pet troll Julie Burchill, but even she couldn’t come up with anything more imaginative than, "You’re just a young gay boy, really." Seriously. That’s all she had.
As for people telling me I may be a woman on the outside but I’ll always be a man on the inside: I couldn’t give a toss about the inside. My insides look cool. Outer beauty is what I'm aiming for now, thanks. How's your outside? And, more importantly, how's your inside?
Perhaps more interesting is the hate I got from trans people. In fact, the overwhelming majority of abuse and criticism (two different things that sometimes overlap) over the past few years has come from trans women. Here’s a comment that was left on my wall last week [all sic]:
“its shit like this that gives trans women a bad name. thanks for reinforcing the stereotype. congrats. will our community ever get someone representing us with some class and decorum… people are going to read this and it is going back up their opinion that we are all a bunch of cock hungry sluts with no self respect, and that effects me personally along with every other trans woman."
Bitch, I’m not here to represent you. I’m here to be me. It’s interesting that while the vast majority of people respond to me as a whole human being – whether my work entertains, annoys or bores the hell out of them – some trans people just want to put me in a box. There’s always some trans woman telling me what a shit job I’m doing of representing her. Well, if you don’t like it, represent yourself.
Stop trying to limit me. I’m not trying to limit you. If you know a better way to change the world, don’t let me hold you back – go get your own voice heard if you think you can do a better job of it than me. I’d be genuinely delighted for you. There are plenty of wonderful activists and people in all sorts of fields making waves and flying the flag for trans people right now – Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Roz Kaveney, CN Lester, Fox Fisher, Lewis Hancox, Jen Richards, Laura Jane Grace, Lana Wachowski, Parker Marie Molloy, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Chaz Bono, Fallen Fox, Calpernia Addams, Andreja Pejic... shall I go on? Follow their work if I’m not your cup of tea. Just don’t expect them to represent you, either, because that’s not fair on anyone and discourages people from trying to get their voices heard in the first place.
Of course I want to make things better for girls like us. I’m doing it my way, though. This is my contribution, so take it or leave it. I want a platform to talk about important issues that affect our community, but I’m not going to change into a completely different person for you. And if you want me to, you’re no better than our oppressors, just two sides of the same coin. I don’t care who you are; when you tell me that I can’t or shouldn’t be sexy because I am trans, you are wrong. You are trying to put me in your box and dictate who and how I should be. I’m giving your box back to you.
If you hate Thatcher, hate her because of her economic policies, not because she was a Bad Woman. If you hate Ronnie Kray, hate him because he was a murderous criminal, not because he was a Bad Gay. And if you hate me, hate me because you hate my writing – but stop framing everything I do with your transgender filter because I’m not interested in being your Perfect Trans Woman. That’s not what true equality looks like. True equality is about having lots of different people getting their voices heard in lots of different places – and I reserve the right to be awful, frankly, if that’s how I feel I want to express myself. You don’t get to control my narrative any more than the idiots talking shit about my genitals do.
And finally, as ever, I’m not interested in your pointless sexual taboos. If you think that talking about sex creates a bad impression, again, that’s your problem. You know, we do actually face some really serious sexual problems in the world right now – systematic child abuse, rape culture and violent homophobia, to name a few. So please, next time I discuss safe, adult and consensual fucking, save your moral outrage. I'm over it.
I’m not going away. I’m not going to shut up. You don’t have to like me but, so long as the haterz keep coming out the woodwork, I’ll keep writing about sex, because there are clearly a lot of people out there who could do with thinking about sexuality and what it means to them. And because it’s horny. If you don’t like that, you can suck my mysterious nether regions.
Previously – The 21 Sexiest Things About Sex