”Maybe Caitlyn Jenner has always been attracted to men but, as a “traditional” gal, only feels comfortable dating them now that she has transitioned.Or perhaps she’s never even considered the possibility of dating a dude until she began to break free from decades of gender dysphoria?
And whenever tabloids whip themselves up into a frenzy over something Caitlyn Jenner said, we can reasonably certain that there’s something transphobic afoot.
The news here is clearly not that a famous celebrity who used to date women will now consider dating men—it’s that a famous transgender celebrity who used to date women may now date men.
They always have, they always will, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why a man might want to date a woman.
As transgender author and MSNBC host Janet Mock explained in a 2013 blog post, “As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women.
This doesn’t always happen, clearly, but it does happen sometimes and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. But in all likelihood, the reaction to Caitlyn Jenner’s latest revelation isn’t just due to a lack of education about transgender life.
Based on the tone of the coverage, people seem to think Caitlyn Jenner’s possible interest in men is downright salacious.
On Tuesday, the “momager” told Ellen Degeneres that Caitlyn’s ever-shifting dating choices were “confusing, for sure.”Here’s a breakdown: Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, and has had some sense that she was transgender since the age of four. There’s nothing confusing about a transgender woman dating a man, even if she’s never ventured into that side of the dating pool before.
She outwardly presented and lived as a man for about six decades, then transitioned to live in alignment with her gender identity. While many trans people who are exclusively attracted to one gender continue dating that same gender after transition, it’s not uncommon for someone like Caitlyn Jenner to feel comfortable exploring other options once she becomes more comfortable in her own skin.
Indeed, what’s at the heart of this “confusion” around is probably not confusion at all, but stigma, poorly disguised.
The level of furor around Caitlyn possibly dating men only makes sense under two common but equally false assumptions: You don’t believe that transgender women are really women and, accordingly, you don’t think that the men who date them can be straight.
The discomfort with the idea of her dating men and the belief that she is a man herself seem inextricably intertwined.