The Fetishization an Infantilization of Trans Men
Transphobia comes in all shapes and forms, including those that hide under the guise of faux positivity. Trans men often face being seen as soft and effeminate despite our appearances or personalities, but solely based in the fact we are trans. Those projecting this concept usually do so without negative intent, but do not realize that it is still inherently problematic.
Where does this stereotype come from? Unfortunately, many people subconsciously still don’t view trans men as “real men” and ascribe feminine attributes to us. They assume that all trans men are androgynous or feminine despite the many forms of transition available (or just the fact that we are all unique). There are trans men that are tall, muscular, hairy, and overall masculine and still get mainly referred to as “small” and “adorable”. Sometimes this is even before someone has seen them, but has just heard that they’re trans. The view of the person shifts from a “man” to something else entirely once the fact that they’re transgender gets brought into play.
As a trans man who has experienced being both fetishized and infantilized, it has definitely affected my socialization in more ways than one. At first I was okay with, and even embraced it. The idea that I was getting support was so overwhelming, I felt impartial to the kind of support it was. But the more I became of aware of it, the more I tried to prove society wrong.
Let me emphasize that there is nothing wrong with being an effeminate trans man (or a masculine trans woman for that matter). It is the stereotype that we need to be one that is the problem.
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