This was an interesting read, and the idea that men-at least some men use trans persons in this way makes
much sense and ought to be discussed. At the same time, I can't help but believe the author is trapped in her own gender binary, where she wants to be "the woman" and her romantic interest "the man." How conventional. Why do two partners- two persons dating have to be a man and a woman? Why can't they both be individuals looking to be who they are? The issue is that the author believes she is being authentic, because she is "out" and visible as a trans person everywhere, and these men are not being authentic, because their safe place is limited to intimate or private spaces. This notion of authenticity is essential to ponder, although I'm not sure the line of delineation is quite so clear. On another level too,while identity isn'tnecessarily performative, isn'tall expression, by everyone performative? And underneath it all, is this lingering social sense that trans persons are less than. No one ought to be less than, no one. In every training or sessions I've ever attended, they talk about gender as a construct, and gender as fluid. Yet, it seems to me that for some/many trans persons, it isn't a construct at all. They are the wrong gender, and want to be "the other gender." Isn't part of the plan to accect that all gender is a construct and the roles we play, and the roles that rule us, don't have to be that way as we get stronger and strongertosayno to the binary? Lastly, I'm struck thinking about the journey of authenticity. While the author may feelher journey is more complete, is it not possible that these men have journeys that are not the same and and far slower than hers? Thanks for writing this. Trying to articulate the way some men use trans women and in what ways is an important part of alargher dynamic of being.