The Thanksgiving dinner I attended yesterday was an all-female gathering of perhaps 15-20 women around my age or older. I was there as the bring-a-friend/date of a friend of mine, and she later told me that from what someone said to her, we were being read as a lesbian couple.
Both my friend and I thought that was pretty funny!
Over dinner, the topic of conversation in that all-female group inevitably turned to the recent explosion of women going public with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse by men, many of them prominent, powerful individuals.
I heard stories at that table.
Because I want to be treated as who I am–in my daily life just an ordinary woman–and not as some sort of curiosity, I do not make a point of outing myself as transgender unless I must for some compelling reason, such as a medical situation. I did not comment during the portion of the dinner conversation about horrible men.
When I have been in gatherings where everyone present is a trans woman, the subject of vile men sometimes comes up, just as it did yesterday at dinner.
The stories are exactly the same as those I heard yesterday.
Many trans women, me included, have experienced sexism and condescension and discrimination of exactly the same sort that cisgender women endure. Many of us have known violence at the hands of cisgender men.
I will provide no identifying details, but I have met a number of trans women who have been groped by cisgender men when such advances were definitely not welcome and that was made clear to the perpetrator.
I know trans women who have been raped.
I can tell you that nearly all of the transgender women I know are at least to some degree afraid of cisgender men, and that includes transgender women who are attracted to them.
Some cisgender lesbians and straight feminists hate transgender women. They see us as men.
I assure you that we are not.