Attraction to transgender people
Attraction to transgender people is an enduring pattern of experiencing sexual or romantic feelings for transgender persons. Attraction to transgender people can be toward trans men, trans women, or both. The phenomenon has numerous formal and informal names. This attraction can be a person's occasional, preferred, primary, or exclusive interest.
People attracted to transgender people can identify as either heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or with none of those categories. Terms for people attracted to transgender people include admirer, transfan, tammyfan, tranny chaser, trans* catcher, trans* erotic, transsensual, tranny hawk. the term tranny chaser was originally (and still predominantly) used to describe men sexually interested in pre-operative trans women, but it is now being used by some trans men as well. More recently, less pejorative terms such as transoriented and transattracted have emerged.
Many members of the transgender community (particularly in the MTF population) use "tranny chaser" in a pejorative sense, because they consider it a fetish-like attraction to the penis of a pre-operative or non-operative trans woman or to the vagina of a pre- or non-operative trans man.. In True Selves Brown and Rounsley suggested that tranny chasing men may be homosexual men in denial. The term tranny (or trannie) is itself considered a slur in many circles.
In "Diary of a Drag Queen" Daniel Harris describes four types of men interested in him while he was cross-dressed: heterosexual men who wanted the presumed superior oral services of another male, homosexuals who were only interested in his genitals, other cross dressers, and men who were intrigued by the mixture of masculinity and femininity he represented. Relatively little has been written about the sexual preference for feminized men. When describing what makes them feel sexually attracted, different people refer to different aspects. One aspect of the appeal has been reported to be their exoticism. Also, "they are often both hyperfeminine in appearance and sexual aggressive". There is a tendency for gynandromorphophilic men to describe being attracted to individual people who are transgender rather than to transgender people overall. Other tendencies are reported description of being attracted to what transgender women represent (a challenge to the traditional male/female dichotomy) and the explicit focus on the transgender body and appearance: "I like women with dicks. I like tits and I like dicks....Something erotic about getting fucked by someone who is a woman."
According to Helen Boyd, "Tranny chasers are the big bugaboo in the crossdressing community, because their very existence suggests that crossdressers are not all as straight as they claim to be. Chasers are willing to give crossdressed men the kind of attention they desire, and that attention (a drink, a compliment) validates the crossdresser's experience, and completes the fantasy of feeling like a woman." According to Jeffrey Escoffier of the Centre for Gay and Lesbian Studies of CUNY, sexual interest in male-to-female transsexuals first emerged in 1953, associated with the then famous transition of Christine Jorgensen. It was after expressing transsexualism via surgery became more feasible over the 1960s that sexual orientation came to be re-conceptualized as distinct from gender identity and cross-dressing. In a survey of men who engage in sex with male-to-female transsexuals, 73% identified their sexual identity as straight or bisexual. It is because gynandromorphophiles can identify with any of those terms, HIV prevention efforts and research ought not overly depend on those identities.
Erotic materials created for people attracted to trans men have become more visible in recent years, largely due to pornographic actor Buck Angel. The FTM author Jamison Green has written that cisgender gay men can and often do enjoy sexual relations with trans men, even if their trans man partners don't have a penis. Green writes, "Plenty of penis-less transmen manage to engage in sex with penis-equipped gay men...and these non-trans partners are often surprised to find that a penis is not what defines a man, that the lack of a penis does not mean a lack of masculinity, manliness, or male sexuality."
Sexologists have created numerous terms for preferential attraction to transgender people. The attraction can be to people who have not undergone any physical transition, or to people who have.
Some academics characterize attraction to transgender people as a medical diagnosis to be managed or a type of paraphilia. Researchers John Money and Malgorzata Lamacz proposed the term gynemimetophilia to refer to the sexual preference for male-assigned people who look or act like women, including crossdressed men. It can also refer to an attraction to trans women. A related term is gynemimesis, which refers to a homosexual male who engages in female impersonation without sex reassignment. The terms were used by Money for classification purposes in his gender-transposition theory. Researchers Ray Blanchard and Peter Collins proposed the term gynandromorphophilia. They state that gynandromorphophilia, along with autogynephilia, has been noted to be important considerations in the assessment of Gender Identity Disorder. Gynandromorphophilia has been compared to acrotomophilia, the sexual preference for people who are amputees. Martin S. Weinberg and Colin J. Williams have proposed the term Men sexually interested in transwomen (MSTW) to describe the phenomenon among men.
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