Attraction to transgender people
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Romantic and/or sexual attraction to transgender people can be toward trans men, trans women, non-binary people, or a combination of these. This attraction can be a person's occasional, or exclusive interest.
Like transgender people, individuals attracted to transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, queer, or with none of these categories; they may identify as transgender or cisgender.
There are a variety of terms, inside both the transgender and academic communities, for people who are attracted to transgender people. These terms include admirer, transfan, trans* catcher, trans* erotic, transsensual, transoriented, tranny chaser, tranny hawk, though the final two may be considered offensive because the term tranny is considered a slur by many.
The term tranny chaser was originally (and still predominantly) used to describe men sexually interested in visibly trans women, but it is now used by some trans men as well. Transgender people often use the term in a pejorative sense, because they consider chasers to value them for their trans status alone, rather than being attracted to them as a person. However, some claim this term in an affirming manner.
Less pejorative terms such as transamorous and transsensual have also emerged, but they have not seen much usage.
In 1984, John Money and Malgorzata Lamacz used gynemimesis to refer to when "a person with male anatomy and morphology lives in society as a woman" and gynemimetophilia to refer to the sexual interest in such people. They analogously proposed andromimesis to describe people with female anatomy living as men and andromimetophilia, the sexual interest in them.
In 1993, Ray Blanchard and Peter Collins conducted an analysis of 119 profiles in voicemail-based personal ad system of people seeking romantic or sexual partners and indicating an interest in cross-dressing or cross-dressers. The analyses revealed three groups: gynandromorphophiles, gynandromorphophilic cross-dressers, and residual cross-dressers.
A 2015 study used the penile plethysmograph to measure bloodflow to the penis of men who self-report attraction to trans women, and concluded that arousal patterns, genital and subjective, of men who self-report attraction to trans women are similar to those of straight men, and different from those of gay men. They differ from both straight and gay men, however, in displaying strong arousal to stimuli featuring trans women, which in this group was as arousing as the stimuli featuring cisgender women. The study also concluded that such men are more likely to have autogynephilia (to "eroticize the idea of being a woman").
According to Jeffrey Escoffier of the Centre for Gay and Lesbian Studies of CUNY, sexual interest in trans women first emerged in 1953, associated with the then famous transition of Christine Jorgensen. It was after sex reassignment surgery became more feasible over the 1960s that sexual orientation came to be re-conceptualized as distinct from gender identity and cross-dressing.
In an article in the Journal of Homosexuality, Tompkins argued that a sex-positive trans politics cannot emerge if terms such as “tranny chaser” informed discussion of attraction to transgender people.
Erotic materials created for people attracted to trans men have become more visible, especially due to pornographic actor Buck Angel, the majority of whose fans are gay men. Trans activist Jamison Green writes that cisgender gay men who are partnered with trans men "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." Gay author Andrew Sullivan has criticized the idea that gay men should necessarily be attracted to trans men, arguing that sexual orientation is based on biological sex, not gender identity.
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