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He was an amateur MMA fighter, came from the hood — apparently a former gang member, as I learned later. We’re the dirty little secrets who get calls only after hours.It wasn’t that he necessarily made me feel threatened, but I knew the statistics. No matter how beautiful, intelligent, or successful, we are the ones who have to settle for being nothing more than receptacles for men’s desires and insecurities. “I’m a transgender woman.” I emphasized the woman part.
Now I typically come out via text message or on my online profiles.
He made jokes about me and how I “used to be a man,” criticized my writing and activism, and even — the grand offense — used my birth name during arguments. Having to constantly define and explain myself is both exhausting and unfair.
I feel like I have to share my entire life story early on — a situation in dating that we’re often told to avoid at the risk of being too overwhelming.
Though we had a ton of chemistry, he couldn’t understand the ways in which he constantly invalidated my identity.
And, to be clear, I don’t need constant validation of my womanhood, but I do need respect — which J wasn't prepared to give.