A Straight Man and a Trans Woman

Trans activist Linor Bar-Gil says that she has had many successful relationships with straight men, but all remained behind closed doors so that no one would know. In a new column she writes that perhaps only when a brave celebrity comes out and says that he is attracted to trans women and not ashamed of it – the situation will change.


A match of straight man and trans woman is a winner match. The ability of a transgender woman to understand what goes on in her boyfriend’s head in everyday life is crazy. The connection could be perfect, but there’s a big “but…”

In a fantasy world a man and a trans woman can be together. Israeli men like trans women because they fulfill the ultimate fantasy – that you can supposedly go to a bar and ask a trans woman to go home with you to have sex. If she liked the idea she would go with you, and if not you would get a direct answer, without having to spend long hours at the bar ordering drink after drink, trying to make her laugh and show her how cute and charming you are.

In Israel trans women have become objects for casual sex, and I wonder whether it’s our fault or mainly due to the circumstances which were led by men. Is it society that makes it difficult for me to have a relationship?

The ability to enter a relationship with a straight man is difficult because what we want is a straight man willing to say he’s going out with a trans, regardless of her past. It always seemed to me that men would rather go out with a woman who had been in jail than with a trans woman. What does it say about his sexual identity? Is he gay? So the answer is no! Israeli trans women were not “born men.” Yes, you were not born “man” either, you were born male, and like everyone else you have turned into a boy and then you became a man. Most trans women underwent a similar process, from a feminine teen boy, gentle, shy and introverted, into a woman, instead of a man. So I’m sorry to say – no, I never was a man, I don’t know what it means to be a man, I never liked to drink beer or to play soccer. Our need as trans for a relationship is basic. I don’t want to be anyone’s sex doll, I don’t want to be the one you see just for casual sex, because I am a human being with feelings and need to love and be loved.

I had amazing relationships with men – we laughed, we watched movies together, I cooked for us, we drank together, curled up, we had a lot in common and discussions into the night, but it began and ended in the house behind closed doors and in secret. Why must no one know? Why hide me? “You’re lovely, but what if people know about me?” What the hell is there to know ?! That you’re in a relationship with a trans woman? When I began the process of my change I saw myself in a relationship with a man – and having children. Had I known that reality would be like this I could’ve saved years of men-liars one after another., men who tricked me for sex and especially tricked themselves.

I see around me trans friends who are in some form of relationship. I never interfered in other people’s relationships, and it’s none of my business, but for me everything has been different. At some point, I thought that the problem was with me. ‘Maybe I’m too big’ or ‘too different,’ maybe I’m ‘aggressive’ or ‘hard’. But then I discovered that not all trans relationships are perfect. Women often compromise in their relationships because of the need to be loved. When I got into a relationship with a trans man, I thought it would be easier. He’s trans, I’m trans, I told myself. But our love was short term, and we quickly realized that we couldn’t manage to understand each other, and things blew up.

I hope that one day a man will come out in the media, similar perhaps to a celebrity coming out as an LGB or T (though it’s not the same) and say “Yes, I like transgender women, I find them attractive and an upgraded version of woman.” To my knowledge, there are celebrities who like trans women; some of them slept with trans women, but when it leaks out to the media, they are quick to say “I didn’t know she was trans”. Seriously? Come on! Even when she was naked, you didn’t know?

And by the way, gay people are not attracted to trans women. They don’t do it for them, so if you go out with a trans woman, be sure that you are not gay.