Once in a while, I get harassed by gay guys for my trans status that I display openly. Don’t worry, it’s very rare. So whenever it does happen, I feel sort of ‘seduced’ to get into a smart dialogue with these people, even while knowing that some really are too stupid. Yes, dimwitted people do exist. And sometimes there just isn’t enough vomit in the world.
I can block these awful guys (they’re usually young and know nothing of the world; they may be afraid to lose their gay identity when discovering they feel I am quite handsome, so yeah, I know where it’s coming from). But… If I block them nothing is gained. It’s a systematic problem that needs to be addressed more publicly.
Three days ago this happened again. Out of the blue I got a message (with many spelling mistakes) from a guy saying “you do not belong here, gay men do not want a hairy woman“. Gee, thanks buddy, but I do not look female… The guy got totally irrational in his responses and showed no signs of being able to see the meta-view on his own actions, somewhere buried in his bad spelling. So I finally decided to email Planet Romeos’ support department, with the following message:
I have been using your site for many, many years now – with much joy. I am a transman, living a predominantly queer lifestyle, in which I have been quite successful. But I have one question: what is Gayromeos’ official stance towards transmen? I am asking this because today I was very aggressively harassed by 1 member on this site and this really was pure transphobia. It seems a little silly and ineffective to just simply block this 1 person – why should I be alone in this? – it’s not the first time for me I have to block someone because of transphobia but I just wish that Gayromeo would officially make a statement about being inclusive towards transmen, and perhaps display a sexy transmale feature photo or something + an article on how hot transmen are and why they deserve to be treated just like any other guy.
Especially now transmale visibility is getting so much bigger with pornstars such as Kay Garnellen and Buck Angel.
I hope you are with me in this struggle and I look very much forward to your reply and your help.
It took only 2 days before they sent me back this really nice message:
Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.
I am sorry to read you have been the victim of transphobic remarks from another member of our community.
I would like to emphasize the fact that PlanetRomeo is, naturally, open to transmen and transwomen, and that we condemn any kind of offence towards these groups, when ostensibly expressed within the content of a profile. This is the task our dedicated team of administrators accomplishes every day: we check profiles and reject those that do not respect our rules, by expressing or encouraging any kind of hate feelings towards other users.
However, because the privacy of our users is our priority, we do not have access to chat histories. Therefore, we can seldom interfere between two users, whenever a conflict arises. You did the right thing by blocking this user, and by bringing this to our attention. We want you to feel safe on our website.
You suggest in your message we should make a statement about Planetromeo being inclusive towards transmen. I will forward your suggestion to my manager and we will see what we can do.
In the meantime, I wish you a lovely day and hope you still have a great time on our website.
With Kind Regards,
Yes, this is all very nice and such, but will something actually happen now…? And will they inform me personally?
Guess we’ll just have to keep on dating and twist the minds around of all those hot homos out there, and keep on sending messages like these to the admins. That’s why we need more transmen on sites such as Planet Romeo and Grindr: you don’t have to be open about your trans status straight away (pun intended) but you’re surely worth dating.
And we all are surely worth some ethic of reciprocity.