Kylie Marco is a professional designer who create the Coleur D’or BDSM line-up. She also hosts her own podcast – Kylie with the D – where she discusses a range of topics around being trans, sexuality, and what being trans means to her.
Kylie teamed up with one of our content contributors – Lydon – so we could tackle some of the problematic myths surrounding trans people and debunk them once and for all.
1) Trans people are sex workers.
Lydon: This is an interesting one, and I can’t really understand how it came about. Obviously, it’s incredibly generic and untrue, but what are your thoughts on it?
Kylie: It’s offensive. Definitely. But, for more than one reason. Of course, like you said, it’s impossible to categorize “all people” as anything, there’s no way to even check that. But, it also paints sex workers in a bad color.
Plenty of people choose sex work because they enjoy it. Some people are forced into sex work to avoid homelessness or for a variety of reasons beyond their control. Sex work isn’t something that should be demonized or framed as this immoral act – if everything is consensual then there’s no reason to shame it.
Trans sex workers exist, there’s no denying that. And there are plenty of reasons for that which I don’t want to go into. But to categorize all trans people as sex workers is just another attempt to demonize/criminalize trans people AND sex workers. Throw this myth away and come up with something original.
2) Trans is a fetish/porn category.
Lydon: This one certainly sounds… bad. How do you feel about it?
Kylie: It makes me laugh, honestly. Not in a `that’s funny` kind of way but more of a… WOW… kind of way.
Look, trans can be a fetish – and it certainly is a porn category (though even then it’s hard to find good porn with trans people in it!) but that’s not all being trans is. If you have a fetish for trans people, then fine, but don’t treat people like they themselves are your fetish. There needs to be a separation between a person’s fantasies and reality. If you have a fetish for spitting, or socks, or whatever, you still need to separate it from outside of the bedroom. You can’t look at everyone wearing socks and decide they’re a sexual object for you.
At the end of the day it all comes down to respect. Trans people are exactly that, people. And your focus should be on finding the person hot, not just the fact that they’re trans. If you refuse to see trans people as anything but a fetish created to serve your dreams, then you’re a problem.
You can find trans people sexually attractive, I mean trans people like sex as well you know? But we’re not a living sex doll, and just because trans is one of your fetishes doesn’t give you the right to approach someone you don’t know and expect sexual interactions with them. Just, no, stop.
3) You must get surgery to be trans.
Lydon: At SVAKOM we’ve previously published posts about how to navigate the world of dating a trans person, which briefly covers the transitioning period. In that, we talked a little on how not all trans people seek out or want surgery. Based on your experiences as a transwoman, would you say this one is complete myth as well?
Kylie: Absolute myth. 100% a myth. And I think this boils down to the obsession people seem to have with “what a trans person has in their pants”. It’s a strange level of invasiveness as well as a perplexing form of gatekeeping.
A person is trans whether they haven’t had gender affirming surgery yet, never want to get surgery, or have had it. Regardless they are trans. There is no right way to be trans, no clean-cut example of a trans person. The same way there are many different types of cis people, there are a variety of different bodies, personalities, and styles that make up the trans community.
When we don’t understand something, we try and force it to fit into a… uhm… a category, and a bad no-no area, to be cliché, a box! We want it to make sense to us, we need to understand it. So, we slap a label on it and call it a day – even when that label doesn’t really work. If a person says they are trans, then they’re trans. And the