(Our main character, Morgan, standing and their friend, Crystal, in the background. Morgan is standing with hands on their hips, proud.)
Morgan: I did it! I got a date on Saturday!
Morgan: I’m excited but nervous too! I’ve never been on a date with a trans woman before. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but I want to be a good date and respectful and my mind is just a jumble.
Crystal: Why don’t you take a sec and reflect on why you want to go on a date with her.
Morgan: Cause she’s cool and funny. Is that what you mean?
Crystal: That’s sweet, but no.
Crystal: I mean a deeper and honest reflection of your mortives, desires, and intentions of dating her.
Crystal: It’s important to think about power, privilege, and oppression when dating someone who has a marginalized identity you don’t share.
Morgan: WOAH. Ok then, where should I start, trusted best friend
Crystal: Well, here’s three questions that any person who isn’t a trans woman should ask themselves before dating a trans woman:
Text: 1. Are you only interested in her for sexual purposes? 2. Are you trying to prove how politically radical you are? 3. Does the thought of having sex with her stir even the slightest bit of fear or aversion in you?
Crystal: If your answer is yes to any of these, cancel your date and work this out with a therapist or a non-trans woman friend. Definitely don’t drag her into it!
Morgan: This shouldn’t be so serious.
Crystal: It may not seem serious for you.
(A close up of Morgan’s face while Crystal is talking)
Crystal: But you don’t have to deal with the same sort of dangers and microaggressions.
Text: Trans women are often fetishized and objectified on the daily. The last thing anyone needs is to be treated that way by a new date — intentionally or not
(Morgan holding a rainbow)
Morgan: Now hold on! I’m queer! I know what it’s like to be fetishized and objectified! We’llhave similar experiences.
(A panel showing womyn-born-womyn sigh, and a couple talking)
Text: Yeah…not so much pal. Even in queer communities Trans women are excluded,, marginalized, and get their identities co-opted and appropriated by others.
Person: This is my TRANS girlfriend.
Text: Sometimes Trans women are carelessly used as props to show off how “RADICAL” and “PROGRESSIVE” they are.
(A statue of a woman with her arms on her hips, looking annoyed. The statue reads: trans trophy wife)
Text: No one wants to be used to boost social standing.
Morgan: This is so complicated!
Crystal: I know, but we have to make sure we’re not perpetuating transmisogynistic patterns in our relationships.
Crystal: Trans women deserve our respect and adoration and reverence!
Morgan: You’re right, sorry. I’m just so nervous. I wish I felt more confident about all of this.
(A close up of a cell phone, where Morgan is texting their date)
Crystal: Why dont you text her to calm your nerves?
Text: Wanna walk around the lake Saturday?
Crystal: Talking will help you both feel more comfortable! Deep breaths!
Crystal: Ask personal questions but understand that she’s a woman whose gender is often questioned. Do NOT ask “When did you start hormones/‘dressing’?” “Are your _____ real?”
Morgan: Rude! Of course not!
Crystal: It’s beyond rude. It’s cissexist. People feel entitled to ask trans women question’s they’d never as cis women.
Morgan: Respect trans women as women – got it!
Morgan: I wont ask things about her body. I trust she’ll tell me what I need to know when she determines I need to know. I just wanna talk about books and astrology.
Morag: And her smart and brillant analysis of bell hooks. She’s so smart. She said-
Crystal: Woah okay! Tell her, not me pal!
Morgan: I feel like we’ll have so much to talk about, it’ll be one of those dates you don’t ever want to end.
Crystal: Then don’t end it! Why end a good thing!
Crystal: And maybe perhaps it’ll be time to take the date to a place with a lot less clotheing
(An panel of different bodies, with a banner that reads Everyone’s Boundaries Matter!)
Text: But absolutely do not go to bed with someone without checking in about consent, language, desires, limits, and safety! Everyones boundaries matter! Some folks may not want certain body parts touched or referenced. Having open respectful dialogue is critical, even if it seems fine!
(Morgan nervous and sweaty but smiling)
Morgan: YES OKAY GOT IT!!
Crystal: If sex makes you nervous, as it clearly does, you’re so sweaty right now- there’s a website I can send to you. Also check out Mira Bellwether’s zine Fucking Trans Women.
Crystal: Also, don’t forget to create safety for your date.
Crystal: Many trans women (particularly Black women) are assaulted or murdered by their intimate partners, whether it be dates, clients, one-night stands, or long-term partners.
Morgan: I want her to feel safe! But how? In a non-awkward way?
(Morgan talking to their date, Morgan is looking at their phone)
Text: Let her know that you’re invested in her safety as your own. For example, when you change locations you might say
Morgan: I’m going to check in with a friend before we go to my/your house. Do you want to do the same?
Morgan: That’s a good idea!
Crystal: What can I say, I’m a good date!
Crystal: Don’t forget to thank her for her time when the date is over.
Morgan: Don’t worry!
(A close up of Morgan’s face, looking super nervous)
Morgan: Thank’s for all your advice! Now all I have left is regular pre-date jitters!
Crystal: You know how you’re going to make it until Saturday?
Crystal: Sending her cute texts while binge watching Steven Universe.
(The story of the two of them binge watching Steven Universe. Lots of junk food in between them)
Morgan: She texted again! She’s vegan! Good to know.
Morgan: So cute! I can’t wait!