Gender stealth: why transgender disclosure is not necessary

Dear Queer Radical,

The other night at the bar, I met this hot guy Larry…well…at least I thought he was a guy. I got him home and when he took off his pants, he had no dick. He was a tranny. I’m a gay guy. It’s not that I have a problem with trannies, but I’m a little disturbed he went stealth. What’s up with transgender people who feel like they can’t be out of the closet?  I’ve been out of the closet for 10 years and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Yours queerly,

Gay and Grumbling

Dear GG,

You’re using your bloated sense of pride to shame Larry--a guy whose identity your pea-sized brain seems to fail to comprehend. You are constructing a closet that is not relevant to his experience. You are dismissing his courage to express his gender because you don’t like the conclusions he’s come to. Your narrow mind is not his failure.

This word that you use—“stealth”—gets thrown around too much these days. You make Larry sound like some sort of Soviet-era spy, sneaking around in your dirty laundry, pretending to be the maid in your Fire Island mansion.

There is nothing sneaky about Larry taking his pants off without announcing, “Guess what! I’m a transgender man and I’m proud.” Why should he blather on-and-on about being trans, just to appeal to your narrow notion of sexuality and gender-expression? If he wants to, that’s his perogative. If not, no sweat. Suck his cock (yes G.G., Larry might very well have a cock that your dullard mind can’t comprehend) and get over it.

When he walked up to you, and you thought, “What a nice looking fellow,” he was out of his closet—as a guy. Indeed, people presenting their genders any way with which they feel most comfortable with demonstrates an absolutely valid, absolutely earnest, closet-free expression of the self. Why force people to do otherwise?

Let me be gentle and try to explain this a different way, despite my deep, deep, deep desire to pummel you, gloves off.

Let’s say you took a guy home who had a hairy ball-sack and hairy ball-sacks made you uncomfortable. Would you blame the guy with the bushy sack for not “admitting” it ahead of time, for not “disclosing?” Would you accuse him of being “in the closet?”

No, of course not. Either, you would be gracious and figure out a way to fuck that got you both off or you would decline gently, due to your own self-limiting desires.

Finally, you, a cis-guy (you know, a guy with a socially-normalized dick since birth—aren’t you authentic.), have no business throwing around the word “tranny” anymore than a straight person has any business calling you a faggot.

So what that you’ve been “out of the closet” as a gay man for a decade? Who cares? You’ve got a dick and you like dick. What do you want, a ribbon? This is not pre-Stonewall. You are not all that courageous.

Larry is a guy. You are a jerk. Get over it.

Queer Radical


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Kyle Harris's picture

Kyle Harris is an editor at The Precarious, Co-Producer at Improbable Pictures, and author of the blog Queer Radical

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