Past caring about passing

Saoirse O'Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This is an essay concerned with sex, or more specifically my recent experiences of sex, sexual attraction and how they seem to help define me. As a story about sex it is (possibly) salacious and will reveal things about me that some may regard as private, better left unsaid and unsuitable in an academic essay. Except that I am not an academic and this is not an academic essay but a story of someone usually identified as a (transsexual) woman. Except I don’t identify myself as a binary transsexual woman but as a non-binary assigned male at birth (AMAB) person. In writing about my sex life I want to ask a few questions about (my) gender, sexuality, identity and deception.

Sex, at least for me, can be risky in more ways than one. I’m anally receptive but sexual risk for me is not all about possible exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it is also whether a sexual encounter might leave me as a victim of “trans panic”: will the next person who fucks me perhaps beat me senseless before claiming I deceived them and they didn’t know I was AMAB until it was too late? Am I at more risk, and also more deceptive, if a partner thinks I’m a cis-gender woman or a binary transsexual woman? Just where does the line between being “out and proud”, passing and deception lie for me as a non-binary AMAB surviving in a largely binary world?

In this essay, I thus wish to explore how issues of sex and deception might interact and raise questions for me as a non-binary, AMAB person. In doing so I will attempt to interweave a critical analysis of some media stories of sexual deception with an autoethnographic account of sex. I am not wise enough to have answers to my questions, however, but instead hope that others may do so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages10
JournalGraduate Journal of Social Science
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2018

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