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By Jennifer Snook @sirjid

Trans people are still an exotic concept to many people. One of the most common places to find trans women represented is porn, so for many people, they’re nothing more than a strange fetish.

For some people, that belief crosses over into reality. That’s never more obvious than when you meet a chaser.

Chasers are men who usually call themselves “admirers” or something similar, who seek to date and have sex with trans women. Almost exclusively, they prefer trans women who have had no surgeries.

They are controlling, objectifying, and care only about their own pleasure.

I have met two.

The first one was obvious.

As soon as he learned I was trans, he became verbally abusive. But not in the way I expected.

He began demanding that I sleep with him.

He told me that he had always fantasized about being with a trans woman (though with less politically correct terms), and that I should feel obligated, and flattered, to comply with his desires.

He belittled me while pretending to be understanding. He pressured me and paid insipid compliments. He insulted my reliance on medication, insisting that ‘human contact’ was the only cure for depression.

That was what finally caused me to stop trying to reason with him. I told him I didn’t have to deal with him anymore and left.

He was bad. But he wasn’t the worst.

One of the first people I came out to was a stranger online who I had never met before, and who I assumed I would never meet again. I was wrong.

We met a few times, at first by coincidence, and then we started seeking each other out. He was fun, charming, and was genuinely interested in being my friend. He was my friend.

Still, we only ever met in the one chat room, and almost always with others present. Despite his requests for contact information, I refused. It would have made it easier to talk, but I have always been apprehensive about telling people online anything about myself.

I was also concerned that, should he see my Facebook, he would also see my face–and that I wouldn’t look how he expected me to. And since I had begun to develop a crush, that was quite important to me.

Two months later, I finally relented. I gave him my name and let him look me up on Facebook. Less than a minute later, I had a new friend request. I needn’t have worried.

He was the same as he had been. And we grew closer. We helped each other with our problems, gave each other someone to vent to, and played games together.

We were pretty clear by now that we liked each other.

Now, considering he was halfway across the country, we couldn’t exactly have sex. And considering that I am asexual, I didn’t particularly want to anyway.

He did, however. He was never pushy about it; He only ever asked once, and then never asked again. A couple weeks later, I asked him if he still wanted to. He did.

The experience itself was uncomfortable.

As I have mentioned before, one of the beauties of the internet, of not relying on face-to-face contact, is that it can force people to take me at my word. People who would never consider me female in person have no qualms about doing so on the internet.

In a few hours, he almost completely stripped down that confidence.

Though he had never been so explicit as the first man, he still wanted much the same thing, and he made it very clear. His expectations and wants trumped any that I may have harbored. Though I finished the first session, it was painful, and I attempted to remain as detached as possible from what we were writing to each other.

We almost entirely stopped talking after that. He tried sometimes, but I couldn’t without feeling horribly uncomfortable. Eventually he stopped trying.

I’m still hoping to find love someday, but my experiences have certainly dampened my enthusiasm. Since then, I have almost entirely lost any attraction to men, and romance itself seems as exotic of an idea as trans people do for much of the population.

Someday, I will be happy, and, I hope, loved. But it may take a long while for me to be able to accept it again.

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