Trans Talks: Love, Sex & Intimacy [Video]

Trans Talks: Love, Sex & Intimacy [Video]

During this Trans Talks installment, we talked about the experiences of dating, sex, violence and being in relationship while being a person of trans experience.

Transcript provided by YouTube (unedited)

0:06
hi folks come on in the room come on in the room welcome to the human rights campaign
0:13
hi hi hi hi hi hi i’m tory cooper
0:18
and we have two amazing couples joining us today so
0:23
stick around they’re going to be joining in just a second and you all are in for a treat today hello ultra dot bellum
0:34
hi carlos alfredo hi basic method i love that hey luna
0:41
anise chloe greetings mexico
0:46
hello hello hello hello hello i love this
0:51
i love this yes keep it coming okay let me see how do i add folks because you
0:57
all don’t want to miss this all right yeah we’ve got some amazing conversation
1:02
uh coming to you in just a few minutes hey atlanta lioness why don’t you join
1:08
us on camera
1:17
hi ssn frank hi hey hello
1:22
hello hello can you see us both oh yes i can i can’t
1:28
i don’t think folks know how much of a treat it is to get a double dose of the turnips today
1:33
yes hello from the barbarians pleasure to see you
1:40
awesome let’s see we’re waiting on two more folks
1:45
um and then we’re gonna get right to it hello essentially tim hello to you as well
1:51
you see all the wonderful focus are saying already about you oh hey everyone i love all the love how
1:59
y’all doing how y’all doing i’m happy to be here today girl when i tell you i have been i have been going through the worst case
2:05
of laryngitis ever but i’m back in the game we love it yes yeah it’s getting better
2:13
every day yeah awesome we’re always excited to see you beautiful
2:19
oh vibes virtual hugs yes yes to you oh
2:25
this is amazing it is amazing come on in the room please i i always see people say like and share
2:32
so like and share because this is you all are in for a
2:38
treat but a great conversation today hi american prince
2:44
kaylee sweeney pleasure to see you
2:52
excuse me i’m sorry girl hey gay narrator i’m the trans narrator nice to meet you
3:03
all right well while we’re waiting for our other two guests why don’t you come in and why don’t you both tell folks who
3:09
you are what you do and where you do it sure well i will go ahead and start i am
3:16
the lioness samaya turner on the ones and twos giving all of y’all the blues this afternoon
3:22
i hail from columbia south carolina but i live here in atlanta georgia i am an advocate a thought leader and the
3:30
executive director of tilt which says for trans individuals living their truth incorporated i also am privileged to be
3:36
able to be a host of two podcasts one called the lion that still lives conversations with the black trans
3:42
goddess and the other sassy southern sisters podcast celebrating celebrating
3:47
culture within a cosmopolitan community and that is with my good girlfriend toya washington who i think is watching today
3:54
so hey hey hey everyone hey hey hey speaking of which we’re gonna have toya on one of these things
3:59
too trans talks so welcome so tiana tell us a little who you are what you do and
4:06
where you do it uh i’m tierra turner i’m uh originally from orlando florida or
4:11
actually a small little town called eatonville florida um i’m 45 years old
4:16
um i’m the husband of samaya we’ve been together uh
4:23
12 years 12 years 12 years in august married for eight years in august
4:29
and um i’m i’m in the sciences
4:34
as as far as profession um and my hobbies
4:40
include uh sci-fi um and playing with my dog carolina
4:49
thank you and yes don’t tell folks where you worked here do not tell them what you were right because you you and i
4:56
both know yeah all right so while we’re waiting for our other two guests let’s get it started
5:01
let’s talk a little bit about your love story because today what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have a trans talk that’s
5:07
different than a lot of others certainly we’re going to talk about transamorous relationships but we also going to talk
5:13
about your love how you all came to be and what other folks i’m a black trans woman
5:21
child and dating is not easy it is not easy no so tell us a little bit about
5:27
your story no i’ll let you start i always start i
5:33
wonder what you have to say uh well i would say uh our story began back when
5:39
uh we first um i would say we didn’t actually meet but
5:45
we encountered each other on the campus uh on a college campus uh she was an undergrad i was uh working on
5:52
a graduate degree and you know we had eyes for each other so
5:58
to speak but um our situations were not aligned
6:03
for us to get together like that um so
6:08
through what was it through friends it was through friendship but no so
6:14
we was let me tell you several people attempted to hook us up over the years and we never actually connected i had a
6:21
co-worker that was trying to hook me up with him randomly a co-worker that i knew from dc um i had a
6:28
um another friend of mine that was randomly just trying to suggest it and so it was like you should meet this guy
6:34
wrestling i should meet this guy now i didn’t know it was the same guy that i had met on campus all those years previously fast forward
6:42
um i even stood him up on a date once i did we were supposed to go on a date
6:48
and it was a blind date and we were supposed to go and he said he was going to cook me spaghetti dinner at his house
6:54
she missed out i felt like that spaghetti was going to
7:00
lead to some other some other meatballs yeah he was gonna give me the noodle all right yeah yeah he was trying to give me
7:05
some noodles girl she likes my meatballs too so i don’t know what the problem is
7:14
so anyway we ended up um we ended up having this having this um what we
7:20
called a friend date i’ve i stood them up for the one time for spaghetti but we met up labor day weekend 2010 2010
7:29
labor day weekend 2010 he hit me up girl i didn’t have nothing else to do and you know that’s the weekend where
7:35
the girls turned up so i was like well i’m not going to end this weekend without my turn up and this if this nice gentleman wants to
7:41
take me somewhere i’m going to let him and so we went and he took me to a park a state park
7:48
and and she thought i was gonna take her to you know uh piedmont right no no no no
7:54
no so he said so mind you i mean i’m in midtown he hits me up from the midtown
7:59
area saying we’re going to go to the
8:11
come on he park me to this national park and we go in the woods in the middle of nowhere and i’m thinking oh girl he’s
8:16
gonna get you this is it he’s gonna get you and but it ended up being a good
8:23
conversation a good time and from there we had a we went to go have wings and then from there we went to the movies
8:30
two weeks later we moved in and we’ve been together ever since
8:37
that’s so sweet that’s so sweet he didn’t kill you you did not kill me but girl i don’t advise no girl to go with a
8:43
man they don’t know in the woods but it worked out for me it worked out it worked out
8:49
i would advise guys to think about the safety of the the woman they’re dating
8:55
you know and uh because he said if he could go back again he wouldn’t do that again yeah because i didn’t realize i didn’t even think about how creepy that
9:02
would be to just take this woman outside the confines of the city and everybody she knows and i just thought i was you
9:09
know doing something different so that brings up an interesting conversation thank you both for sharing
9:15
that too what i heard you both say is that you thought of your first date even though
9:22
it was a friend date you thought of it differently one of you thought about protection and one of you didn’t in part
9:27
because of maybe experience stuff that you had already heard about um
9:33
also i know sebastian is trying to join uh so sebastian request and i can add
9:40
you then and the same thing for your wife hopefully you can hear me
9:46
um so yeah so it’s interesting because we hear things differently men and women we hear things differently definitely
9:52
trans and sisters hear things differently for certain
9:57
so tell us a little bit more about how you knew that the other person was the one
10:04
so i’m not gonna lie to you that story sounded cute like we knew and it was just a neat type in a bow but i
10:10
didn’t know um i’m gonna be honest and say that when we first moved in together that first
10:16
two weeks it wasn’t like that was the plan well the the plan was um like a lot of trans women i was in slightly
10:22
unstable housing at the moment and my plan was my apartment was supposed to be
10:28
ready and they had given away the apartment that i had put down the down payment on it was they were renovating a
10:34
complex it was a whole thing but i had to wait for the renovated unit to be ready and so i moved in with him under the
10:41
guise of well i’ma just stay here temporarily i know i don’t know you but i don’t really know too many people
10:47
and i must stay with you until i you know until i can get into this
10:53
apartment and then you know after you know after the time for the apartment came he didn’t want to leave and i
10:59
didn’t either but i think it was one of those situations i i when we approached it i took it one
11:05
day at a time i i knew that i was not in the in a position to just healthily make a
11:11
decision to be in a relationship and very early on we didn’t start in like this you’re my boyfriend type of
11:16
situation we very much allowed ourselves to be friends first and even though we
11:22
were living together we were we even refrained from intimacy for quite a while in the beginning just because i me
11:28
personally didn’t want to feel like i’m in your house and i have to have sex to be here does that make sense like that
11:34
was important for me girl you good because i i’ve seen you no offense i’ve
11:40
seen your husband these bones would have been jumped no spaghetti and the meatballs and tierra i have seen your
11:46
wife the bones would have been challenged but you know i didn’t let her go so you know how that goes right he
11:52
was willing to wait and i was willing and i i respected that and here’s the reality the reality of it is i’m not a
11:58
girl that used well ordinarily i was not a girl that would make people wait but in this moment i wanted to try
12:03
something different because i really liked him because it was so many almost before we started dating i really wanted
12:10
this to be a valuable thing and i didn’t want to just have sex i mean don’t get me wrong it’s not like we didn’t enjoy
12:16
each other’s company but we didn’t actually have sex until i was sure that it was like okay
12:23
it’s not because i’m just doing it awesome and thank you because you know we so all right so far hey hey family
12:31
um we’re gonna have you two introduced because we don’t want folks to just think they can just jump on here
12:38
but we’re gonna have you introduce yourself but we sent text messages to each other before this about sex and how
12:45
we’re gonna approach the subject of sex so thank you for bringing it into the conversation we’re gonna talk a little
12:50
bit about sex in a way that is appropriate and doesn’t diminish who you
12:56
all are as individuals and also doesn’t get too deep into your business is that right you trust your girl yeah cause
13:01
it’s trans people people feel that it’s their job to ask us about sex and our sex and how we have sex and with whom we
13:09
have sex so we’re gonna address some of that a little later but first we have another couple here please introduce
13:15
yourselves beautiful people sure i’ll let my queen go first hi everybody uh my name is brandi
13:23
hennington smith um i’m amazing i’m beautiful
13:28
i’m creative and i love sebastian well thank you
13:34
i am um sebastian smith pronounced he hear me king i am here i go into the work mode um my day job is national i’m
13:42
sorry organizing director at the national center for transgender equality this is my life
13:48
[Music]
13:58
this is my wife of going on six years now we have been together for almost 13 12 or 13 now yeah so this is my my life
14:06
partner here we’re happy to be sharing space with you all today absolutely awesome we’re so excited to have you all
14:12
and apparently 2009 and 2010 was a good year for trans folks in relationships
14:18
yes yes gracious yeah i was in one day
14:24
all right so um we we talked to uh tiare and somalia a little bit about how they
14:30
met and how they got together and how their relationship started and and what made them know that the other was the
14:36
one will you all share a little bit about that with the folks also absolutely sure i’ll start um
14:56
ability to have relationships within the broader lgbt community so we participate
15:01
in many other avenues events and in projects both of us are really um
15:07
we’re really head deep into the pageantry world you know it’s a pantry world both of us have amassed many
15:13
titles between the two of us yes yes yes so uh we we crossed each other’s path in
15:18
that way we actually um won a pageant together even though the pageants were held on two separate nights i was um
15:25
crowned her king and she was crowned my queen we were thrust into each other’s lives that way you know we became very
15:32
good friends both of us were in on relationships of our own um and you know we did we navigated friendship for the
15:38
most part of that you know and then for years navigated friendship very good friendship and then it happened where
15:45
both of us you know got up out of those relationships and started talking more personally and more one-on-one about our
15:52
goals and what life is like for each of us and you know from there grew a romantic attraction you know how when
15:58
it’s somebody that’s that’s consistently a part of your life being a friend you know you you tend to you know start to
16:04
have different feelings for that person especially when they start to show up for you doing some of the most difficult times
16:10
in your life you know that you didn’t you didn’t ask for them to show up in that way and this amazing person did
16:15
just that just that showed up for me in a way no one else had showed up for me and i
16:21
just did not want to lose that friendship with that relationship so that’s brought us to where we are today
16:27
you know and um so i would definitely um attribute our a lot of our relation to
16:32
beginning our relationship to to just our roles in community and just us being in community and doing pageantry which
16:39
is something that we still really really love so you know you have something to add uh y’all remember this the line from
16:45
deliverance from eva where again union says and then we burned a hole in the sheet
16:51
so y’all i’m silly yeah he is so professional god bless the soul i’m silly but yeah all of that is true that
16:59
also we were madness once we addressed that you know you might actually be a
17:04
cool individual to hang out with this fanta girl i couldn’t wait uh
17:10
we couldn’t wait and we had a great time but i’m i’m so glad we were just about
17:16
to be 30 ish i think and we both had that conversation like look i’m about to be 30 about to be 30 you playing games
17:22
or not um because i don’t i don’t have time i got things to do i got a mortgage to pay
17:27
and i feel excited a little work you know i ain’t got time and so we were just very clear about
17:34
when we were just dating about when we were just having sex about when we were more than that about
17:42
whether or not we were interested in have it was just very clear and open communication and that is what did it
17:48
for me being able to just be myself and be honest about whatever we needed from
17:54
each other um yeah he stole my heart and my beginnings so there you go
18:00
[Music] i’d love to hear it and i heard both of you talk about communication
18:07
in different ways and how that was really certainly there was attraction but both
18:12
of you identified that you started your relationship off with lots of communication you talk to each other and
18:19
other people talk to you about your partners and i think that’s really important too because communication
18:25
takes you a long way and it gets you through those a lot of those rough times so speaking of communication so i figure
18:32
it’s good to get to this down so we can leave folks on on a high note but i do
18:38
want to talk a little bit about interpersonal violence and we know that at the human rights
18:44
campaign for the last two years we’ve reported record numbers of of trans and
18:49
non-binary folks deaths um and all of us that work in this field that work in
18:54
this industry that do advocacy work we know that the numbers are probably much much higher than we are aware of
19:02
quite often in most cases trans people are killed by cis people
19:08
and they’re killed by people that they had some kind of relationship sometimes it’s relationships that were like yours
19:15
but they were in relationship husband and wife boyfriend and girlfriend boyfriend boyfriend girlfriend and
19:20
girlfriend sometimes there were folks who were just looking at or knew each other on social media but they knew each
19:26
other somehow so what can we offer um to folks who are in relationships so that they feel safe
19:36
what words of encouragement that you give to folks um who may be faith dealing with some type of interpersonal
19:42
violence one i think for me um
19:48
two in identifying what is violence like what is violence
19:53
what’s abuse what’s trauma related what’s triggering and unpack all of
19:59
those things right so if you misgender me in a relationship that’s abuse
20:04
that’s violence if you purposely misgender me in the heat of an argument
20:10
you’re really telling me what you think you’re really telling me how you feel and that you do not understand right so
20:17
that is also a form of abuse and we have to affirm our our community folks and
20:24
our trans folks to recognize that to recognize those red flags to recognize
20:29
those triggers in the beginning and also like i’ve learned to i’m from the south you know i’m from country it’ll come out
20:35
in a minute i will also learn that you get a firm at home right so a lot of our
20:41
trans people don’t have folks to affirm them it’s us as community members to affirm other trans members that said you
20:48
are amazing and anybody that does not want to share space with you does not deserve to be in your space anyway we do
20:55
not have to compromise we do not have to dummy ourselves down or hold ourselves
21:00
back brandon tierra are amazing amazing examples of people who will love
21:06
us in our authenticity and i think it’s it’s really important for those of us that are trans that have that privilege
21:12
or have that proof to have partners like that talk to other folks and remind them that you too
21:18
deserve that you deserve that you don’t have to put up with crap
21:23
just so you can have love you know so we have to really continue to affirm folks in that you know and that’s my message
21:29
to folks too is that you deserve love you don’t deserve someone to beat up on you you don’t you don’t just
21:35
because of who you are if i can’t thank you i think patient diamond oh i want to speak from my perspective
21:42
as the partner uh somebody who i consider myself to be an ally um and a
21:48
partner of a trans person uh i was just having this conversation on a call at my job we were on a zoom
21:55
and they were asking about you know getting out of your comfort zone what does that require and everybody had all these corporate
22:01
answers that sounded really great right but i brought up sebastian and i said
22:06
you know there are things in life that i if you ask me i would never do but if i want him i’ll do it
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and i had to ask why is that and it’s because this is my i’m about to cry i’m sorry this is my safe place
22:20
and so we went on our honeymoon and he’s gearing me up to go horseback riding the ocean now i can’t swim a lit okay i
22:27
start crying in three feet of water and i’m five feet tall okay but i got on that horse and i rolled my butt in the
22:34
ocean because i knew that i had to advocate i knew that and to me he was gonna say hold up
22:41
everybody stop we got to find my wife something is wrong and i think that that’s so important because
22:47
when you create a safe space for the person you love they can be who they are
22:53
right and they don’t have to worry about being hurt and cut and abused and and
22:59
violence against them then they can focus on all the other things god put them on this earth to do
23:05
right and so i’m so grateful that my husband can say that he feels loved
23:11
right and that he can uh navigate this world doing it what it is that he needs
23:17
to do because he knows he can come home to safety he knows he can come home to love and appreciation and there and that
23:24
looks different to some sometimes that that looks like me telling him you know you don’t got to go if you don’t want to
23:31
sometimes that means i i just said that then said you know you don’t gotta go you know you don’t have to say that you
23:36
know you don’t have to show up because self-care is just as important if not more important
23:43
my favorite line from story is an empty jug don’t give no water i say that all the time and i always say and tori said
23:51
okay so i just i’m so grateful that i can hear him say that that means i’m doing my job
23:58
you know loving him in a place that he doesn’t have that’s one thing he’s never gonna have to worry about is
24:04
if if uh he’s moving forward because i got his back hey man
24:12
no so what i heard from that i took i gleaned a lot of stuff from that thank
24:18
you both for sharing that but i also heard um an emphasis on safety and how it’s
24:24
important for both people because you didn’t say as the cis person in your relationship brandy you didn’t say i had
24:31
to create a safe environment for him you said he made it safe from me right
24:36
that was amazing and i also heard that love is at the center of all of that
24:42
yeah you know yeah so that was really powerful thank you both for that somalia
24:48
most of the trans folks that we report on they have lives that are similar
24:53
certainly to me and to you tell us a little bit about you two as a
24:58
couple tell us what it’s like to continually hear and have to talk about
25:04
your executive director of tilt to have to talk about these stories and what it means for you as a black
25:10
woman of trans experience to have to continue to tell these stories
25:16
so it’s so interesting that we’re having this conversation and i overstand and i can affirm a lot of the same things that
25:23
um that they were sharing about each other um i i i also as a i also i’m glad
25:29
that you asked me the question the way you did because i feel like there’s an additional piece in here
25:35
for us holding space for like you said violence that is not just
25:40
physical but also the violence of having someone tell you that you are
25:46
responsible for how other people see you that you are responsible for how
25:51
everyone’s going to see them that you are responsible for the learning curve that they are going to
25:58
have to go through to be with you i believe that we um a lot of times
26:03
people will say they want to date trans people but they are not informed in the real reality of what it is to
26:10
date someone that is living a life that may not look traditional in a lot of
26:16
ways you know um you know a lot of people don’t begin their transness with you know um you know you know no loose
26:24
ends you know they come with baggages they come with families that they they come with children that come with all
26:30
these other factors that i feel like or i think that you should know but
26:36
one thing i wish somebody would have told me is that abuse is not just physical so then i was in a lot of
26:42
relationships was i was made to feel inadequate because i have to be responsible for how your
26:48
cousin gonna feel i have to be responsible for how you are going to make me
26:54
how my possibility i have to be concerned about how i’m going to integrate into your workplace and
27:01
whether or not you’re out with your work work people and a lot of those barriers kept me in toxic relationships for far
27:09
longer than they needed to be because i was with somebody that wasn’t fully comfortable with the reality that
27:15
they may not be able to neatly check off a heterosexual box and i feel like
27:21
because we deal with that all the time we forget that our partners are supposed to be our safe space which is why i love
27:28
that y’all talked about that because i am happy to be able to say that when i
27:33
come home i don’t have to worry about dealing with somebody that is shaking at all
27:39
about the world by what his mama thinks about what anybody and i’ve me and he’s
27:47
shown over the years that it’s me and him against the world come hella high water 10 toes down to the wheels fall
27:53
off you know and that to me means more than uh i feel like a lot of the big
27:59
grand gestures and a lot of the things that i went through in some relationships that were with men that
28:05
were more flashy but who offered me nothing absolutely nothing by the way of spiritual and mental stability and i
28:12
feel like when we talk about trans women and we talk about the violence and the increases in violence part of that is
28:18
due to we have been fed so many toxins of that about about ourselves that we begin to eat it and feed it and believe
28:25
it and then in our partners we allow that to lack of a better phrase
28:31
we allow this um kind of i don’t want to curse on here but we
28:36
allow this kind of um timid spirit um
28:42
in our lives because we think we’re accommodating some man but to be honest what i’m grateful it was is that i found
28:49
a man that lets me know that those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind
28:55
that’s good that’s good and may i also add there is a difference between
29:02
compromising and giving in
29:07
there’s a difference between compromising and what was the word did you just use that with with the c
29:14
accommodating that’s thoughts within the comments the two seasons um and there’s a difference in that because one is
29:21
where you’re both working together towards an end goal which is what you two are doing
29:27
you four are doing you two couples are doing and then there’s another whereas the trans person we are expected to give
29:34
up so much of we’re expected to give up our as history people you’re expecting to
29:41
give up your whatever the view that people have of you simply
29:48
because of who it is that you’re in relationship with right and and i want a whole space for
29:55
the for partners too you don’t have to call me out of my name or misgender me to make me feel insecure in my gender
30:01
because of your insecurity and who you are that’s all i want to say that’s good that’s good and i love that
30:08
i love that i love that thank you all so much for that all right i think it’s important to note that
30:15
doesn’t mean that there’s an expectation of perfection right we’re human beings we’re gonna
30:20
mess it up there are some things that i’ve said that now i look back i’m like oh god you should have broke up with me
30:26
when i said that you know like what was i thinking it’s not to say that
30:33
the bar is so high that that it’s unattainable but that
30:39
you should there the expectation should be are we like you said are we working towards this together what’s the goal and that’s why the
30:45
communication portion of it is so important because if we can both communicate what the goal is then you
30:51
can identify that this is not characteristic you know this statement or this one be one-off behavior isn’t
30:58
necessarily characteristic of what you know is in my heart and then you can have a conversation with me about
31:04
you know when you said that i felt this you know and we can have that conversation and we can talk about it
31:10
and you can give me the opportunity to to learn and grow but specifically regarding violence
31:16
we’re talking about the the intentional misgendering or that the intentional not
31:21
not allowing your partner or spouse to take up space the way they show up in the world right so when sebastian first
31:28
started transitioning he didn’t i mean he was sexy don’t get me wrong but he presented as a stud what we
31:34
understand to be a stud in atlanta if you don’t know add somebody so you know he didn’t have all of this sexy
31:41
beard and musta you know that’s not what he presented at the time and so there was a transition
31:47
physical transition that took place like you said that impacted how my family
31:53
received him how the people i know at work received him and so there’s a
31:58
certain level of addressing i will do but not an explanation right because it’s not your business
32:05
so i i just think that i just wanted to to touch on the fact that the expectation is not perfection but being
32:12
willing to be stretched and to grow and to learn one another in the best way possible
32:18
that’s really good because some of us don’t feel empowered to say it’s not your business
32:24
this is simply who i’m with yeah you know another thing um i love to tell people
32:31
get your head get your mind get your head out of my crotch unless i invite you there yeah right
32:37
yeah now if i invite you it’s all yours yeah otherwise not your business
32:43
correct but otherwise it’s not your business thank you for that brandy thank you thank you all of the because that
32:48
was good and my old ass almost cried because i felt so deeply what it is that
32:54
you all was saying come on clc you want to say something well i’m just saying that um part of creating a safe space is
33:01
creating those safe spaces outside of just the space between
33:07
uh you and your partner also so one of the earliest things i did uh was
33:13
start introducing her to my friends and family and um
33:19
recruiting allies within my my community as far as
33:25
melding it together and and having uh them to
33:31
get used to us showing up together as a couple you know and not allowing or tolerating any kind of disrespect
33:38
you know uh using my cachet uh whatever respect they have for me
33:45
to sh to shield and and extend it to the woman i love to make sure that she
33:51
got that respect as well that’s good because if they don’t respect her they don’t respect you and
33:57
and to you brandy if they don’t respect him they don’t respect you and that goes both ways that go both ways so that was
34:03
awesome we’re actually we’re almost out of time we have maybe about seven minutes left i know because this isn’t a
34:10
full hour so the people at hrc don’t think people would stay in and stay tuned for an hour so we cut it less than
34:16
an hour but we gotta do it we
34:22
part 2 works for me i saw that um so okay so there are a lot
34:29
of young folks i’m i’m the eldest of everybody that’s on this call um and
34:35
so for folks who are young who are
34:41
wondering if this is possible because these are just two examples of relationship what relationships could
34:47
look like because relationships can look any kind of way that you want to we want people
34:53
like zaya wade to look at love in this case black love and see it for herself
35:00
in the future we want folks um like uh
35:06
we want all kinds of folks to be able to look at these and see that it’s possible
35:12
right so how about you two as couples perhaps as individuals however you want
35:18
to do it give the folks something that they can look forward to and if you all have dated trans people
35:25
before your current partner or in that net for view because it could be that
35:32
somalia has dated a trans person a sebastian has dated a trans person i would be interested to hear if either of
35:38
you has dated somebody trans before because that in itself
35:43
brings up a different set of issues sometimes it means that you have to readjust how you think about manhood or womanhood
35:53
and then give a positive word to somebody else
36:01
you wanna go first we’ll go first um so i personally have not dated a trans person before i think we are super a
36:08
beautiful amazing and i would you know if brandy decides um but
36:14
i think that we both just being honest i think we have both learned that sexuality is on the spectrum and that we
36:20
both look at it on the spectrum as well and that we all tend to move up and down well not all those of us who subscribe
36:26
um tend to move up and down that spectrum and we have even in my own transition i have transitioned also in
36:33
the way i view sexuality the way i view queerness the way i view just just sex in general you know i have i’ll be
36:39
honest and say that i have transitioned the way that i thought about that and have grown a lot in that area so those
36:45
type of relationships are not deal breakers for me if i was not married to the to the level of my life
36:51
you know those type of relationships would not be deal breakers for me and i would definitely because i feel like
36:57
we’re the most amazing people in the world you know so why wouldn’t i want to open myself up to be to be loved by
37:03
someone who’s like me so i have not had the amazing opportunity to date someone who is trans brandy has so you know she
37:10
could she can attest me just me yeah just me to her oh i was gonna say i
37:16
never even knew that just me yeah just me yeah yeah i would just add that absolutely
37:23
sebastian’s the only uh person of trans experience that i’ve ever dated but similar to his explanation my
37:30
understanding and view on uh gender uh sexuality all of that has expanded
37:37
drastically in the last uh 13 years and i would definitely say i’m in a place
37:43
now that god forbid this didn’t work out which you know till death do us part even a dog gotta
37:49
die okay um if this didn’t work out um
37:55
i i can definitely see me being open to dating people and that’s not necessarily
38:01
the thought process i had uh in my 20s in my early 30s um even when i
38:07
met sebastian again he presented as a stud and told me three months into us actually dating
38:14
hey this is something i’m gonna do and it wasn’t like do i have permission it was more like this is something i want
38:19
to do and i’d like for you to be alone for the ride let me know like that and i was like
38:25
i had no idea what i was saying yes to but i loved him already i was so down
38:30
with him that it i i’ve always told him you could be a elephant on the moon and
38:36
i will buy the astronaut suit if that’s what you want you know what i’m saying like i i believe in him as a person so
38:42
much that it didn’t really matter to me but i’ve grown to understand how much of it is part of who he is so yeah um i’m
38:51
definitely open to that if i didn’t have the love of my life and i think the one positive thing that
38:57
we want to leave folks with is just just recognizing that we’re deserving of love like this trans thing is just an
39:03
experience i said all the time like if you ask me the top 10 things that i am trans
39:09
probably wouldn’t even be on that list because i’m so many and we are so many amazing things outside of being trans
39:16
like we all know how freaking awesome tori is like as a person
39:21
outside of being trans like being her her i know we got you we gonna find we’re
39:27
gonna take care of that right right exactly y’all know how awesome she is how awesome all of us samaya
39:34
tierra knows but how awesome somalia is you know like we are amazing beautiful wonderful people and i want us to to
39:42
embody that for ourselves live and walk in that excellence so that’s just our positive kind of leaving behind that
39:48
we’re all worthy like all of us are amazing folks outside of our transit inside of our transness and we are not
39:55
just trans people we’re humans living a human existence you know i mean we just happen to have this other other other
40:03
path that we’re experiencing a path that we’re walking but you all deserve love and i love you i love you no one else
40:09
has told you today that you you’re loved or this week you are loved you are
40:19
um i want to say for me so i have not
40:24
dated another trans person um and that’s just purely not because
40:29
i haven’t i’ve i i i would date another trans individual it’s just i haven’t met a trans i’m
40:36
definitely a trans man um but i haven’t met a um met anyone before i met my husband so we were here now
40:43
you know so i’m locked in however um i will say that um
40:49
i do believe that a lot of even my not even just my sexuality but a lot of
40:56
even the way i felt the need to express myself as a woman very young in my transition was based on what other
41:03
people told me girls are supposed to be like and
41:08
um so then you embody all of these ideals and then i find that my experience at
41:15
least some of those of my friends that i know that are dressed you you initially take on all of it and then you figure
41:20
out what is toxic and you start putting it down and you start realizing what works for you and what doesn’t and you
41:26
try to and you realize that you don’t need me fit in boxes and so just like my identity will never neatly fit in some
41:33
cis heterobox i feel like my sexuality is that way as well and i’m very proud of that and i think that was something
41:40
that i would not have been able to say maybe even five years or a decade ago so very happy about that um
41:46
but i want to um i guess i guess i want to say um for those of you that are in relationships that are
41:53
dealing with someone that is trans i think it is important to know that you’re dealing with a a um
42:00
a being that has embraced the changes the fluxes in our personality that some people ignore
42:06
so then you’re dealing with the being that may not be willing to fall in your knee boxing but i’m talking about
42:11
particularly for men dating trans trans women or trans femmes there’s this idea that womanhood that femininity is
42:18
supposed to be soft and demure and a satisfied too with a little shoe and and
42:24
you did and i want you to know you didn’t trans women okay and we are boisterous and we have big personalities
42:30
and we come with warrior spirits because we’ve had to fight it we’ve had to argue and we’ve had to survive and those
42:36
things make us beautiful because we’re also beings of joy and laughter and light and i feel like we talk about the
42:43
the the bad things that happen to trans women and we talk about them having to fight for things but we often don’t talk
42:48
about their joy trans women are some of the most spirit-led women that i’ve ever been
42:54
around trans women are some of the most sweet and generous people that i’ve ever been around and i feel like that doesn’t
42:59
get told when we talk about dating us we always talk about the issues but we don’t talk about what is the benefit
43:05
so i just want to put that out there what are your thoughts today uh so as far as myself i guess i’m the
43:11
only panel member that has dated uh trans before i’ve been in um two
43:17
previous long-term relationships with trans women i’ve dated casually before
43:22
and i would just like to uh i mean dating
43:27
trans women are women women come in a panoply in a myriad of different forms
43:33
fashions attitudes ideals standards so
43:39
as as as has been previously stated uh the state of transit is just one facet
43:46
of one per of a person and and it’s usually not the most important part of that person
43:51
uh getting to know that person is the most important part understanding
43:57
if if you two are able to communicate if you’re able to resonate with each other as far as your
44:03
background or as far as your values that’s the most important part of the situation
44:09
um i would say um
44:14
look forward to um becoming a part of a bigger community because a lot of
44:21
in my various experiences i i see a lot of trans women uh
44:26
have uh the family they’re born to but they also strongly embrace their found family as
44:34
well and um that’s something uh coming from a cis
44:40
uh hetero uh background that people might not um
44:48
readily embrace but um it’s it it’s
44:53
it it goes deeper it go it harkens back to i would say uh
45:00
roots from our african diaspora of
45:07
and um you would i definitely look for i mean i would definitely say that you would look
45:12
forward to that uh so my has sisters from all over including tory brothers like sebastian
45:19
um mothers several aunties um
45:25
brother i mean it it goes over and um i’ve i’ve been deepened by the
45:32
experience of being able to be uh welcomed into these circles um and
45:38
um i’m just a better person for it i would say
45:44
thank you thank you and as we get into our closing um i also thought lulu wanted to know how they could be a part
45:52
of this show um and you can email me at tory.cooper hrc.org
45:58
or you can inbox the human rights campaign they know how to get in touch with me um but as we close out those
46:04
were all powerful words and i believe them all i believe them all um there are
46:09
times when i wish that people would just understand loving a trans person is just loving a person
46:16
who happens to be trans exactly oh i’m going really fast can i get by
46:22
can we give our little word um you’re supposed to do an inspirational word too for a couple yes yes i want to really
46:27
fast close out by saying to any couples on the design of my voice or any particularly for um anybody that may be
46:34
entering or thinking about entering a relationship um the world
46:39
all of the things you go through in the world that should be hard but being in a relationship should not be hard
46:47
i want to say that because i want a whole space that we sometimes as a community can put ourselves in
46:53
relationships and around people and things that are not healthy and when we talk about violence when we talk about
46:58
some of the disenfranchisement in our community i want to really really remind us that we have to protect our neck our
47:04
space and our energy and i want to just put that golden nugget out there that love real love and i am a witness of
47:11
someone 12 years in it it should not hurt it may sting sometimes but it should not hurt
47:17
it should not and love isn’t just a thing it is also something that you do it’s a
47:22
noun as well as a verb and that’s really a contract that you have to do that’s what it is
47:28
saying i’m gonna take care of you and in turn you’re gonna take care of me all right so thank you all for being
47:35
here as we close out tomorrow we certainly want to thank every single person that was a part of this uh
47:41
instagram live today on my screen i have this order i have samaya tierre brandi uh
47:50
sai sebastian um and so please as we leave please tell folks how to get in
47:56
touch with you and i want to warn people these are two tiger couples don’t go in their inbox with some mess
48:04
well um i mean they can but they’re gonna get straightened out i’m equipped to handle whatever comes
48:11
but we are gonna laugh at you don’t do it all right tell folks what you’re working on because i know we have at least one
48:19
business owner brandy um so tell folks what you’re working on and how they can get in touch with you because they might
48:24
want to book you for something oh well i’ll go ahead and go since you spoke with us um my name is samaya
48:31
turner i am the lioness on the one tattoos giving all of y’all the blues i’m based here in atlanta georgia if you
48:37
would like to reach me it’s at atl lioness and that is on on facebook you can reach me at samaya turner and you
48:44
can reach me at samaya turner at gmail yahoo.com again that is samaya turner
48:50
yahoo.com um turner and i work for her
48:56
that is that right you can reach me at tkt specs on ig um
49:02
that’s that’s good enough yeah i’ll go first okay hi again uh my name
49:08
is brandi smith you can reach me through dm on facebook um i do have a business
49:13
for uh customized tumblers tori has one of my tumblers um and
49:20
uh i do rolling trays and personalized gifts i also do invitations wedding invitations yes what does this say sorry
49:26
protect black transmission protect black trans women yes and she
49:31
can personalize it to your taste absolutely so you can reach me for business through my business website so
49:38
my website is ap graphics.com my email is ap graphics at gmail that’s a-p-g-r-a-p-h-x
49:47
gmail.com and um sebastian go ahead that’s it
49:53
i work for her no [Laughter]
49:58
no you know right um so i’m sebastian again i’m sebastian smith i am the as i mentioned earlier the organizing
50:04
director at the national center for transfer of equality you can find me at s smith
50:09
transequality.org for all of my trans folks and non-binary folks that are watching us today right now i need you
50:16
to go and visit us transsurvey.org again that’s us
50:22
transsurvey.org please to take the us trans survey today this server is going to be huge
50:29
it’s going to be ground breaking and it’s time to update the data for a trans lives for what’s happening between 2015
50:35
and now to include the pandemic there’s been so so so much we have seen so much um folks targeting our babies our trans
50:43
youth and legislation this survey is going to help us arm us with the data that we need to go and fight for our our
50:50
youth and for trans adults as well so please please please go check out us transsurvey.org
50:56
pledge to take the survey the survey will be live may 16th come on trans community y’all let’s bust this out
51:02
let’s let’s get some groundbreaking data it’s time to update the record it’s time for folks to have their voices be heard
51:07
so that’s what’s going on in my world now so thank you so much tori that’s great no thank you all i really
51:13
appreciate that and my last word before we close today because they’ve said everything that really needs to be said
51:19
but hrc pays my bills so i’m going to make sure to drop you off with a couple of nuggets we want you to check out our
51:25
website at hrc.org and please feel free to check out hrc dot im
51:32
backslash dismantling violence to take a look at the um our fatal violence report that we do
51:38
annually take a look at some of the numbers and also really to recognize folks that we have recognized as having
51:46
lost their lives trans and non-binary people to fatal violence we want to recognize them in death
51:53
and honor the lives that they lived um we also encourage you to check out hrc.org backslash resources there’s a
52:01
myriad of different resources for lgbtqia plus folks and more specifically
52:06
for this conversation for trans folks hrc.org also backslash resources
52:14
backslash understanding the transgender community is also a wealth of information for you as well thank you
52:20
all for being here we look forward to talking to you again for our next trans talk which may be this month otherwise
52:27
it’s going to be next month thank you all for joining in have an amazing day and thank you all
52:33
for sharing a little bit of love with the audience and also sharing your love with us all
52:39
take care everybody
52:50
you

 

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