People were talking last week about DJ Mister Cee after he announced his resignation from Hot 97 following another sex scandal with an alleged male prostitute. In the wake of the scandal, many have been discussing Cee’s sexuality, which he seems unclear about, and the taboo surrounding his attraction to transgender women. Now, two of America’s biggest transgender stars, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock, have weighed in on the issue and are shedding light on the inherent transphobia surrounding the scandal.
In a critical essay posted to her site, Janet Mock wrote that “Many men are attracted to women, and trans women are amongst these women. We, as a society, have not created a space for men to openly express their desire to be with trans women. Instead, we shame men who have this desire, from the boyfriends, cheaters and “chasers” to the “trade,” clients, and pornography admirers. We tell men to keep their attraction to trans women secret, to limit it to the Internet, frame it as a passing fetish or transaction. In effect, we’re telling trans women that they are only deserving of secret interactions with men, further demeaning and stigmatizing trans women.”
Mock and Cox both recently sat down for an interview with Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPost Live, and Cox explained that although many are speaking about the shame of being attracted to a trans woman, the dignity and humanity of the trans community is being ignored in the process.
“There’s consistently an erasure of trans identity when we have these discussions. The reason I’m here is because whenever we have these discussions, trans women’s voices are not included. … The extent to which men who date us or are attracted to us are stigmatized is so intense,” said Cox.
“So often, when a man is found to be in a relationship or attracted to a trans woman, it’s the mis-gendering and the denial of our womanhood that we see happening there. And that kind of stigma leads to violence against trans women,” added Cox.
Kudos to Cox and Mock for providing a voice for the trans community in the scandal. Hopefully, many people will broaden their views about the complexity of sexuality when it comes to Mister Cee and many other men, but also broaden their views about the trans community.
Check out some other noteworthy trans stars below. – nicholas robinson