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Laverne Cox has discussed the stigma around men who love trans women.Though I don’t necessarily agree that they are more stigmatized than the actual trans women they’re involved with, I do know that they deal with their own specific struggle.

He was an amateur MMA fighter, came from the hood — apparently a former gang member, as I learned later. We’re the dirty little secrets who get calls only after hours.

It wasn’t that he necessarily made me feel threatened, but I knew the statistics. No matter how beautiful, intelligent, or successful, we are the ones who have to settle for being nothing more than receptacles for men’s desires and insecurities. “I’m a transgender woman.” I emphasized the woman part.

So far this year, at least 18 trans women have been killed in the U.

S., while countless others have been attacked or have attempted suicide.

Though we had a ton of chemistry, he couldn’t understand the ways in which he constantly invalidated my identity.

And, to be clear, I don’t need constant validation of my womanhood, but I do need respect — which J wasn't prepared to give.A little under a year from now, I'll be the same age as 25-year-old India Clarke, a recent victim of trans killings.One of my biggest fears is becoming another murder statistic: someone for the media to posthumously misgender, leading the public to believe that I somehow deserved to have my life taken away.I vowed as I left his place in the middle of the night that I would never put myself in that dangerous of a situation again.And even though I now make sure people know my identity before I’m alone with a potential partner, there are still some aspects of this interaction that seem to show up in my dating life no matter how many precautions I take.He made jokes about me and how I “used to be a man,” criticized my writing and activism, and even — the grand offense — used my birth name during arguments. Having to constantly define and explain myself is both exhausting and unfair.

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