Understanding The Difference Between A Trans Fetishist And A Potential Partner

Phaylen Fairchild
7 min readAug 17, 2018

We often hear the term “Trans Fetishist” thrown around- and recklessly.

As Trans folks, we live in a society wherein we are often hyper-sexualized by the mainstream. It’ unfortunate, but true that we haven’t yet crossed that evasive threshold of our gender being separated from our sexuality. Our sexuality as Trans individuals is frequently- and ignorantly- made the focus of our complete identity. That we have a sexuality at all or can be attractive, even desired, by another remains shrouded in taboo. Consequentially, many who might otherwise have no problem taking a Trans man or woman as a partner are forced to live out their attraction via secret fantasies in the glow of their computer screens after the rest of their family has gone to bed. To many of these people, their attraction is their shame. Or, alternatively, is perceived as altogether unattainable due to the stigma.

There is a distinct difference between a fetishist and a genuine potential romantic interest, and discerning that can save you a lot of stress and inevitable heartache. The trouble lies in the fact that, while the two are not at all related, the behaviors can appear to be, at least on the surface. Like many in my Trans family, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with both before I learned to identify who truly wanted to know me as an individual and who just fantasized about me in a sexual context, objectifying me or sensationalizing me as a caricature with little interest in me beyond a impulsive curiosity.

Recognizing fetishist behavior is vital when pursuing authentic, mutually invested relationships and establishing a quality report with another person. While a fetishist will attempt to deceive their target with elaborate cunning until they receive gratification, a romantic partner will follow your lead instead of goading you or making blatant sexual advances that are unbalanced or premature.

A fetishist will usually always pretext their interaction with a demonstration of their emotional unavailability. They will say they’re only seeking a friend with benefits (FWB) or are even currently in a relationship or married. They will unwittingly disclose their fetish by making sexual remarks, asking sexually related questions all while showing no…

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Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com