Are we just chasers posing as activists?

This is something I debate a lot in my own head and something that I see frequently come up in forums, in articles, and all across the Internet. We all know the Chaser. The women in our lives fear and dread the Chaser and want nothing to do with him.

So what IS a Chaser exactly? Is it someone who purely objectifies women and treats them as disposable objects held up on a pedestal, not being able to see their individual quirks, personas and flaws?

What is it that separates us from them? Some people (mostly women who write about Chasers, from what I’ve noticed) believe a Chaser can be defined in as simple terms as someone attracted to someone who is trans because of their female body and male genitalia. Does this mean if a trans woman has SRS and is still pursued, the person with them is no longer a Chaser? Are they now legitimised?

Maybe I’m playing devil’s advocate here but this is one of those questions that keeps me up at night. Because I don’t believe myself to be a chaser - I do identify as trans oriented and I want a real relationship with a woman who does have male genitalia. Some might say that makes me a chaser, but it’s simply my preference. I wouldn’t rule out a relationship with a trans woman who has had SRS in the slightest.

I’d be very interested to hear the thoughts of everyone on here, particularly those of you with partners.

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I think the article in the difficulties dating trans section describes the “chaser” type behavior well. If we refrain from acting this way and behave like gentleman why would anyone classify us as a “chaser”. Be a good person, treat people with respect, be friendly and earn the trust. That’s all we can do ! If some trans don’t like it, find ones who appreciate us. Chase the love not the penis.

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Well Cap,
Your attraction is your attraction. It’s up to you to define and live with. Personally I’m still attracted to her even if she is post-op. In fact my last girlfriend was post-op. I still consider myself to be very much trans-oriented.
In my book I define Chasers/Trolls as men who will not make her a fully integrated part of his life. Is she going to be your full time girlfriend? Is she going to meet your friends? Is she going home with you to your Mom’s place for Thanksgiving dinner? Are you taking her to the office Christmas party?
Or is she some secret you only see on occasion on the other side of town where no one will see you? Do you only go to her place?

Another aspect of Chasers/Trolls is that they don’t care about her. She is just a living porn fantasy sex toy. Do you care about anything other than her being trans? What makes her laugh? What makes her cry? Can you sit and just talk to her? What kind of questions keep her up at night?

Very important question and something that I have thought and worried about a lot as well.

I think chasers objectify, fetishize, and mistreat trans women and attempt to keep their relationships secret. Another extremely harmful chaser behavior is to fixate on body parts that the woman is dysphoric about. Attempting to prevent a trans woman from going through the entire transition process that she wants is also unacceptable but common behavior. Basically, in my opinion, what separates a chaser from a trans-attracted individual is whether they are supporting or hurting their trans partner.

Now, I consider myself an activist, and I do believe that my dedication to trans liberation, desire to be educated about gender concepts, and respectfulness towards trans women makes me not a chaser. That being said, I do still often worry about the question “Am I just a chaser posing as an activist?” I think a small portion of the trans community will always view us as chasers. They are usually the trans women who would like to be viewed exactly the same as cis women and essentially erase the fact that they are trans. They describe our attraction as “othering” and therefore, inherently bad and fetishizing. I’ve had several trans women get very angry with me for calling myself trans-attracted. I’m never quite sure what to do in that situation. I want to hear what they are saying and take their concerns seriously, but I also have to take seriously the concerns of the much larger portion of the trans community that does want us to come out. Some trans women are just going to wish that the community of trans-attracted men would stop existing. But the simple fact is that we do exist. We are attracted to them. And we have our own problems and stigmatization to deal with.

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You’re right Tom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I don’t have a right to my own orientation.

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Basically I think you’re both right. I’ve gotta admit I was playing devil’s advocate partially with that question. It is something that crosses my mind, but I realised it’s one of the voices that comes from outside not within. Good to know we gave similar thoughts on this.

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“posing as activists?” caught my attention. As far as being an activist and being active in transgender rights issues can be a problem. When I signed up to volunteer to support transgender rights issues it created a few problems for me and the women I was seeing or interested in. Being too “out” may make her shy away. If she is passing in the world and no one knows about her being trans just being seen with you may “out” her. It is a two edged sword. Recently a woman I was interested in backed away because my family knows I date trans women. I took a transgender friend to a barbeque and all went well. Now if a women is with me, trans or cis, they assume she is trans.

The problems and stigmatization that ThomasMatt mentioned for us come from all sides, the women and everyone else in our lives. The bad thing is we rarely have like minded buddies to talk to about finding our way through the potholes. In fact I have never met another man like me in real life. The frustration can get so bad at times I want to give up. The problem is I can’t change who I am or who I am attracted to or who I love. So I just be myself and hope for the best.

As far as “Are we chasers”? I agree fully with both of the answers given before. Very good answers! I think we all have some of this self doubt that comes up from time to time. Some of the women have had so many bad experiences that they don’t have much hope left and vent their resentment on every guy. I try to not take it personally. It was not me who treated her badly.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t consider a guy a Chaser simply because he’s attracted to pre-/non-op women.

The whole issue with Chasers is that they desire the trans-ness, not the person.

So if a guy really is looking for a relationship, I tend to doubt that he’s a Chaser.

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