TRANSCRIPT: TransLash Podcast Episode 35, ‘T4T: Trans Love’

Imara Jones: Hi Fam! It’s Imara. Welcome to the TransLash Podcast where we tell trans stories to save trans lives. Well, it’s that time of the year that so many in our community dread – Valentine’s Day, but there’s an emphasis on heterosexual cis love, so many of us feel written out and like our relationships including those which are polyamorous or not monogamous are invisible. That’s why we wanted to spotlight trans love in this episode, but not just any old love, we’re talking about T4T – all trans relationships, sex, and love-wise. Now, I know for me that I did not feel real love for myself, cue Mary J. Blige until I began my gender journey, and that then opened up entirely new possibilities for me, especially with other trans people. And if the current trend of T4T relationships in our community is any indication, I’m not alone in this. Turn on any app and T4T is in profile after profile. So, this week, we’re talking to two amazing trans people to discuss their liberatory journey of trans love and sex. And then departure from our usual style in this podcast, I along with our guests will be getting up close and personal about what turns me on and how it’s changed as I become more comfortable with who I am. First, we’re joined by the incredibly talented artist and producer, Zackary Drucker, to talk about T4T or Trans for Trans Love.

Zackary Drucker: My experience is really unique. You know, I feel like my subjective experience of the world is as expansive as my gender is. And, then, I’m able to be all of those things when I’m in a relation to another trans or non-binary person.

Imara: Then, I sit down with Britni de la Cretaz, an author and essayist, to talk about queer and trans sex as liberation.

Britni de la Cretaz: Allowing myself to be fully who I am and be openly trans has also allowed me to embrace really openly and fully, the fact that I want to be dating mostly other trans people.

Imara: So, you can tell this is going to be a good show. So, pull close. And, even though this episode is all about trans joy, we’re still starting a segment just for that because, in this environment, there’s never enough trans joy.

Imara: This is the time of year when we might be thinking about gifts for the people we love. Something that brings me joy is giving thoughtful and beautiful gifts made by talented queer and trans makers. With that in mind, I want to highlight the work of Becca Lynn of QueerKwe Designs. Becca is a two-spirit member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and an artist who makes gorgeous LGBTQ pride beadwork. Their work started as a practice to help them heal from trauma and connect to their community. Here’s Becca to tell us more.

Becca Lynn: I receive messages all the time of people coming across my work for the first time, and they’re in the parking lot, and they have tears of joy because they just saw themselves represented for once. That’s a huge problem with native people in general, it’s the invisibility of us in our problems. And, our joy, that somewhat visibility that we do have is often very negative or very heartbreaking, which is part of the reality of being a native person, but there’s so much beauty and so much joy and connection too.

Imara: Becca says that even though their art centers on native people, their work is for everyone to wear. She just asked that if you do that, you stand up for Native rights. You can find a link to the QueerKwe Designs Store in the show notes for this episode. Becca, you and your incredible work are a trans joy. On to the show, but before we get started, I wanted to let you know that because of the nature of what we’re talking about, this episode is Rated E. So, if your kids and siblings are around, grab their over-the-ear headphones and their iPad. And also, I just wanted to be clear that whatever we talk about today is fundamentally individual. There’s nothing prescriptive about what attracts us to others within or outside our community. This is about our romantic experiences. No right or wrong answers. With that, it’s time for our first guest. Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who aims to break down the way we think about gender and sexuality in her work. She has described herself as a gender clown and outsider and a heretic. Don’t get mad at me. Those are her words, which is an energy I’m excited to have in this conversation. You’re probably familiar with some of Zackary’s work. She was a producer for the Golden Globe, and Emmy-winning series transparent and the docu-series, This Is Me. Zackary’s also a decorated artist who has performed and exhibited her work in museums, galleries, and film festivals all over the world. Today though, we’re having Zackary on to talk about trans love and the power of T4T relationships. This has been a theme in her work. Zachary and her former partner, Rhys Ernst, who is also trans, published a book called Relationship in 2016. The book is stunning. An intimate look inside the lives of two people in the midst of radical self-realization which can be a hallmark of T4T relationships. Zackary’s life and art just exude trans love and joy and messiness. I’m glad to have Zackary on today. Hello and welcome.

Zackary: Thank you so much, Imara. I’m so excited to be here and thank you for creating this genius space of independent journalism and centering trans voices. I’ve told you before that TransLash Podcast is an ephemeral trans community center, and I’m always tuning in, and I’m just so thankful to be here in conversation with you today.

Imara: Thank you so much for your words as a creative person to another creative person. That means a lot, and so I’m so grateful, and I’m grateful that it is of use to you as well like it is, apparently, to so many of our other listeners, uhm, I really appreciate that.

Zackary: Absolutely. You’re a trailblazer.

Imara: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Zackary: You’re doing that.

Imara: Thank you s…

Zackary: You’re creating a totally new space, that, you know, we wouldn’t have been able to imagine without you.

Imara: Blazing a trail and trying not to set the forest on fire.


Imara: That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s the trick. Okay, so I want to turn to this specific realm. There are so many different ways and vectors. And to you and your work where we could talk about, and one of the ways in which you crashed upon this scene is through this particular lens of work. New York Magazine and others cited it in 2016 as a groundbreaking work into the lives of two people in transformation and transition. And, so, I’m wondering when you hear now the word T4T, what do you associate with Trans For Trans Love and relationships?

Zackary: My initial association is Craigslist because that was a space where girls, you know, used to meet typically men looking for trans women. It was predating apps and the T4T section was generally a space where girls would share information. It was more like, “Look out for these guys.” And at the time when I met Rhys, I had been messing around with cis guys for a long time already since I was a teenager and was not expecting to be so drawn to a trans man. We were both in our fledgling, kind of infancy as trans people. We were both had just started hormones. It was a surprise but there was no expression of-, there was no word for it and certainly, there were no representations or very few representations of trans people loving each other. And, we met in 2008, we made the images just documenting our life together, and the fact that we were transitioning was incidental to our kind of dire impulse to just capture falling in love and being in love in our everyday lives. And there was no premeditated idea that the work would be out there, but recognizing that there was such a vacuum of representation of trans people because we literally wondered, I think at the beginning like, “Has this ever existed before?” and there are a few things we could point to Southern Comfort, the documentary, but I think at the time we call theirselves like cross-gender reverse heterosexuals, and I was like…

Imara: Well, that was a word association. I didn’t expect us to end there. Uhm, and in this relationship, even before you got to taking hundreds of photographs, what for you did being in a relationship with another trans person do for you, that you didn’t get to, you didn’t experience from someone who’s cis?

Zackary: I-it provided a boundless and limitless space of possibility and self-creation. We were free from the constraints of expectations, of uh, kind of basic discrepancies that I think happen. There’s affluency and I think it sometimes scares people, and they resist being in community spaces and it’s, and it certainly can be very challenging. But, it’s a space where you’re able to really free yourself from the gendered expectations and cultural behavior that says people, even subconsciously and subtly, will have to deal with in them. There are other things like being in a relationship with a trans person, like when you meet their family, for example, you’re entering a family dynamic where everybody has processed the fact that there’s a trans person and their family, and you’re not starting from scratch. You’re not having to do all that work for the first time with a person’s family of origin if that’s even an option. I mean, so many of us are expelled from our families.

Imara: Yeah, I think that’s right. I mean, there’s so much work that you don’t have to do. I mean, I found my relationships with other people who are trans, trans man, transmasculine identified, is that there is exactly what you said. There is affluency. There is fluidity because there are less barriers and expectations. There’s the ability to go deeper, uhm, that’s not to say, that’s not possible with cisman but, oh boy, is it…

Zackary: Yeah… [Laughter]

Imara: …like trying to like drill a hole and a diamond mountain with a wooden spoon. It’s a lot. It’s a lot.

Zackary: So vivid. Yes.

Imara: I mean, that’s one of the things that I think that the idea of heteronormative relationships brings with them is that constriction. You know, the constriction of expectation really.

Zackary: Yeah.

Imara: And one of the things that you all do so beautifully in the book is you show each other in your transitioning, and then sometimes bending gender within your transitions. You’re doing drag, or you’re just putting on makeup just throughout the entire process, for me, was a representation, and visually, like, what the possibilities are in all relationships, like if you were allowed to actually be human beings first rather than living up to the idea of who we’re supposed to be within gender norms.

Zackary: Absolutely.

Imara: Were you all conscious that you were sort of exploring possibilities in relationships as you were actually shooting those pictures, or is that the result of just you all being you within a relationship and shooting them?

Zackary: I think it’s a manifestation of the freedom that comes with being with another gender-expansive person. I’m a woman. I identify as a woman, but inside of me, there’s a part of me that identifies as a boy, and to be able to traverse the whole spectrum of who I am without feeling constrained, and your words by, for example, cisman who’s dealing with their own internalized homophobia. And being with you, and you always been kind of conscious of like, tailoring your behavior to not trigger somebody else’s issues. We just do so much calculating, compartmentalizing, and thinking around a world that has not been built for us, but we probably prefer that we didn’t exist. That the freedom of being with another person where like you can really be your full self, and so you know what I mean like, my experience is really unique. You know, I feel like my subjective experience of the world is as expansive as my gender is. And, then, I’m able to be all of those things when I’m in a relation to another trans or non-binary person.

Imara: Mm-hmm. It sounds like what you’re saying is that, in some ways, being in a T4T relationship, being able to be expansive as we say in all the different ways, free of these ideas of who you’re supposed to be, it’s something that even as the relationship with him ended, it’s something that you continued to carry with you.

Zackary: Absolutely. And, I just discovered this word last year which many forgot right now, but it’s andro- androsexual. It means that, I mean my characterization of my sexuality, so it’s been like that. I am attracted to people who are more masculine than I am, and that’s been so many different things.

Imara: Mm-hmm. So, we’re androsexuals?

Zackary: Yes. I think that’s the word. Yeah.

Imara: What does andro mean though? Like Android?

Zackary: I think it means masculine. Let me look this up. Hang on.

Imara: Oh, androsexual. So, you are attracted to…

Zackary: Individuals who experience sexual attraction toward men, males, and/or masculinity, regardless of whether they were assigned male at birth.

Imara: Listen. I never knew there was a name for it. I learned something. This is why we do this podcast, so we can learn shit including the host.

Zackary: Yes. [Laughter]

Imara: Oh, God!

Zackary: I, just a few months ago, heard that and I was like, “Oh my God, I’m an androsexual because I…”

Imara: Listen.

Zackary: “…I’ve always been like…”

Imara: I’m going to put it on a t-shirt. We need a flag, you know, you know what I mean?

Zackary: Totally.

Imara: We need a flag.

Zackary: Absolutely.

Imara: Uhm… First of all, having a name for what you are is fantastic because it took me a really long time just to find out that that’s what I was and I didn’t even know until right now that there was an actual name for it. It would have been really helpful to know that. But you were saying that you’ve always been an androsexual even before the word existed.

Zackary: Yeah.

Imara: Uhm, and that, that being in this relationship, what did it reveal for you that you still maintain?

Zackary: Oh, so many things. And I, I think they did realize at a young age, that I was attracted to butchers, and this is before trans folks were as populated as we are today, right? And so, that was always something I was aware of but couldn’t really put my finger on. I’m a very sensual person. I think of the words that you described, I would say I’m a transsensual. [Laughter]

Imara: This sounds like the beginning of your online ad. “I’m a very sensual person.” Alright, keep going.

Zackary: As a Taurus, as somebody who’s very earth-based…

Imara: Me too.

Zackary: …I’ve been really driven in life by, I lived it in all pleasure and desire when it comes to dating other trans folks. I feel like it’s a deeper relationship that you create, and that also, these people are, can, like they are our family. I’m currently in a relationship with a trans guy, and at the end of the day, there’s a common ground that we stand on. It’s a much more expansive relationship in general. I mean, having a really juicy connection to another trans person, it’s kind of a multiplicity. There’s like, kind of, moving in all directions. I feel as though the trans-masculine folks can do everything and more than these guys can do. They could do everything that these guys do better. And there are more options as more directions in terms of just the sensuality of it. It’s just a space of infinite experimentation and being different things. There’s the possibility to really create something new every time, where sometimes there’s this dude’s you feel like you’re just doing the same thing over and over again. You know, what you see is what you get. [Laughter]

Imara: Well, that’s why we’re having this conversation about T4T relationships and the power that can be within them.

Zackary: Yeah.

Imara: And, I’m so happy that you were able to join us today, and I appreciate your vision, and your work, and your vulnerability that you’ve displayed through your work. I know that you’re working on some exciting projects and I hope that when those projects launch in the near future, that you’ll come back and have a conversation with us about them. I know that we’ll be extremely interested in what they’re going to have to teach us also. Thank you so much for coming on.

Zackary: Oh my God. Thank you, Imara. Can I ask you any questions before other things that you want to talk about in terms of T4T?

Imara: You know, I’m happy to answer any questions. It sounds like you have a burning question. So, go ahead and ask it. Sometimes this is where the gold is. That’s- let’s see where this goes. What’s on your mind?

Zackary: What have you discovered and felt liberated by in T4Trelationships?

Imara: Mmm. Yeah, uhm, I think that for me, the ability to be able to live without an idea of who I was supposed to be, forced me to be more of myself.

Zackary: Right.

Imara: And in forcing me to be more of myself, what I have learned is more and more how to love myself. Whereas, when I was in relationships with cis men, I just kind of- I could be myself but I also had to just kind of play a part, and that was really limiting. Though, as long as I played a part I don’t really have to do anything else. And it’s only when I started to let go of that, that I’ve had to be more and more and more of myself. It’s me finding more of my liberation within that, and then as a result everything else about the relationship is just at a much more intense and much more profound level. And then, just to be, also be honest, you know, just like separately, the level of eroticism is really intense for me, in a way that I have experience with very huge cis men.

Zackary: Definitely.

Imara: So, I think that that’s also the case, but I really believe that for me, that is a consequence of the emotional aspects that we are talking about.

Zackary: It’s a deeper intimacy.

Imara: Yeah, much deeper intimacy because I have to be deeper within myself, you know, and I can have lots of different moods, and characters, and things that show up in those relationships that fundamentally still aren’t going to impact the fact that the other person still acknowledges my womanhood, and that, that womanhood can have lots of different shades and pieces to it, that come and go at will, And that’s really powerful to be able to experience that in a relationship with someone else.

Zackary: To be free of the cis gaze is also, I mean just…

Imara: You know what? Oh God, forgive me. You meant ZE, and I thought YS, and I was like, “Oh yeah, that too.” But yes, “…tsss, ss-ss, this is…”

Zackary: [Laughter] Both can.

Imara: Yes, both and the cis gaze, say something about that. What do you mean free of the cis gaze?

Zackary: I mean, I think that there’s a tandem, say, forces people to, to see us through this very cisnormative lands, and certainly, with cis guys who are trying to locate your transness in certain ways or fetishize it. And then, to the intimacy piece, I think the ecosystem we’re in right now is so devoid of spiritual connection of deep connection. Ultimately, deep intimacy creates really satisfying sex. To really see somebody until like want to experience them in their full complexity, instead of just these like superficial gendered signifiers of, you know, that you’re so vulnerable to, and you’re just putting yourself out there on a profile.

Imara: Well, in this, we also get to experience our own complexity. You know what I mean? Like it’s not only that we get to experience them, I get to experience my own complexity with them. My own complexity is brought up to the surface.

Zackary: Amen. [Laughter]

Imara: Yeah, yeah. There’s a, there’s a lot here. There’s a lot here. Well, again, thank you so much for coming on and for asking those questions.

Zackary: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been such a gift to spend this time with you and I can’t wait to connect again.

Imara: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Imara: I’m so excited to be talking to Britni de la Cretaz. Britni is a freelance writer whose work sits at the intersection of sports, gender culture, and queerness. They’re one of the top reporters writing about sports and transness. Britni also recently co-authored a book called Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women’s Football League, and I have it on good authority that it’s a very queer book. Maybe, it could be a Valentine’s Day gift. But, this episode is about trans love. That’s a topic you can often find Britni sharing about in moving personal essays and on Twitter. They practice non-monogamy and have written about the ways in which they found liberation through queer and trans sex. Britni has given a lot of thought about leaving behind the scripts we’re given for sex and sexuality, and I’m excited to hear more about that journey. Britni’s work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Elle, espnW, and more. Britni, thank you so much for joining me.

Britni: Thank you for having me.

Imara: I think that this is so important and so powerful. One of the things that I am struck about is as a queer trans person, understanding that the scripts and regulations and definitions of who we are and who we’re supposed to be attracted to were so dominant in shaping your own sexuality, and eventually, and deciding to get married to a cis man. So, I’m wondering if you can just color that background in those thoughts because I think most people don’t realize that even as we are queer and trans, we can still carry the legacy of thinking in ways that are consistent with cis heterosexuality.

Britni: This is something I still think about all the time because I’ve known I was queer since I was, oh, maybe like 19. It took me much longer to realize that I was trans, but I ask myself a lot like how I ended up married to an interrelationship with this hot man for like 10 years if I already knew that I was queer. In order to answer that question, I really have to look at the messages that we get from society that tell us the things that we should want. And also, the like real dearth of representation and variety in terms of, like, gender and masculinity which I’m attracted to, right? And I had never seen queer masculinity, a kind of defaulted to cis men because that is like what I saw in popular culture. I didn’t know there were other options. So, there’s all of these, really like, subtle and kind of insidious ways that we get messages about what we should want and desire.

Imara: That’s exactly right. I think that for me, I had a very similar journey where sexuality led the way for me, and at some point, I was like, “No, that’s not right. I’m not just like a different sexual. I am different in gender ways.” And then those like had to unfold over time. I think that what I was so struck by in your catapult piece, which will link to in the notes, is that’s great – all the words we just used in describing, but that doesn’t begin to unpack the suffering that holding on to these ideas if they’re not right for us, can actually cause in our relationships.

Britni: Yeah, like, trying to fit in this box that was never right for me, and I was like always feeling slightly distant from my ex-husband and not really knowing why, and really struggling to figure out why I didn’t want to have sex with him which made him feel rejected and undesirable. I think about the ways in which it was unfair to him to be in a relationship with someone who it turns out, like, was not attracted to him. You know, I ran through so many, like, maybe, maybe, “I don’t want to have sex because of this reason.” And in my case, you know, I had young kids, and so, you’re talking to these other straight women who are married to men, and they’re saying, “Oh, yeah, I never have sex with my husband. We haven’t had sex in years either.” and there’s this real ambivalence that is accepted in straight culture, which is a whole other thing, but what it did was it normalize the fact that I was completely ambivalent about my own relationship, and then it allowed me to, like, sit in the feeling of, “I guess this is fine.” for a lot longer because I just didn’t know that there was something else possible, and I had no idea that I was missing out on that. One of the things that my ex said after I left was he thanked me. He said, “I feel like I’ve been given another chance.” I was really grateful for that, but I could see the ways in which being with me had also denied him the ability to be with someone who is absolutely head over heels too.

Imara: Emerging from this particular point and thinking about the specific touch points of discomfort and pain like making it real is, for me, when you described in your article about how your honeymoon, I- your husband was like, “Let’s have sex.” and you literally turn the other way and kind of pushed him away. It was like, “I love you, but you know I can’t really do this.” I thought that that was a really fascinating moment and I’m wondering what the impact on you was of not being able to express your sexuality or your desire and ways that felt affirming?

Britni: Yeah, and see, I didn’t know what the problem was. Then, I wondered if I was asexual and that would have been okay, but that didn’t really ever feel right. There was this other piece of me that felt like I couldn’t quite look at it because if I looked at it, it would be too scary to admit, and it was a part of me that I was jealous of my friends who were queer and had like hot queer partners, or like I would want every hot like a visibly queer person in the coffee shop to notice me – these things that if I looked too closely at them, like, I would have had to explode my life for. There are a lot of other things that I didn’t have context for until I came out of as trans. So, a lot of my dysphoria I experienced from this cis gaze on me and how I am being perceived, there’s a lot of things that I realized recently and after coming out as trans I’ve been thinking about this a lot, realizing that part of the reason I probably was struggling to have sex with my ex-husband was because he was seeing me as a woman, and experiencing me as a woman, and expecting me to perform as a woman. That was actually a very dysphoric experience, and my body was shutting that down. And so, it was, you know, my queerness and my transness kind of coming together to, like, just shut the door on that experience.

Imara: And one of the things that you talked about in this that added a point of lack of clarity about what was going on sexually for you was alcoholism and substance abuse. I’m wondering, did it come across to you that the alcoholism was in any way related to these issues or it was just totally separate? Like, I’m wondering if it was both, like, cause of confusion and then contributing to the confusion?

Britni: What I think that alcohol, and in my case, cocaine, those are my drugs of choice, what I think they allowed me to do was have sex that I didn’t know that I didn’t want to be having. So, when that was removed from the equation, I didn’t have the thing that was numbing me anymore. And then, there’s also the aspect of recovery itself in which you’re supposed to be, you know, not emotionally manipulative. And for me, growing up as someone who was socialized to be a woman and who was told that my power and worth was in being desirable to suscept men, I often used sex to get things that I wanted from men and I also used it in relationships to get out of being accountable when I did things wrong. And so, it was very easy to be like, “Oh, you are mad at me. Would you like a blow job?” and then you will forget, and in recovery, I couldn’t do those things anymore either. Everything just, sort of, shut down at that point because it wasn’t anything that I actually, like, desired.

Imara: Can you talk about the process and/or the moment when you realize that the reason why you could experience sexual liberation was because, as you said it, “I wasn’t a woman, and I wasn’t attracted to cis men.” kind of that understanding of the way in which your gender identity was different, and also your sexuality was different.

Britni: My partner, one of my partners, who I’ve been dating since shortly after leaving my marriage, was the first person that I had sex with after leaving my marriage, and the first time that we had sex, it was like, “Oh, oh. I didn’t know it could be like this.” Something in me just sort of rearranged and it was pretty immediate. Obviously, over time you learn each other, and you know each other and it all deepens. But to have that profound of a response, even the first time I cried. Thank God, he was like a very, like, lovely, and understanding person. I cried after the first time we had sex because I was so relieved. I was so relieved. My gender came later, and it came with the safety of- in the freedom of living openly queer. And my partner is trans – that has really shifted our sex life, and even our relationship even more in this much more, like, freer and more open, and like it’s gayer. We can say weird shit to each other and it’s hot. I just really enjoy that, but I couldn’t get to that place without having done the making sure I was queer first. In living openly in that queer life, it gave me the freedom to kind of poke my head into other areas and see what else might be there.

Imara: Yeah, this is so relatable to me in so many different ways, mainly because it took me a really long time to realize that my gender and who I wanted to have sex with, didn’t have anything to do with each other. What I mean by that is that the more I became secure in my womanhood, and in being trans and being a transwoman, the less I was sexually attracted to cis men and the less I wanted to be with them. And there was something for me and my gender journey of needing to have the idea that I would be attracted to cis man and that cis man would find me attractive, that was essential for me to feel feminine and to feel like a woman. And the more that that came from me on the inside the less I needed external validation from that. And then, I had to go on this journey like you where I was like, well, I think that there are hot, like, visually, but it’s a sexual dynamic that I don’t necessarily want to be in, or even necessarily like every single body part to be specific about it, and so I had to go on this realization, that what I was attracted to was masculinity and a full range of masculinity, right? Once I was able to make that connection that, like, I’m a woman and I am attracted to masculinity and masculinity comes in lots of different bodies. I love the sex that I have with those different types of bodies and the fact that they’re at the same time masculine, for me, was liberation in a really powerful way, and I’m wondering how that strikes you?

Britni: I really relate to this idea of, like, not needing the external validation. When I was married, I felt so invisible. It really was so important for me to have my queerness validated in ways that I no longer feel I need because I feel so secure in who I am. I think there’s this other thing that I couldn’t have quite articulated before I came out as trans, but I know it was like really attracted to trans people. That was something that I didn’t quite, like, understand. And I had a lot of worries being like, “Oh, am I a cis person that’s like fetishizing people?” and it has helped me understand so much more about who I’m attracted to, to realize I also am trans and, like, what I was seeing was other people like me and I was being drawn to people who were like free. Allowing myself to be fully who I am and be openly trans has also allowed me to embrace really openly and fully, the fact that I want to be dating mostly other trans people.

Imara: Yeah, and I think that, for me, sex with other trans people is liberatory, and it’s liberation. Like, for me, it feels what freedom feels like in some really powerful and profound ways that I didn’t know before, and that I get to access parts of my desire I get to access parts of my energy that I wouldn’t otherwise. And, for me, it just clicks for me in ways that other types of relationships were a stretch and always extremely fry, just extremely rocky, and that’s because those weren’t what I was supposed to be doing. And, I think trans people having sex with other trans people, loving other trans people if that’s right for you is what freedom feels like. Like in those moments, it’s the thing that I have been fighting for and I didn’t know was possible.

Britni: Yeah, and this is something I’m also thinking a lot about when I am writing, what I’m hoping will be an essay collection about this kind of experience that I’ve had that I think is important because we get a lot of these messages about what things are supposed to look like. As I’ve been writing, one of the things that has been really important to me is to write the sex that I’m having on the page and to not censor it, and to also not over explain it where I can have, you know, multiple cocks mentioned and none of them are actual penises. Like, I hope cis people are confused, like a little bit, you know. But I think there’s something beautiful, and radical, and freeing about putting trans sex on the page that way and just letting it spill out and making it really visible. That is something that’s really important to me as I’m thinking about the writing that I want to do.

Imara: That’s encouraging me. I might have a new part of my journaling. And for me, that is a really important point about not having to explain the sex that you’re having or explain the attraction that you’re having, because, for a while, I felt like I had to try to make sense of the type of sex that I was having with trans men and like, having to try to find a way to justify that within the context of who I was. At some point, when I was able to just say, “This feels right. This feels good. We love this and I am still myself.” as I have ought to be, that was like the cork popping on the bottle of champagne. That’s when I could really be free, and it’s like I’m going exercise and continuing to be free because there’s so much programming against that that we are also carrying. A part of your sexual liberation is non-monogamy. This is one of the ways in which we might part ways. So, for me, that has never been a part of my sexual expression, although, like, having multiple partners while I’m not in a relationship has, but usually, when I’m in relationships, I’m a monogamist. And I’m wondering what’s the intersection here for non-monogamy in your ongoing sexual exploration liberation?

Britni: Non-monogamy is more about my values in terms of how I want to do relationships, and it’s not just related to sex. I think that monogamy works for the people that it works for. And I also think that I put monogamy in the same box of, like, the false bill of goods I was sold about – the husband, and the house, and the whole deal that I was supposed to want. And so, for me, non-monogamy is actually about having radical values that say love is not a finite resource, and that I can love multiple people, and I can love them in different ways and in different capacities. I think a lot of us, maybe more of us than we realize because it’s not the thing that we’re taught is acceptable or to want, but I think that a lot of us do have the capacity to love multiple people. And so, I think it’s more about that idea of, like, getting free. Obviously, I have multiple partners that I have sexual relationships with, and so there is sexual freedom tied up in there too.

Imara: Yeah, yeah. I think, for me, a part of non-monogamy is that it’s a management issue because part of me would be like, “Wait, who are you? And what are we doing today? Oh, wait. Okay.” And, like, that part of that would just make me upset, like just trying to figure out all of the different ways. So, it’s kind of a funny thing that partly, for me, it’s an administrative issue. As much as I… [Laughter]

Britni: Okay, look. Everyone is like non-monogamy is just like having lots of sex, and it’s great. Non-monogamy is having a lot of really hard conversations and managing your calendars.

Imara: You listen, and my calendar is already hard enough to manage and to try to layer that on top would just be a disaster. Britni, thank you so much for being, again, so brave, and so honest, and for sharing your experience, and allowing me to share mine with you today. I can’t wait to continue to see what your life and what you’re writing reveal about new frontiers for us to be free. Thank you so much.

Britni: Thank you.

Imara: That was Britni de la Cretaz, a freelance writer whose work sits at the intersection of sports, gender culture, and queerness, talking about Trans For Trans Sexual Liberation. Thank you for joining me on the TransLash Podcast. Now, listen all the way through to the end of the show for something extra. If you like what you heard, please go to Apple podcast to rate and review us. You can listen to TransLash wherever you get your podcast. Check us out on the web,, to sign up for our weekly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @translashmedia, like us on Facebook, and tell your friends. The TransLash Podcast is produced by TransLash Media. The TransLash team includes Oliver-Ash Klein, Callie Wright, Montana Thomas, and Yannick Eike Mirko. Our intern is Mirana Munson-Burke. Alexander Charles Adams does the sound editing for our show. Our digital strategy is handled by Daniela Capistrano. The music you heard was composed by Ben Draghi, and also courtesy of ZZK Records. The TransLash Podcast is made possible by the support of The Ford Foundation, The Heising-Simons Foundation, and many others.

Imara: Well, next week, I am looking forward to Valentine’s Day. You never know what possibilities are, right? So, we leave the possibilities open for love, however that may look for you, especially in this moment of darkness and uncertainty a little light, even if it’s slightly cheesy can be good. So, I’m going to hold up on the possibility of Valentine’s Day, and on February 17th, I’m also looking forward to a really important Black History Month conversation. It is going to be held and hosted by Twitter, with a lot of different black cultural voices including my own. We’ll put how you can join in the meeting notes. It’s called Taking Up Space, and it’s at Blackbirds, you can follow it on Twitter. And we’re going to be speaking about the ways in which we hold each other accountable, but also provide for space and grace at redemption if that’s worthy, and just a whole bunch of controversial topics. Anyway, I think that a lot of people and places are in reflection right now. We’re not just speeding through things like we normally have done in the past. This Black History Month feels so different than others, and so, taking this time to think about things, I think, is really important, so I’m excited about that. Also just during this month, I constantly just think about the need and the importance to write black trans people back into black history. We’ve posted and continue to post a lot of things on TransLash about that, and we’ll have programming later this month speaking specifically about that, and future leadership that we have right now, but you know, it’s Black History Month. And so, I’m happy about this conversation that we’re going to have on Twitter on February 17th and you can join, I think it will actually be a video. It won’t actually just be us, like, reading, you know, a bunch of characters. So, make sure that you sign up and follow us. And with that, tell everybody about this Valentine’s Day hot sex show.

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TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.



TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.


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