The Ins and Outs of Topping as a Trans Girl

I’m not into topping—but plenty of other trans women are. I asked some (and a few straight guys who bottom) what it’s like for them.

There are two reasons why I do not top: One, topping takes a lot of effort, and I prefer not to work up a sweat. Two, I’m a non-op trans woman, and the only position that I’m in when I penetrate a partner with my penis is one of existential vulnerability.

I’ve passed on most requests to top because I felt like my womanhood was at stake. If I were to leave the bottom, I would be moving away from the sexual expectation to which straight cis women are held: to be penetrated. When I do top, my partner’s desire feels more ambiguous: What am I to him?

This anxiety colored the first time I did it, an exception made for my former high school …

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Confronting Reality in a Transgender Paradise

Thailand is widely considered a paradise of transgender acceptance. But the realities of life as a so-called “ladyboy” don’t always reflect that reputation. We spoke with three members of the transgender community there to get a clearer picture.

It is a hot, sunny midday in May and Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, 45, is standing on an overgrown lot in her hometown of Nakhon Ratchasima. The house where she grew up once stood here, and she begins crying quietly. They are tears of sentiment. And they are tears for her mother, who is in a hospital not far away and for whom Tanwarin is full of gratitude.

When she made the decision to transition, her mother immediately supported her, Tanwarin says. Later, her mother even recommended that she wear more stylish dresses.

Tanwarin is wearing a laced skirt and Chucks, a digital watch and lipstick. She has also — again, thanks to her …

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