Two ex-flames on transsexual demi-celeb Jamie Clayton: "I've never been attracted to any others; I don't think there are any others like her." "Usually when you're attracted to a girl, you don't necessarily respect her." But this one is different!
That is, because she's hot in a way some straight men find appealing.
New York Observer columnist Spencer Morgan lays claim to discovering Clayton two years ago when she dated his friend Ryan. Back then, she was a post-op New York transplant he termed, "The Second Most Beautiful Women In New York." Now, she's on VH1's TRANSform Me, having appeared on The Tyra Banks Show and elsewhere. Ryan is the second ex-boyfriend quoted — here's what he said about being attracted to Clayton and then learning she was transgendered:
"I thought, well, she was so hot that it didn't deter me in the least. It excited me, it intrigued me. Mostly I thought, ‘Wow, I respect this person.' Usually when you're attracted to a girl, you don't necessarily respect her. But when I found out that she had done that and gone through it, and looks amazing, I immediately thought, ‘Wow, this sounds like someone who's really fucking cool and worth knowing, in addition to being really hot.'"
Did he mention that she's hot? There's always a wispy-thin veneer of irony around these pieces, something between an endorsement and disdain. (Although there is probably precious little irony in how Morgan describes Feministing commenters' discussion of Clayton's television show as "a theoretical catfight of sorts.")
And there is even less irony in in the implication that Clayton, who seems like a pretty cool person, is the exceptional, or even superior trans woman because so many men find her attractive — even, like, the regular ones who aren't into freaky stuff! "She gets hit on or asked out about five times a week," according to Clayton herself. And "Because of her looks-she calls herself a "top-shelf" transsexual-she gets hit on by all sorts, not just tranny-chasers." The other ex-boyfriend recalls of a club gig adjacent to a famous drag club, "They're not supposed to come over to the other side, but Jamie and this other girl sort of got a pass because they were pretty, the other ones were freak shows."
It's great that Clayton's self-professed type is also attracted to her, but what's with all the commentary around her trying to persuade us that she's different from all the "freak shows" all the other trans people are because they don't look like her? Sorry, what was that about changing gender norms?