The Left loves to proclaim that sexual preference is a “personal choice to be heavily respected….” unless that preference happens to find them personally sexually unattractive….then you’ll be deemed a “bigot.”
Sometimes the alphabet soup crowd is just kooky-dooks. The pink text is from an internet article, by Sara, attempting to badger straight men into dating men who pretend to be women. The black text is the retort.
When You Say “I Would Never Date A Trans Person,” It’s Transphobic. Here’s Why.
Dude-Sara, when you say someone who doesn’t want to date you or have sex with you is transphobic, you’re full of crap. Here’s why.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about transgender people, specifically about whether you are transphobic or not if you have a “preference” against dating trans people.
A lot of discussion, really? According to the Williams Institute, 00.6% of U.S. adults identify transgender. I’m pretty sure there has been more discussion about the quality of the latest Star Wars movies.
Many well-meaning allies, friends, and family members of transgender people will say things like: “Well, I’m glad that Sara is living her life out loud, but I just don’t think I could ever date a trans person. It’s just a really personal preference for me.”
These people, and many others in the world, feel that it’s okay if trans people want to be out and live their life as a woman, a man, or a non-binary person, but ultimately, they say that they are just “not attracted” to any transgender people.
Dude-Sara, social acceptance and moral support are different than romantic interest and sexual access. Gee, go figure. In heterosexual circles, that’s called the Friendzone. Deal with it.
Before we talk about how that sentiment alone is transphobic, I want to be direct about the fear that trans people, especially trans women, face in the world of dating cisgender people.
Dude-Sara, avoiding sex with trans men or trans women is not a crime. It is not a moral failure. It is perfectly reasonable and natural to let one’s dislikes and prejudices affect one’s dating or sexual practices.
Side note: I’m going to write this from the perspective of a trans woman, because that’s the only experience I hold personally, however there are similar systems of oppression in dating that keep trans men and non-binary people isolated and excluded from dating pools as well.
Side note: I wrote this from the perspective of a cis-gender, heterosexual, biological man, because that’s one of the experiences I hold. This is an experience held by the overwhelming vast majority of people with penises. Disinterest in dating you is not oppression. In the U.S., you have the same rights as everyone else. Contrast your situation in the U.S. or the western world with any country in the region of the Middle East or most of the continent of Africa. Being imprisoned or killed is oppression, having a bleak dating life is not.
Dating as a trans woman (online or in person) often means an exhausting stream of inappropriate, fetishizing, dehumanizing, and sometimes violent messages asking about my genitals, people expecting praise for fetishizing me, and others assuming my identity is either not authentic or repulsive in some way.
Side note: When online, plenty of cis-women encounter the following, “…an exhausting stream of inappropriate, fetishizing, dehumanizing, and sometimes violent messages asking about my genitals…”
Dude-Sara, you’re complaining that being a trans woman is like being a biological woman. Isn’t that your goal?
This gets even more complicated when trans women are trying to date straight cisgender men. These interactions (usually beginning online) can quickly lead to defensiveness as they backpedal to explain how they aren’t gay, usually including insults and slurs that dehumanize me for even daring to list myself as a woman.
These men are interested in my femininity, even though they may be worried about being seen as gay just for hitting on a woman with a penis, or having sex with a girl who used to have one.
Dude-Sara, let’s pretend you are hungry for Thai food, and you find a Thai restaurant online, and you place an order, but the delivery turns out to be a bag of acorns. What would be your response? I’m betting it would resemble, “That isn’t Thai food! I didn’t order that. I’m not paying for that! And I’m not putting that in my body!”
When a biological male chooses to engage in sex acts with another biological male, we have a term for that. It’s called homosexual behavior. Homosexual behavior is associated with homosexual individuals. If he’s not homosexual (or some other rainbow identity), then he’s not down for you. This is not a linguistic surprise. This is not a social surprise.
Some of these things can be dismissed as annoyances or just well-intentioned people being ignorant, however, such a sliding scale of transphobia can sometimes slide all the way down to justifying the murder of trans women with comments like the ones made by comedian Lil Duval recently on New York’s Power 105.1 FM radio show The Breakfast Club, in response to what he’d do if he found out a woman he’s been sleeping with was assigned male at birth:
“This might sound messed up and I don’t care,” Duval says. “She dying. I can’t deal with that.”
“That’s a hate crime,” Charlamagne says. “You can’t do that.”
“You manipulated me to believe in this thing,” Duval says, before continuing, “If one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, I’mma be so mad I’d probably going to want to kill them.”
A comedian said something offensive? Quickly, to the fainting couches! Dude-Sara, you want to talk about being offended by comedians? Ask Republicans, Christians, and conservatives (not always the same thing, we’re a diverse bunch) about their experiences with comedians, TV shows, movies, journalism, academia, social media, and corporations. Go ahead and cry a river of big, fat man-tears while someone plays a sad song for you on the world’s tiniest violin.
This is also an important time to remind you that in 48 states, it is an admissible, legal defense in a courtroom to say you were driven temporarily insane by the revelation that a trans person is a trans person. You can even use this defense to avoid charges for the violence you’ve caused to a trans person in such a state of “insanity”. The so-called “trans panic” defense is still widely used to reduce sentencing and plea for lesser charges in cases of violence against transgender people.
It sounds like lots of people have a powerful aversion to being tricked into physical intimacy with someone who presents themselves as one biological sex, while being the opposite biological sex. Dude-Sara, maybe that’s a good reason to be open about your biology. Maybe? Hm? Maybe?
It’s pretty terrifying to navigate a dating pool where you’re both disqualified from people’s dating preferences when you disclose your trans status up front, but then also threatened with violence when you choose not to share the details of your genitals before the other person can “accidentally” fall in love with you.
In this context it makes sense for trans women to wait when you know you’ll be excluded up front, but if you don’t disclose your trans identity instead, you are punished for not telling, possibly by death. Huh…It’s almost as if trans people lose either way.
POP QUIZ: Would you rather have a hostile, potentially violent reaction? Or would you rather work harder to find someone suitable?
NORMAL ANSWER: “I guess I’d rather work harder to find someone suitable.”
TRANS ANSWER: “Neither!!! I want the world to change to accommodate me, so I can have sex with straight, cis-gender men (whom I don’t fetishize at all, honest) who simultaneously don’t fetishize me and who are miraculously ambivalent about my genitals while having the specific genital set that I prefer!!! Why is that too much to ask?!?!”
Some trans women, for example, are given the message that they are trying “too hard” and since they “pass,” or look cisgender to most people, they must really be men who are “tricking” people.
These accusations come mostly from cisgender men who are insecure in their own masculinity/straightness.
This group can also potentially include cisgender people who are insecure about being attracted to something they say they aren’t attracted to, in this case a woman, who they see as a man, because they assume she has a penis (even though many trans women haven’t had a penis for years).
Dude-Sara, you wrote, “In this context it makes sense for trans women to wait…” Remember that? Um, if rhymes-with-grannies are waiting to disclose, then they are tricking people.
Dude-Sara, you’re a gay man who plays dress up and wants to bang straight men. You abandoned masculinity and straightness. You do not get to define security in masculinity or straightness. Ever.
There is literally nothing insecure about knowing what you want and sticking to it. By contrast, caving to the wants of a man in a dress, despite your inclinations… that is a sign of insecurity.
Other trans women (or sometimes even the same trans women who “pass” on one day and not on another), are also told that if they have facial hair, a visible Adam’s apple, a deep voice, a small chest, or other visible markers of being assigned male at birth, then they are “not trying hard enough” to present as feminine, and therefore must be lazy, mentally ill (which is ableist), or predators tricking people into believing that they are a woman in order to “access women’s spaces” or otherwise infiltrate and harass otherwise designated safe spaces where men aren’t allowed.
A person with a penis, an Adam’s apple, a mustache, and a goatee walks into a health club to get a membership. The person says, “Today, I’m a gender non-conforming, lesbian trans woman. Which way to the ladies’ shower?” What is the correct response? If one is not a trans woman or an SJW, then one’s Common Sense is tingling.
Transphobic people will assert practically anything to get away from the much simpler truth, what trans people have been saying for decades: that trans women are simply women who were mistakenly assigned male at birth.
Dude-Sara, truth means, “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.” There is no scientific basis for the fantasy that a biological man becomes a biological woman merely by merit of assertion, despite empirical evidence to the contrary.
Short version: Wishing something doesn’t make it so.
Dude-Sara, you admitted the well-meaning allies, friends, and family members of transgender people don’t accept the fantasy. That’s why they won’t date trans people, much less screw them. If you can’t convince your own allies, friends, and family members (supposedly the most sympathetic), which is more likely?
a) Trans women are women, and the whole world must change for less than 1% of the population
b) Trans women are men, everyone knows it, and some people are willing to play along, up to a point
But, on the other hand, we also punish trans women who aren’t “pretty” in the context of a cis-centric media landscape by saying that they “look like men”, they aren’t worthy of respect, can’t work a service job, can’t be in visible media roles, are complicated to provide healthcare for, and more artificial barriers created for trans people.
We also punish cis-gender men and cis-gender women who aren’t “pretty” in the context of a cis-centric media landscape. Dude-Sara, try being a dude who’s short or fat or involuntarily bald and trying to date hot, cis-gender women. You’re not special.
If it is a punishment that trans people have healthcare complications, then it is a punishment of their own choosing. Leave your plumbing alone. Leave your hormones alone.
This happens because we, as a culture, seem to want trans people to both be cis-appearing enough to be invisible, but also we expect trans people to out themselves at every possible moment, just to make them even easier to avoid.
Wrong. We, as a society, want trans people and their allies to quit trying to impose absurd fantasy rules on us.
When I came out as a trans woman, the first concern I heard from many close friends and family members were two things: “How will you ever get a good job?” and “Will you be able to find anyone to love?” These fears are very real things that many trans people struggle to find in their lives. It also says a lot that these are the first things I heard, much louder and more common than excitement, gratitude for my trust, and celebration of my trans identity.
It sounds like your close friends and family had a clear view on how the world works, rather than pretending it works some other way.
It says a lot that you want your existence to be met with excitement, gratitude, and celebration. No one who comes out as straight expects to be celebrated. You’re not special.
And even more importantly, these barriers are not a problem for trans people because we have universally bad work ethic or because we aren’t worthy of love, these barriers exist because many cisgender people imagine us as a burden, a drain on resources, a political liability, something “weird” to tolerate, a challenge, confused, mentally-ill (which is ableist), sexual fetishists, and so many other frameworks that place the burden on trans people for navigating a world that doesn’t respect us, doesn’t validate us, doesn’t support our basic human rights to free expression, and doesn’t empower us to be in positions of leadership in society.
You are burden. You just wrote that people were concerned for you, but whined they weren’t celebratory enough of your decision.
You are a drain on resources, if you demand that taxpayers have to fund your surgery or transition treatments.
Who considers you a political liability? Name names. Bruce Jenner got Woman of the Year for crying out loud!
You are weird, you are a 00.6% aberration. Some of you are confused. Look at the rate of suicide attempts among trans people. “Among the starkest findings is that 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%). Some of you are sexual fetishists.
You want respect? Who doesn’t? Earn it.
You want validation? Who doesn’t? Earn it.
You want basic human rights to free expression? Name two countries that would treat you better.
You want empowerment and leadership? Earn it.
If you’re someone who says “I would never date a trans person,” I’m talking directly to you right now. It’s ok, other people, you can stay and listen in too.
Here’s the deal: it is not transphobic to decide that you don’t want to date a specific trans person based on your preferences in personality, hobbies, social beliefs, body type, etc. Consent is really cool, and believe me, no one wants to date you or fuck you, if you don’t want to date or fuck them. Trans people are not trying to force you to date us.
If you’re someone who says “I would never date a trans person,” I’m talking directly to you right now: You’re normal. Stay that way. It’s okay, other people, you can stay and listen in too.
Here’s the deal: it is not trans-phobic to decide that you don’t want to date trans people or have sex with them. Dude-Sara, spent a lot of time trying to guilt you into having sex with him and people like him, by accusing you of the SJW sin of trans-phobia and by calling you insecure in your masculinity and straightness for not literally taking one for the team.
Then Dude-Sara had the lack of self-awareness to include, “Trans people are not trying to force you to date us.” No, Dude-Sara? Perish the thought. You just want to harangue everyone so they’ll, I guess, choose to do what you want. Totally different.
It is, however, deeply transphobic to decide that you never want to date any transgender person ever, and the choice to draw such a line is rooted in ignorance, fear, and disgust of trans people.
Sooooo, if you don’t want to date and have sex with Dude-Sara then it’s because there’s something wrong with you, not Dude-Sara. You are the problem. You are ignorant. You are afraid. You are unreasonably disgusted. But, but, but trans people (like Dude-Sara) are not, I repeat not, trying to force you to date them or have sex with them. Got it? Me neither.
The transgender community is a massively diverse group with all kinds of body types, genital configurations, personalities, hobbies, and relationship styles.
To categorically exclude all people from that group, who would otherwise align with your sexuality (trans men for a straight woman, trans women for a lesbian woman, etc.) is not only missing out on many potential connections you could have with people who you would otherwise have a wonderful time dating, but also reinforces the oppressive social system that says transgender women aren’t “really” women because they were assigned male at birth, and vice versa for trans men.
According to Dude-Sara, trans women are women. If trans women are women, then trans men must be men. The logical solution is to explore all of that massive diversity and those many potential connections without the challenges and risks.
So, why don’t trans women date trans men? Maybe it’s because they don’t believe their own fantasies. They know a trans woman is not a woman. They know a trans man is not a man. That’s why Dude-Sara has such a boner for cis-gender, straight men, because they are men. Not trans men. Not pretend men. Men.
When you’re on the dance floor, or on Tinder, or flirting with someone at a work function, you can’t truly “tell” if someone is trans just by looking at them, no matter how much you think you can.
When you’re on eBay, or on Marketplace, or some other site or app, you can’t truly “tell” if merchandise is legit just by looking at the picture, no matter how much you think you can.
How do you know the cute girl you were flirting with at the bar last night isn’t a trans woman? How do you know that cute boy you’ve been flirting with on Grindr isn’t a trans man? How do you know that person you have a crush on in your Astronomy class isn’t non-binary? Short answer: you don’t.
How do you know the can of green beans on the grocery store shelf isn’t beets? How do you know that gas you put in your car isn’t contaminated with water? How do you know your prescription was filled correctly? Short answer: you don’t. So what?
If you’re only attracted to transgender people until you learn what we were arbitrarily assigned at birth, you’re still attracted to us, it just means your attraction is overridden by your repulsion against trans people. To act like you can be the arbiter of what feelings are true feelings and what are “fake” feelings created by someone you see as lying to you just for being authentic is a truly sad dismissal of all the beauty and joy contained in trans communities.
If you’re only interested in someone until you have an Austin Powers moment (“That’s a man, baby!”), you’re normal.
To act like you are the arbiter of who you should date and who you shouldn’t, based on biological sex, is a truly normal, healthy act of self-determination.
Besides, you wouldn’t want to be so selfish as to deny trans people of all the “beauty and joy” contained in the trans communities, would you? I thought not.
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are whole and valid identities outside of our western colonialist sex and gender binary. Repeat this to yourself over and over. This is the root of all trans liberation.
Trans women are men. Trans men are women. Non-binary people are like, “Hold my Appletini!”
Repeat this to yourself over and over: Rhymes-with-grannies have no right to demand your time, your money, your affection, your junk, your mouth, or your butt hole.
I know attraction is complicated, and again, no one is saying you should be forced to date someone you’re not into. However, if you hold these transphobic attitudes, I invite you to examine in yourself why those beliefs are there and what you are really afraid of when you say you “won’t date trans people.”
Dude-Sara, you’re not fooling anyone. You want to bang cis-gendered straight men. Everybody knows. Dude-Sara lacks the ability to get what he wants by force, so he wants you to believe that letting him have sexual access will prove you aren’t insecure. Somehow.
“Yeah, uh, getting fudge packed is the best way to prove how straight and masculine you are. Totally. So, uh, prove it.”
Just for good measure, Dude-Sara suggests the reason why you aren’t having sex with guys in drag is because you’re afraid you’ll like it or you’re afraid you’re gay.
“If you’re not gay, blow me, uh otherwise you’re chicken, I mean, otherwise you’re just kidding yourself about being straight. I’ll bet you’re gay! No? Then blow me to prove it.”
Is this not one of the least convincing arguments you ever heard?
Are you afraid of genitals you’re not familiar with?
Dude-Sara, it’s not about fear. It’s about interest and desire. Dude-Sara, why don’t you date trans-men? Are you afraid of unfamiliar genitals?
Some trans women have a penis, some don’t. Some trans men have a penis, some don’t.
Why don’t you date trans women? Why don’t you date non-binary persons? Some trans men have a penis and some don’t right? Some trans women have a penis and some don’t right?
You can’t assume someone’s genitals based on their identity, and more so, you might be missing out on sex that’s fun and pleasurable just because you’re unable to see a penis as feminine or a vulva as masculine.
Dude-Sara, you might be missing out on sex that’s fun and pleasurable just because you’re unable to see a penis as feminine or a vulva as masculine.
How is my permanently attached strapon functionally any different than a cis woman’s detachable strapon?
Dude-Sara, if a permanently attached strap-on is not functionally any different than a detachable strap-on, why aren’t you safely banging trans men? It seems you have a massive diversity in choice, so there is no need to risk it with cis-gender straight men… unless you fetishize cis-gender straight men. You would NEVER do that, right?
Are you afraid of being seen in public with a trans person? What would it mean for you to truly step into the fight for trans rights? How can you grow your empathy for us enough to believe we deserve public, joyful, shameless love for ourselves and from our partners? How can you be public and vocal in your support for trans lives?
Dude-Sara, can you be public and vocal in your support for trans lives by dating them, having sex with them, and entering long-term committed relationships with them? Or will you simply continue your Quixotic attempt to screw cis-gendered, straight men?
I think we all know.
Are you afraid of people challenging your identity as a straight person, a lesbian or a gay man? What does it mean for trans people that you refuse to see us as “real” men or women? How can you shift your thinking to truly validate trans people as a natural human variation instead of see us as an outlier, an aberration, or a mistake?
Dude-Sara, what does it mean for trans people that you refuse to see trans men as “real” men and the most logical choice for love and sex? How can you shift your thinking to truly validate trans people by dating them exclusively instead of holding sex with cis-gendered, straight men as the benchmark of your success?
Are you afraid of believing yourself to no longer be a lesbian or gay man? What does “lesbian” or gay mean to you? Does lesbian mean “loving women” or “loving vulvas”? By that logic, do you also see trans men as women because they have a vulva? That would also be an intensely transphobic assumption. Identity categories are only as useful as they are freeing you, not limiting your authentic desires and attraction. Plus, it’s possible to be a lesbian and date a trans woman and also be a trans woman who is a lesbian. When you are a woman, everything you have is a woman’s body part, including your cock (or clit, or ladycock, or click, etc).
Dude-Sara if you want to stop being seen as weird, perverse, aberrant, or mentally ill… stop trying to redefine the penis of a man in drag as a clit, or ladycock, or click.
I offer you these thoughts in order to challenge you to challenge yourself. I ask you these questions so that you can ask them of yourself when our transphobic culture refuses to acknowledge us in media, in sex ed, in public life, in history, in politics, and everywhere else.
Dude-Sara, name a major city that doesn’t have a Pride march. Name a major university that doesn’t have dedicated resources to support LGBTQAEIEIO (or whatever alphabet soup you’re spewing today). The alphabet soup crowd is acknowledged way more than the number of its members merits. Stop pretending otherwise.
The first step to dismantling transphobia is dismantling your own internalized transphobia. The second step is being honest and accountable to that process of growth in your allyship to help other cisgender people around you to grow with you.
Dude-Sara, we get it. You want to bone cis-gender, straight guys, whom you fetishize. You want them to accept you as a “real” woman without them fetishizing you as a trans woman.
That’s not going to happen.
What do I know? I’m Justa Gaibroh.
Sara is the host of the Queer Sex Ed Podcast.
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