This is a touchy subject but one that I think needs more visibility.
Is it transphobic to say that you wouldn’t date someone based on their genitals?
I belong to several LGBTQ groups on social media, but 2 groups in particular, there’s been a lot of discussions lately on this topic.
One group consists of mostly female identifying lesbians, the majority falling in the age demographic of 30 – 70 year olds. I have been so inspired by this group. They desire to educate themselves on LGBTQ issues, they don’t always agree but they are always respectful of one another.
The other day a discussion came up in this group about dating trans women. One of the members who identifies as a lesbian, recently started dating a trans woman and she found that many lesbians discounted her sexuality because of this. She was appalled and brought her question to our group wondering about others’ thoughts on this.
This opened up a significant discussion. There was a lot of questions and thoughtful responses.
I was thoroughly impressed with how this conversation played out. Although not everyone agreed, comments were received with an open mind and all members were considerate of one another.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case in a local group that I belong to. Lesbian erasure seemed to be the biggest concern amongst the members. This and other cissexist remarks seem to be common arguments used in defence against dating trans women.
Riley J. Dennis explains cissexism in the following video.
As a transmasculine person dating a cisgender woman who identifies as gay, my partner and I had many discussions regarding labels. Does dating me make her straight? Does it make me straight? In our case we agree that neither one of us is straight irregardless of what others may think they know about our genders. I am proud of my labels and want to hold on to them. I choose my labels. You choose your labels. Who you date doesn’t have to be defined by genitals.
As a newly out trans person, I have only recently met other trans people. I’ve also spent an exorbitant amount of time reading and watching videos of other transgender folks. And let me tell you, they are a diverse bunch! To say that you would base your preferences on genitalia alone is an absurdly simplistic response for such a multifarious group of humans.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and or experiences. Comment below. Let’s get talking about this stuff more and increase visibility and awareness!