Friday, June 29, 2012

Recognizing Bigotry - Dating

I've seen this following phrase all too often: "Oh, I accept transsexual women, but I'd never date one! I'm just not attracted to them, that's all!!"

The problem with this statement is that it contradicts itself inherently. It's a bold claim to make, but I've had this discussion many times, and talked with many people, and after a few more questions, the result has always been the same. They try to dodge it by saying "What, can't I be attracted to what traits I like?!!?" avoiding the underlying problem with their assumption.  After a little digging, the result is always the same:

"Well, they were male. Once I know that, I'm not attracted. I'm just not into men"

The problem is the last statement. The statement "I'm just not into men" COMPLETELY invalidates any acceptance you've claimed. Whether or not you can put on a mask and tolerate them, whether or not you can humor their desired pronouns. That's not 'accepting them', that's humoring them. It's tolerating them.

Because it's not hard, really, to tolerate a trans person. An extra letter added or subtracted from a few pronouns, a few minor language changes.... and you're pretty well able to appear like you're a trans ally!

Except that you don't 'really' accept them. You harbor your own contradictory prejudices that, while you think you know 'the truth' of their gender, you'd rather play nice.

This is one of the purest forms of lack of acceptance in existence. Ask yourself, would you date a transsexual woman? (If lesbian/straight male)? Would you date a transsexual man? (if gay/straight female)?

Why wouldn't you, if you said no?

It's a question that's VERY telling of how much you really accept a trans person. The science still supports transsexualism, but if you cling to prejudices, even if you hide it well, you're not truly accepting of trans persons.


(P.S. Orangeban - I will get to your question - I was fired up over this one and had to write. fear not! Also, if you feel safe, drop an email in the comments section if you would like!)


  1. Don't worry, I'm not impatient!

    This was one of the best write ups of this issue I've seen. It's a simple question but it reveals so much about the person based on how they answer.

  2. This sounds frustrating for you gals, but at the same time, if I'm sexually attracted to and want to be with a trans girl I get labeled as a "chaser." And that has a negative connotation to other trans girls.

  3. I'm trans, and I'm struggling to be more comfortable around other trans people. It weirds me out that they want to "change" even though I'm in the same boat. I'm in the middle of the process (on T, changed name, planning top surgery)and I know a lot of really nice trans men and women who are in my therapy group. I love them to bitsies and totally accept them. But every time a newcomer walks in, I have to control that weird lump in my throat that makes me want to leave them alone / walk away. I don't know why I feel this way about them; invariably it's because they're trans*. It makes me depressed and hate myself when other people do that to me. I can't understand why I would feel the same mild repulsion when I first meet them. After the first 30 mins of getting to know the person, those feeling typically go away. The longest they've lasted is a couple days.

    I dated a lovely trans man for a while, and it didn't work out. I loved his personality, and I thought I was gay for ALL men, but turned out that I was really attracted to cis-men, and vaginas made me uncomfortable. Ironically, he broke up with me citing the same problem -- that he couldn't see a relationship with a transman lasting long. He wanted a "real penis" too. we're still very good friends, and hang out a lot. Now I'm in love with a guy who previously thought he was straight, but decided he loved me anyway, despite me being a man with a vagina; we're due to get married in the spring. :D

    I just want to know... Am I the only trans person who has difficulty relating to other trans people? It makes me feel like a jerk when I'm falling asleep at night, or in a room alone. Also, am I the only trans person who wants to date cis people? Is that weird? I feel wrong and bigoted even saying it, but I know I couldn't have sex with a vagina owning person (male or female) without feeling sick. I'm afraid to ask my trans group these questions because I don't want them to look down on me or lose trust in me because I once felt apprehension. I truly love them as dear friends. I hope someone can answer this for me.

  4. I think we all struggle with that at one point or another. It's a matter of we all go through the same social programming that makes trans people out to be a joke/inhuman. That training sticks with you pretty hard.

    I'm past that personally, but it may take others longer. Heck some may never get over it. the important thing is you're aware of it and compensate so you don't treat them poorly.

    1. I think I am romantically attracted to males, both trans and cis, but I'm sexually attracted to penises (and frankly, surgical enhancements aren't very good right now... at all.).

      I just wonder if I fall into the category you mentioned in the post, about how it's really just tolerating trans people. I mean, I don't think of trans men as being any less male. Example would be buck angel (because people know who he is), who is VERY masculine. I still think of him as a man, but I can't watch his porn because it turns me off. I wonder if that's preference (likeing penis) or if I just don't accept them (e.g. "they used to be a woman!").

      do you think other trans people have similar sexual orientation vs romantic orientation? BTW, I will probably post this on reddit. the more I think about this, the more stressed I'm getting. I think I want more people to answer my questions so I feel less alone and bigot-y.

    2. Some people really do have a hangup on genitals, and in the case of FtM and pre-op MtF I have a hard time faulting them.

      All i have to say on the matter is that people form relationships all the time without ever seeing whats in their pants. Is it really such a big deal, that someone you love dearly suddenly becomes less to you? Is it really a deal-breaker? There's more than one way to skin a cat, after all.

    3. I don't think a person's genitalia matters unless I'm going to have sex with them. I don't think less of my friends or past lovers because they had a sex that differed from their gender. I certainly don't think genitalia invalidates their gender orientation.

      I guess I feel like a good sex life has to be a part of the relationship between life partners; if it's not, then I don't think I could stay in the relationship. I'm not asexual, I need that particular kind of intimacy, passion, and closeness with my partner. I need other kinds of love too, but sex is necessary. I don't find vaginas attractive, so sex won't work with vagina owning people (other than me). I guess it is a dealbreaker.

      Genitalia just doesn't matter if I'm not their partner. I will still love them as my friend or family memeber.

  5. What if the reason would be i wanted to have children with the person i was in a relationship with?

    I have a few transgender friends and the one boy in particular is very cute, if we both were not in a relationship I would date him (if he would want to date me to that is). But it would only be short term thing for the above reason.

    As for the genitalia thing, people can't help what they are and are not attracted to (as shallow as that may sound). You could love a person and not be sexuality attracted to them (or their sex).

  6. It really depends on, in the case of children, are you using it as an excuse to not date a trans person?

    Like, if you dated a person for a while, then found out they were infertile/trans at a later date, would you give the cisgender woman more leeway?

    If you'd treat the situation equally you're fine. It's a matter of if you're discriminating against them because they're trans.

    1. I'm not sure what you mean, I would not date a trans woman in the first place.

    2. The thought exercise implies you did not realize they were trans (/ infertile) in the first place.

      You're dating a girl for, say, a month. You really like her a lot, tons of the same interests, mutual attraction, etc.

      She tells you that there's something important to tell you - she's infertile (or transgender)

      Now assume this happens twice - once with the transwoman, and once with the cis woman. What would you do in the case of the infertile cis woman? What would you do in the case of the trans woman?

  7. No, no, no! I'm a girl! Sorry for the mix up.

  8. Oh. Well, in that case, invert the gender.

    The point is, would you give an infertile cisgender person more leeway than a trans person?

    That's the heart of the issue.

  9. As i said before i would date a trans person but nothing long term same for the infertile person. I love kids so every time i see one i spaz (i tend to do that alot)(^.^') so it's like known i want them

  10. Ok lets see i ummm i guess my title would be bisexual although i truly love being with women moreso than men...however its kinda strange i have been dating over a year a biological straight sexy hot male and i am in a monogamous relationship with him...i love him so much and i never thought i could truly love a man because i felt like for years i was only with men to satisfy family or friends ...but back to the other love --women ---femmes and butch women are my favorite to date....but i feel so strong about women that transitioning or acting or representing a male turns me off because now i kind of feel if i just want to be with a man y would i be with a transgendered male and not a biological male instead...choices? I still feel with trans anything there is a bit of in betweeness or an unsettlingness that i personally feel uneasy about...either i will be with a bio woman no matter how butch they are but my attraction is to the woman...changing to a trans male was not the attraction...the dynamics in my mind change thus i may as well date men again ---i mean biological men ...i do not want to say i do not accept the transgendered community but i personally find it hard to be in a relationship with a trans man of my exes that was a butch female is now a trans man and i witnessed the change and i was no longer attracted to my hot lesbian stud who is now living as a trans man....