This is something floating around Twitter right now and I feel like I kinda have to address it. Plus, I also told some trans dude I would, so here I am. There’s a lot of people online claiming that not wanting to have sex with trans people is transphobic, and I disagree, but first lets look at the reasons why people suggest this. Then we can take it apart, piece by piece.
The logic behind this is that when you say you aren’t interested in trans people that you’re devaluing them and rejecting their existence. So if you’re a straight man who says “I’m attracted to women, but not trans women” the idea is that you don’t count trans women as women. So that’s trans phobic. Which, yeah, I guess I can see how not taking someone seriously because of their gender is trans phobic. I just don’t think this can really be applied to sexuality and sexual preferences.
Let me just say this out loud right here right now. If you’re hot and not ugly, people absolutely do find you attractive. You probably know if you’re attractive, and if you pass well for your gender, and you will definitely have experienced this at some point, or you will definitely experience this eventually. People absolutely do find good looking trans people attractive, whether they admit it or not. A lot of people I know online have found me attractive right up until I told them I was trans. At which point they’ve distanced themselves from me, and yeah, that can kinda hurt a little, maybe a lot.
This is the problem though, people are confusing finding people attractive with the much wider idea of relationships and sexual preference. Whereas having crushes and finding people attractive or not is quite light and carefree, dating a trans person really isn’t. The fact of our condition means some really severe things for relationships and its unreasonable to force people to compromise on those values to save your feelings.
If a guy doesn’t want to date me because I’m trans, its most likely because he wants kids in the future, and that’s something I can’t give him. Likewise with trans-men who can’t produce sperm and relationships with straight women. This is a huge biological factor that has a far reaching effect on any trans persons relationship prospects. But what about gay relationships? Even then, perhaps the gay guys really want a real dick and balls – or the lesbians want a real vagina. That’s all totally fine. None of this is transphobic, and its not fair to suggest that it is.
Sexuality and the labels we have for it are based on the binary of sexes. There’s male and female, and we take our terms from those. Trans people are a huge exception to this rule, and whereas its fine for us to simplify things down and say stuff like “I’m a lesbian” – we’re a sort of grey area when it comes to sexual preference labels. Typically speaking, “lesbian” refers to women who like women, but implies that the intercourse will be vag on vag. So even if you’re a lesbian trans, you can’t expect other lesbians to see you as a potential partner, their idea of lesbian involves vag on vag which we’re incapable of. It’s not transphobia to say that, it’s just factual information.
Sexuality labels mean different things to different people, and that’s great. It promotes a huge diversity of sexuality and as long as people are happy and loving each other with consent there’s no problem with that. On the flipside, to try and force people to have sexual preferences and relationships with people they don’t want to is sexuality based fascism. It’s most definitely not okay.
It might suck, it might hurt your feelings, and you may get super upset about it. But you cannot police sexual preference of anyone, that’s really, really not okay.