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Dating the Transgender:  Is it Transphobic Not To?

Dating the Transgender: Is it Transphobic Not To?

An article on the Advocate just revealed something that can be a bit of a hard pillow for many of us to swallow. Within the LGBT+ community, the numerous fringes do not always get together. There are areas of conflict where the unity of the community comes into question. Transphobic dating pool included.

And this time, it is the dating pool for the transgender community. And the question of the hour is whether not dating transgender people makes you transphobic.

According to Advocate, a study held in 2018 “showed that only 1.8 percent of straight women and 3.3 percent of straight men would date a transgender person.” And 29 percent of cisgender lesbians would be willing to date transgender women. And the gays are way behind with just 11.5 percent. The other sections of the LGBT+ community are more open to this but it is not much better.

Transgender Couple/ Transphobic
Image Courtesy: UN News

Multiple Ticks

A group total of 52 percent of bisexual, queer and non-binary participants were up for having a trans partner. Which is better than the lesbians and the gays, but not by a great difference.

The study also went onto reveal the sad state of the transgender community. The anti-transgender groups and right-wing groups saw the results and stood their stance. The study suggested that no one wants to date transgender people. And the reason behind this is pretty shallow as well. If someone can tell if the other person is trans, they feel no sexual attraction. Although this is an assumption more than a fact.

But the research did not stop at that. An analysis was conducted that covered different factors. But they mostly focused on this.

One is that there are transgender people who are very attractive by any conventional standard. Another is that, according to data provided by PornHub, the U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of pornography, and trans porn is one of the most popular types.

 

So all in all, it’s all about if you can tell or not.

You cannot always identify as transgender. And the other aspect is societal judgment. The survey showed that Americans are sexually attracted to trans men and women if they believe that nobody is paying any attention to them. And it changes drastically when they know someone is recording them.

Stigma and the Cisgender

In a similar study, a group of cisgender college students was asked to look at pictures of 48 cisgender members of the opposite sex. And all the pictures were given a fake biography that told if they were cis or trans. They then collected answers from 348 participants. The researchers concluded that the participants were likelier to find the people who were assigned transgender in their fake biography unattractive.

All of these results indicate the stigma around the transgender community. And hopefully, one can realise that this is a serious sign of transphobia. And this is to show that the community faces an irrational bias when it comes to dating them. This is to point out the ignorance and dismissal of the trans community. The survey showed that only 16 percent of Americans knew transgender individuals.

Rainbow Wedding/ Transphobic
Image Courtesy: The Voice of America

Makes Me Gay

One of the most obvious reasons why straight people straight out reject transgender people is because they think it makes them gay or queer. And this irrational logic is evident in the second study we looked at. Even though lesbians and gays do not have to fear these labels.

The fear is strong among cisgender straight men. They are afraid of being identified or seen as gay when they feel an attraction towards trans-women. And the TERFs who are the trans-exclusionary radical feminists have even likened “being set up on a blind date with a transgender person with rape and sexual assault.”

And in the case of gay men, they are afraid “that dating a transgender man would call into question their “gold-star” status.”

Wrong Genitals?

Okay, this one is just sheer ignorance and a stance of defense. Many people assume that transgender people have the “wrong” genitals or whatever they have is not functional. But it is true that not every transgender individual has undergone a “bottom” surgery.

Since that directly affects the sexual preference of people, we might have to take a step back and rethink if it is actually transphobia. And on the lines of legality, it still holds up. Since that is along the same lines as not liking a cis woman and the same rules apply for a transgender man.

Straight people can easily cop-out saying they are only attracted to people they can have children with. But this does not hold up very well either. Especially since many transgender men and women freeze their eggs and donate their sperms before undergoing a transition.

American Transgenders/ Transphobic
Image Courtesy: Human Rights Campaign

Who Decides The Transphobia?

It is all about the reason behind the action. Many people have flat out indicated that it is the stigma and the societal perception of their image. So if you are attracted to someone because of who they are, and then back out because you learnt of their transgender. It automatically makes you transphobic. Every cis-gender person would not be attracted to every man and woman out there. So why don’t the same rules hold for the transgender community? Like the Advocate stated “putting a different standard on transgender people to exclude them from the dating pool is an expression of bias based on false stereotypes, irrational beliefs, and fear. Which is basically the definition of a phobia.”

But tell us what you think and let us know if transphobia also exists within the LGBT+ community.

Read Next: LGBT+ Movie Review: Chitrangada, The Crowning Wish

https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2019/12/14/refusing-date-trans-people-transphobic

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