Transphobia, Attraction, & The Right to Say No

Posted by – November 5, 2013

A trans guy asks a het, cis LGBTQ activist out on a date & she says no. He tells her she’s transphobic.

& Then she write a column for Bilerico discussing whether or not she can be “on the same activism level as a trans person.”

At first I wanted argue. I wanted to list all the things that proved him wrong. But I paused. What if I asked questions rather than asserted myself? As I thought of his assertion that I wasn’t a true ally, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it is even fair for a cisgender person to believe herself to be on the same activism level as a trans person.

And I read this & think: what the hell does that have to do with it? The issue of being cis in the world of trans activism (or het in queer activism, or a white anti-racist, etc.) has nothing to do with her not wanting to date the guy, but I have to admit that she actually questioned her commitment to her own activism makes me wonder if she decided not to date him because he’s trans.

Because that would be transphobic.

& Her response – not to argue, not to list or justify, but instead to ask questions of herself, is a good one. Why did I make that choice? Why don’t I like him? Do I subconsciously consider him female? Because I think all of those things could be true, and often are, to be honest.

But that said: not dating the dude because he’s trans is entirely different from not dating the guy because he’s not her cup of tea, is what I mean. Women turn down dates from men all the time. Sometimes people like you back & sometimes they don’t. BUTT in a ciscentric world, it is important to know if you actually think of trans women as women and trans men as men to the point that you would or could date or have sex with them *as such*.

Honestly, his response to her “no” tells me there were good reasons she didn’t want to date him: way to get turned down absolutely ungraciously.
But this issue of whether she can be “on the same activism level as a trans person” is a whole other issue, for another time and post.

2 Comments on Transphobia, Attraction, & The Right to Say No

  1. divadarya says:

    Geez. Then why say “no” to anyone ever? If someone is 300 lbs and I don’t want to date him/her am I “ableist” or “bodyphobic”? How about “she eats with her hands o phobic”, or “He has an annoying laugh o phobic”?

    Am I just old and grumpy or is shit gettin weird?

  2. helenboyd says:

    there’s nothing that says both of those things aren’t true, ha.

Leave a Reply