Let's talk about preferences

Content warnings:

Genitalia mentions

Okay, something that I see popping up time and time again is the “Is me not wanting to date trans people transphobic?” and “I don’t wanna date someone with a dick/vulva, is that transphobic?”. Let’s take a deep dive into those questions.

Okay, so to answer the questions: No, the preference in of itself is not transphobic, but the way you’re asking it probably is.

What do I mean by that? Your preferences for who you want to date, per definition, aren’t transphobic. Not dating a trans person isn’t a transphobic act. The preference may be FUELED by transphobia, and in most cases it is, but the act of not dating a trans person of itself is not transphobic. Trying to claim otherwise would basically be coercing someone into a relationship with someone they don’t want.

Now, what IS transphobic, however, is the way transphobic people love putting us on the spot with this question. They fail to realize that having a preference, and expressing that preference are two different actions. They think that, since having a preference must be okay, going up to trans people and just saying “I don’t wanna date you and now you have to confirm that my undesire to date you isn’t problematic”, is also okay. But… the latter is not. And often, the underlying reasons for the preference is also not okay. I will never try to force someone to date someone they don’t want to date. I will never try to force someone to have sex with someone they don’t want to have sex with. Regardless if their reasoning is rooted in transphobia, I will attack that core belief, the root cause. I will attack all the ways it may manifest elsewhere, such as the way they tend to feel urged to letting me know that they would never wanna have sex with me. But not with the intention of “getting them to sleep with trans people”, but because attacking transphobic beliefs is important to further equality. I don’t give a crap if that specific person ever ends up dating a trans person, my goal is to get that transphobe to stop spewing garbage, and counter the garbage they’re spewing.

THAT is the transphobia. They use their preference to construct an argument that will make me feel bad.

Wanna know how to approach cis/trans and genital preference?

Don’t be an ass about it.

Like, if you were chatting with someone at a pub, and they go “Oh, and I have a tattoo on my buttocks” and you start going on a long ramble in the vein of “Oh, I totally respect people with tattoos, but I could never sleep with one it’s just not my thing, like I just don’t like it and it’s … you know… I’m not a bad person for not sleeping with you or anyone with a tattoo right?”

and up until that point you’d like… not even approached sex as a subject.

The issue isn’t genital preference, the issue is that you BRING UP your genital preference waaaaay before sex even becomes a thing on the table, and in a rude manner where you basically ask the person you just said “I don’t want to have sex with you” to validate your feelings of not having sex with them.

When you learn someone has kids, and you’re not into people who are parents, don’t make them feel bad about their kids.

If you don’t like tattoos, don’t make them feel bad about having tattoos

If you don’t like dicks, don’t make them feel bad about having dicks.

It’s that simple, if you find out someone is trans, and you were looking for a hookup and wanna move on… Make a respectful exit, don’t make the trans person feel bad for being trans. If you make the person feel bad for being trans, that’s when you’re acting transphobic. Not when you don’t want to hook up with someone.

– Linn