Today I was told “facts aren’t transphobic”.
To an extent, this is true. I have no clue what it’s like to live as a trans person in a hetero dominant society. It takes nothing to be kind and respectful though. I also teach my children the same. There seems to be a line drawn in the sand recently that gives me pause between the trans community and everyone else. While I support the trans community, I find it difficult to have conversations with them without being labeled a bigot or transphobe.
And it’s not fair.
It’s a fact that if you were born a male, then you are male. Ditto with females. Despite basic biology, I have accepted that there is a subset of the population who identify otherwise. Who am I to judge? If you were born male and identify as female, I will use whatever pronoun you need me to because the world is tough enough without assholes making it harder.
Respect, however, goes both ways. And so does conversation. The trans community has fought hard for equal rights and equal access in this country and it’s awesome they have made strides in their fight. There are certain touchpoints, however, that I feel like deserve two way dialogue but doesn’t seem to happen without name calling.
The first touchpoint is sports. Imagine my surprise when I was labeled a transphobe because I said transwomen should be barred from sports such as track, weightlifting and boxing. To me, it seemed so commonsensical. Women who were born men have a natural strength advantage over most natural born women. It pains me to see natural born women pulverized in the ring in the name of political correctness. Of course transwomen are dominating weight lifting and track and setting records. There is a reason sports is divided by gender; men have a physical advantage and shouldn’t compete against women.
This isn’t to say that transwomen shouldn’t compete in all sports. Basketball and golf are two sports that could withstand such diversity without crippling the gender it was intended for. No woman should be disfigured in boxing because she is “out-muscled” by her male born opponent.
The issue of domestic violence is also a sticking point for me. I understand that trans women are murdered at the hands of men who were their intimate partners. That’s terrible but I feel like the narrative here is very one sided. While womenhood is something that transwomen fight towards, you have to take the good with the bad- nothing is perfect. Women, as the fairer sex, are subjected to some pretty shitty circumstances. Unfortunately, one of those circumstances is domestic violence.
Domestic violence isn’t exclusive to transwomen. Women die at the hands of their male lovers everyday. Wives, daughters, side chicks, girlfriends, platonic female friends, complete strangers and yes, transwomen, all die at the hands of men. This experience isn’t exclusive to the trans community, welcome to womanhood.
I never hear the transwomen community fighting for women’s rights though. It baffles me that they don’t want to acknowledge the difference between trans and cis gendered women until it benefits them. For example, there is a clear biological and physiological difference between tran and cis gendered women but the trans community will still fight for equal rights in sports despite those clear physical differences. Have we started ignoring common sense in the name of political correctness?
I’ll never understand what makes a man want to kill a woman but the problem doesn’t solely lie with transphobia, there are a litany of toxic traits that contribute to this widespread phenomenon.
Regardless of where you fall in this debate, it is worth acknowledging the valid perspectives of both sides without name calling and ridicule. If people are afraid to speak and ask questions because they fear being labeled, there will never be a solution that works for all sides.
Lastly, it’s okay to not be attracted to a trans person. It doesn’t make you a transphobe. Preferences are always okay. No one should be guilted into being sexually attracted to someone they have no interest in.