Lesbians and Transwomen — Part 1

Without judging the writer, let me say that am a little baffled by this opinion piece that I stumbled upon just now. Perhaps it is simply that, being neither ciswoman nor transwoman, I am unable to relate to the argument of “Lesbians need to get the L out of the LGBT+ community.” That said, I think the author is defending a ciswoman’s right to be exclusively attracted to ciswomen. Taking the role of spokesperson for like-minded lesbians, she complains of pressure form gay and/or transgender community to consider transwomen as romantic candidates. With the caveat that no one has a right dismissively label another person’s opinion, I find myself in conflicting (dis)agreement. I agree that everyone has the right of categorical selectivity in relationships (the same is true of cars, houses, sports, foods, pets, etc, etc). One person might categorically reject partner candidates of a particular height, weight, body type, (dis)ability, or intellect. Yes, we might label such a person as “closed minded” and chide such person for missing out on amazing and satisfying options, but at the end of the day, people like what they like. I see no difference between arbitrary physical parameters and arbitrary chromosomal parameters.

What I think I hear, though, is an unhealthy competition of hedonic advocacy. Transpeople rightly want full and complete acceptance—acceptance in public spaces (lavatories, etc) as well as in private spaces. So I can see why transwomen would vocalize feelings that their affiliated communities are only partially accepting of their womanhood. At the same time, cisgender lesbians naturally and logically could feel that such positions diminish their psychosocial standing where for ages outsiders repudiated the parameters of their sexuality. So I think what is happening is that gynephilic transwomen are vocalizing an implied second-class standing while gynephilic ciswomen are vocalizing a constructive infringement of their self-determination.

It seems to me that the messages (on both sides) just need to be more clearly articulated. Inclusion advocacy need not be interpreted as accusatory any more than fact-specific exclusion need be interpreted as invalidating. But that’s just my opinion. The opinion of an outsider.

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