Edited due to the possibility of this post being associated with right-wing propaganda (or any type of vitriol).
Sex change, although a choice individuals make, remains a highly debated issue, due to a variety of factors – the age a person is mature enough to reach such a decision, the dramatic (sometimes irreversible) modifications resulting from sex change treatments (which some people attempt to revert by de-transitioning) and the risks certain treatments involve (which include cancer).
Leaving all that aside, another issue now comes to the forefront – that of disclosure to a potential sexual partner, or the lack thereof. Increasingly, the need to make that disclosure is being contested.
However necessary it might feel in order to validate a person’s transition from one sex to another, to not need to make that disclosure, it goes against one core principle progressives insist upon, namely consent.
Consent is expanded upon in a multitude of contexts which are questionably labelled as rape by some progressives, such as intoxication (even if both parties are in roughly the same state).
When it comes to the disclosure of being trans however, the same groups advocate its arbitrary quality (as in one should not feel mandated to disclose this before or while engaging in sexual acts). That is a very, very questionable approach.
First of all, sexual intimacy is treated by most people as a serious matter, if not in terms of consequences, at least in terms of preferences. And since it’s generally accepted that sexual orientation is innate, it should be respected (progressives normally agree to that). In this instance however, it is seen as discriminatory for a heterosexual person to exclude intimacy with someone initially of their sex (potentially preserving physical traits which identify them as such).I imagine it would apply to homosexual people refusing contacts with people initially of the opposite sex.
That needn’t imply they dismiss trans people in general or try to suppress their rights in any way. It needn’t imply they would not treat trans people respectfully in any environment. This is a personal choice and a personal matter, and it’s up to the individual to decide who they want or don’t want to sleep with.
One would think that was a given nowadays.
“…if I was incorrectly assigned male at birth…” (source)
It’s fair enough to respect someone’s feelings regarding their own body; it’s fair enough trying to be sympathetic. But let’s not go so far as to “credit” doctors with having made a mistake by assigning the wrong gender at birth, according to a baby’s physical traits. It’s not like they do it arbitrarily.
It appears some activists want a gender-less society, which might just include not assigning a gender a birth for fear of being wrong. It’s not a hysterical assumptions since in Sweden, for instance, there are gender-less nurseries, where the words “boy” and “girl” are never used, intentionally.
Some articles claim that sex – not even gender – is now a social construct. That male and female are two notions based on loose statistics. Just because boobs or body hair are more prevalent in one segment of the population rather than the other (more prevalent, yes), that is not reason enough to put the human race into two boxes. That if the distinction is based on fertility (eggs or sperm), then children are not male or female, as they don’t produce any. That a woman who has had a hysterectomy is comparable to a trans woman who lacks a uterus by design. And so on.
Some even claim that the insistence on maintaining these terms, “male” and “female”, has to do with oppressing trans people. I’m not sure that was in the minds of those who first documented this differentiation in the first place. Or anyone since.
“If a partner has issues, it is THEIR responsibility to ask questions, not mine to disclose.” (source)
One couldn’t be seriously expected to go around asking their potential partners if they’re trans; at which point during a night out does this question fit in? And what are the consequences of asking, in the eventuality (actually, 99% probability) that that is not the case?
In terms of consent, there are things one should disclose if they want to avoid negative consequences (the partner regretting having taken things to a physical level). Such as:
- Actually, I have Chlamydia.
- When I told you I was eighteen, I lied. I’m actually fifteen.
- The truth is I’m the cousin you never met. But I find you very attractive.
- The reason I chose to stay indoors was that I’m running from the police; I’m on a wanted list. If they knew where I was they would barge right in.
- Well, I’m in the middle of a divorce, so if you get any strange phone calls, just hang up; my ex is a bit of a stalker.
The point is very clear; there are things one is morally obligated to tell a prospective partner, as there is a very high chance of them withdrawing consent for sexual intimacy. A “detail” such as age, marital status or severe legal conundrum, which might drag that person into a mess, might just make them think twice. So would knowing that they were engaging in an unwanted sex act.
“Why are trans people subjected to this? Should blacks be subjected to this? Forced to disclose even if they look white? Should Jews be forced to tell a sex partner they are Jewish? Do these questions sound absurd yet?” (same source)
They certainly do sound absurd, for the aberration of mixing in aspects which are likely to have no bearing over someone’s decision, not in terms of physical intimacy anyway.
How can someone give informed consent in this situation? Assuming the physical difference wouldn’t be very obvious at some point. Even if it doesn’t come to the exposure of private parts, people do consider making out &Co to be very intimate acts.
The trans person wanting to engage in intimacy with someone else has preferences as well (they wouldn’t do that with just anybody). You can be trans and straight or gay or bisexual. If they choose according to their sexual orientation, why shouldn’t their partner be allowed to do the same? Why shouldn’t it be completely consensual from start to finish?
“I know I’m a little late to this but there is a profound difference between “I’m just not attracted to her” and “While I otherwise would be attracted to her, I have such problems with her being trans all those feelings I felt about her have magically disappeared”. The first is not prejudice at all, the second which is all to real is undeniably a sociopolitical issue. Because if there is a light switch that suddenly turns off in your head after being attracted or smitten with a person all because of a little bit of information, it is undeniably a hang up”. (source)
This was in response to someone who was a lesbian and stating the obvious – that sexual orientation is not a choice and a sociopolitical issue. By asking people to disregard one’s past as the opposite sex, they are demanding that they go against their own orientation. Deciding not to have sex with someone should never be questioned by others.
To date, trans people, in their LGBT activism, have upheld this point of view. Yet some would now gladly argue that people should be deceived into having sex when they would not normally choose to do so. What they’re asking for is that those who are”cis” fix a “hang up” which is “all in the mind.” It is now a “prejudice of staggering magnitude” for a person to expect honesty.
“Try it; you might like it; it could be the best you’ve ever had” (source)
Imagine if someone told a gay person that maybe heterosexual sex would be the best experience ever, so why not consider it and try it, in spite of the squeamishness? Would that suggestion be socially acceptable nowadays? I think not.
But this is the advice given to someone (and I bet more people in the same dilemma) who had intimate experiences to later find out the partner was trans, at which point the attraction dissipated. The advice is to go all the way and see if they like it after all, as if they didn’t already know. The comments are very ironic as the author gets to experience a return of his own attitude towards those with a different opinion – immediate, vitriolic, absolute hatred from some trans people, down to the (by now common) kill yourself. All for saying a trans man should have disclosed before actual physical intimacy, which can doubtlessly leave their partner feeling violated for a long time.
“Unless you have had a trans lover or are trans yourself I don’t think you have any right to offer an opinion as an individual of experience which is the point of your blog yes ? In my experience an ally is some one who will promote the belief of others with “quotes” not to translate them with there own words.” (same source)
There you have it; you cannot express an opinion regarding those who lie and obtain consent on a false premise, committing something that in some countries is considered rape, unless you have direct experience yourself (unless you are biased).
Are false identities acceptable?
One might understand why a person would just say they’ve taken a long trip to Australia after spending a few years in jail for theft. But that refers to a limited period of time and a mistake made at one point in time. Rewriting one’s story as the opposite sex basically means constructing a false identity. Whenever a prospective partner comes into view, lies will unavoidably be told. People are more than their genitals; they have an entire history behind them.
“…I’m with Kinsey and JRW here, we don’t need trans disclosure we need bigot disclosure.”
This is a very common one, actually. We need bigot disclosure. People should disclose their bigotry instead of others disclosing their trans status.
If the partner has any sexual experience at all, they will undoubtedly find out in the end. The point of disclosure is avoiding any negativity such as potential regret for anything done up to that point, which is not a good situation for anyone.
Its no different than “religion, political affiliation, ethnic heritage, survivor status, occupation and work history, past abortions, hobbies, and food allergies.” (source)
It actually is, but I don’t have to explain that.
Bottom line – there is no compromise when it comes to respecting people’s autonomy when it comes to sexual preferences. No one should be tricked into sex acts they have a high chance of later regretting. One cannot discuss the inviolability of their body, person and choices, without taking into account the same for their partner.