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Savage Love

I consider myself a socially progressive person, have been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues since high school

I’m 26, straight and male. I consider myself a socially progressive person, have been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues since high school, and was president of my college Gay-Straight Alliance. Here’s my issue: I fully support the trans community. I have numerous friends in varying states of transition and I’m 100 percent behind them. But in my own dating life, I wouldn’t feel comfortable dating/having sex with a woman who had at one point in her life been a man. I realize I wouldn’t be fucking a dude, but it’s a mental hurdle I can’t clear. All my LGBTQA friends – be they trans, gay, bi – call me a transphobe, because if I were truly on their side, if I truly “understood,” then sex with a MTF straight woman would be no different than sex with a cisgender straight woman. Do I have the right to not feel comfortable with the idea (or reality) of having sex with these women and still consider myself a supporter of the trans community? Are my friends being unreasonable by judging me against their schema of appropriate sexuality? Or am I a hypocrite?

Fears Real Activism Undermined [by] Dick

“He’s not transphobic – not in my book,” says Kate Bornstein, author, performer, “advocate for teens, freaks and other outlaws,” and herself a trans woman. “One more thing he’s not is straight. Sex-positive, supportive of trans folk and heterosexual? Cool! He’s a queer heterosexual – and some of my best friends are queer heterosexuals.”

As for your specific issue – you’re not attracted to trans women – Bornstein says that by itself isn’t evidence of transphobia.

“A queer heterosexual is just as entitled to the fulfillment of their sex and gender desires as anyone else,” says Bornstein. “Sometimes those desires depend on the nature of their lover’s body. Well, trans people have bodies that are different than cis people’s bodies. We’re two (or more) mints in one – a physical blend that attracts a lot of people. FRAUD just doesn’t happen to be one of them. The fact that he’s sensitive to that blending of genders in our bodies doesnot make him transphobic.”

What can you do about it?

“Go have good sex with cis women,” says Bornstein. (Don’t know what “cis” means in this context? See: tinyurl.com/cisdefine.)

Whatever else you do, FRAUD, Bornstein wants you to stop identifying as straight.

“He’s part of our queer tribe,” she says. “And who knows? One day, he might meet the right trans person.”

And who knows? One day, your cranky LGBTQA friends might accept who you are just as you’ve accepted them. Make an effort to use “attracted to cis women” in place of “wouldn’t feel comfortable dating” trans women, and you’ll hasten that day’s arrival.

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