Out & About: The Painful Exclusion Of Trans Women – And The Lesbians Who Won’t Fuck Them
I read a Buzzfeed article last week entitled, ‘Can Lesbian Identity Survive the Gender Revolution?’
There was a particular assertion in it that I disagreed with, and it’s been a topic of discussion among my friends and peers lately. The specific line was: “Some lesbians who don’t go full-out TERF [Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist] are still all too eager to write off dating trans people because of ‘genital preferences’, which means they have incredibly reductive ideas about gender and bodies.”
Lesbianism seems to be the only sexuality that can be openly vilified whilst simultaneously being held to a standard higher than that of other queer people.
Saying that lesbians who don’t want to have sex with trans women are transphobic is ridiculous.
Genital preference is reasonable. Making assumptions about people’s genitals is unreasonable.
Yes, people who exclude trans women and are adamant that they aren’t real women are wrong and regressive – but trying to shoehorn somebody’s sexuality into a political identity is also wrong and regressive.
If somebody does not want a penis near their bodies, that’s their prerogative. If somebody doesn’t want a vagina near their bodies, that’s their prerogative. It doesn’t make them oppressive, backwards arseholes and it’s absurd to suggest as much.
All this talk in the article about inclusion not equalling erasure is questionable. Boundaries and definitions exist for a reason. That reason is to make distinctions between different things. This is really basic on a conceptual level.
The assertion that lesbian sexuality must be politically policed is silly. It’s all about trying to stuff square pegs into round holes in the name of progressivism. It’s trying to make lesbians responsible for things they ought not to be responsible for.
It’s doing the same old shit the straight world has been doing for so long – forcing lesbians to be a certain way and attacking them for failing at it, and failing at taking up the role of a woman, which is to say, somebody who is bound to social servitude to the point where they erase themselves completely.
I am not somebody who believes a trans woman is not a woman. However, a person’s physical characteristics will determine whether or not I will be sexually attracted to them. This does not mean I have a reductive understanding of gender and bodies – it means I’m not deluding myself by trying to change reality to suit my world view.
Turning my nose up at a certain type of sex should not be interpreted as me perpetrating an act of oppression.
Anybody who yucks any kind of genitalia are usually reacting to the junk, not to the context of the junk – and I don’t think there’s any problem with that.
I think there is a kinder or more tactful way to express those sentiments (I really hate people screaming that dicks and vaginas are gross, it’s so infantile) but overall I think the point is that we should not be telling people who they should and should not be having sex with.
A person’s genital preference should not be used by other people as a weapon with which they flagellate themselves in the name of their cause and their suffering.
You can’t make an ant into a horse, as they say. So yeah, not all women have vaginas, but if you like vaginas, it doesn’t mean that you’re a transphobic piece of shit because of your preference for a certain kind of pussy.
On Thursday March 9, head on down to Knox Street Bar in Chippendale for Glamdrogynous Freakshow hosted by The Oyster Club. This is a non-genre specific variety show and the audience is encouraged to dress glam. Here’s what you can expect to find at the show: The Giant Clitoris, One Or More Goddesses, Drag Magic, Vülvås Deî, Dark Fire, Siren Songstress and Her Echoes and A Dapper Dandy. Tickets are available now.
On Saturday March 11, Troppo Galaktika presents Head Femme at The Red Rattler in Marrickville. It’s dance party for the resistance featuring DJs Gemma, Xiaoran Shi and Ebony Boadu, plus performances by KoCo Carey, SistaNative feat. Lady Tabu, Latai Taumoepeau, Iya Ware and Stelly Gappasauress.Tickets are available now.
And on Tuesday March 14, the much-anticipated film King Cobra [below] will be playing as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival at Event Cinemas George Street. The film is about one of the biggest gay porn scandals ever. The cast is absolutely star-studded with James Franco, Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald all featuring. Tickets will sell fast, so grab them now.