Each individual has the freedom to decide…but…

Karen L. Blair asks the age-old question, Who will date a trans person?

Who is Blair?

Karen Blair is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia; an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia; and Chair of the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Issues (SOGII) Section of the Canadian Psychological Association.

So, not just a random activist on Twitter but an expert.

Regardless of your current relationship status, imagine for a moment that at some point in the future you were to find yourself single and looking. Under such hypothetical circumstances, which of the following people would you consider as a potential dating partner:

  • a cisgender[1] woman
  • a cisgender man
  • a transgender woman
  • a transgender man
  • or a person with a non-binary gender identification?

In a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 87.5% of the participants who were asked this same question only chose the cisgender options and excluded transgender and non-binary individuals from their hypothetical dating pool.

But, she goes on, romantic relationships are important and healthy, so…what about the trans people?

What then, does this mean for trans people’s overall well-being if the majority of people within society won’t even consider them as potential dating partners under hypothetical conditions?

I don’t know, but the fact that romantic relationships are important and healthy does not impose an obligation on other people to provide them to people they don’t want to have romantic relationships with. This idea is an echo of Amnesty International’s infamous claim that sex [with someone else] is a human right. People who are not trans are under no obligation to be attracted to trans people.

However, despite the fact that most participants were unwilling to consider dating a trans person, there were certain demographic characteristics that were associated with more inclusion of potential trans partners. For example, while only 3.1% of cisgender, heterosexual individuals were willing to date a trans person, 55% of individuals who identified as queer or bisexual included trans persons as potential dating partners, perhaps due to their pre-existing ability to look beyond gender when choosing a partner.

Aka their confusion of gender with sex and their overall confusion on the whole subject and their burning need to be woke about it.

While the study did not ask participants about their reasons for including or excluding trans persons, the authors speculated that exclusion was likely the result of factors ranging from explicit transprejudice, such as viewing trans persons as unfit, mentally ill, or subhuman…

“Subhman”? I call bullshit.

Ultimately, each individual has the freedom to decide whom they date or are interested in dating, and thus the article does not suggest that any single individual must include trans people within their dating pool. However, the article does suggest that examining and following the overall societal patterns of including or excluding trans people within the intimate realm of dating can be used as an indicator of overall acceptance and social inclusion of trans people. In other words, it is one thing to make space for trans people within our workplaces, schools, washrooms, and public spaces, but it is another to see them included within our families and most intimate of spaces, our romantic relationships. We won’t be able to say, as a society, that we are accepting of trans citizens until they are also included within our prospective dating pools; at the very least, on a hypothetical basis.

In other words we’re not saying you have to include trans people in your dating pools but we are saying that you have to include trans people in your dating pools. Entirely up to you of course! But you have to.

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