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This group can also potentially include cisgender people who are insecure about being attracted to something they say they aren’t attracted to, in this case a woman, who they see as a man, because they assume she has a penis (even though many trans women haven’t had a penis for years).

Other trans women (or sometimes even the same trans women who “pass” on one day and not on another), are also told that if they have facial hair, a visible Adam’s apple, a deep voice, a small chest, or other visible markers of being assigned male at birth, then they are “not trying hard enough” to present as feminine, and therefore must be lazy, mentally ill (which is ableist), or predators tricking people into believing that they are a woman in order to “access women’s spaces” or otherwise infiltrate and harass otherwise designated safe spaces where men aren’t allowed.

If this article has enriched your life, and you would like to support the continuing work of QSE to educate and create queer, intersectional spaces for conversations about sex and sexuality, please consider joining our Patreon community at There has been a lot of discussion lately about transgender people, specifically about whether you are transphobic or not if you have a “preference” against dating trans people.

Many well-meaning allies, friends, and family members of transgender people will say things like: “Well, I’m glad that Sara is living her life out loud, but I just don’t think I could ever date a trans person.

Some trans women, for example, are given the message that they are trying “too hard” and since they “pass,” or look cisgender to most people, they must really be men who are “tricking” people.

These accusations come mostly from cisgender men who are insecure in their own masculinity/straightness.

This happens because we, as a culture, seem to want trans people to both be cis-appearing enough to be invisible, but also we expect trans people to out themselves at every possible moment, just to make them even easier to avoid.

When you’re on the dance floor, or on Tinder, or flirting with someone at a work function, you can’t truly “tell” if someone is trans just by looking at them, no matter how much you think you can.

Dating as a trans woman (online or in person) often means an exhausting stream of inappropriate, fetishizing, dehumanizing, and sometimes violent messages asking about my genitals, people expecting praise for fetishizing me, and others assuming my identity is either not authentic or repulsive in some way.

This gets even more complicated when trans women are trying to date straight cisgender men.

It’s ok, other people, you can stay and listen in too.

Here’s the deal: it is not transphobic to decide that you don’t want to date a specific trans person based on your preferences in personality, hobbies, social beliefs, body type, etc.

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