Am I a bigot (on transgendered folk)?

Or transsexual, genderqueer, whichever term is preferred for those who have had medical treatment because they believe they are the wrong gender.

First - let me state point blank I don’t think these people represent some sort of moral evil nor should be persecuted or punished, I agree with the law as it stands that someone who was born a man but made a woman with all the treatment should be treated like a woman.

So this is just my personal hangups, I’m not suggesting that society at large adopt them. But I do want to examine them for…rightness? Bigotry, ignorance?

My main hangup being the fact that I can’t get past whatever past gender the individual was. I’m a straight male - if I met someone who was female, but was born male, as far as I’m concerned they are a man and we therefore have incompatible orientations. Doesn’t matter how much work they’ve had done, in my minds eye they are just mutilated men. Likewise the other way round, something in me sees female to male as simply women who superficially resemble men.

The thought occurs - this is simply because medicine has not caught up with the condition yet. The big hands are always gonna be a giveaway. But here’s the real sticking point and which makes me question my views on the whole subject - if technology caught up, I still couldn’t accept it. If we could grow some sort of ‘brainless clone’ of an individual, but born the other gender, and transfer the brain into a body that was perfectly biologically female I’d still think of them as being a man.

TLDR; I can never see transgendered people as their chosen gender no matter how perfect the facsimile - is this wrong? If so, how do I correct it?

If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. How are your feelings any less valid than the person who *feels *they should be a woman, even though they were born with X and Y chromosomes?

As long as you don’t go around shooting them, you are just having an opinion. So far, that’s still legal. I say don’t worry about it. Words like “bigot” were invented to brow-beat people into believing we all have to think a certain way or we are guilty of something nefarious.

It just seems that, taken to their logical extension, my views imply all transgendered folk are simply conning themselves and others and that their procedures, even if they were absolutely perfect, are at best a waste of time. Since this view is at odds with medicine and law, someone’s gotta be wrong.

Did you see Una’s recent Ask the Transsexual Woman thread?

No…although looks like a good place to start.

You are wrong. I applaud you, however, for questioning your current views.

If someone is willing to go through the arduous procedures of changing their gender, both medical and social, is that not sufficient evidence that they are sincere?

While I, personally, work on the basis of “they are who they say they are,” meaning that I’ll accept them as their chosen gender before any outward transition, I understand that may be harder for other people. But if a person is willing to walk out of his workplace as John one day and walk in as Jane the next, I just don’t see how you could say anything but “yep, that chick’s for real.”

Can you make a hypothetical presumption that you are capable of meeting someone and identifying them as one gender or the other, seeing them as that gender initially, even if LATER you find out they’re post-gender-reassignment-treatment?

Or do you feel you can always tell, no matter what?

It is wrong. Leaving morality out of it, it is factually incorrect, as you indicated in your second post. Are you interested in correcting it? Then it takes practice, and time. You’ll adjust. Just keep an open mind and don’t judge yourself too harshly.

I’m replying because I used to be just like you on this issue, and I was able to come around, not just in thinking but in my perceptions.

It’s not a big deal, in the scheme of things, but if it’s troubling you, then let it trouble you, don’t rely on your perceptions as truth or proof of the way the world might be.

As a trans person, I don’t care what anyone’s personal opinion is, as long as they are civil to me, and are considerate enough to use my chosen name and pronouns.

I don’t think any of us ask any more than that.

Mr. K, to me that does sound pretty bigoted.

Also a bit uninformed. You are using transgender, transsexual and genderqueer as meaning the same. From what you say I think you mean transsexual, primarily, but that doesn’t change things.

I have my demographic preferences for romance, but they’re about whom I find attractive, not whether they are OK. I think you’re going beyond that.

But you sound curious and willing to learn, and that’s good. The thread Una Persson started recently is a nice start. If you look for popular books on Amazon referencing “transgender” you’ll find plenty more. I think Gender Outlaws the Next Generation by Bornstein is a great read, FWIW.

So do you believe that women exist for the sole purpose of being your sexual partners, or are you capable of recognizing an individual as a woman even if you don’t want to have sex with her or she doesn’t want to have sex with you?

I think my problem would be thinking “Nope, you’re not a chick at all.”, despite the massive personal and physiological changes that must go with the change from man to woman and vice-versa, for some reason I still can’t shake the notion that it’s somehow…superficial? No doubt because I don’t know enough about the process itself, I’ve always thought ignorance was bliss when it came to operations that involve losing your tackle - although maybe not.

It’s encouraging that you were able to change your views as it gives me some hope that I can get over my hang-ups. On the hypothetical; I just know I’d ‘default’ back to thinking of them how they were born, even if the technology was perfect and able to literally give a person the body they should have been born in.

Of course, I wouldn’t voice my opinions aloud and denigrate you although as my worry is that as far as you’re concerned, I think you’re the wrong gender.

Probably part of the problem is not having (knowingly, at least) ever met anyone of the above descriptions. Forgive me for lumping the categories all together as one, but it illustrates my issue - thinking that those born one way and later on deciding another are ‘really’ just what they were born as.

As I said I don’t think it’d be a good idea for everyone to hold these views nor for society to act on them, clearly it would do no good and cause harm to boot - it’s not like they’re doing anything wrong.

On romantic preferences, well this was my main thing in the OP. Either someone’s a woman or not; you can have preferences but I’d always reject anyone transgendered automatically as being, well, the wrong gender as opposed to having the wrong personality or looks or whatever.

That’s what I’d have the hardest time letting go of; even accepting everything else. Do transgendered people even care? If you said “Yeah, I can see you as a woman now, but sorry I couldn’t ever date you because you used to be, biologically speaking, a man?”

I doubt many men would think the first, while in the second case there are myriad reasons for a straight male to not think of a woman in romantic terms. On the other hand if the woman used to be a man that’s all she wrote, regardless of any other factors. Hopefully I’m making some kind of sense.

It sounds to me like you simply don’t know any transgender people, so you can understand it intellectually, but don’t really “get” it emotionally. It also sounds to me like you are open-minded about the subject, but don’t have the experience that would help you make better sense of it al in your head.

There are, according to Una’s thread, folks who are specifically attracted to trans people, and as long as they’re not fetishizing trans people or treating them like prey, I figure that’s a morally neutral position to take, one of many quirks of human sexuality.

I don’t think that someone who is specifically attracted to cis people is necessarily any more morally problematic, as long as they’re not dehumanizing trans people or treating them like garbage.

I haven’t been in that position yet – I’m too early in the transition process – but I can’t see that I would care. I imagine that the majority of men would say the same sort of thing, and well, I’m not going to waste my energy on someone who couldn’t possibly love me, so I’d just move on.

I’d be much more worried about the possibility of getting a violent reaction from someone.

I didn’t ask if you could be attracted to transwomen, I asked if you are capable of recognizing that someone who you are not attracted to or who is not attracted to you might still be a woman. I’m a (non-transgender) woman, and I have to say that the question of whether or not you personally might be attracted to me has absolutely nothing to do with my gender identity. If we were to meet in person then I would expect you to refer to me using my preferred name and gender pronoun and not object to my wearing women’s clothing or using the women’s bathroom, regardless of whether you found me attractive. I suspect that most transwomen feel the same way.

Am I prejudiced if I think that people like Mr. K. are assholes?

As far as I can gather, his position is that he wouldn’t actively discriminate against a trans person, but inside his head he can’t think of us as anything but our birth gender.

It wouldn’t bother you that, from what is in your perspective (I’m assuming, correct me if I’m wrong), someone is holding an unhappy accident of birth that is now being rectified medically against you? Taking it back a step, how much do people like me bother you - thinking you’re the wrong gender, even if they keep secret in your presence? Appreciate your feedback as it’s something I’ve literally zero experience in, as even sven has inferred.

Of course, but like I said there are a million reasons why a straight man might not be attracted to a woman, but that doesn’t mean they can’t recognise their gender…we’d have a hard time operating as a society if it were otherwise. But when it’s a transgender woman and that reason is ‘because I think of you as a man’ that’s a direct contradiction of a gender identity.

Well that’s helpful, thanks.

Edit: this is in response to Hari Seldon. Yes. He is saying that he treats people with respect and according to their preferences, and he has come here to deal with the underlying issues. That doesn’t sound like an asshole to me.