I was gonna add the following to my original post on the subject; however after re-reading a few times and gaining a much better understanding (Esp from a trans perspective), I felt it needed an entire new post to itself; and I know you will agree.
I want to thank Twitter user @andrearitsu for kindly giving me permission to copy/paste their entire Twitter thread on the subject.
No, not inherently. It’s when you gender said body parts, which you somehow -always- ends up doing, that it becomes transphobic….And heh, that’s not even getting into the “I just like [genitalia]” people that suddenly change their tone when SRS is brought up.
Somehow it always falls back on “I just like [genitalia] that said person was born with and gendered by at birth” in the end. Which is …YUP! Transphobic!
So here’s the thing about the question of transphobia.
Almost all the time the question of “Is this transphobic…” can be responded to with “No, it’s not” except the question is actually never actually the question posed, but rather a way to avoid admitting you already know your’e transphobic by changing the question.
“Is it transphobic if I just don’t want to suck a dick?” No, it’s not. A simple answer, but think about -why- it was phrased like that.
It’s phrased that way to not admit the view that a person with a dick is something they’ve viewed as male. You can tell because the phrasing doesn’t actually mention a trans person’s gender or anything relating to actual trans issues. It only asks for validation that the lack of interest in a specific genitalia isn’t transphobic, despite not bringing up trans people.
The question is exaggerated by making it about the suggestion that you’d have to accept sexual advances, which you don’t. As such, the actual statement is “I only view social interactions as sexual and trans women as men, please don’t make me have sex with one.”
“But I don’t view trans women as men, I just don’t like dicks.” That’s fine, but why do you feel the need to state this outside of your sex life and how come you feel the need to have it validated as “not transphobic” if your line of thinking isn’t in some way already transphobic and you know it?
Again, the only reason you phrase a question that way is to protect yourself from blame.
So what would be a non-transphobic way to ask the question? Now that’s a more interesting topic.
Here’s the truth. There isn’t a way to phrase -that- question without it coming from some level of internalized transphobia.
Instead, the question needs to be dissected and put in a different situation.
For example. If you’re attracted to someone who you learn have a genitalia you’re uncomfortable with, your handling of that situation is the actual key point of it all. Most trans people, especially if they’ve not had or aren’t planning to have any surgery, will likely confine this to you if there’s mutual attraction before there’s any actual sex things going on, but let’s for the sake of argument say that they didn’t and you were surprised at a more sudden moment.
What would you do? What would you say? How do you react to that?
It’s not an easy question to answer. But that’s where the actual answer to your view on genitalia being transphobic or not lies. Again, no, you’re under no obligation to have sex with anyone, ever. You can stop at any time, always. Let’s clearly establish that.
The answer to this uncomfortable situation, which I assure is mutual, is not to force yourself through sex. Trust me on that.
For starters, understand that this is often a trans person’s biggest nightmare. This is how many of us end up dying (see earlier thread). So the most vulnerable person here is likely the trans person, who I promise noticed your surprised reaction.
Here’s how you react.
You apologize, you say you can’t go through with this and you don’t default to any gendered genitalia speech. A kind response goes a long way, and remember, you -were- attracted to this person earlier. Let them know they are attractive. If you can do that, you’re all good. You’ve not undermined their gender identity, you’ve just stuck to a preference of sexual activity. And we all have the right to feeling safe and comfortable with what we enjoy during sex, if we enjoy it at all.
Will the person in question feel hurt? Probably, but simply from rejection rather than erasure of their identity. This entire hypothetical scenario I wrote without specifying any gender or genitalia. Because that’s not the actual question at hand.
Now, for reference, I have my own genital preferences. I’m not exclusive to one, but I enjoy one more than other. I’m also a lesbian. I’m into girls. Doesn’t matter their genitalia, but it’s women that I’m into. So that’s the perspective I come from.
As a trans lesbian, however, this is a scary subject to talk about because of how accepted it is within the lesbian community to reject our gender identity and call us rapists for daring to call us “lesbians” when we have penises, even if we don’t have them any more. Claiming we’re just trying to trick cis lesbians into sex (see entrapment claims/trap slurs/etc.) despite many (most?) of us being with other trans women more than cis women in my experience.
So yes. If I meet a cis lesbian who talks about how much she hates dicks, I’m likely going to label her as someone to avoid. Because such open statements tend to always come from an extended thought process that goes “dicks are male, I’m a lesbian, I hate dicks”. And sure, it might not be. She might have just been asked what her genital preference was, maybe she’s sex-negative and was talking about pure aesthetics or how much she hates dicks because they’re a pain to draw. In the context of this narrative, we don’t know.
But that goes back to the first question.
When the question becomes “Am I transphobic if…” then said distaste or hate has already become gendered to the point where you know, on some level, that what you said or thought can be viewed as transphobic, and you want validation.
“Is it transphobic to not want to have sex with certain genitalia?” No. But you are likely transphobic for asking.