As a teenager and now young adult, my knowledge of other genders and sexualities has expanded greatly. Granted, I’m still learning and unlearning, and learning some more — I feel much more educated than I did a year ago, or even a few months ago. I attend Columbia College in Chicago, which has been labeled as one of the most liberal schools in the U.S., because of this, I’ve been given the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. People whose life experiences differ from mine, yet are similar in a sense. People who have dealt with discrimination because of the sexuality and their gender or lack thereof.
As a cisgender woman, I’m saying this to all other cisgender people:
it is most certainly, in no way, shape, or form, our place to tell a person who identifies as transgender that something is not transphobic.
We don’t get a say in picking what’s discriminating against people of the trans community because we do not experience what they experience. We don’t have to live with the fact that others may be interested in us until they realize that we don’t conform to society’s gender norms. We don’t have to deal with the ordeal of not being able to use the bathroom suiting for your gender for fear that others will be offended, become hostile, or that it isn’t allowed.
For those who may be confused or possibly misinformed, it is transphobic for a person to say “I don’t want to date transgender women/men.” It is not a preference, because you’re legitimately saying that transgender people as a whole aren’t your type. Well, I’m positive you haven’t met every single trans person in the world, so how would you know they aren’t your “type”? It’s simply because they don’t identify the same as you (cisgender). Too often a time do I see people on social media posting before and after transition pictures of people and honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach. If you do not have permission from the person whose photos they are, DO NOT POST THEM. It’s a very simple concept. Out of pure respect, please people, have some decency. If you are a person who partakes in these actions, you are being transphobic and should work towards allowing yourself to be more open minded and accepting of others.
The people of the trans community are human beings who deserve validity and the opportunity to determine themselves, what is and what isn’t offensive. The people who identify as cisgender, have to respect their boundaries and understand that the world does not and never will revolve around us.
Others exist and therefore they are.