On my last post about trans people and “disclosure” in relationships, where many people seem to have missed the point entirely and launched into the usual debate over if and when trans people should disclose and whether cis people consider trans people to be acceptable partners, commenter Sivi cuts right through the bullshit:
As a brief note, to other cis straight dudes, can we refrain from patting ourselves on the back by going “You know, by gum, I would sleep with a trans woman.” It’s uncomfortably self-congratulatory for what is, after all, an admission that as a straight dude you would sleep with a woman.
As Greta has pointed out, when someone calls a woman “ugly”, the proper response is not your immediate reassurance that they aren’t ugly. Focusing on someone’s perceived attractiveness only serves to center the discussion on this, mistakenly reinforcing the idea that it’s relevant. The same applies here. No matter if they answer yes or no, straight men’s opinions on whether they would sleep with trans women are simply not the point. Just as the validity and worth of a woman and her work do not hinge on her appearance, the identities of trans people do not become any more or less real based on whether cis people want to fuck us.
When someone tries to invalidate our genders by saying that, sexually, they consider us less than “real” women and thus unacceptable by their standards, the error in this argument is deeper than the surface-level result that they don’t want to sleep with us. It’s easy to think this is where they’re mistaken, but that’s still not the core of it. The underlying error is the assumption that whether people accept or reject us as sexually desirable has any bearing on the reality of our womanhood. Failing to recognize and reject this can lead to counterarguments of the “Well, I’d fuck you” variety, which are equally irrelevant and only solidify that flawed assumption.