New data shows it’s time to change.
Adamandeve.com, a site for adult products, conducted a sex survey asking more than 1,000 adults if they would be open to being in a relationship with someone who identifies as transgender. The results of the survey are very telling of where society as a whole is on understanding trans identity and people.
According to the survey, 65 percent of adults say they would not have a relationship with a trans individual, while 12 percent say they are open to it and 23 percent are undecided.
While more women than men (14% versus 10%) were open to a relationship with a trans partner, 28 percent of women versus 18 percent of men were unsure.
"Transgender is defined as someone whose gender identity assigned at birth is not congruent with the gender they identify as," explains Dr. Kat Van Kirk, adamandeve.com's resident sexpert. "While the latest studies have shown only .3 percent of the population identifies as transgender, it's a hot topic right now and has definitely gotten people talking about what it means to them. As it turns out, gender, like sexual orientation, may exist more on a spectrum than we once believed."
The transgender identity is something that our society is still learning about, so it's understandable why many people don't think they'd be open to having a relationship with a trans person. Everyone looks for different qualities in a partner, so it make sense if a person is simply not attracted to someone who is trans.
However, the reasoning behind why the attraction isn’t there is where it can be transphobic. Problematic reasoning can include excluding trans people from your list of potential partners because you don’t consider their gender identity as valid or because they are not cisgender.
There is also a common misconception that if a person is dating a trans person, they are no longer straight. When a person identifies as transgender, they are identifying as a gender that does not correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth. Therefore, by definition, if you are a straight woman dating a trans man, you are still entitled to identify as straight.
People are allowed to be genuine in their attraction and pursuit of sexual and romantic partners; no one should shame you for being attracted to who you’re attracted to. However, it's important to reflect on the reasoning behind these attractions.
This article was originally published at Latina. Reprinted with permission from the author.