Rae’s Rules to Remember #86: Transphobia and Racism

A friend of mine saw the picture below on Facebook and asked for my opinion.


The bottom part may be hard to read so here is what it says:

basically, any sexuality other than pansexual is cissexist, transphobic and shallow. Most women who claim they are “lesbians” (ughhh) DO NOT include women with penises or beards when they say they like women. Most men who claim they are “gay” would NEVER date a guy with a vagina.

Let me give you an example: If someone says “I only date white women” everyone would call them a racist for excluding women of color, but if the same person says “I only date cis women”, nobody calls them a transphobe and it’s no big deal they exclude trans women. That’s was a cis supremacist society does to your head. In reality, transphobia is a much bigger problem than racism. If you’re willing to lower your standards to date a black woman, you should also be willing to date a woman with a cock.

Open your minds people.

Now, I’m open for discussion and opinions on this but here’s what I have to say about it.

First and foremost, this must have been written by a white person who, for some reason, doesn’t fully understand racism and how it affects the world today. This is shown in the fact that they consider dating black women as “lowering your standards.”

Second, I don’t think this person understands intersectionality. This entire argument excludes the experiences of trans women of color who face both racism and transphobia, often simultaneously.

Is transphobia a problem? Yes. That’s shown in the fact that just last year trans women were being targeted and murdered nationwide. It just so happens that the majority of them were trans women of color, which further proves my first point.

Is transphobia a bigger problem than racism? I feel like this question is comparing apples and bananas. Can you really compare them when they don’t stem from the same systematic oppression? No, I personally don’t believe so. It seems as though this person is using this comparison because they care about transphobia but not about racism because it doesn’t affect them directly. That’s not how this should work. You don’t have to dismiss one community’s issue just because you don’t share it.

As far as calling people out for saying that they only date cis people, I think they’re wrong. I feel like if someone goes out of their way to specifically say cis, they are making a point of announcing that they are transphobic.

Furthermore, (correct me if I’m wrong) trans people themselves can identify as gay and lesbian. So does that make them transphobic too? Something isn’t adding up.

I do not agree that being lesbian or gay makes you transphobic or shallow. I also don’t agree that it’s even rational to expect everyone in the world to identify as pansexual. Most people didn’t even know that pansexuality existed until a few years ago. Some still don’t. People are definitely learning, but it’s not something that will change overnight.

Moving into women with beards and men with vaginas, I understand that that is a difficult situation to explain. I’m not an expert in this topic and am still learning and have questions so I’m not going to offer advice or tell you what to believe. But I will say this: A lot of people don’t understand this, because we’ve always been taught that women have vaginas and men have penises. When you’ve been told one thing your whole life and you’ve accepted it as truth, you can’t just expect people to let go of that so easily. It takes time. More people are starting to understand and some people just never will.

It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where many people aren’t accepted or feel that they can’t be themselves, regardless of what their identity is. Sadly, this is the world we live in and all marginalized communities are constantly fighting these battles. I know that the original post was intended to fight against transphobia, but I feel like it also (unintentionally) she light on anti-blackness and racism within the LGBTQ+ community.  With that said, I think it’s important to note that when you want to stand up for one community, you can do it without stomping on another.

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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 26 Book Blogger. Booktuber. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
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21 Responses to Rae’s Rules to Remember #86: Transphobia and Racism

  1. darthtimon says:

    The instant they mentioned ‘lowering standards’ about dating black women, they proved they’re racist, which is probably why they’re trying to imply transphobia is a bigger deal. Both are problems, but one is (particularly in certain parts of the world) far more engrained upon society than the other.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. littlebookynook says:

    Wow first up, the person who wrote this is definitely racist. “Lowering your standards”…what the actual fuck?!? And the fact that they are comparing racism with transphobia, seems really inappropriate. Comparing different prejudices and oppression is so very wrong, because like you said, it’s like comparing fruit. They are very different from each other.

    I also don’t like how they are saying that the other sexualities are shallow. Like you said, pansexuality is relatively “new” and a lot of people don’t understand it. I only recently came to understand it when I realised that I am pan (based on something Miley Cyrus said in an article because she is pan and I was like “OMG THAT’S ME”).

    I can see that this was well intentioned in trying to fight against transphobia, but saying one group is worse off than another is inappropriate. I believe if you support one marginalised group, then you should be supporting them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Steffy! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels everything you just said. Like yeah it would be great if every one was pansexual but if we are even capable of reaching that point as a society, it will take a very long time.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. thingscarlaloves says:

    Reblogged this on Things Carla Loves.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. thebookcorps says:

    “If you’re willing to lower your standards to date a black woman…” —— UM??? WTF?? The original poster of this image has just showed that they’re racist. That’s such a horrible thing to write or think. I also don’t like the term “cis supremist” as it directly relates to “white supremist”. I read a couple of articles about whether or not homosexuality is transphobic and came across the term “sexual racism” and I think they meant it to mean “discrimination” (and not something a queer person of colour would experience, i.e. both homophobia and racism). I can’t.

    Whoever wrote that doesn’t understand gender/sexuality or racial politics. I don’t think the two cannot be compared at all. People who experience transphobia and people who experience racism do so in COMPLETELY different ways, because racism is inherently systemic. I don’t understand the correlation at all, and it really confuses me when people compare the too. Do you remember when the Rachel Dolezal story broke? I THINK it was around the same time, or maybe just after, Caitlyn Jenner came out as trans. I just recently watched The Rachel Divide on Netflix (don’t judge me, my friend made me, she wanted me opinion! 😂) and so many reporters, news groups, etc were comparing the two, claiming: Why is it ok for Caitlyn Jenner to identify as a woman but not for Rachel Dolezal to identify as Black?

    Why do people compare trans issues and Black issues at all? I don’t understand! Like you said, it’s comparing apples and bananas. And, as you mentioned again, it doesn’t take into consideration the Black trans people out there who experience both transphobia and racism.

    Now, when it comes to claiming the sexualities lesbian and gay are transphobic, they’re claiming that pansexual is the only “correct” form of sexuality out there and that’s bullshit. It’s also policing people’s sexualities, a decision that no one can make for another person. For a brief time in high school, I identified as pan but in the end I didn’t feel comfortable with it and went back to bi. The definition of pansexual is someone who is attracted to people of ALL genders, sexualities and identities, and I just don’t think that that is me. That’s not a lot of people. And that’s ok! I’m not a lesbian, so I can’t accurately speak on behalf of lesbian people, but I found this YouTuber who I think perfectly explains this situation: “As a lesbian, Arielle Scarcella says that she can find attraction in trans women, both emotionally and physically. But as someone who is sexually attracted to the female anatomy, she wouldn’t have sex with someone who has a penis, and she doesn’t think anyone should feel coerced into doing so if they’re uncomfortable with it. ‘If someone does not want to fuck you, it does not invalidate your identity,’ she says.” I’m also not trans so I can’t claim what is and isn’t transphobic, but I have always understood the definition of homosexuality to be someone who is attracted / wants to have sex with people of their own gender – that’s literally the text book definition.

    This is a very difficult topic to navigate but I basically agree with everything you said, Rae. I’m currently waiting on a friend to come to uni and I’ll ask her to shed some light on the issue as she’s a lesbian.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebookcorps says:

      My friend said that because the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ express a gender binary, they could potentially come across as transphobic, but then the original poster’s issues should be with the English language as a whole, not just these two words. She said unfortunately we’re just not at that stage yet where we can deconstruct words to remove that binary. But she also said that gay and lesbian sexualities are valid and not inherently transphobic. She also agrees with you on your whole post!

      Liked by 2 people

    • OMG I hate when people compare Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal. How can people possible think that’s the same.

      I agree. Like I as a straight woman will very often comment on how beautiful women are but I don’t feel any sexual attraction to them. And for a second I stopped and was like “omfg is that bad?” But like, I can’t help it.

      I’m also annoyed that this person is like,, if you’re not pansexual you’re shallow but they obviously are racist, so how the hell does that work.

      This is a tricky convo, that’s why I reached out to you all, to make sure I wasn’t missing something so thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ariel Lynn says:

      OMG, the first person about whom I thought while reading this post was Arielle Scarcella! She has received so much flack for not being attracted to a woman with a penis. She’s made several videos on the topic – some with transgender co-stars – because commenters still call her transphobic. >.<

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ariel Lynn says:

    I was going to say exactly what you did in your first point. Who the H— thinks it’s OK to say “lower your standards” like it’s going to make a PoC or trans person feel good when used in reference to them?

    Also, how is saying everyone must be pansexual different than homophobic/religious/jerk people saying everyone has to be straight?

    Yes, it would be fantastic if we found people attractive based on their brains, personality, & our interaction with them, & not the color of their skin or contents of their underwear. The issue, as I see it, is that, eventually, it’s gonna “get down to the gettin’ down,” as the kids say (no kids say that), & you want sexual attraction. Unless you’re asexual & have a non-sexual relationship, of course.

    Being sexually attracted to a specific set of secondary sexual characteristics isn’t discriminatory. Just typing that out makes me realize how much it sounds like common stereotypes hurled at lesbians – that they must hate men because they’re not attracted to their genitalia.

    My eyes are rolling so hard, I’m surprised they haven’t fallen out. These arguments are infuriating & a complete waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: May Wrap Up! 2018 | bookmarkchronicles

  7. Good grief, the whole thing is appaliing.


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