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Transgender, Gender Identity in general (topic shift)

iglidanteiglidante Registered User
edited October 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Yesterday, I was lurking at Feministing when I found this thread. It's called "Transphobia in Seventeen."

Short version: A girl starts dating a guy. He tells her he's wearing chest bandages for a sports injury, and won't let her see/touch him below the belt. She eventually finds out he was actually a biological female, presenting as a man, and eventually wanted to get gender reassignment.

An argument erupted in the comments over whether or not a transgendered (in this case, pre-op) person needed to tell their boyfriend/girlfriend about their "situation." It broke down into two camps:

A) If you're going to be in an intimate relationship with someone, there needs to be honesty. The girl in the story was heterosexual and thought she was in a relationship with a biological male. It was wrong of her partner to deceive her.

B) Transgendered people are under no obligation to "out" themselves to anyone, even a partner. The partner has no right to know anything about their biological equipment. In the story, the "boyfriend" was presenting as male, and that's all that matters.

Now, I can see that a post-op transgendered person wouldn't necessarily "need" to reveal their "state," since they physically match the gender they are presenting as. But pre-op is a little different. I mean, what happens when you have sex? Isn't that kind of a bad time to "reveal" things?

What do you guys think?

iglidante on
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Posts

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If you can't tell a SO about something like that, your relationship is not doing to well.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    If you can't tell a SO about something like that, your relationship is not doing to well.

    This.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If it's something important to them then yes.

    PSN: allenquid
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Honesty.

    Would you really want to be with someone that might leave you if you ever told them a pretty major truth about yourself?

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    If you can't tell a SO about something like that, your relationship is not doing to well.

    This.

    Thread pretty much over.

    I'm a big supporter of transgendered rights, but this is stuff you need to share if you're going to truly be close to someone.

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2009
    My thoughts exactly, but people in the comments really got heated over it. This comment exchange really shows it:
    "if you're not ready to come out to a particular individual -- you're not ready to be romantically or sexually involved with that individual."

    That's not up to you to decide.

    Transgender people have the right to decide for themselves when or if they want to come out, including to romantic and/or sexual partners. Period.

    "Even if someone's hang-ups are absolutely transphobic, they have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to have a romantic relationship with a transgendered individual."

    No.

    If someone comes out to you as being transgender, you can break up with them. I'd say anyone who would do that is a transphobic asshat, but no one is obligated to stay in a relationship they don't want to be in.

    That doesn't mean that whenever you enter a relationship with someone, that person looses their right to privacy just because you might not approve of some private aspect of their life or body.

    There is no "right" to not date someone who is transgender, just like there is no "right" not to date someone who's had an abortion. People keep their right to privacy even when they enter romantic relationships.

    "And, honestly, if you believe your romantic partner may have a problem with you being transgendered -- its probably better for everyone to find out before getting too involved. It seems to me that it would be far more dangerous to come out to a homo/transphobe AFTER you've been in a romantic relationship than before -- he's likely to be FAR angrier that he was duped into behavior which he (wrongly) finds morally repulsive."

    That's also not up to you to decide.

    Transgender people have the right to decide for themselves when or if it is safe to come out. Period.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    A solid, meaningful relationship needs communication. Which needs trust and honesty. If you can't talk about this, it's not going to work out.

    A shallow "Let's fuck" relationship needs sexual attraction. If this gets in the way of that, it's not going to work out.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything. However, if a person islooking for a long-term relationship, they're probably going to be better off bringing it up themselves (at the right time - whole other barrel of worms) than... hoping their partner doesn't find out? Like you said, honesty is a big part of a relationship. If a person (transgendered or not) wants to try and carry out a somewhat dishonest relationship, well, that's up to them. I'm not going to be very sympathetic if their SO breaks up with them for concealing such a detail though.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    I'm not sure that it needs to be something that you mention on the first date, or anything, but I would say a person has a right to know you're transgendered before you start to get seriously intimate. And yes, if you can't trust a person with that sort of information, you're not going to have a very good long-term relationship.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    There is no argument here, while society is obliged to treat you fairly and respect the gender you have chosen for yourself the same is not true of individuals. You should clearly be honest and hope for the best, lying will get you nothing and only possibly upset the other person.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Warning: Donkey Kong is not a real doctor Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    iglidante wrote: »
    I mean, what happens when you have sex? Isn't that kind of a bad time to "reveal" things?

    Yes.
    134115__cryinggame_l.jpg

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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Well, it's gonna pretty goddamn obvious they've switched once you start seeing their junk. Plastic surgery can only do so much, even nowadays.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I was wondering when the Crying Game would be referenced.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything.

    You kind of are unless you think it's cool to be the only one that makes the decisions.

    I mean, if someone doesn't want to be in a relationship with a transgendered for whatever reason, it's kind of a dick move to ignore their feelings on the subject.

    PSN: allenquid
  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything.

    You kind of are unless you think it's cool to be the only one that makes the decisions.

    I mean, if someone doesn't want to be in a relationship with a transgendered for whatever reason, it's kind of a dick move to ignore their feelings on the subject.

    That's what blew my mind when I read the thread, because some of the feminists on that site were definitely saying that a person had no right to choose a partner that wasn't transgendered. That knowledge simply wasn't theirs to have.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    A relationship without honesty or communication is not going anywhere. Like any other severe impairment or alteration on a traditional relationship (one party is still married and getting divorced, one party has a serious STD or is HIV positive, one party is on parole, whatever), you need to tell your partner. You might refrain from telling them for a date or two, but eventually the truth will come out and if you've hidden it, particularly for any long period of time, your partner will have a perfectly justified reason for leaving you on the spot.

    The rights of the transgendered to remain anonymous are quickly rendered moot in any potentially sexual relationship. Your partner will find out, they have a right to know.

    Imagine hiding any other serious complication from your significant other. "Oh, hey, honey, sorry I forgot to mention I'm married and have three children." Would that be acceptable? Can we say the married have a right to out themselves when and where they choose?

    There's really no way to base a healthy relationship off of deceit and dishonesty. Any "rights to privacy" or "right to out yourself how you choose" don't change that simple rule.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything.

    You kind of are unless you think it's cool to be the only one that makes the decisions.

    I mean, if someone doesn't want to be in a relationship with a transgendered for whatever reason, it's kind of a dick move to ignore their feelings on the subject.

    Though in general if that is the one and only barrier they might have a problem too.

    While I agree there is no obligation to do anything, really, it is best practices to be honest with someone in a long term relationship.

    So I guess my answer is both?

  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited October 2009
    iglidante wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything.

    You kind of are unless you think it's cool to be the only one that makes the decisions.

    I mean, if someone doesn't want to be in a relationship with a transgendered for whatever reason, it's kind of a dick move to ignore their feelings on the subject.

    That's what blew my mind when I read the thread, because some of the feminists on that site were definitely saying that a person had no right to choose a partner that wasn't transgendered. That knowledge simply wasn't theirs to have.

    Don't they see how much worse it would be if the person found out separately on their own later on? That's the sort of thing that can really flip some people out.

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  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited October 2009
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    Horseshoe wrote:
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  • DraculaDracula Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Since, I figure, if you're going to engage in a sexual relationship with someone, you should know at least some major aspects of their sexual history or whatever, you'd probably want to know if they were transgendered or not. Maybe it shouldn't be a big deal, but I think to a lot of people it would be.

    Also, on an unrelated note I met the lady who runs Feministing recently and she is very nice.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    I'm pretty sure outing oneself as a pre-op transgender to ones partner is a pretty straight line to a breakup, as, if it wasn't, there would be no more gays and all the christian conservatives would be crossdressing to make sure it stayed that way.

    On the other hand, that's your problem, and you should respect your partner's sexuality. Yes, I know not outing yourself is your choice, but never telling the girl that I'm trying to lay that I'm not actually Tom Brady is my choice, and I think we both know how the morality plays on that one.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that anyone is obligated to tell their partner anything.

    You kind of are unless you think it's cool to be the only one that makes the decisions.

    I mean, if someone doesn't want to be in a relationship with a transgendered for whatever reason, it's kind of a dick move to ignore their feelings on the subject.

    Though in general if that is the one and only barrier they might have a problem too.

    While I agree there is no obligation to do anything, really, it is best practices to be honest with someone in a long term relationship.

    So I guess my answer is both?

    I think it really depends if we're talking pre or post op here. I can say with all certainty that I, being straight, would enter a relationship with a girl with an understanding that she has a vagina. Because that's what I like. If we take off our clothes and I suddenly realize she has a penis - no deal. That's not my thing.

    Now, if surgery has been involved and you can't even really tell, the situation becomes a bit less obvious, but it's still a situation.

  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    That's also not up to you to decide.

    Transgender people have the right to decide for themselves when or if it is safe to come out. Period.

    See I don't get this. Sure, they get to decide as anyone gets to decide anything for themselves... masters of their own decisions/whatnot. But it seems horribly self destructive, irresponsible, and perhaps even spiteful not to not tell someone early.

  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I can imagine it being traumatic to suddenly find out your partner had been born a different gender.

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

    Well, it's hard to really call that specifically transphobic. There's a lot more involved there.

    I mean, take children. Most couples tend to have them. Many, many people expect to have them unless both they and their partner do not want such (and take great pains to prevent it - or, maybe, infertility). Say a guy married a post-op woman. They never discussed children. Maybe he assumed she would want them someday. He doesn't know she doesn't have the necessary equipment.

    Really, these decisions need to be made with full consent. You need to know all the necessary information.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I can imagine it being traumatic to suddenly find out your partner had been born a different gender.

    Sex, not gender.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    In my neck of the woods, getting romantically involved without full disclosure would be a real good way to get shit kicked out of you. I'd think enlightened self-interest would compel them to discuss this, if nothing else.

    sig.png
  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    That's also not up to you to decide.

    Transgender people have the right to decide for themselves when or if it is safe to come out. Period.

    See I don't get this. Sure, they get to decide as anyone gets to decide anything for themselves... masters of their own decisions/whatnot. But it seems horribly self destructive, irresponsible, and perhaps even spiteful not to not tell someone early.

    It may be a poor decision to make, but it's still their decision.

    I will not disagree with you that withholding that sort of thing from a long term partner is bad news.

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

    He never said he wouldn't be fine with it if he found out early in the relationship.

    Besides, even if he wasn't fine with it early in the relationship, I don't feel like its always transphobic. Sexual attraction is often a large portion of relationships and feeling close to someone and not really liking the look of his/her partner's bits might color the whole thing eventually. Its not a simple one note issue.

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited October 2009
    I dunno, it half fits, transphobic implies that I dislike it entirely which I don't, I wouldn't date someone who is but I'd be friends with them. I understand that's not your intention but I mean...compare it to say...homophobic.

    A guy isn't gay so obviously he won't sleep with other guys but he still thinks gays are good people and hangs out with them. This doesn't make him homophobic, it just means he's not gay.

    It's a new layer of complexity to the whole situation and I think using the word transphobic is a bit sensitive for it.

    Horseshoe wrote:
    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes Well, that seems pretty ludicrous.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    In my neck of the woods, getting romantically involved without full disclosure would be a real good way to get shit kicked out of you. I'd think enlightened self-interest would compel them to discuss this, if nothing else.

    Enlightened self interest probably leads them to not date anyone in your neck of the woods.

    NOPE.
    Vd0n7Bk.jpg
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'm fairly certain that being transgender is more than "I used to be an X, now I'm a Y!" and, as such, it plays a pretty big part in an ongoing relationship.

    Perhaps I'm operating under false assumptions, but last I recall there are still some very big differences between someone born a specific gender and someone surgically altered to be a different gender.

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    iglidante wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

    Well, it's hard to really call that specifically transphobic. There's a lot more involved there.

    It's transphobic to say that somebody "isn't really a woman" because she's transgendered.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    tbloxham wrote: »
    There is no argument here, while society is obliged to treat you fairly and respect the gender you have chosen for yourself the same is not true of individuals. You should clearly be honest and hope for the best, lying will get you nothing and only possibly upset the other person.

    That's kind of a pesky word. Is this a choice? Getting surgery obviously is, but whether it's a choice how one feels internally that they are one gender or another seems as difficult a question as the other thread about homosexuality.

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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    So It Goes wrote: »
    In my neck of the woods, getting romantically involved without full disclosure would be a real good way to get shit kicked out of you. I'd think enlightened self-interest would compel them to discuss this, if nothing else.

    Enlightened self interest probably leads them to not date anyone in your neck of the woods.

    By and large.

    Frankly I think that level of disrespect is worthy of an asskicking, but I'm aware that I'll very much be an outlier on this issue.

    sig.png
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Sipex wrote: »
    I dunno, it half fits, transphobic implies that I dislike it entirely which I don't, I wouldn't date someone who is but I'd be friends with them. I understand that's not your intention but I mean...compare it to say...homophobic.

    A guy isn't gay so obviously he won't sleep with other guys but he still thinks gays are good people and hangs out with them. This doesn't make him homophobic, it just means he's not gay.

    It's a new layer of complexity to the whole situation and I think using the word transphobic is a bit sensitive for it.
    It's transphobic because it implies that you know better than the transperson what a "real woman" is, and you deny their self-identification.

    More to the issue at hand, of course it's the transperson's choice when and how to come out. But they have to make that choice in a world and with the understanding that some choices are more likely to have negative outcomes than others.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    A lot of confusion stems from taking concepts of individual rights and then applying that to a couple's situation. You really just can't do that. You don't have a right to privacy from a partner, at least not the same right an individual has to privacy from society or government.

    I can only imagine that the opinions would get thrown for a loop if we supposed it was a homosexual who found out that his/her partner was of the opposite biological sex.

    Whether you want it to or not, presenting yourself as a certain gender communicates certain things to others. And those potentially incorrect assumptions could very well be integral to the bond you are forming with them.

  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

    He never said he wouldn't be fine with it if he found out early in the relationship.

    Besides, even if he wasn't fine with it early in the relationship, I don't feel like its always transphobic. Sexual attraction is often a large portion of relationships and feeling close to someone and not really liking the look of his/her partner's bits might color the whole thing eventually. Its not a simple one note issue.

    I was taking issue specifically with the phraseology here. :)

    I'm not particularly condemning the sentiment, which is understandable.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    iglidante wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    I'd say yes, very much so. I'm straight, I have nothing against transgendered/transsexual/gay/bi/what have yous. I'm friends with several and the like but in the end I'm straight and wouldn't be comfortable (in fact, I'd feel pretty deceived) if I suddenly found out my partner wasn't really a woman far into the relationship.

    That said I've heard about the procedures and it sounds like it's still pretty easy to tell once you start getting sexually intimate.

    this is a transphobic statement.

    It's pretty drilled into everyone's heads due to the culture we live in, but saying "x isn't really x" is not a happy position no matter how otherwise accepting you may be.

    Well, it's hard to really call that specifically transphobic. There's a lot more involved there.

    It's transphobic to say that somebody "isn't really a woman" because she's transgendered.

    Sure. It's also true.

    sig.png
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