Q&A: “People have told me that my attraction to women with vaginas is transphobic…”
My friend & I both identify as queer women. She is only attracted to masculine-identified and presenting people with vaginas, and I am only attracted to feminine-identified and presenting people with vaginas. So she only dates masculine women and non-binary afab people and trans men, and I only date feminine women and non-binary afab people. People have told me that my attraction to women with vaginas is transphobic and hers isn’t. But what’s the difference? Am I really transphobic?
i can only really tell you my opinion, which i’m sure not everyone will agree with, but… when i first read this ask i had to stop and read it over a few times because i see several things about both attractions that are potentially offensive / cissexist / transphobic.
it’s obvious that you’ve tried to word things in a way that avoids misgendering people and associating gender with genitalia, but… i feel like the focus you’ve placed on people’s genitalia really isn’t going to make any trans or non-binary person feel like you’re being less transphobic and/or more accepting of them.
perhaps either or both of you are repulsed by certain genitalia. fair enough. i have a tag for #genitalia repulsion with some (perhaps cringeworthy, old) posts where i respond to asks about genitalia repulsion & transphobia. i think those posts are really relevant to why people are accusing you of being transphobic.
when people say that your attraction is transphobic, what they most likely mean is that your attraction is trans misogynistic, which is a specific type of transphobia towards trans women and trans feminine people. i’m guessing that when you say you’re attracted to “feminine women,” people assume that you’re excluding feminine women who happen to be trans. maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. however, you then say that you’re attracted to “non-binary AFAB people”, making it clear that you are excluding non-binary AMAB people.
despite saying that you’re attracted to feminine-identified & presenting people with vaginas and that you date feminine women & non-binary afab people, you’re excluding feminine women who happen to be trans and feminine non-binary people who happen to be AMAB. why? because you assume that trans women and feminine non-binary AMAB people don’t have a vagina? that is cissexist and trans misogynistic. i go into more about that here.
honestly, i could say pretty much the exact same thing about your friend’s attraction as well. it’s likely that people are singling you out specifically, however, because the trans community is especially focused on transphobia that targets trans women and trans feminine people, which is very relevant to your attraction but less so to your friend’s, even though i personally have issues with both…
personally, as someone who is non-binary among other things, i would flat out be offended if not repulsed by the very idea that someone was attracted to me based on my genitalia. or rather, based on their assumptions about my genitalia, because it’s not like they’d even actually know what genitalia i have. their attraction would be based on the faulty assumption that because i’m AFAB i must have a vagina. on top of that, and among other things, i personally do not even see my genitalia as a noteworthy feature of me as a person, so it’s rather dismaying to me that that would even be a reason for someone to be attracted to me…
you may not even mean that you’re literally attracted to vaginas, but i imagine that i’m not the only person who feels this way upon hearing that someone is attracted to “___ people with (insert genitalia here).”