The Other McCain

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The Rocky Horror Dating Game: Translesbians Encounter Queer Hate

Posted on | January 14, 2014 | 86 Comments

Radical egalitarianism is a sort of philosophical insanity, premised as it is on the idea that everything is equal, even things that are fundamentally different. When you begin with an obvious falsehood as the premise of your argument, the conclusion will necessarily be madness.

Ten days ago, I brought you up-to-date about an emerging controversy on the extremist fringe. Radical feminists who wish to exclude trannies from their events are accused of “transphobia”:

RadFem 2013 was a conference in London, which resulted in a gigantic controversy because radical feminists insisted on excluding the “transgendered” from their female-only event, and one of the featured speakers, Australian lesbian feminist Professor Sheila Jeffreys, was about to publish a new book, Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, that was deeply offensive to the “T” people represented in the LGBT acronym.
How crazy did that conflict become? At one point in April, the venue tried to cancel the event after discovering that “certain language was used and some statements were made about transgender people that would go against our equalities and diversity policy.” Another RadFem conference organizer, Cathy Brennan of Baltimore, was meanwhile all over Twitter announcing “transwomen are men” and comparing them to MRAs (men’s rights advocates).

 Brennan’s outspoken hostility to “transwomen” — including those she calls “Pretendbians” — takes it to a whole new level of crazy:

Basically, Cathy Brennan is the Fred Phelps of radical lesbian feminists. Brennan’s message seems to be, “Feminism is for man-hating socialist homosexual perverts and we don’t want to associate with a bunch of surgically mutilated psychotic freaks.”

Gosh, it’s kind of hard to choose sides here, isn’t it?

One radical feminist (who evidently rejects capitalization as misogynistic oppression) offers this diatribe against “transwomen”:

whereas transwomen’s “problems” would not be solved if feminism succeeded — that means transwomens problems are male problems, and do not implicate male power or womens oppression by men, which are the kinds of problems feminists are interested in solving.  post-patriarchy, transwomen would definitely not be let into female-only space, for example.  and insofar as transwomen depend on global female oppression to define and maintain their identities, and depend on subjugated females on which to model their feminine behaviors, and insofar as born-women not coddling transwomen is a “problem” for transwomen, transwomens problems will actually be made worse when and if patriarchy falls, because they would not be able to express their gender properly, the entire concept — or the parts of which are dependent on female oppression — having been abolished.  and because NO ONE would put up with their shit.

In the vocabulary of “gender studies” intellectuals, the prefix “cis-” has been popularized as the antonym of “trans-,” so that someone who is born female and identifies as such as is a “ciswoman.” That explanation is necessary to understanding — insofar as the rantings of a deranged lunatic can be understood by sane people — the romantic complaints of translesbian Julia Serano:

About two years ago, my ex and I split up after being together for nearly a decade. She was a cis queer woman who was supportive when I transitioned a few years into our relationship, and we were monogamous during the lion’s share of our time together. This meant that for the first time in a decade, I would be re-entering the dating scene. This could be somewhat disconcerting for any person, but there were a few compounding factors that made it especially . . . well, let’s say “interesting” . . . for me. First, this would be the first time that I would be dating people as a woman. Furthermore, while I had dated queer women before my transition, this would be my first time formally dating within the queer women’s community. On top of that, around this same time, after years of identifying as a lesbian, I came out as bisexual, so I also planned on dating men.

To clarify: Julia Serano was born a man. His/her ex-girlfriend is a lesbian “who was supportive when I transitioned,” but now they’re split and so the bisexual post-transition shemale is looking for love “within the queer women’s community.”

And you thought your love life was complicated, eh?

One trans woman friend told me about how she recently met a cis dyke, and they were really hitting it off, until she realized that this person was misreading her for a person on the trans masculine spectrum. When my friend told the cis dyke that she was in fact a trans woman, the cis dyke seemed to immediately lose interest.

Oops. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

On numerous occasions I have looked over the “w4w” [i.e., women for women] section of Craigslist, but it inevitably leaves me traumatized. There is so much trans hate speech on that site, and the very few ads that mention being open to trans are specifically looking for trans men or tranny bois, not trans women.

Isn’t that wonderful? After you get a sex-change operation, you’re allowed to describe romantic rejection as “hate speech”!

 I also find it ironic that cis dykes — many of whom pride themselves on their progressive politics and subversive sexualities — tend to be far more conservative and conforming to our culture’s yuck-dating-a-trans-woman-is-gross mindset than their cis male counterparts, at least here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am also embarrassed as a queer for the fact that so many straight cis men have worked through, or are beginning to work through, their own issues regarding trans women, whereas most cis queer women refuse to even consider the possibility that they even have an issue.

In other words, if you are a lesbian who doesn’t date trannies, you have “issues” you need to “work through.”

Sexual attraction is a complex phenomenon, and of course there is lots of individual variation. I certainly do not expect every cis queer woman to swoon over me. And if it were only a small percentage of cis dykes who were not interested in trans women at all, I would write it off as simply a matter of personal preference. But this not a minor problem—it is systemic; it is a predominant sentiment in queer women’s communities. And when the overwhelming majority of cis dykes date and fuck cis women, but are not open to, or are even turned off by, the idea of dating or fucking trans women, how is that not transphobic? And to those cis women who claim a dyke identity, yet consider trans men, but not trans women, to be a part of your dating pool, let me ask you this: How are you not a hypocrite?
I did not write this piece to vent about my dating life. I go out on plenty of dates, and I’m having lots of super-fucking-awesome sex, just not with cis women at the moment. My purpose in writing this piece is to highlight how cis dykes’ unwillingness to consider trans women as legitimate partners translates directly into a lack of community for queer-identified trans women.

Stop the presses! Queer-identified trans women are suffering from “a lack of community”! And if you don’t agree that this is the most important issue in the world, you’re obviously a hater.

The good news? Even radical lesbian feminists can be haters now.

“All is proceeding as I have foreseen.”



86 Responses to “The Rocky Horror Dating Game: Translesbians Encounter Queer Hate”

  1. chicagorefugee
    January 14th, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

    No, the trans-woman (born male) didn’t appeal to the cis dyke (born female) once the dyke realized the trans-woman was, in fact, born male.

    When you realize that >80% of trans don’t have – and don’t plan on having – bottom surgery, it all makes sense. Dykes don’t like dicks – not even when they’re called ‘lady sticks’ or ‘trans clits.’

  2. TC_LeatherPenguin
    January 14th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

    You disparage my cousin Riff Raff? The brilliant one? PREPARE TO DIE

  3. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

    ROFL Ok ok let me get a grip and comment on this situation.. ROFL no never mind I can’t even begin to take this situation seriously. ROFLMAO

  4. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

    Liquor in the front …poker in the rear.

  5. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    All I know is that I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body and apparently if a lesbian doesn’t want to do me, I can accuse her of being an intolerant hater.

  6. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

    Yes but did anyone ever stick a finger in that dyke?

  7. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    Amen brother. We need to form a special interest group and demand recognition and some tax money.

  8. Nan
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    No because I could understand that sentence. Try again and make it impossible to make heads or tails of, only then can you accuse a disinterested lesbian of being an intolerant hater.

  9. SineWaveII
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

    {slaps forehead} oh, of course what was I thinking?

  10. Nan
    January 14th, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

    When I was in college, where the river flows north, often causing spring flooding, a classmate looked very tired one morning. Someone asked why she looked so wretched and she said she’d been on dike patrol the night before. The dumb blonde asked if there was a lesbian problem in the neighborhood. True story.

  11. Nan
    January 15th, 2014 @ 12:25 am


  12. Nan
    January 15th, 2014 @ 12:31 am

    Remind me again, what’s wrong with heteropterodactyls?

  13. jakee308
    January 15th, 2014 @ 12:56 am

    I’ve always said I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

    That hasn’t worked yet but I’m still hoping.

  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 15th, 2014 @ 1:40 am

    That is the road to perdition!

  15. Adjoran
    January 15th, 2014 @ 1:50 am

    Remember not to discard the other half of the fifth. It comes in handy to wash down the first.

  16. Adjoran
    January 15th, 2014 @ 2:33 am

    Another instance indicating a gap in my education.

    Okay, as I understand it, “transsexual” can mean either “changed physically with hormones and surgery” OR “thinks about it a lot/self-identifies as other sex/wants to be/dresses like,” which is also called “transgender” but how the heck do I know what it means now?

    Does “Julia Serrano” have male equipment, female equipment, or none at all? Does it matter? Is the argument that “cis” (how said you need a prefix to denote you still are as born) lesbians don’t want to mess with artificially constructed lady parts, even if colorfully vajazzled? I can get it. Frankly, the prospect would be distasteful to me as well. It doesn’t mean I hate such people. It just means the prospect of having sex with them isn’t remotely attractive to me.

    Come to think of it, that’s true of most of the people I love in this world: sex isn’t a consideration, at all. And that would be the case even if I weren’t a one-woman man. So why assume someone “hates” you or wants to oppress you just because they don’t want to have sex with you? It seems the problems for Julia go well beyond the physical equipment anyway.

  17. Wombat_socho
    January 15th, 2014 @ 3:00 am

    This is what you read her blog to find out. 😉

  18. Wombat_socho
    January 15th, 2014 @ 3:02 am

    Shades of Bert Blyleven’s explanation for how he developed the strong finger grip that enabled him to throw a deadly curveball: when he was growing up in the Netherlands, he was always sticking his fingers in dikes.

  19. rmnixondeceased
    January 15th, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    Don’t hold your breath, greyish blue is not an attractive color …

  20. rmnixondeceased
    January 15th, 2014 @ 8:20 am

    ??, ??? ????, ?????????? ????? ???????? ?????????? ????? ?? ???????!

  21. tlk244182
    January 15th, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    Thank you very much.

  22. missred
    January 15th, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    Lordy, my head exploding trying to keep up with who was who and what was what!

  23. ajpwriter
    January 15th, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    Because otherwise Lena Dunham might have to find something else to complain about.

  24. K-Bob
    January 15th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Celebrate Diversity: Be like me!

  25. The Mad Jewess
    January 15th, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

    This makes me wanna puke

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    January 15th, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    […] Jan. 14: The Rocky Horror Dating Game: Translesbians Encounter Queer Hate […]

  27. cmdr358
    January 15th, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    Wait, I’ve got it!

    THIS (keeping track of this women, trans-women, male-not-man stuff) is where that PhD in Women’s Studies must come in handy.

  28. cmdr358
    January 15th, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    Wait, I’ve got it!

    THIS (keeping track of this women, trans-women, male-not-man stuff) is where that PhD in Women’s Studies must come in handy.

  29. Jeanette Victoria
    January 16th, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    ??????? ?????? ???????????

  30. rmnixondeceased
    January 16th, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    ?? ??????? ???????? ???? ? ???????. ????? ? ??????????? ? ?????? ??????????.

  31. Jeanette Victoria
    January 16th, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    ??????? ?? ??? ?????????? ??-??????

  32. Jeanette Victoria
    January 16th, 2014 @ 12:41 pm


  33. rmnixondeceased
    January 16th, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

    ??? ????????

  34. rmnixondeceased
    January 16th, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    ???????????? ??????. ??????? ?????? ? ?????? ?????? ??????

  35. Jeanette Victoria
    January 16th, 2014 @ 1:54 pm


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    […] The Rocky Horror Dating Game: Translesbians Encounter Queer Hate Delicious irony! […]