OPINION: Love is love


Shelby Foster

Group of students poses with the pride, transgender, bisexual, and pansexual flags to demonstrate support for all forms of love and acceptance at Starr’s Mill. The message that needs to be sent from this is that love in any form is not hate, and having a romantic or sexual preference does not make one a transphobe.

It’s past time to clear the air.

As a team of writers, we want to show you what we believe. In the spirit of peaceful disagreement, we present this article as a response to “Having a “genital preference” is transphobic,” an article that appears to label everyone with a sexual preference (besides pansexuality) as transphobic.

It’s not discrimination in any way to love who you want to love.

— A&E Editor Ian Fertig

Our bottom line: It’s not discrimination in any way to love who you want to love. Your attraction to others is not transphobia.

Everybody is attracted to different things. Your preferences, be they based on the physical (genital) aspects of people, personality aspects, or behavior, are okay. You are not a transphobe, racist, sexist, or any other -ist or -phobe for being attracted to who your heart decides to be attracted to.

So what exactly is this word we’ve been throwing around at school the past few days? Transphobia – clearly defined as the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against transgender or transsexual people. By this definition, transphobia is a bad thing, and shouldn’t be permitted in our society. But not being attracted to transgenders does not fall under this definition. We cannot claim acceptance requires being attracted to someone. If someone does not sexually or romantically like you, they are not discriminating against you, they just don’t want to date you.

People have a genital preference because their sexual orientation is based on a person’s body. If we define sex as biological and gender as a person’s mental preference, then sexual preference is based on sex, not gender. Genital preference is sexuality.

Someone calling you transphobic with an inaccurate definition of the word is unfair to everyone involved. Don’t let yourself be misconstrued as a bigot. Be proud of who you love. Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, or anything else, you can love anyone. It’s not wrong.

Everyone, use this issue as an opportunity to start a healthy conversation that encourages and supports your peers.

— A&E Editor Ian Fertig

People don’t open up their hearts to the LGBT+ community to be “trendy.” We can’t accuse people of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. People don’t accept others to follow the trend. Instead of focusing our efforts attacking those who want to help, we need to focus them on the real problems, and criticize real transphobes instead of labeling everyone a transphobe.

We cannot claim to live by the motto “Love is love” if we belittle people and use derogatory terms toward people who have a sexual preference. The argument that genital preference is transphobic is inherently discriminatory against people’s sexual preferences. If the desire to be an inclusive and accepting person has gone so far that we accuse others of discrimination based on their romantic or sexual preferences, then we’ve become the very thing we set out to stop.

Let’s create an accepting environment that allows people to feel what they feel.  Everyone, use this issue as an opportunity to start a healthy conversation that encourages and supports your peers. No matter what, having a preference does not make you a bad person — it just makes you a person.

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