Letter to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor

Becca Kolmel, Guest Writer

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The other morning I was brought into a discussion over a very controversial article on the Prowler about transphobia. This discussion include several heterosexuals, at least two lesbians, and myself, a bisexual. From a variety of preferences and standpoints, every single person present disagreed with the author’s thesis, that genital preference was transphobic.

Many comments on the article called for a rebuttal. Allow me to present an alternative perspective on the matter.

To all people, regardless of sexuality, you are allowed to have — or not have — a preference. The entire goal of the LGBTQ+ community is to support that love is not a choice, rather that love is love, and everyone should be accepted regardless. This entire article is regressive in saying that unless people are willing to be attracted to trans folk who identify as the preferred gender, they are transphobic. Transphobia is ignorance and hate, not the lack of sexual or romantic love.

I believe that, as a bisexual — someone who likes girls and guys, though personally I’m also open to dating trans as well — I am of a unique standpoint of having a rather flexible preference. If you are not particularly attracted to trans people, that’s fine. I consulted one of my trans friends on the topic, and he said that if you aren’t particularly interested in trans people, it is what it is. Love is love, after all.

The article stated, “You shouldn’t reject dating a transgender person just because their gender doesn’t match that gender’s reproductive organs.” You should be able to reject whoever you want to if you’re not interested. It’s called consent.

You should be accepting and kind to the person, don’t deny their gender identity due to their genitalia, but there is nothing that says you must be okay with dating them. This is implying that if your preference is of girls, you must be okay with dating all girls. Sometimes, the answer is just no, in which case there’s nothing more to be said on the subject.

There is discrimination, too, however. As soon as you start repudiating or showing hate toward transgender persons, for the sole reason being that they are transgender, then you are transphobic. Phobia is Greek for “fear,” though in this instance it’s interchangeable with hate.

Hate is, unfortunately, a common reaction to something out of the socially-accepted ordinary. Something that’s radically different than what someone considers normal can cause fear. To quote the wise and powerful Yoda, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” This, despite coming from a small green Muppet, is a very relevant and neglected concept. Transphobia is one of many forms of discrimination in our world, and it’s a very real problem. However, there’s a broad line between sexual preference and contributing to hatred.

I understand the article in question is an opinion piece, but I felt the need to clarify what true transphobia is. It’s okay to have a sexual or romantic preference, just treat others with an open mind and be kind, be welcoming to all, and you’re on the right track.

Opinions expressed in editorials are those of the writer(s).  These views may not represent the adviser, The Prowler, advertisers/sponsors, the Starr’s Mill High School administration or staff , or Fayette County Public Schools as a whole.  Please see our FAQs for more information pertaining to the rights of The Prowler’s staff members.

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