Following a new study, which found that the vast majority of cisgender individuals are not interested in dating transgender people, a researcher suggested that “societal prejudices” may be adversely affecting the transgender community.
The survey presented approximately 1,000 participants with a simple question about dating:
Which of the following people would you consider as a potential dating partner (check all that apply):
a cisgender woman
a cisgender man
a transgender woman
a transgender man
a person with a non-binary gender identification
Writing in Psychology Today, Karen L. Blair, one of the researchers who conducted the study, pointed to a finding showing nearly 90 percent of participants excluded trans and non-binary individuals as potential romantic partners. According to the Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Francis Xavier University, the results have far-reaching consequences for those that don’t conform to traditional gender norms.
87.5 percent of respondents indicated they’d only be open to cisgender options, excluding transgender and non-binary people as potential romantic partners.
Blair observed that a mere 3.1 percent of heterosexual participants were willing to date a transgender individual. Those who identified as bisexual or homosexual tended to be more open-minded when it came to dating – 55 percent “provided inclusive responses.”
According to Blair, the findings are reflective of how far society has to go toward “full acceptance of our trans friends and family members” and that “understanding the extent to which trans individuals are excluded from the realm of dating can serve as a benchmark for where society currently stands with respect to including trans and non-binary individuals.”
While Blair emphasized that individuals should be free to date whoever they wished, she compared views on dating a transgender person to society’s acceptance of interracial relationships. She also suggested that the study’s findings were linked to bigoted attitudes toward the trans community.
The “research underscores the consequences of shared societal prejudices that impact our trans friends, partners, family members, and coworkers on a daily basis,” Blair averred.
What does not wanting to date a transgender person say about our society?
Some trans activists say that not wanting to date a transgender person is outright transphobic. Sara C, a transgender activist and host of the “Queer Sex Ed” podcast, addressed the topic in a 2017 Medium essay.
“It is not transphobic to decide that you don’t want to date a specific trans person based on your preferences in personality, hobbies, social beliefs, body type, etc,” she wrote. “It is, however, deeply transphobic to decide that you never want to date any transgender person ever, and the choice to draw such a line is rooted in ignorance, fear, and disgust of trans people.”
The same year, journalist Allison Washington railed against “no trans allowed” dating policies in a Medium essay of her own.