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Language Log

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 - 11:43 a.m.

There’s a thing people do. Lefty, queer people on FB. There are several things, honestly, but I am in quite a few spaces with trans and non-binary people and you see following fairly often: “saying you’re attracted to AFAB non binary people is transphobic”, “If you’re a straight man and you’re attracted to me, congratulations, because you’re gay, I’m non-binary/ femme-presenting transmasc, not a woman”.

So genitals have nothing to do with gender (I’m down with it so far) and sexual attraction is toward gender, not genitalia.

*screeches to a halt*
Yes, that brings one to absurd conclusions. And frankly, we don’t see lesbians being curb stomped for being interested in non-binary people with vulvas. I haven’t, anyway.

Meanwhile, of course personal presentation isn’t tied to gender. But I have this distinct intuition that if you present femme and continue to do so, a straight man doesn’t turn gay because you’ve simply come to a new understanding about yourself and they are attracted to you. Do people really mean it when they say that? If not, what do they mean? Aren’t they just taking an opportunity to grandstand?

The absurdly simple explanation is that attraction is both sexual and romantic, and both genitalia and gender are things someone may be more or less attracted to. I don’t know why this would be transphobic to say.

I understand that gender is a big factor in people’s lives, no matter who they are. But acting like someone is a piece of shit for having preferences… isn’t it just another preference? Yes, our preferences are politically informed, but also biologically. It’s just a mashup, a messy one, and I’m so tired of people oversimplifying to the point of absurdity.

Up next in my “I’ve been on Leftbook too much” opinion dump: Leo DeCaprio and his new girlfriend

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