“I’ve had someone saying they would rather kill me than Hitler,” says 24-year-old Jennie*.
“They said they would strangle me with a belt if they were in a room with me and Hitler. That was so bizarrely violent, just because I won’t have sex with trans women.”
Jennie is a lesbian woman. She says she is only sexually attracted to women who are biologically female and have vaginas. She therefore only has sex and relationships with women who are biologically female.
Jennie doesn’t think this should be controversial, but not everyone agrees. She has been described as transphobic, a genital fetishist, a pervert and a “terf” – a trans exclusionary radical feminist.
“There’s a common argument that they try and use that goes ‘What if you met a woman in a bar and she’s really beautiful and you got on really well and you went home and you discovered that she has a penis? Would you just not be interested?'” says Jennie, who lives in London and works in fashion.
“Yes, because even if someone seems attractive at first you can go off them. I just don’t possess the capacity to be sexually attracted to people who are biologically male, regardless of how they identify.”
My question is: why is this an issue only for lesbians? If society is forced to accept the notion that “trans women” are women in every sense, why isn’t a guy who takes a woman home to have sex, but balks upon finding out that the “woman” has a penis, a horrible transphobic monster?
I wonder how the trans community would respond. The more sensible ones would probably affirm that everyone is allowed to have sex or refuse sex with any consensual adult partner they like. But if you were ready to have sex and changed your mind only because of what you found when you undressed your prospective sex partner, aren’t you a terrible bigot by today’s standards?