Thanks, too, for this response. I have a few questions and comments on it.

The first is a question: can you point me to the source material for the statistics you cite about killings and suicides. I have not heard the statistic you state about white trans women. And if it is because there is less partner abuse of white trans women it would be interesting to know why. Are we just less likely to have partners in general? Are white trans women more likely to leave a dangerous partner before things go too far? Some of us are well educated, some aren’t. Some have good jobs, others don’t. But I wouldn’t think the breakdown by socioeconomic status is much different than with cis white people. I am also interested about this source because generally there is a dearth of good data on trans people. Until recently, it wasn’t something too many people cared about.

I also am interested in seeing the writing you refer to that says lesbians should have sex with trans women. Other than pieces pointing out what I mentioned before — that if someone says they are attracted to women but not trans women, then what they are saying is they don’t think trans women are women — I have not seen anything saying anyone SHOULD date anyone.

Incidentally, most of the trans people I know who say it is transphobic to say you wouldn’t date someone strictly because they are trans are not at all interested in dating non-trans people. One of my best friends has been known to say this. She is trans and poly. All of her partners are and have been trans (at least since her divorce several years ago). When she says something like what I mentioned above, do you feel she is pressuring someone to have sex or saying who someone should sleep with? I certainly don’t.

My understanding is the cotton ceiling refers to the idea that trans women pressure lesbians into having sex with them. Am I mistaken in my understanding of this term? Or does it simply refer to the claim (by a rather small group of trans folks, because most of us couldn’t care less about who anyone chooses to date) that excluding trans women (and often pursuing trans men) invalidates their gender? I have never heard of trans women literally pressuring women to have sex with them, through guilt or any other means. If you have documentation of this, I would be interested in seeing it.

And Let me make this clear: if anyone — trans or not — thought they were entitled to sex with anyone else — or pressured them into anything — that would be a serious breach of boundaries and consent, and it is NOT OK. Where our thoughts may differ is that I have no doubt that almost all trans people would agree.

  • I also agree with you that a discussion of similarities and differences between trans women and other women would be helpful. As a transgender person, though, I feel you are conflating our push for equal rights with some kind of ideological movement. The only ideology I adhere to in this context is that all people deserve basic human rights, dignity and respect. For trans people that means not being able to be fired for coming out as trans and not being evicted for being trans. It means access to healthcare without bias: there are documented instances of transgender people being denied care (for non trans related issues) just for being trans. It means not being kicked out of public places for being trans. It also means being protected from the legal consequences of not being recognized as the correct gender. If someone’s gender doesn’t fit their ID, they can be kicked out of public places and (in some places, though thankfully not where I live) even arrested. It might also out them and put them in danger. I feel these are pretty reasonable expectations for a society that claims to honor equal rights.

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Educator, writer, LGBTQ+ advocate, avid reader. Novelist in progress. Website: Empowering the LGBTQ+ community one word at a time.

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