Here I’m going to detail the research I did to determine the difference between the attitudes of cis and trans people regarding dating trans people.
I posed questions on two Facebook groups using the “ask a question” feature. One group was The Facebook Transgender Alliance. The other was Vegan. I posed the questions slightly differently, adapting myself to my different audiences, but asked essentially the same question. You can read the text I used for each group below.
Essentially the question was: “Would you consider a romantic and sexual relationship with a trans person?”
I chose the Vegan group simply because it had nothing to do with transgender people, and because I suspected they would be more or less friendly towards me and open to answering the question.
I’m sure asking vegans this question would be different from answering Catholics or libertarians. Vegans tend to be very much more on the left side of the political spectrum, and are likely to be interested in social justice topics. This would bias them towards giving more “Yes” answers than other groups. However, I expected that even with this bias there would be a very significant difference between the vegan group and the trans group.
I used this text for the group Vegan:
Hi there. A day or so ago I asked the moderators if I could post something off topic, you might have seen the thread. A mod agreed to let me, because in my case I’m posting something off topic for a reason: I’m doing a single-question survey and I specifically need to ask people who have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I chose vegans just because I am a vegan and I expected you’d probably be friendly.
I’ll post the article I’m researching for when it’s done but for the moment I’ll remain shush about my exact motivations for this research, in order to avoid affecting the outcome.
The survey is simple.
First, please only answer the question if you identify as monosexual: by which I mean either homosexual or heterosexual, but not bisexual.
The question is:
Would you consider having a romantic and sexual relationship with a transsexual person?
Assume no genital surgery, but all other aspects of the body and personality indistinguishable or nearly indistinguishable from a non-trans person.
The person in question can be a trans man or a trans woman, or even an androgyne. The relationship can be a same-sex relationship or an opposite-sex relationship.
I asked only monosexuals to answer, because bisexuals are less likely to have an issue with dating trans people; even if e.g. a trans woman is perceived to be a little manly in some way, that doesn’t have to be a problem for a bisexual.
I mentioned that it’s possible for the person to be a trans man or a trans woman, or even an androgyne, because many people don’t realise that trans men exist. I wanted to make sure everyone knew that option was there. In the same way, I made it clear that it is possible to have a same-sex relationship with a trans person, something which many are not aware of.
26 people replied “yes”, and 26 people replied “no”.
Here is the text I used for the group The Facebook Transgender Alliance:
If it’s okay, I’d like you to answer a single-question survey for some semi-serious research I’m doing.
I’ll post the article I’m collecting the information for later, though for now I’ll keep my motivations shush so as to not affect the results.
Firstly, please only answer the survey if you identify as MONOSEXUAL: that is, either heterosexual or homosexual, but not bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, etc.
Please also only answer if you are TRANSSEXUAL.
Please DO NOT answer if you are ASEXUAL or AROMANTIC.
The question is:
Would you consider being in a sexual and romantic relationship with another transsexual person?
Suppose that that person did NOT have genital surgery, but was otherwise in both body and personality indistinguishable or nearly indistinguishable from a cis person.
I mentioned asexuality because trans people are more likely than average to be asexual, and I didn’t want that affecting the results (obviously, if you are asexual you can’t consider a sexual relationship with a trans person – or anyone for that matter). I neglected to mention asexuality when asking the vegan group, because I assumed that the cissexual members of that group would be unlikely to be asexual. Perhaps that was presumptuous of me. I also just assumed everyone on the group was cis, which may not have been a correct assumption.
I worded the bit about bisexuality differently because it’s common to use labels like “pansexual” and “polysexual” in the trans community. In the vegan group, I just assumed that no one would get offended if I ignored those labels and just talked about bisexuality.
Another thing I should mention is that I gave three options to choose from in the trans group. I offered “yes”, “no – because two trans people together make dysphoria/issues worse”, and “no – other reason”. I’ve often heard trans people say they couldn’t be with another trans person because of the difficulty that comes from two people having the same problems together, so I wanted to separate that objection from the objections of other people – who I suspect (from experience) would be suggesting that they would not find trans people attractive at all.
Forty people replied “yes”, one person replied “no – because two trans people together make dysphoria/issues worse”, and 6 people replied “no – other reason”.