A little while ago, I wrote a post in response to some comments on a Feministe thread about whether or not it’s transphobic to not date a transgender person, when the reason is because they are trans.
The comments that I received in response to that post were not hostile and did not come across as particularly angry, but I know that I offended some people.
I want to apologize for offending anyone. This apology is not a “sorry that you took it the wrong way” apology (which I find to be disingenuous and completely useless) but serious and heartfelt.
While the purpose of the post was to illustrate how I believed that a particular action is not necessarily transphobic, upon rereading that post a few times, I now see that many of the things I said could easily have been read as transphobic, or that I was painting myself as a transphobia apologist. This was absolutely not my intention.
When writing the post, I knew that the sensitive nature of the post itself was likely to cause a bit of a stir, but I didn’t realize that my often overly-wordy, rambling, and tanget-making style of writing distracted so much from what I was really trying to do with the post, which was to simply defend good or well-meaning people from being labeled as transphobic. That perhaps there are people for whom choosing to not be romantically involved with a trans person is not necessarily phobic or inspired by hate, but instead the consequence of certain non-bigoted or prejudiced goals, beliefs, or orientations that the person may have.
There were concerns brought up that I was primarily focusing on situations where one part of a hetero couple came out as trans when I gave examples; this is just because I was in a situation where that happened in a past relationship, and I was familiar with the issues that can arise. The other examples I used (fertility issues, mostly) could be applied to any romantic relationship; I was not very clear about that.
Thank you to everyone (especially people who are trans) who commented on that post with constructive criticism of what I said, or with other valuable insights. I hope that people who are transgender who read that and were offended at anything I said will accept my apology. It was not, and is not, ever my intention to make anyone who is transgender feel like there is yet another person who thinks it’s okay to discriminate against them based on their trans status.
Please understand that I am not asking for praise or “cookies” for my apology. I just want anyone who may have been hurt or offended by that post to know that I recognize the problematic things that I said, and that I am sorry for them.