Even as transgenderism is being celebrated more and more by our society — especially in the month of June — a psychology professor is arguing that trans people are still facing a massive barrier: having straight people, by in large, be willing to date them.
In an article published in Psychology Today, St. Francis Xavier University assistant professor of psychology Karen L. Blair Ph.D. argued that society hasn’t progressed nearly enough to the point where straight people are as comfortable dating LGBT people as they are other straight people.
This fact, Blair complained, shrinks the dating pool for trans people and prevents them from receiving the sort of support straight couples enjoy from each other.
“Relationships are one of our most important sources of social support,” she wrote. “Indeed, our relationships play an important role in our overall mental and physical well-being and our relationships are a better predictor of how long we'll live than smoking or obesity!”
“But, if very few people are willing to date trans people, what does this mean for their health and well-being?” she continued. “If trans and non-binary people lack access to one of the most stable sources of social support, this could explain some of the existing health disparities within trans communities.”
Only 3.1% of straight people indicated that they’re willing to date a trans person, according to a Journal of Social and Personal Relationships study.
Blair seemed to be particularly surprised by this. She wondered allowed why straight men who want to date women aren’t interested in dating men who have transitioned into women.
She concluded that one reason is that people want to form relationships with someone they can make babies with. She also blamed straight people’s ignorance of the trans lifestyle for their prejudice.
She also seemed really offended that a straight woman would not consider a trans man to be the same as a straight man when it came to dating.
"A minority of individuals mentioned a desire to only date people with whom they could have biologically related children, however, often these reasons were still expressed using dehumanizing language, such as saying that a trans man 'was not a natural man" or a 'real man' and that therefore it would not be possible to have children with him," Blair wrote, along with author Rhea Ashley Hoskin.
They concluded, "Just as sociologists have tracked acceptance of inter-racial relationships as a metric of overall societal acceptance of racial minorities, future fluctuations in the extent to which trans and non-binary individuals are included within the intimate world of dating may help to illuminate progress (or lack thereof) with respect to fully including trans and non-binary individuals within our society."