General Question

aaronou's avatar

Should homosexuality and transexuality be considered identical issues, at least within the political spectrum?

Asked by aaronou (735points) July 31st, 2008

I hope this is an appropriate question, if not just flag it for me. I was just watching a movie that was centered around a transexual and their difficulties, and it got me thinking about how homosexual rights and such are a major topic of discussion these days and wondering how comparable the transgender debate is. I mean, are there any signifcant distinctions that should separate the two? (Side note: I am not at all saying that a homosexual and a transexual are one and the same).

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31 Answers

marinelife's avatar

In what sense? If you mean, should transgender people have the same rights as heterosexuals and homosexuals then yes. I think all people are entitled to those rights.

Other than that, I don’t see how you group the two since they are not the same in any way I can see. In fact, they are sort of the opposite.

Transgender people are outwardly one sex, but inwardly (genetically) another. For example, transgender women who were born outwardly as men feel like women. They are attracted to men as heterosexual women are attracted to men.

aaronou's avatar

@Marina – Ya, I was really referring to how to talk about it when dealing with political/civil rights, which I suppose you basically answered that portion, thanks. Yet, I am sometimes interested to see how people simply perceive homosexuals vs. transexuals, but I don’t think that would be an appropriate question.

MacBean's avatar

@Marina—Some transwomen are lesbians!

arnbev959's avatar

To answer the question: Should they be? No.

Homosexuality and transexuality shouldn’t be considered issues within the political spectrum.

Everyone deserves the same rights. There shouldn’t be an issue to begin with.

Drunken_noodles's avatar

Pete, you win! Everyone deserves the same rights, particular tastes notwithstanding. As far as I’m concerned, a man can marry a horse for all I care, so long as they’re happy.
The End.

megalongcat's avatar

[Towards Pete]Well that’s all fine and dandy, everyone deserving the same rights. Sadly that’s not the case; the reality is that both homosexuality and transsexualism are an issue in American politics, and politics all around the world.

Women’s right’s shouldn’t of been a political issue, but they were.
Black rights shouldn’t of been an issue, but they were.

It’s an interesting question that you posed, it sparked my thought process so thank you for that. I don’t think homosexuality and transsexualism should be considered identical to one another.

tinyfaery's avatar

We call ourselves the LGBT community because the discrimination against the transgendered is similar to that of gays and lesbians, namely gender role discrimination and discrimination based on choice of sexual partners. Those with sexual prejudices do not like that gay men “act like women” or that “lesbians act like men”; they also take issue with sexual attraction to the same sex. Transgendered face very similar discrimination; they are trying to portray the “opposite gender”, and a lot of people see this as being gay.

There is a lot of ignorance regarding gender and sexuality; they are not equatable. Transgendered people feel a disconnect between their bodies and their gender identity; gays and lesbians see a disconnect between their sex and who they are sexually attracted to. Some gays and lesbians do not see the transgendered as part of the “family”; they are viewed as outsiders (though not by me). It really is too complex to go into in this forum, but I tried.

Bottom line, we all deserve equal rights and equal access to everything this country has to offer.

lefteh's avatar

As tinyfaery said, transgendered individuals and LGB individuals are faced with quite different dilemmas. While tinyfaery and I do not exclude transgendered people from our community, it is true that there are plenty of LGB people who do. Due to these differences, transgendered and transsexual people face some very unique situations as far as the law goes which do not apply to LGB people. Here is a quick example found with a quick Google search.

tinyfaery's avatar

@lefteh Good point.

Drunken_noodles's avatar

My employers actually protect you under law if you’re transgendered, rather than LGB. If PA makes a fine point about it, I think most should. Actually, when I learned of this anti-discrimination law, I was proud to work for the commonwealth for the first time in a long time.

marinelife's avatar

@tf Thanks for a clear summary. Well said. Lurve to you.

mrjadkins's avatar

Thank you for asking this question @aaronou and for qualifying that you desire to know an answer to it. I appreciate you for wanting to know more about these issues and for wanting to learn about the LGBT community. Sometimes it is hard to ask these types of questions. You aren’t sure how people will respond and it is usually cynical or hurtful.

Your additional note suggests your own hesitancy in asking. You don’t want to hurt anyone. You just want to learn more about it. As an advocate for LGBT rights, I salute you for you asking a question like this in such a nice way. I believe LGBT advocacy begins with education and with helping people get answers to these types of questions. Keep on asking!

aaronou's avatar

Thanks guys, the responses thus far have adequately engaged the curiosity from which my question arose.

loser's avatar

Yes, but they’re not treated as such.

lefteh's avatar

@loser: Care to elaborate on why you think homosexual and transgender issues are identical?

MacBean's avatar

@aaronou—Delayed curiosity: what movie were you watching?

Re: the subject of not always being considered part of the “family,” which tinyfaery and lefteh brought up—I always find that even more painful than discrimination from “normal” people. LGB people know how hurtful it is to be excluded, looked down upon and discriminated against, and yet some of them (the minority in my personal experience, but I don’t know if I’ve just been lucky in that respect) turn around and treat transgendered people that way. Makes me sad… A little angry, too, but mostly sad.

lefteh's avatar

I agree. It makes me angry as well. And it is the minority in my experience as well, thank goodness.

aaronou's avatar

@Macbean -I think it was called “Transamerica”, maybe. It was on Lifetime. It was interesting.

lefteh's avatar

Transamerica is amazing. Felicity Huffman was just incredible.

MacBean's avatar

I love that movie so much! Totally agreed about Felicity Huffman.

If you can get your hands on them, I also really recommend Ma vie en rose, Soldier’s Girl and TransGeneration.

lefteh's avatar

I have seen and greatly appreciated Ma Vie en Rose and TransGeneration. I’ll check out Soldier’s Girl. Thanks!

allengreen's avatar


loser's avatar

@lefteh: Well, it’s called the GLBT community but the I hear stories like how the Human Rights Committee intentionally dropped all mention of transgendered just to get a bill pushed through.

lefteh's avatar

It’s also called the GLBTQ community, or the LGBTQQ, or the LGBTQ?, or the LGTBQUUITTSAAPPOO community. No, I didn’t make that up and I’ll explain it if you want. The reason I used GLB was because I was distinguishing those individuals from transgender individuals. But you’re right, the Human Rights Campaign has done that in the past. Many organizations have. But it’s not necessarily because they think including transgendered people would politically jeopardize the bill. Rather, as I was talking about earlier, it is because different bills and different movements may apply to GLB people, but not transgendered people.

loser's avatar

Like what? They’re all discriminated against. And the gay community even discriminates against the trangendered!

tinyfaery's avatar

@loser If a gay man or lesbian goes to prison they are housed with others of their sex. Where would a MTF or FTM transgendered be housed? One example.

loser's avatar

Okay, I stand corrected. But I just have to say that I am quite impressed that you know what FTM and MTF mean. Most people hear FTM and think, “Oh yeah, Family Tree Maker!” lol!!!

tinyfaery's avatar

LGBT studies. Look for it at a university near you…

lefteh's avatar

Another example is one that happened during this past school year here in Columbus. Does a transgendered student have the right to use the bathroom that he or she chooses?

gooch's avatar

No transexuals and homosexuality are two different issues, To say they are the same is like saying hetrosexuality is like either.

tonedef's avatar

I think that they should be grouped politically because they are both persecuted for perceived digression against gender norms. In addition to this…

In my (relative progressive, for the south) college town, a group of… dummies (gotta watch that language.) are getting people to sign a petition to “keep men out of the women’s bathroom.” Can you guess what the petition actually does? It’s putting the county’s gender identity nondiscrimination ordinance up for a popular vote. The proponents are preying on individuals’ fears of rape to reserve their right to not hire transgender individuals or provide them with housing.

The use of wildly misleading language and preying on peoples’ fears is something that occurs during every civil rights movement. Social conservatives were 100% sure that gay people would recruit their children, and they believed that integrated schools would lead to rampant miscegenation (both of these fears are laughable)

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