Content warning: mentions of transphobia.
Safe Sex/Sex Positivity with Ffion Nugent.
Growing up trans has its challenges. Stonewall Cymru (2019) states that one in four people within the LGBTQ+ community has experienced a hate crime related to their sexual orientation or relationship status. This includes over half (52%) of the trans community in the UK experiencing a hate crime related to their relationship status or gender identity (Stonewall Cymru 2019). It is clear that the trans community is severely marginalised from the cis-gendered, heteronormative society in the UK. This causes huge anxiety amongst trans people when it comes to dating and relationships.
This month, I collaborated with Trans activist, Phil Hill (they/them). We discussed what the dating scene is like for trans people and what more can be done by everyone to make dating more relaxed and ultimately make dating more safe for the trans community. Phil dedicates their spare time promoting gender diversity and trans inclusion. Phil is currently writing their first book, aimed at business owners to help restructure their workplace to become more trans-inclusive for trans employees and for trans customers. The author explains that much of the information can be extracted to help cisgendered people become better allies at large. Phil had also been featured within the sex positive podcast, ‘S3x Theory with Demi’.
Phil has been in a long-term relationship and states they haven’t personally had much experience with dating. However, the activist states that the largest battle trans people face while dating is transphobia – when dating a cis gendered person. Phil states:
“Sure, someone may be happy to go on a date with a trans person, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t transphobic!”
Phil uses examples of phrases that are often used by cisgendered people to a trans person on a date such as:
“I have never dated a trans person before!” Or “You’re really pretty for a trans person”.
The activist explains that they have been fortunate to have never been the victim of such statements and have been in a long-term, happy relationship. Phil is proud to say:
“I am living proof that finding love is possible as a trans person…”
We discussed that trans people can easily believe they will never find love, but the very fact they are trans makes their biggest quality. No, we are not talking about people who fetishize trans people – this is another form of trans discrimination. We are talking about those who find authenticity their biggest turn on!
Gender dysphoria is a real mood killer!
Not all trans people experience gender dysphoria, but it can be triggered by a multitude of reasons. For example in a dating scenario, being misgendered in front of your date in a bar or restaurant. Gender dysphoria can be met with feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and distress. The featured podcaster also explains that for some trans people, gender dysphoria can be a huge barrier to having sex. Phil states that some trans people find it difficult to be naked in front of their partner – not that people need to be naked to have sex of course! We also discussed that the language used around sex, particularly with sex toys and positions. Ultimately, the golden rule is to always establish and maintain a good, healthy communication system with your partner prior to, during and after sex to minimise gender dysphoria.
What can be done?
Education. That’s what it boils down to. The campaigner highlights:
“No one is born transphobic… hatred is learnt or just an outlet for their own struggles.”
Phil believes that children are very accepting of different people and family settings. This is why LGBTQIA+ education is vital to primary and secondary education. Cis kids need to know of the trans community and help trans children or teenagers grow up in an environment that they are not afraid to express love and affection publicly as they are!
– Instagram: phil.hill.talks
– Spotify: S3x Theory With Demi, Over the Rainbow
Image courtesy of Canva.