How Trans Women Can Be Good Allies to Females

Anonymous asked: Hi. Can you tell me what the perfect trans ally for feminism would look like? Or is there one. If we said “Yes, we are male sexed” but also women, would we be accepted as sisters? Can you describe your vision of an alliance between transgender persons and feminism? If we said “Yes. There are differences between us and cis women” would that be enough?

I can tell you how my trans friends who are allies help females.

1. They recognize that sex matters.

2. They respect that females will want to organize as females, and will not derail.

3. They support female-only spaces.

4. They support issues that impact females uniquely (e.g., reproductive choice) without derailing (a la Julia Serano).

5. They don’t personalize feminist objections to gender identity theory.

6. They speak out against violent threats made by trans activists against females.

7. They will recognize that sometimes we will disagree – and that’s ok.

8. They do not view female sexuality as a political obligation (e.g., lesbians need to “overcome” their aversion to penis to “affirm trans women’s realness”).

There are trans women I accept as my friend, colleague, ally, sister. Indeed, I don’t really care about qualities based on identity politics in my *personal* life and dealings.

In short, trans women/trans men that I know realize that it’s not either/or. Sometimes our interests align, sometimes they won’t – where they don’t align, we should be able to hammer out how we can reach a more balanced compromise (this is what we proposed with the letter to the United Nations – that resulted in death threats).


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