If someone is a post-op transsexual, are they obligated to tell the person they are pursuing/dating?

axlryder

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Jul 29, 2011
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just what the title says. This is mainly geared towards men dating post-op woman, but obviously it could go other ways as well. Do you think the transsexual individual is obligated to reveal this information? Or are they simply obligated to inform their partner that they can't make babies? Why? For all intents and purposes, let's say this particular transsexual makes a very convincing man/woman and one couldn't determine they used to be a member of the opposite sex without being told so.

edit: Oh good lord, I didn't think this thread would blow up like it did. Okay, well then, I think there is a couple of points that should be made here in the opening post (plus a few I just wanted to personally make)

1.) there is a difference between gender and sex. Transsexual individuals are defined by having mismatched gender and assigned sex at birth or by obtaining a sex change operations/taking hormones to correct this. Normally the two are interchangeable, but in regards to this particular topic the difference is integral to the issue.

2.)The actual condition of being born with or feeling as though you have mismatched gender and sex, as far as I know, is called gender identity disorder. When transsexual chooses to disclose, it is generally through explaining that they had this disorder corrected through a medical procedure (that is, assuming they've already had a sex change and such). They're not going to tell you "they're actually a dude", nor should they say that, as it would be inaccurate.

3.) Transsexuals are generally born the gender they claim to be (recent medical research can, as far as I know, confirm this), meaning when they say they are a man or woman, they are not lying to you nor are the attempting to deceive you by not sharing information regarding their previous sex (at least, generally). Once they receive the necessary medical attention, then they can be legally assigned a new sex and have every right to view themselves as such.

4.)As far as I know, the degree of ignorance and intolerance in regards to this topic is on the high side. This can and does result in a significant amount of violence directed towards transsexuals individuals. That said, I think we can all agree that a person's personal safety should be taken into consideration above most else. I think a bit of empathy in regards to that fact would be great (not that I'm accusing anyone in particular of anything).

5.) if you didn't already know, they aren't legally obligated to tell you about their past or private medical history (though the question is more in relation to morals anyway).

All that said, I personally do not feel that a transsexual person should conceal the information regarding their sex change from their partner, and I feel it would be morally wrong to do so in a serious trust based relationships. I think the moment a person starts to conceal information or intentionally omits information from their partner for fear of how they will react, they are being deceitful or "lying by omission". In terms of short term relationships or one night stands, I can't comment on them because I've never had one and never intend to. However, I also think a transsexual person would merely be feigning ignorance if they claimed they were not aware that the majority of people would be concerned with their past sex or that it would seriously affect their perceptions of the relationships itself. I also don't feel the argument that that the inevitable trans-phobia or misplaced sense of homophobia somehow relegates a potentially concerned partner's opinions to being negligible or petty due to their irrational origin, thus not worth addressing. Going right along with that, while it is unfair that the transsexual must be constantly reminded that they're a "freak" by feeling that they should have to tell others that they are a transsexual, I don't think that negates the reality of people's concerns.

To me, a somewhat apt analogy that kind of favors the non-transsexual person (though not perfectly apt, as hardly any analogy seems to be) is if you had a pet mouse that you can't get rid of no matter what. Now, let's say this particular mouse is fairly undetectable and entirely harmless. Now, let's say the vast majority of people, in this particular world, have a bad case of musophobia. We all know that phobias are irrational, yet I think we can all recognize that they are legitimate psychological conditions that are often ingrained into a person's psyche for one reason or another and can have serious emotional repercussions worth noting. Now, let's also say that the VAST minority of people actually own mice and the majority are ignorant of mice (only knowing that they have an aversion to them), thus it's not a concern that weighs heavily on most people's minds, nor do they think to inquire about it when meeting a person. Now, you could invite a person to your home or they could ask to come over. You could say it's that person's responsibility to ask if you own a mouse, though I would consider it polite to tell them, given the state of this world. However, I don't think you would be wrong to not tell them right away (maybe it even just slipped your mind). However, let's say this person starts coming over more often or even moves in with you, at this point you'd most likely have to start doing things to occasionally conceal the mouse (despite it being fairly undetectable), you'd probably have considered that this person most likely or at least may have a case of musophobia and would care to know if you own a mouse. At that point, I think it would no longer be a matter it slipping your mind, you'd probably have to make a conscious effort to hide this mouse, even if it was easy for you. Now let's say you two bought this house together, now the person doesn't even know there's a mouse living in the house that they have poured their life into and you're still hiding it from them.

The house here, to me, mostly represents the relationships and aspects of the transsexual person themselves. The mouse more so represents the knowledge that you used to be another sex and the potential real life factors of being a transsexual (hormones, inability to reproduce, medical records, etc.). You might say that you could twist the truth about the mouse to inform the partner only what they need to know, but never actually reveal that you have a mouse. That said, obviously it's not a perfect analogy (you buying the house more represents marriage than buying someone else, plus various other things that don't correlate well), but I think you get the idea.


As for more real life elements, I think a person's development and psyche would almost invariably be affected by their history as a member of the opposite sex, meaning if you don't tell your partner then entire aspects of who you are would never be known to your partner, which seems like a poor foundation for any relationship.

I also think (and correct me if I'm wrong here) that a transsexual has to take hormones for the rest of their lives and potentially deal with other medical issues that crop up as a result of their past sex. This is another important factor to consider. Also, if anyone is wondering, a post-op woman CAN get prostate cancer, but the prostate is very shrunken and it's extremely rare (only happening a few times in older woman).

Going off of my very point about violence, a transsexual person concealing their previous sex may actually increase the likelihood of them being a victim of violence in a long term relationship (if their partner found out).

Finally, I've seen the point made that if a transsexual can somehow find out that their partner "wouldn't care" without actually telling them, then why even bring it up? At that point, I think there is a bit more moral leeway, but they would still be potentially hiding it and aspects of their past for no good reason (evincing potential internal doubt in their partner's claim, doubt which I imagine wouldn't be healthy for the relationship). It also likely doesn't definitively determine that their partner doesn't care (though shame on them for possibly lying to seem polite). It is also an issue of trust and transparency, two things which I feel are integral to a stable relationship (again, he might no so much care about the actual fact that you were a transsexual, but the fact that you hid it from him). Just a few thoughts.

This is mostly just my opinion (obviously) and my perceptions on the issue have come a long way since the time I first inquired about it. In my mind, it's the culturally pervasive ignorance that seem to cause the most problems for both transsexual people and those who date them. Of course, if my own post is doing nothing but revealing my own unfortunate ignorance on the matter, then I apologize, but I suppose that's a risk I'm going to take.

p.s. I probably won't be replying to any comments directed at me, as I don't have a crap ton of time or energy to blow on this general topic anymore and my internet is acting very wacky right now.
 

CrazyBlaze

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Jul 12, 2011
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I think if for a long term relationship yes. Maybe not right away but eventually. Its respectful to their partner that they don't hide something major like that. If their partner didn't know and after ten years of being together and knowing a lot about the other, or at least thinking they do, and their partner finds out the will wonder what other secrtets the other is hiding and it could take a long time for their relationship to recover. I think maybe after one or two years they should tell their partner. If their partner really loves them then it should not matter and eventually they will come to terms with it. At least much quicker than if they waited a long time to tell them.
 

axlryder

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Jul 29, 2011
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yes, it could do some damage to the relationship down the road, but what about in the short term. Do you think one is morally obligated to tell them? Or is it simply a choice thing?
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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if its just a fling..then no

long term..hmmm yeah probably, though most peopel tend ot run away screaming with that kind of thing, it cant be easy
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
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Mortai Gravesend said:
It's 'For all intents and purposes'. Unless you're talking about... specific intensive purposes >__>

But anyway, I think they have an obligation to reveal it to their partner at some point. It is a major thing and I don't think it's exactly uncommon knowledge that someone may feel uncomfortable dating someone who use to be another gender. As such it seems only fair to tell it to someone you're involved with. Not at the beginning, no, but at some point before things get too serious. I mean if they don't I wouldn't say punish them or anything, but it doesn't seem right to not mention something that your partner may very well care about before you get too involved with them.
haha, I always write "intensive purposes" even though I know it to be wrong. bad habits and such. However, let's say this particular person doesn't feel as though they're obligated to tell their partner. They think it's just part of their medical history and not relevant to anything beyond child bearing. Would you tell them they're wrong to feel that way and that they have a responsibility to inform their partner?
 

axlryder

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Jul 29, 2011
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Mortai Gravesend said:
axlryder said:
Mortai Gravesend said:
It's 'For all intents and purposes'. Unless you're talking about... specific intensive purposes >__>

But anyway, I think they have an obligation to reveal it to their partner at some point. It is a major thing and I don't think it's exactly uncommon knowledge that someone may feel uncomfortable dating someone who use to be another gender. As such it seems only fair to tell it to someone you're involved with. Not at the beginning, no, but at some point before things get too serious. I mean if they don't I wouldn't say punish them or anything, but it doesn't seem right to not mention something that your partner may very well care about before you get too involved with them.
haha, I always write "intensive purposes" even though I know it to be wrong. bad habits and such. However, let's say this particular person doesn't feel as though they're obligated to tell their partner. They think it's just part of their medical history and not relevant to anything beyond child bearing. Would you tell them they're wrong to feel that way? Why?
Sure. Because their partner might care, and being in a relationship they should consider things like that. It's relevant because it might bother their partner, and that it might does not seem to be such an unlikely or unthinkable thing.
Fair enough, that's the point I've been fowarding, but this trans I've been talking to is basically saying that it objectively doesn't matter and is no different from any other past medical issue so really they have no obligation beyond the child bearing aspect to inform their partner. It's really frustrating, because she's partly right, and I honestly can't think of a good reason why, once a person has been made "female" with hormone therapy/ops and such, that someone should take issue with being in a relationship with them (beyond child bearing of course). I still think she should tell them, but I can't think of a good reason why men would care, so I feel like I'd just be saying "some dudes are bigots" or something.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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Mortai Gravesend said:
Vault101 said:
if its just a fling..then no

long term..hmmm yeah probably, though most peopel tend ot run away screaming with that kind of thing, it cant be easy
Well what's horrible is the guy who said he'd beat them to the ground in another thread -__-

I can totally understand not wanting to say anything at all about it until you're sure what kind of person they are, considering the kind of person they might turn out to be...
thing is though...is it right to have sex with them...then tell them later?...

because if you tell them too soon it could totally freak them out and send them running, but continuing a relationship with them could be considered deceitful
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
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Vault101 said:
Mortai Gravesend said:
Vault101 said:
if its just a fling..then no

long term..hmmm yeah probably, though most peopel tend ot run away screaming with that kind of thing, it cant be easy
Well what's horrible is the guy who said he'd beat them to the ground in another thread -__-

I can totally understand not wanting to say anything at all about it until you're sure what kind of person they are, considering the kind of person they might turn out to be...
thing is though...is it right to have sex with them...then tell them later?...

because if you tell them too soon it could totally freak them out and send them running, but continuing a relationship with them could be considered deceitful
That's where it gets sticky really. if someone is convinced that it's not relevant since they are now female, who are we to say they're wrong or that such information should be revealed? They haven't done anything wrong. Knowing about child bearing is one thing, but why would someone need to know you're a post-op or even care beyond, I guess, bigotry or homophobia? I honestly can't think of a good reason.
 

Valanthe

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Sep 24, 2009
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If you're asking about legal obligation, no, what happens between two people is their own business. However as a matter of respect I think the disclosure of that fact should be mentioned before things get 'serious.' Not just for the full disclosure aspect, but it would stop a lot of awkward conversations later.
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
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Mortai Gravesend said:
axlryder said:
Mortai Gravesend said:
axlryder said:
Mortai Gravesend said:
It's 'For all intents and purposes'. Unless you're talking about... specific intensive purposes >__>

But anyway, I think they have an obligation to reveal it to their partner at some point. It is a major thing and I don't think it's exactly uncommon knowledge that someone may feel uncomfortable dating someone who use to be another gender. As such it seems only fair to tell it to someone you're involved with. Not at the beginning, no, but at some point before things get too serious. I mean if they don't I wouldn't say punish them or anything, but it doesn't seem right to not mention something that your partner may very well care about before you get too involved with them.
haha, I always write "intensive purposes" even though I know it to be wrong. bad habits and such. However, let's say this particular person doesn't feel as though they're obligated to tell their partner. They think it's just part of their medical history and not relevant to anything beyond child bearing. Would you tell them they're wrong to feel that way? Why?
Sure. Because their partner might care, and being in a relationship they should consider things like that. It's relevant because it might bother their partner, and that it might does not seem to be such an unlikely or unthinkable thing.
Fair enough, that's the point I've been fowarding, but this trans I've been talking to is basically saying that it objectively doesn't matter and is no different from any other past medical issue so really they have no obligation beyond the child bearing aspect to inform their partner. It's really frustrating, because she's partly right, and I honestly can't think of a good reason why, once a person has been made "female" with hormone therapy/ops and such, that someone should take issue with being in a relationship with them (beyond child bearing of course). I still think she should tell them, but I can't think of a good reason why men would care, so I feel like I'd just be saying "some dudes are bigots" or something.
Objectively it doesn't matter? Oh that's a silly excuse. You can complain and say that objectively nothing matters. What matters is whether their partner cares. Not what 'objectively' matters. What matters is a subjective issue and what matters depends on who you talk to.

Well all it needs to do is bother someone, no? If they don't feel comfortable with it, then that's it. Even if you don't think they should care, if you're in a relationship with someone you should take their worries into consideration even if you find them silly, shouldn't you? It's not for me to decide what someone I'm in a relationship should care about. I should acknowledge it and if I disagree perhaps I can try to change their minds. But not act as though it doesn't matter that they feel that way.
and after I said basically what you just said and going in circles for a bit I pretty much called her a selfish human being for not taking into consideration the feelings of others and stormed off. I guess there's not much more to say, really. I can't make her see that people likely caring is enough reason to be obligated to tell them, I guess she'll just have to possibly learn the hard way.
 

manic_depressive13

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Dec 28, 2008
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Obligated by who? Obviously I think it's best if they tell them since honesty is important in a healthy relationship. Then again, a well hidden lie is as good as the truth. If they're going to tell them, I think they should tell them early in the relationship. Then again, if they choose not to tell them at all, that's also good. I only think it's wrong if they hide it for a long time only to spring it on their partner later in the relationship. That will just make their partner feel confused and decieved.
 

Treeinthewoods

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Honesty is the foundation of any healthy relationship, if I was ever with someone and they confessed it after the fact I would end the relationship regardless of how I may or may not feel about dating someone trangender. In my eyes they are liars, even if they "just lied by omission."

Transgender folks - You have a better chance of a meaningful, fulfilling relationship if you are honest about yourself. Why would you want to be with someone you had to deceive into staying with you anyway?