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Comment Of The Day (1): The Transgender Secret: Was I Right Then, Or Am I Right Now?
Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd. Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd.
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Alexandria , VA
Sunday, December 23, 2018


Many, many excellent comments followed this post. The issue, covered here before but long ago, was when a transgender individual is ethically obligated to reveal that fact to a romantic target, or partner. The Ethics Alarms poll on the question reached these results:

Here is the first of two Comments of the Day from The Transgender Secret: Was I Right Then, Or Am I Right Now?; this one is by Rich in CT.

I voted “before having sex." and/or “when the relationship becomes serious."; as these were the earliest stages on the list. I also included “when marriage becomes a possibility." as the latest possible time to reveal. (I did not include “first kiss.", as this is too vague a time period)

My take would be as soon as practical (including at soon as the overt risk of a violent reaction is ruled out). The current consensus is that gender and orientation are spectrums, not binary absolutes. Within this logic, we have a duty to understand and respect our romantic partner’s place on the spectrum. One (of ant orientation) might be exclusively attracted to the extreme end of the female gender spectrum, for instance. This might preclude attraction someone with a surgically transitioned body. Since gender and orientation are considered persistent traits, it is not necessarily bias alone that dictates this exclusive attraction.

One must also consider cultural values of a partner. Any relationship I’ve been in, I’ve made known early on that kids (naturally conceived) are a long term goal of mine. On this basis alone, I might decline to pursue any women with known infertility. Were such detail withheld, I would feel extremely hurt and betrayed.

Of course, I have a duty to communicate such deal breakers. My feeling of betrayal would stem from being lied to repeatedly when these conversations happened early on.

I am acutely aware of such values and issues, and know to discuss them. The vast majority of the nation may not. A surgically transitioned woman (or the reverse), is in a unique position of power, having gone through significant counseling prior to surgery to understand her situation. She has a Golden Rule obligation to help her partner understand and clarify his or her values and orientation, to have the best chance at a successful relationship.

Once there is a sufficiently safe rapport, a person of transitioned gender has a duty to inform the other. This duty, however, is not truly distinct from the duty any couple has to learn and respect each other.

Ignorance and lies are a house of cards…..

ProEthics, Ltd.
Alexandria, VA