The horrendous tabloid coverage of Jennifer Lopez's supposedly "cheating" boyfriend Casper Smart's communications with transgender women is reaching a fever pitch, and of course, they're pulling out the usual bullshittery when it comes to any story involving trans women or the possible transition of a celebrity.
InTouch didn't even miss a beat going directly to the "OH MY GOD, WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT SEXUALITY" commentary, making sure we were aware that there have been "reports" about Smart being gay.
Although Lopez has not commented on the sexting rumours, this is not the first time Smart's sexuality has come into question....In June 2012, the couple refuted reports that he was gay after one of the dancers he previously worked with claimed he dated men.
Christ, guys, really? Okay, let's just assume for the moment that this supposed sexting actually did occur. Let's just go ahead, for the purposes of thought experiments, and pretend we know for a fact that Smart really has been texting (or "sexting") transgender women in a provocative and overtly sexual manner. How could that possibly have anything to do with his sexuality, except as an excuse to trot out the old "trans women are men, so if cisgender men are interested in them sexually, it must be because they are not fully heterosexual."
And there's the lovely rant by Joshua Lee Ayers who declares Smart an "opportunist" and a "bitch boy." In comments to RadarOnline, Ayers has previously claimed knowledge of Smart's sexuality for at least two years according to that publication. In reference to Smart possibly sleeping with transgender women specifically:
He should know better, he definitely should know better. If a woman looks overdeveloped in more ways than one, you gotta watch out for that sketchy shit.
No, seriously. Just stop. "Overdeveloped"? "Sketchy shit"?
No one is going to seriously sit here and suggest that tabloid publications and websites are in any way good for healthy self-esteem or body image, but it's part of the background of society. As long as that is true, we have to call bullshit. And this is some Grade A, Prime, Top Tier bullshit.
Trans women are women.
This too common tabloid narrative that trans women are not actually really women, and the men who are attracted to them are not really straight, is the reason for much of the bullshit heterosexual (yes, dammit, I said heterosexual) trans women go through in regards to attempting normal relationships. This is the narrative which leads to heterosexual trans women being confused with gay cisgender male drag queens or effeminate cisgender gay men. This is the narrative which leads to the constant fear of being seen at best as a fetish or lesser substitute for cisgender women, and at worst as a dirty little secret which may say more about the sexuality of the cisgender men sleeping with them than it says about the actual trans women in question. Not that wider society would see it that way.
If Smart is inappropriately pursuing women who happen to be transgender (and only he and Lopez get to decide the boundaries for their relationship, not us, and certainly not the tabloids), he is still pursuing women. And last time I checked, when a man is only sexually interested in women, that's straight. Totally, completely, one hundred percent heterosexual. When questioning Smart's sexuality based on the alleged pursuit of trans women, what you are really questioning is the reality of the sexual orientation and gender identity of the trans women in question. You are invalidating them at the same time as you invalidate Smart's potential for continued heterosexuality after such pursuit.
And this all comes after headlines like the International Business Time's "Transexual Trangressions: Is Jennifer Lopez's Toyboy Casper Smart Playing Away with She-Male Playmates?" Eww. Please learn that even if the trans women in question refer to themselves with these terms, you can't do it.
Image via Getty.