Friday, January 9, 2009

Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture

Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture

1. Denial that the problem exists in the first place.

2. Inability to distinguish between categories such as queer, lesbian,
and trans.

3. Lack of meaningful discussion in educational and workplace settings.

4. Anxiety over not being able to tell if a person is male or female.

5. Crude jokes directed at trans people or with trans-related content.

6. Refusal to accept trans people as one’s own teacher, doctor, politician, dentist, etc.

7. Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson.

8. Reducing trans to being merely and solely a psychiatric category.

9. Trivialization and media spectacles centred on trans-ness as an object of ‘fascination.’

10. Refusing the fundamental claims of transpeople as being genuinely mis-sexed.

Crossposted via Bird of Paradox

13 comments:

Seth said...

I'd rephrase 8 as "solely a psychiatric or medical category," given that transness encompasses both of these and more. Forced medicalization, in my view, is at least as anti-trans as dismissing it as a psychiatric condition.

I appreciate the list, though. Very useful to see it broken down this way every now and again.

Laurie said...

Nope...I don't have TRANSPHOBIA...

I love to read your posts....
Very educational....

TACKLE YOU HUGS!!!!!!!!!

Kelli Busey said...

Tackled with (((Hugs))) yaaa:)

mewi said...

"7. Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson."

I'm not sure if this can really be defined as "Transphobia" unless you want to consider that lesbians don't date men cause they are men or gay men don't date women cause they are women.

It's all about preference. Nevertheless I feel it would be easier for a bisexual to date a transsexual.

Also another example, for me personally, I will only date Asian girls, that is my preference. But it's internal for me, uncontrollable. I feel no real attraction toward any other girl. I definitely don't hold outstanding attraction toward males lol.

Never the less would you call me a Maleophobe? ( if thats what you call them ) or a racist? o.o I don't hate men ( half of the time XD ) I don't hate based on race and I definitely wont hate someone for being trapped in the wrong body, nor would I disagree with their decision to change.

Renee said...

7. Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson.

I'll have to think about this one. My first instinct is to disagree. I know that this is problematic in that what we normally choose to find attractive is based in what has been held up to the ideal. I may accept a trans man as a male and consistently use the correct pronouns but should a straight woman be considered transphobic if she chooses not to date a man that has not had bottom surgery? This is not a simple issue and I don't feel it is fear to say that someone is transphobic based in this.

L said...

@mewi: The term is "misandrist". :p

I think point 7 has more to do with people who are attracted to a transperson, but refuse to date them simply because they're trans. The things you hear along the lines of "I dated a girl [who has had bottom surgery] a few times and I like her, but ewwwwww she used to be a man!"

That sort of thing is both homo- and transphobic; it comes about from a refusal to identify someone as anything but their birth gender, and their fear of being gay for dating someone who they see as male.

I'd never fault someone for not dating a person they weren't attracted to, but that behavior is most certainly transphobic.

mewi said...

L as unfortunate as it is, the misandrist word isn't that well known, not even my regular browser spell checker recognizes it as a word lol. ;p

Anyway, perhaps you are right. But there could be many other reasons. I'd date someone who was a transfemale only if, she sounded, acted, looked and had all the female parts. I guess thats pretty demanding, as I'm sure it's not easy to be transsexual.

Also this post isn't clear what transphobia is refering too... Transsexual or Transvestite, a transvestite is entirely different from transsexual, so again... of course #7 would be inaccurate seeing as how a transvestite is still a man/women, they just like different clothing lol.

Queers United said...

I agree that #7 can be troubling. I think it is transphobic if the person is post-op and corresponds to the gender of your sexual orientation. However you might be totally down with trans people but if you are gay and an ftm doesn't have a penis or a mtf didn't have a vagina constructed it might not work for you sexually speaking. That doesn't make someone transphobic anymore than a gay man not wanting to be with a woman makes him sexist.

Shauna Baggett said...

#7 Hmm how would I fit in this catergory? I am neither man or woman yet when looked at I either male or female, hmmm? I am a Intersex Transwoman but I grew up as a male so what does that mean? I have been married and have dated many women which find the woman in me more acceptable than the male. Question? Where do I stand in this subject?

Queers United said...

Shauna you bring up a great point, I guess everyone is different. Will some people be open to dating some trans, someone intersex, or someone with both identities. Everyone is different, it is a complicated subject.

Jaynatopia said...

good list, I have a feeling it could go on and on and on though :-D

Anonymous said...

mewi is most definitely transphobic by definition.

Hir commentary assumes trans people's gender is not as real as non trans people's.

This is transphobic, as is hir denial that it exists. It is also predicated on stereotypes, something that gays and lesbians rail against, but dish out freely to trans folks, and especially trans women.

As pointed out, denial of transphobia is in fact transphobia. It is undeniably cissexism for a non trans person to deny it.

This is true for the same reason that straight people are homophobic or at least heterocentric when they deny gay experiences of homophobia.

Other that the "not me" denials, good post and good comments on an otherwise gay centric "queer" site.

Keep it up..I may just have to revise my low opinion of you :D

Marion said...

To all of you who consider that a person is not transphobic for rejecting a trans person just because of their genitals welle you are wrong.

You do clearly not understand what transgenderism is. Yes I am not using that inapropriate word "transexual". Transgenderism is about gender not sexuality. That means a trans person is as much a woman or a man as a cis person.

That being said, as soon as yuou operate any kind of separation between trans people and cis people you are being transphobic.

When a lesbian or gay person is clearly attracted to a trans gay or lesbian but rejects relation with this person because of their not being operated it is transphobia.

You cannot hide behind the excuse of not being attracted there beacause it is clearly not the case. I have experienced it myself, being attractive to a lesbian but having her refuse any relationship with me for the reason that I am trans.

Oh and by the way, try not to tell crude jokes about trans people being transvestites because you are ignorant of the fact that one can be trans and choose not to undergo risky and costy surgery just for the sake of hypocrite people to accept them.

Cause yeah asking a trans to go surgery is like asking a girl to go have her breasts made bigger or you won't date her. Very selfish and uncaring way to see your relationship. And certainly not the kind of peron I would like to date.

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