hatred, irrational fear, prejudice, or discrimination against transgender people
Transphobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes, feelings and actions towards transgender people.
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- Transphobia and antitrans statements should not be treated as just another viewpoint that we should be free to express at the happy table of diversity. There cannot be a dialogue when some at the table are in effect (or intent on) arguing for the elimination of others at the table. When you have “dialogue or debate” with those who wish to eliminate you from the conversation (because they do not recognize what is necessary for your survival, or because they don’t even think your existence is possible), then “dialogue and debate” becomes a technique of elimination. A refusal to have some dialogues and some debates is thus a key tactic for survival.
- Since the position of the transphobe is that trans people don’t really exist, as trans people, and the position of trans people is obviously that they do exist, immediately we can see that no compromise is possible. Things either exist or they don’t, there’s no middle ground. So in any debate on this issue, it’s gonna be winner takes all. The trans person then is in the impossible situation of having to prove their own existence to someone who’s every response is gonna be, “How do you know?”
- It’s perhaps unsurprising that many though not all people would decide that faced with an opponent whose entire position is the total denial of your humanity as the kind of human being that you are, the only winning move in such a game would be not to play.
- The US routinely searches for new legal scapegoats to deposit its fears and anxieties around gender/sexual deviance. In the past, this has included the Witch Trials, sodomy laws, hyper-criminalization of suspected gay pedophilia in the late 20th century, and most recently dozens of state and local anti-trans bills across the country. While the face/identity of the alleged perpetrators have changed, the supposed purity of the "victims" has remained quite stagnant. These days the narrative is that freaky transgender people (or as they say "crossdressers") will come into your bathrooms and abuse innocent little girls. This type of legal/carceral culture relies on two things: The construction of morally abhorrent perpetrators/scapegoats AND the production of pure, innocent victims. In this case, as in so many cases in the past, these victims are archetypical (white) (cis) innocent little girls. We totally need to challenge the white Christian supremacist, right-wing rhethoric around trans bodies, absolutely, But we also need to seriously overhaul the idea that there is a perfect victim anywhere.