Self-Inflicted Transphobia

It’s easy to blame all prejudice encountered on others but talking to ordinary people I have realised that they may have a very different attitude to one transsexual person than to another: for instance I know people who call some MTFs she/her and others he/him depending on the behaviour of the individual.  That’s not transphobia – that’s a reaction to somebody who comes across as either male or transsexual, not as a woman (or vv for FTMs).

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4 Comments

Filed under Transphobia

4 responses to “Self-Inflicted Transphobia

  1. I think it’s fair to say that calling someone by the wrong pronoun because they legitimately are not seen as their target gender, even questionably so, by whoever is doing the calling is not transphobic – but certainly to use the wrong pronoun on someone who is obviously trying to present as female/male depending even if you recognize them as being transsexual is still transphobic and still wrong in my opinion. The idea that someone should have to “pass” (which is a completely idle standard that can and does vary from person to person) in order to be treated as who they truly are gives an overly cisgender-centric view of the world is just silly.

    Realistically speaking, it may be true that someone who is recognized as being trans is not going to get addressed properly – but as long as the person doing the misnaming recognizes that the person in question is trying to present as a particular gender, even if they don’t see them as “passing” as that gender, it’s still wrong and still transphobic to speak of them with the incorrect pronoun, or generally treat them as someone other than who they are – a man or woman, based on who they are on the inside rather than what their body may or may not look like or what their mannerisms may or may not be.

  2. If I’ve been corrected, it’s pretty arrogant of me to continue to assume that I know someone better than they know themselves. If you ask me to call you Miss instead of Sir, I’ll gladly do so. You know yourself better than I do.

  3. Just Some Trans Guy

    “That’s not transphobia – that’s a reaction to somebody who comes across as either male or transsexual, not as a woman (or vv for FTMs).”

    So if someone comes across as “transsexual” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), they can’t also come across as a woman? Or, in the case of trans men, as a man? That’s the ESSENCE of transphobia, and that gender-policing bull that marks some trans folk as Not Good Enough To Get Their Pronouns Respected needs to die a quick and fiery death.

  4. Mia Nikasimo

    Perhaps it is worth suggesting this one thing; being a transsexual is not, for me, just about “passing”. It is also, at times, rather subjective and not predisposed to the dictates of any one particular person’s whims. The suggestion that it is, falls into such a chasm that it brings up issues of reverse transphobia in which transsexuals straight, homosexual or whatever dehumanise each other because of our own narrow definitions of what transsexuality ought to or actually means. Are black people less human because of the colour of our skin, or are homosexuals less human because of our sexual orientation, or are disabled people less human because of their disabilities? Why should there be any prejudice against non passing transsexuals? Knowledge isn’t about narrow streaming or casting it is much more. It is the sum total of the diversity of human experience whether we know of them or not. To suggest otherwise belittles us all.

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