How to recognise transphobia
Christopher Shelley has produced a good list of ten points on how to recognise transphobia:
Source: In Defence of Trans People by Sarah Buchanan
Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture, by Christopher A. Shelley
- Denial that the problem exists in the first place.
- Inability to distinguish between categories such as queer, gay, lesbian, and trans.
- Lack of meaningful discussion in educational and workplace settings.
- Anxiety over not being able to tell if a person is male or female.
- Crude jokes directed towards trans people or with trans-related content.
- Refusal to accept trans people as one’s own teacher, doctor, politician, dentist, etc.
- Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson.
- Reducing trans to being merely and solely a psychiatric category.
- Trivialization and media spectacles centred on trans-ness as an object of ‘fascination.’
- Refusing the fundamental claims of transpeople as being genuinely mis-sexed.
The legal situation
Transphobia is not presently defined in UK law; transphobic attacks are instead addressed under the provisions relating to homophobia.
In the UK, those transpeople who have undergone, or ar undergoing, gender reassignment are specifically protected from discrimination and harassment under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 in relation to employment and the supply of goods and services. More general protections under the Disability and Discrimination Act and other equality legilsation also applies.
It is also a criminal offence in most circumstances to reveal the gender history of an individual who has undergone gender reassignment and been awarded a Gender Recognition Certificate under the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This strengthens the rights to privacy provided by the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to all Sensitive Personal Data (which includes medical and gender histories).