I am sitting here wondering how to begin explaining such an horrible expression of human emotion brought on by nothing less than gynophobia ( gyne, from woman and phobia, from intolerance or hatred for) therefore it can be said that transphobia is one of the last socially ” acceptable ” forms of bigotry, yet pure bigotry nonetheless.
We can easily observe in our culture that it has been only a few years past that the press even wrote guidelines regarding the pronouns to use when writing about transexuals and even with those guidelines, a lurid, post-mortem insult of ” a man living as a woman ” is still too often the default of the press when one of us is murdered.
Another term widely used incorrectly is eunuch. Historians as well as gay and feminist ones in particular, are guilty of this insulting misuse of the word. Today it is widely applied to the Hijra of India, also in blatant disrespect of their own identity. When the term eunuch is not used, we find in it’s stead ” castrated male priests ” almost universally.
Some things never change regardless of culture. As any woman can tell you, men place a very high sense of their identity on their genitals and always have and so the idea that thousands upon thousands of “men” would * willingly * castrate themselves and then live as women the rest of their lives is just as absurd then as it is today. We aren’t talking about invonluntary castrations of infants or young males by others such as id the source of the historic eunuchs, we are talking about individuals cutting off their own genetalia ‘in order’ to live as priestesses.
Any transexual woman reading the accounts decodes the mystery instantly and effortlssly… these individuals are not males, they are transexual women.
Knowledge about transexuality is widespread enough today among the educated that continuing to refer to these ancient women as ‘ castrated male priests ‘ or eunuchs is out and out transparently transphobic. Unfortunatly this transphobia runs rampant everywhere even today.
If you ask a Hijra about her sex, she’ll tell you she is female in her eyes just as any modern transexual woman would.
Some people in the the transgender community view transexuals as dupes of the medical profession, or slaves to social conditioning, or trapped in rigid ideas about gender roles. Sometimes we can see trhe question in their faces. ” What would make someone do– or want to do– such a thing?” And because the act of altering our bodies frighten them they try to think of an explanation. ” He must hate himself so much.” ” She can’t accept the role society has given her.” Her parents must have abused her.” Each of these statements, and all the others, assume that the transexual man or woman doesn’t really know what he or she is doing. And more, they shift the focus from transexuality itself to some external concept or ideology. All explanations, even friendly ones, drain away the passion of the experience.
People can be mean to transexuals. The biggest threat to transexuals- other than despair- is other people. Especially other people who do not understand what transexuality really is, or confuse it with other things, or just plain are stupid, or mean, or bigoted. Some people harm transexuals because they think their religion tells them to hurt people. Other people hurt transexuals because the fact that birth defects happen scares them. It is kind of scary that babies can be born wrong, but there are many birth defects far, far more horrible than being born transexual. All this hate towards transexuals can make transexuals hate themselves, too. This also causes transexuals to kill themselves, when they believe the hatred that other people tell them.
Today, we transexuals face yet another form of transphobia… this time we are even called shit-disturbers and mal-contents when we denounce this final oppression of our identities.
For some nearly two decades, an empty term, devoid of any sense, has been coined to include all gender variant people under one ” umbrella ” term. It is called ” transgender “.
When you use this on a transexual man or woman, you are in effect taking away their identities, their sense of community and especially of self.
The term transgender was used by a transvestite in the senventies as a way of distancing himself from the transexuals that he hated. Then, later on, the term was taken back out of the dark to be used as a term to cover all gender variant people. Well, when this is done, and a broad range of people are thrown in together, then the achievements and specialness of all are destroyed. The relatively recent move toward a new ‘transgendered’ political correctness will only further divide the various segments of the gender community.
The nebulous and vague term ‘ transgender’ is giving people the wrong message about who and what we are. Example, the word ” transgender ” may allow people to confuse legitimate transexuals, living their lives as the women and men they are, with drag queens and even crossdressers, who clearly are quite different. This confusion will only lead to the destruction of the power of transexuals.
We are not transgendered, not transgressive anything. We are transexuals, people born with a body different than their mind(gender). So, for all of you in the LGBT communities who advertise how inclusive and non-discriminating you are… think again! You have all been duped and lied to for years, stop this transphobia now.
Transphobia is just as subtle as all bigotry can be, even those who profess to wanting to help us by lumping us into that “umbrella” term cannot state that we become forgotten under the veil of their insulting term.
Transgender is at best an empty word conjured up as a neutral label for any individual not conforming to common social rules of gender expression. It refers to crossdressers, transvestites, gender fucks, dragqueens and dragkings, two-spirited, etc,.
While there may be a potential for survival in this mutual association labeled transgender, the primary function is social and political, and not clinical despite the efforts of some to legitimize this essentially meaningless term.
We transexuals are taking a stand and saying enough transphobia, enough discrimination, enough bigotry…. we say stop it now!
When refering to us or our community in the future; please use the correct and appropriate terms… transexual that is!
Show us the same respect that you would demand for yourselves and together, let us be rid of this bigotry and hatred.
co-founder of: Canadian Transexuals Fight For Rights ( CTFFR )
” Transexual Power “
Leslie Forrester, co-founder ( CTFFR )