The effect of transphobia

Transphobia is a true phobia, as irrational and pitiable as arachnophobia. Just as an arachnophobe’s attention is consumed by the harmless spider, just as they feel fear and sometimes abject terror, so the transphobe is obsessed by the possibility of seeing a trans woman even if none are there.

My friend was so gentle she did not want the spiders that terrified her hurt. With other phobias, the phobes see the irrationality, as does everyone else, whether they sympathise or despise. Transphobes refuse to recognise their irrationality, so must rationalise their fear. So they have to hate as well as fear: to invent some justification, however bizarre, why their fear is in some way proportionate to the tiny minority of mostly harmless trans people, and also to attempt to persuade others to fear us too.

I was going to write a post demonstrating this. So I went to collect transphobic utterances. The barrister Allison Bailey tweeted, “This is a national & international crisis”. Someone shared the tweet on facebook, apparently believing it. Someone told me on facebook all trans women are racist, because women of colour were more likely to have traditional views and be scared of trans women in women’s services. She stereotypes people based on skin colour, and calls me racist. She also said I oppressed women and girls, who would be unable to go out because of the “urinary leash”. There were no women’s loos they could use, because there might be a trans woman in there.

Another claimed women would speak out against trans inclusion but were afraid of violence or being sacked from their jobs. That could be rationalising, claiming her fear was of something real.

I had the core of a post. People I had met, semi-famous or eminent people, random people in comment sections or facebook, all saying irrational, phobic things, mixed with anger and hatred because they could not admit their fear was irrational. And then I sat without showering all morning, because considering such stuff hurts. It makes me imagine a miasma of hostility everywhere, when most people don’t care that I am trans, and many accept me.

I need to be loved, I said.
You are loved! said my Friend.

We laugh at the phobes, on our private groups. Nicola Sturgeon tweeted about how awful it was now, to be a woman in Afghanistan, and someone tweeted, “Afghan women and children are in a horrendous position, but here women and children are being called terfs”. It is ridiculous. When shared on facebook that drew eight Haha reactions. If it’s just as bad, someone said, “I’m sure there are plenty of Afghan women willing to change places with British TERFs”. I hope some people will look at that tweet and see it is ridiculous.

I’ve seen screenshots, but it appears the tweet has been deleted. The account shown, when I searched on DuckDuckGo, came up as Sugar Kane в Твиттер, but referred to Scottish issues from an anti-SNP perspective and had a lot of transphobia. I am sure you could find screenshots with a bit of searching.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. In this strange world of On-Line, passions are so high, and the most recondite interest can come to seem the most important thing in the world because you can spend hours a day scrolling through ever-new stuff. Any hashtag has mockers and doubters, who only serve to drive engagement. Facebook regularly shows me posts where people are energetically debating trans rights, and I got sucked in. So I got called a “racist”. And now I am still dwelling on that- to try and understand where it comes from, to see how important it is, to entertain and enlighten you, of course. I wish trans friends online would spend less time on transphobes.

8 thoughts on “The effect of transphobia

  1. ” I wish trans friends online…”

    I feel it’s difficult when, as a community and occasionally as an individual, there can be very negative criticism, discrimination, and occasionally, absolute mistruths.

    Where is the balance between being informed, sharing to push back, or just reposting the unpleasantness?

    FWIW, I’m not sure how you’re a racist. At least, not unless you’ve been caught running a secret ‘Genetic Critical’ blog as a closet fascist. 🙂


    • I am not sure I understand why she thinks I am racist either. This is what she said:

      “So stop being a misogynist, a racist – in a deliberately practical way of making it impossible for many women to go further than our urinary leash.”

      I asked why racist.

      “obviously because you are happy to keep women with particular cultural needs out of spaces where no male should be. Racist. Have you always not cared about women as a whole, or is it just women of colour.”

      Someone else requested clarification.

      “Keeping women from different backgrounds in a multicultural society out of women’s spaces because we cannot use spaces where we are vulnerable. To selfishly do that is racist af. And disablist. And obviously, underpinning it all, misogynist.”

      The whiny immaturity sounds like it comes from a fourteen year old, but her profile pictures show a fat white woman with purple hair, about sixty. Now you know as much as I do.

      Here am I, reposting the unpleasantness. One way forward is to laugh at it, to see how divorced from reality it is.

      This sort of argument obviously works for her on the radical hate sites. Possibly, it helps undecided people see how silly the haters can be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, if someone’s posting hate into a hate site, I think we’re will passed reasonable discussion at that point.

        I sincerely hope that the individual in question is a bit more open minded and curious in real life, but I won’t hold my breath. 🙂

        Given you transitioned a while back – apologies if I’m off the mark – then if you are in such a space, well, there are no men there. Perhaps it’s best to overlook the dog whistle in the room over what the accuser thinks of people who have transitioned.

        I presume also that the person who’s so very concerned about people of colour and those who have mobility issues, that they’re on matches, demos, and railing against the current situation about DWP Back to Work, the Asylum policies, and cuts to support services…. 😛

        Anyway, I hope you’re not too badly affected by having been exposed to the vitriol. ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

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