Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transgender Myths...#2 Transphobia

The next transgender myth I want to examine is a very popular one, transphobia.

Now I am sure that some are already thinking, "What?!?!" The term "transphobia" has become so common we tend to take it for granted. But let's take a closer look at this term and consider where it comes from, and what it is supposed to mean.

Now, let me begin by saying that I am not denying that there are people who are have very strong negative opinions about those who are transgender, as well as those who are transsexual or who suffer from Harry Benjamin Syndrome. But, does this concept that has come to be labeled "transphobia" really exist?

Well, as they say, the beginning is the best place to begin. Before there was "transphobia" there was "homophobia." Originally, "homophobia" was a legitimate term which referred to cases where someone was so fearful of their own possible feelings of being attracted to someone of the same sex that they would react violently to anyone who was perceived as being homosexual. Something like what is know commonly referred to as the "gay panic defense," or the "trans panic defense" when it is raised during a criminal trial.

People started using the term "homophobia" as a bit of a taunt. Anyone who did not agree with the gay rights agenda might be accused of being secretly homosexual and making a big show to cover up that fact. Then, over time, the original meaning was lost and "homophobic" simply became a sort of short hand term for anyone who did not agree with the gay political agenda. Soon, it was being used as a way of silencing opponents much as some use the terms "bigot" and "racist."

Then, as the effort to add "transgender" to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual started in earnest, some transgender activists started trying to imitate the tactics of the LGB movement. So, suddenly a new word, "transphobia" was made up, and it was used much as "homophobia" was being a club word that could be used to attack people who did not share a particular political view. It is especially common to use this against transsexuals and those with HBS, by accusing them of "internalized transphobia."

So, the bottom line is, "transphobia" is a misnomer. It is not an irrational fear, and therefore it is not a phobia. It is simply a made up word that is, first and foremost, a rather silly attempt to copy the word "homophobia," which is a concept that has lost its original meaning. "Transphobia" is nothing more than a word used to attack those who either do not agree 100% with the gender fascists, or who have the misfortune to incur their wrath. Simply put, it does not really exist. As I said, there certainly is real prejudice against transgender people. Some of it is justified, much of it is not. Just as there is real prejudice against transsexual, though there, quite frankly, legitimate justification is harder, if not impossible, to find.

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