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Transphobia

Transphobia occurs when a person has negative, hostile, cruel or malicious feelings toward transgender, sometimes referred to as transsexual, people. Transphobia often crosses paths with homophobia, as gender identity and sexual identity can be closely related to one another, and many people misunderstand or misconstrue the concepts of these identities. Transphobia is very dangerous because it causes negativity, inequality, intolerance and escalates to violent and irrational behavior.

Symptoms of Transphobia

Some symptoms and signs of transphobia include:

  • Inability to believe a transgender person is actually a “real” woman or man
  • Assuming that transgender people are mentally ill, deranged or confused
  • Feelings of discomfort and inability to trust or connect with someone based on their transgender status
  • Avoiding referring to a transgender person as the gender they feel they are, instead only referring to them as they were born
  • Excluding transgender people from events and discussions
  • Failing to provide service, employment, medical care or housing to a transgender person
  • Consciously or purposely putting down or harassing a transgender person verbally or physically

Common Facts About Transphobia

Transphobia is a very dangerous attitude, much like racism or sexism. These societal barriers and inequalities only cause tension, negative feelings, pain or violence. On a humanitarian level, there have been countless cases where a transgender person was denied urgent medical care because the medical personnel were transphobic, leaving the person to suffer and die. Transgender people have been denied jobs, promotions, access to social gatherings and even apartments based simply on their gender identity.

Treatment of Transphobia

If you are somebody who feels that you are transphobic and you can’t control it, it’s time to change your mindset. Many people have phobias because they were raised to think a certain way, or because of personal experiences. But a great way to learn more is to research organizations, and even get involved. The more you educate yourself, the more you will find that transgender people are just like everyone else, and they deserve respect.

If you are being discriminated against for your gender identity, it’s definitely a great idea to surround yourself in supportive, accepting people. From support groups and organizations to friends and family members who love you the way you are, it’s important to avoid negativity and criticism. If you are feeling troubled, a certified therapist can also help you through your challenges.

View Resources

  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia page for transphobia, including many examples of problems transgender people face.
  • About.com – Entry for the complicated issue of gender identity and transphobia.
  • Gender, Transgender and Transphobia – Informative webpage with ideas about how to decrease transphobia in our society.

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