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Transphobia within LGBTQ+ community

Transphobia within LGBTQ+ community

Transphobia within LGBTQ+ community
August 04
10:27 2020

Trigger Warning: Transphobia, Homophobia, Mentioning of Genitals

This article cannot possibly contain all of the experiences of transphobia within the LGBTQ+ community and is not meant to invalidate anyone’s experiences, rather open the door to a much-needed conversation.

Transphobia is a prevalent issue within the LGBTQ+ community and is often not talked about among both cis and trans members as it can be taboo or hard to speak on others’ experiences. Not every transgender person will face the same issues when dating or having sex, depending on whether or not they are a binary or non-binary trans person, and many other factors, such as location, upbringing and personal choices.

Microaggressions such as misgendering and deadnaming can be harmful to a trans person’s mental health and view of themselves, along with rude and disrespectful behavior. When this happens from another person in the community, that can feel isolating as they are the people that will support you when maybe the world won’t. Cis gay people often do not understand these aggressions to the same extent, but by not putting in the most effort into using a person’s pronouns and name can hurt in many ways. They are not preferred pronouns or names, and yes, you have to use those. It is not your choice.

The most prominent issue within this subsection of transphobia is the idea that a person, and therefore their gender, is tied to their genitals or presentation in any way. Many people within the LGBTQ+ community will often tie their sexuality to that of one set of genitals, gay men for example, and penises, however, this leaves out a huge group of gay/bi/queer men who may not have or want a penis.

Cis gay people harassing a trans person about the gender they are or how they’re not men enough perpetuate transphobia, and it is not simply a preference. This harassment is usually faceted to hide the personal bias that needs to be unlearned for the well-being of others in the community.

Another problem the community faces is often sticking to their specific subsection out of fear or judgment of others. Trans people often keep their friendships, dating and sexual relationships within their own community due to it seeming to be their only viable option. If you feel more comfortable dating another trans person, that is OK, but most of the time this is due to the closed-off nature of the cis community within the LGBTQ+.

Trans people often have their own biases themselves and can overcome that by dating and being around other trans people. However, it is not just up to trans people to open themselves up to a different understanding of gender, but the entire community. We cannot have these taught biases within the community, as that is inherently contradictory to the rhetoric of the community of open and understanding love and sex.

An even less touched-on subject is the transphobia non-binary people face within the community, from both trans people and other cis gay people. The concept of non-binary people is not new, not even relatively, and is often looked at as the pit stop on the way to a binary trans life. This is often not the case and invalidating to those people, and often seen as the ultimate outcast within the LGBTQ+ community as trans people do not believe they are trans or gay and do not want to date them due to the lack of gender representation. Often leaving only bi/pan/queer people as viable options due to the strict ideas presented in the other gay communities, and overall lack of understanding of non-binary people even within their own community.

Unlearning these views of gender vs. sex in our own open spaces that will lead to a better understanding of each other is vital, as equality is nowhere near the standard the community deserves. Cis gay men, lesbians and bisexuals can detach themselves from the thought that they’re attracted to genitalia rather than the person and can push for a more open LGBTQ+ community. Pronouns, presentation or genitals do not represent or equal who you can or should love, and starting with abolishing these toxic thoughts and biases within the community itself will push for a better understanding from the rest of the world.

Tensions within only lead to problems and further self hate from and within these groups, and having open and honest conversations about things you as a lesbian, gay, bi, trans or queer person need to unlearn is vital to the safety and happiness of all in the community.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

About Author

Keaton Hare

Keaton Hare

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2 Comments

  1. anon
    anon August 04, 20:05

    as a non binary person, I can’t even count on both hands how many times i’ve been misgendered, questioned, and belittled by my fellow LGBTQ+ members. as the article mentioned, being non binary isn’t new, but many cis and binary trans people seem to think it is and they lick the boots of non-queer people by suggesting the enbies are “just making things more complicated.” well, i’m not sorry that you aren’t willing to learn about my gender identity. this is who i am, take it or leave it.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Renae
    Renae August 05, 01:50

    “Cis gay men, lesbians and bisexuals can detach themselves from the thought that they’re attracted to genitalia rather than the person and can push for a more open LGBTQ+ community.”
    This is classic homophobia. I can’t change, I’ve tried. I am not open to penis. Genitals do matter. The argument quoted aforementioned is the old “hearts not parts” argument touted by conservative Christians. I am angry and disappointed this esteemed publication published such blatant homophobia. A publication that represents a university, that I attend and pay for, which supposedly upholds a high standard of nondiscrimination, including on the basis of sexuality. I hope you retract the above statement and similar sentiments in this article and offer an apology to the LGBT+ community. Transphobia within the cis community does exist, but so does homophobia within the trans community. And the above is an example of the later, rather than the former.
    Please consider how your arguments serve to devide and destroy the LGBT+ community and recognize your grevious error.

    Reply to this comment

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