This section explores a range of oppressive and prejudice behaviours that greatly impact the trans and non-binary community. While you might not be personally affected, there are wider societal repercussions. These behaviours increase the incidences of hate crimes, deteriorating mental health and wellbeing within the community, and lack of support with increased intolerance and exclusion.
Transphobia is the intolerance of gender diversity and manifests as prejudice and abuse towards transgender and non-binary people. It stems from the notion that ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are comparable, however, this is not the case. Here are some useful pages from Galop (LGBT+ anti-violence charity) and Stonewall (on reporting hate crime)
It is the prejudice, cultural oppression, violence, and discrimination directed towards transgender women, and those that are more ‘feminine’ presenting. It can manifest in invalidating trans experiences, and not viewing transgender women in the same way as cisgender women. It links to the judgement of all women based on a set of societal and cultural standards.
Cissexism is as a result of systematic oppression faced by transgender people. It usually refers to a set of acts that privilege cisgender people over transgender people. Cissexism might be less ‘visible’ and ‘subtle’ to cisgender people; however, it is still damaging to the trans community. Furthermore, assuming that cisgender is ‘normal’ and being transgender is the opposite reinforces prejudice behaviours.
Examples (TW – cis-sexism and transphobia):
These are examples of behaviours that can be discriminatory towards trans and non-binary people, these should not be used or tolerated. The first step in becoming a better ally is recognising these and speaking out against them.
- Referring to sanitary products as ‘feminine products’ or expressing that ‘women only have periods’ dismisses trans and non-binary people that use these products.
- Greetings such as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ can make non-binary people feel othered.
- The idea that transgender and non-binary people should fit cisgender beauty standards to be ‘accepted’ by society.
- Invasive questions about somebodies ‘real’ name (leading to deadnaming), ‘pronouns’, or their transitioning process.
- You should NOT use the terms ‘sex-change’, ‘pre-op’ or ‘post-op’. This increased emphasis and suggests that trans people must need surgery to transition.
- Phrases referring to ‘biologically’ or ‘genetically’ dismisses trans and non-binary people. This reinforces the concept that gender and sex are comparable.
- Words such as ‘tranny’ and ‘she-male’, THESE ARE DEROGATORY! Not only are these extremely transphobic, they dismiss transgender people completely.
- Referring to cis-gender men or women as ‘real’ not only reinforces sexist and gendered stereotypes, it invalidates and dehumanises transgender and non-binary people.