Why Everyone Contributes To Transphobia And How They Can Stop

Even though today, the 13th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, is a day to grieve, memorialize and celebrate those who have died because of transphobic hate—it’s also a day to check our own transphobia, its causes and what we can do to stop the violence. So here’s 3 thoughts from trans thinkers that will help. Image via Andrew Taylorr

Transgender identities often elicit reactions of confusion, judgment and dismissal, even from progressive liberals. We sometimes hear people say that individuals undergoing these sorts of physical changes are dealing more with psychological problems than hormonal. That most of us have clear sexes, so we can have clear genders. That pushing the stereotypes around clothing, work and relationships are one thing, but pushing the boundaries around bodies are another. I will say to this that I have heard all of it before referring to gay and lesbian men and women. I have been told that my love for another man is a psychological problem — that my hormones are not the real issue. I imagine that most women may have heard the same sorts of things regarding their lives, their careers, their families. They are willful for seeking that job, or that position, or that relationship. They are disrespecting their family or their culture when they delay marriage, or move in with a lover before marriage, or postpone having children in favor of their career. Although some men certainly do hear the same sorts of critiques, I find that most males have another set of guidelines to live up to. Simply put, the rules are different for different genders. And while the situation is all the more confusing when gender isn’t clear, we can choose to go a little deeper and find the commonalities to which each of us can relate… I believe that American culture has been trumping our religious values of compassion and love. Transgender identity scares us because it suggests that maybe we’ve got it all wrong. Maybe women are just as good as men. Maybe relationships are defined by the horizon of our love. Maybe people ought to have agency over their own bodies. Maybe the world isn’t all that clear right from birth. Maybe the phrase “men and women” is still leaving someone out.
– Rev. G. Jude Geiger discussing how transphobia affects everyone at HuffPo Gay Voices

Transgender people live at the intersections of systemic oppressions. Our gender identities don’t conform to the expectations of society. And if we are transwomen of color, we are subject to additional stigmatization and harassment. Transmisogyny is at the root of much of the violence against transwomen, and racism plays a large part in this violence. Murders of transgender persons are often characterized by extreme violence committed by persons filled with deep-seated hatred. This hatred is often born of the language of marginalization that characterizes much of the everyday rhetoric against transgender people and communities… Much of this extreme violence against transgender people begins in the violence of language that represents what is all too often an acceptable prejudice in our society. This in turn leads to stigmatization of our community and feeds the dehumanization and transphobia that can ultimately erupt in physical violence. What can we do to end this vicious cycle of murders of transgender people that brings us together every Nov. 20? We need gender-conforming allies to interrupt the language and actions that feed the fear of transgender people. We need transgender and gender-conforming people who are willing and able to educate others about the lives of transgender people and the oppression that we experience. We need allies who will work for passage of legislation that will give true justice to trans people. We need allies from secular and faith communities who are willing to fight for justice for all people and to work to end systemic oppression.
– Jamie Ann Meyers, Transgender Representative to the North American Board of Lutherans Concerned talking about how transphobic language fuels violence

As we recite the names of all those who we have lost to the violent hearts and hands of our fellow human beings, may we remember that these names don’t just represent another statistic in the growing number of people who lost the grace of their lives to the indignity of transphobia. These names represent lives, real lives of people who lived, walked, cried, smiled, and loved among us. These names represent lives that deserved to be treated with nothing less than dignity…

These names represent lives that matter and they should matter, for these names represent people who were somebody’s children, partners, friends, siblings, students, teachers, workers, citizens! So as we recite these names, we are calling on all institutions – from the families to schools to religions to governments, from Amsterdam to Ankara, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – we are calling on everyone, everywhere to reclaim compassion from hate, to reclaim care from apathy, and to reclaim everyday kindness from transphobia…

Let each name be a monument of courage! Let this courage stir a restless defiance in our hearts – a restless defiance that would urge us to stand up for justice and dignity for everyone, everywhere! Let this restless defiance keep on awakening our enormous strength to face our fears about this world. And let’s keep on awakening this enormous strength so we can keep on touching the hearts and spirits of those who are afraid to understand and accept difference; so we can keep on expanding the field of social inclusion and acceptance; so we can keep on inspiring the minds and hearts that matter to craft social policies that are designed to facilitate the fulfillment of happiness!

– Transgriot remembers Sass Rogando Sasot’s speech during the 2011 Amsterdam Transgender Day of Remembrance.

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  • Cam

    I’ve always been supportive of Transgender issues, even to the point of commenting to HRC angrily when they were going to push ENDA without Trans protections.

    HOWEVER, after Trangender activists came out and attacked the gay community on the day marriage became legal in NYC, I saw and ugly side of their movement. Many of the leaders have now decided to take the route that, rather than work towards legal acceptance, they will continually attack the gay community as a whole.

    The attack on marriage was so ridiculous considering that until the U.S. allows people to legally change their gender on official documents, gay marriage rights will also allow many in the transgender community to legally marry as well. However, none of this was mentioned in the name calling ad hominem attacks.

  • CBRad

    I never fully trust any “Reverend.”

  • G.I. Joe

    @ Cam: Somepeople, gay or straight, transgender or not transgender, black or white – are idiots. There’s nothing you can do about that, that’s a fact of life.

    And extreme activists, be they angry transgender activists or crazy ACT UP activists generally end up being conterproductive to their movement. But let’s keep in mind that they generally are so aggressive because they feel like nobody’s listening to them. And indeed, unless they’re out-there glitterbombing Dan Savage, who talks about trans issues? Nobody.

    So the problem comes from both sides unfortunately.

    In any case, let’s remember these activists represent a tiny minority, and it shouldn’t reflect on your opinion of other people – I didn’t agree with Malcolm X, that doesn’t mean I am a racist.

  • JayKay

    1. That article in no way explained “Why Everyone Contributes To Transphobia And How They Can Stop.” It’s just another attempt at guilt tripping and emotionally blackmailing gays into blindly supporting the LGBT lie.

    2. I’m a gay man. I am not transgendered, intersexed, gender confused, queer, two-spirit, or anything of the sort. Being gay in no way requires me to align myself with any of these people or their ridiculous agendas.

  • Coffee&Chicory

    @JayKay: you’re joking, right?

  • Cam

    @G.I. Joe:

    Your point is well taken, however, I have seen that attitude spilling out onto the blogs as well, there will be some article about Trans issues, and suddenly you will get a bunch of posts attacking the gay community.

    As for never hearing about trans issues. Which issues would those be? AGain, Marriage equality helps them equally as much as it does the gay community at this point. Several jurisdictions in Maryland recently enacted trans protections in the last legislative session etc… Queerty has multiple trans focused articles here, for a community that is so small in overall numbers their visibility has been very well handled I would say. When a group who’s numbers a again just a very very small number of the overall GLBT community they halted the ENDA bill in congress. That isn’t a powerless group of victims.

  • CBRad

    @JayKay: Agreed. if that’s not a group of gay men and women marching in that pic, then…..I wish them the best…but why is this blog focusing on them so much? Why not Jews or polygamists or Indian-Americans or..?

  • missanthrope

    Wow, people using TDOR as a opportunity to generally bash and complain about trans people. Keep reaching for new lows queerty readers, you may yet outdo 4chan in the low-class department.

    Despite the cesspool of comments, thank you Queerty editors for your coverage of trans people. At least some people appreciate it

  • WillBFair

    Nice guilt tripping Daniel. But it isn’t working this time.
    The transgender community have spit contempt at gay people for too long. They want respect from us but refuse to show respect to us.
    The victim card also is not working. I myself have seen a mountain of cruelty, and I don’t let others insult and abuse me just because they’re also oppressed.

  • Henry

    I really don’t think there’s anything we CAN do. It’s up to trannies to defend themselves against their attackers (it’s not like we can arrest the attackers ahead of time), and do their own social work to get accepted. Plus, as someone else pointed out on this site a day or two ago, transsexual rights are viewed favorably by a VERY WIDE margin of the American public. It’s probably because the Bible never says “thou shalt kill men and women who get a sex change.”

  • o

    “HOW MANY TRANSGENDERS HAVE TO DIE BEFORE YOU GET INVOLVED.” Wow. I never knew that transsexuals were so dramatic. They need to cool it and accept the fact that people are killed in needlessly violent attacks every day. It’s not as if there’s a concentrated effort to get rid of them. In the meantime, they can file police reports so the police will go after the people responsible. That’s something positive and helpful they can do, instead of carrying signs making the problem sound so dramatic.

  • CBRad

    @WillBFair: Probably only some of them are obnoxious, and others are probably respectful pople. But, still…..why are some insisting we equate the trans communities with gays and lesbians?

  • N.H.

    “Transgender identities often elicit reactions of confusion, judgment and dismissal, even from progressive liberals.” I knew it, those darn intolerant libruls. They just can’t accept transgenders, unlike conservatives, who embrace them with open arms. I always knew conservatives were the real salvation of transgenders.

  • CBRad

    @o: And some trans are also the perps in violent crimes. Since Queerty covers when gay men murder, they should cover trans murderers too if they insist on dragging the trans into this alleged “gay” blog.

  • Cam

    @missanthrope: said…

    “Wow, people using TDOR as a opportunity to generally bash and complain about trans people. Keep reaching for new lows queerty readers, you may yet outdo 4chan in the low-class department.”

    This lie could have been posted by the Mormon Church. Interesting, I point out a blatant attack on the gay community by Transgender activists and then you come on and pretend to be the victim. The fact that this was a lie is probably why you didn’t actually POINT OUT WHICH COMMENTS WERE SUPPOSEDLY SO HORRIBLE.

    Nice try.

  • Elfnine

    I’m confused by the “love will win” sign. Isn’t that the fight gay people have? Trannies are fighting to change their bodies, which is a perfectly understandable reaction.

  • Cinesnatch

    LGBT: United we stand, divided we fall (fail). We’re all sexual minorities and must work together.

  • Mav

    “LGBT: United we stand, divided we fall (fail). We’re all sexual minorities and must work together.”

    ^ This.

  • Maple

    Wow, there sure are a lot of white people in this transgender march.

  • Kev C

    I’ve always supported transgenders but I realize that they have class issues with differing priorities for social class. The upper-class transgender “grief queens” who throw these memorials are more concerned about newspapers getting pronouns correct than offering help or advice to the transgenders (of lower classes) who are the ones getting killed. I’ve wondered why this is and I conclude that it’s because the upper-class transgenders need martyrs for their cause but don’t really care or have any answers for those in the lower class.

    That’s my observation and I’m sticking with it.

  • Dutch

    @Cinesnatch: No, sorry. Gays and lesbians may decide to work with a lot of different groups. But we don’t need to redefine ourselves to do so. And the decision as to when and whether to work with other groups is ours and ours alone; we don’t take orders. Trans activists would love for gays to mindlessly label themselves LGBT and believe the sloganeering that we all stand or fall together. But that is transparently false. Each claim for civil rights is evaluated on its own merits. Gays have been and could continue to win civil rights w/o involving themselves in transsexual bathroom usage issues. However, it is far less likely that trans activists can win much of anything without our help. It is a very lopsided arrangement, with virtually no upside for gays and lesbians. Add to that the appalling hostility and homophobia of trans activists, and it is easy to see that that continuing with this LGBT fiction is insane.

  • Retrosexual

    The guy in pic three is kind of cute.

  • Cathy Brennan

    @G.I. Joe: “crazy ACT UP activists”

    Really? You mean the crazy ACT UP activists who sounded the alarm bell about HIV and AIDS when complacency and ignorance were killing the gay male community in the 1980s?

  • missanthrope

    Wow, you people are real fucking sociopaths. Do you just troll LGBT websites writing bullshit all day or what?

  • Cathy Brennan

    @Cam: “Several jurisdictions in Maryland recently enacted trans protections in the last legislative session etc… ”

    No, this is false. Baltimore City enacted protections in 2002. Montgomery County next (2007?). Howard County is considering protections now. You can read about that here:

    The Maryland General Assembly did not approve HB 235, which would have banned discrimination based on “gender identity” in credit, housing and employment. 2012 will see a comprehensive bill introduced that will also include public accommodations. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • CBRad

    @Cinesnatch: I’m not going to fail or fall without transgendered or other “sexual minorities” linked with me or not. Just like my life doesn’t rely on all Germans just because they’re another Caucasian people (like me).

  • Q

    Seems like this site has become “Transy” instead of “Queerty”. @Dutch Preach it!

  • John


    Oh please, don’t turn this into liberal vs. conservative because the majority of them in both parties don’t give a shit about us. Liberals pander to us for votes and conservatives bash us for votes. We have very few true political allies.

  • JayKay


    So how long until you people start demanding I fight for the rights of pedophiles and necrophiles? I mean they’re the most systemically oppressed sexual minorities of all. Obviously that means we have everything in common, their issues are my issues, diversity makes us strong, and blah blah blah insert liberal bullshit blah blah.

  • CBRad

    @JayKay: Should we also have to fight for polygamists?

  • JDSwell

    I don’t believe in discrimination for anyone, but I do not have an identification with folks who are transgendered. I feel an affinity for them as a group that is treated poorly, but I think their movement is a different movement. One that I may support, but that I am not necessarily a true part of — much the same way that as a white guy I support civil rights and equality for black people even though I am not black.

    The issues are different. Why must we try and make them the same? They are all important.

  • Aiden

    Has anybody asked anybody to redefine themselves? Anytime there’s a post about trans people, out come folks bringing up irrelevant bullshit. God damn, can you at least stick to the subject at hand? It’s like we can’t even talk about transphobia without people being called divisive, or talking about how they aren’t the same as “trannies”, or how they’re trying to hijack the gay movement. It has nothing to do with this story.

  • Gauge

    Wow, so much hate here. People throwing around the word “trannies” at will. I like how your response to “When will you step in!” is “Ew, trannies!” Seriously, wtf is wrong with you people?

  • Daddles

    Trans people have trouble and can be denied marriages. They can be fired from jobs. They can be denied housing. They’re not allowed in the military.
    Hmmm… these issues are sounding familiar…
    As for the pedophiles and necrophiles: let me know when children and dead people can give consent and I’ll let you know when you can start fighting for their rights.

    If you claim to be fighting for marriage equality, that includes polyamory.

  • Gregor

    hahaha the homosexuals actually think straight/assexual trans people give a fuck about them ell ohh ell

  • CBRad

    Is the “transgender community” made up of people who had “corrective” surgery/sex changes, or are they people who enjoy being both-sexes-in-one-person? Or is it both?

  • JayKay


    “Consent” is just an archaic, outdated concept invented by the oppressive, white, heteronormative, cisgender patriarchy to keep the threatening sexuality of young wymyn in check.

  • Riker

    @JayKay: You’re spot on here. I have some transpeople that I love dearly, but their fight is different from ours. Including their issues in our bills makes them far less likely to pass, as we learned with ENDA and a hundred other times.

    I’m perfectly fine allying with trans people when it is mutually convenient, but the GLB community DOES NOT, WILL NOT and SHOULD NOT put their needs above our own.

  • JDSwell

    @Daddles: I did not associate trans people with necrophiles and pedophiles – you did. I said their fight for equal rights is a different movement. It is one that I support, but it doesn’t have to move in lockstep with the gay rights movement.

  • Cam

    @Gregor: said…

    “hahaha the homosexuals actually think straight/assexual trans people give a fuck about them ell ohh ell”

    1. I could care less what the straight community thinks about me.

    2. YOU obviously care a HUGE amount! We aren’t on YOUR blog talking about you, YOU have come all the way onto OUR blog to talk about us. YOU care. Probably because you are gay and you think that coming on here and saying something stupid will convince you that you aren’t gay. Won’t work. You’re gay.

  • Cam

    @Gauge: said… “I like how your response to “When will you step in!” is “Ew, trannies!” Seriously, wtf is wrong with you people?”

    Really? Because I liked the response to our largest civil rights victory in decades, having a legislature in one of the largest states in the nation approve marriage rights, be met with an all out full frontal assault by the Transgender activists who wrote a horrifically anti-gay screed attacking the community. When did they do that? The VERY DAY that marriage passed. Couldn’t even let the community have one day.

    IF you want everybody to hold hands and sing together you may want to suggest that the leaders mind their actual work and not just lash out to get a reaction. As you can see from some of the posts here…they got one.

  • rhenaiya

    Let me start by saying there are more often trans people who also identify as bi,gay or lesbian, both before and after they have corrective surgeries. So really, many of us trans people identify as both. Also, a main aspect of the transgender experience is a conflict with societal gender norms, so when a gay man is effeminate or a lesbian is butch, they are facing the exact same issues of social intolerance that transgender people deal with. I think the drag community is a perfect example of where sexuality and gender identity intersect, so lets not even pretend there is no commonality between these two groups. Quite honestly I think most homophobia stems more from the societal gender expression of masculine women and effeminate men than the actual sexuality, as one is a more public aspect of that persons identity.
    Now I suspect that the underlying reasons for transphobia are actually linked to other types of phobias or contempts. For example, the straight homophobic male who discovers the girl he is attracted to is trans and not only ceases to regard her as female, but often attacks her in an attempt to reject her identity as female and re-assert their own heterosexuality. Or the possibility that a particular lesbian who has complete hate towards men, and there are a few, reject trans women because they see them as merely men in disguise, or reject trans men because they see them as butch lesbians who have betrayed their own subculture. So, when a person is being hassled or worse for their appearance rather than for their behavior, it is because they are challenging someone elses boundaries on gender expectations. I think there is an additional element in transphobia that occurs in all of society that hinges on the notion that trans people are attempting to decieve everyone, which in turn challenges their sexuality. In the same way a straight male would rarely admit to being attracted to a trans woman because it calls their hetero status into question, a gay male would be hard pressed to admit they are attracted to a trans man, or a lesbian attracted to a trans woman. While they internally might be attracted, often this is ignored or dismissed to protect ones self from scrutiny by their peers.
    Now I should address the fact that there are immature, ignorant extremists in all subcultures. It should be noted that if you agree with the opinions of these people, their mentality and behavior seems less extreme. Either way, they make the rest of the more rational and reserved members of their respective groups appear fanatical as they are being represented in such a manner. While I think there is a time for glitter bombs and riots in the streets, I also think that most progress is made by people who take the time to create bridges between conflicting cultures with patience and earnest communication, and those who educate themselves and others about the history we all share.
    So if these trans related articles on Queerty, specifically on the transgender day or remembrance, seems out of place to you, then skip over them and read the next article. Just for a moment as you do, ask yourself why you have no compassion for these fellow human beings.

  • Cam

    @rhenaiya: said..

    “Just for a moment as you do, ask yourself why you have no compassion for these fellow human beings.”

    I will if I can get a valid reason for all of the attacks on gays by the transgender activists. Nobody has ever given me a valid reason for the articles attacking gays on the day marriage passed in NYC. When the gay community joined in with the trans community in pressuring HRC to drop the ENDA bill because it didn’t have Trans protections, was that an attack? Because apparently the trans community in consistently attacking the gay community seems to forget about that incident. As well as gay groups pushing for trans protections around the country.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @G.I. Joe: @Cathy Brennan:

    Joe, I completely support your sentiment that “Some people, gay or straight, transgender or not transgender, black or white – are idiots. There’s nothing you can do about that, that’s a fact of life.”

    But Cathy is correct about ActUP. I am alive today because ActUP acted up! The gay community was being torn apart with people dying left and right. Someone would get a little traction for funding/education going and drop dead long before anything was really done. The Reagan Administration kept its head in the sand doing nothing. The medical community was being overwhelmed with demand and had nothing to provide.

    ActUP changed everything. The protests and civil disobedience made everyday American take notice. (I was there when we shut down the Golden Gate Bridge.) And then action started — the people were getting angry, but were understanding that something had to be done, so the politicians followed (politicians never lead, they follow). ActUP lit the firecracker that got HRC into Congress to get the funding for research, education, care.

    Sometimes it takes those with the guts of extremism to get things started/done — ActUP is a case in point.

  • Dee

    I could not put it any better than Riker did above. No one here has any personal hostility for trans people. Also, it is perfectly fine for us to ally ourselves with trans people on particular issues, when it is mutually beneficial to do so. But this business of redefining ourselves as “LGBT” and asserting that our civil rights movement is now some sort of army in a war on gender is disastrous. It never should have been allowed to happen.

    I don’t think people realized just what was being done in their name when a small group of activists insisted on changing all references from gay to LGBT. But we should understand now that the game was to turn the gay movement from one concerned with civil rights for gays to one concerned with overthrowing the “gender binary” and all that is considered “gender normative.” If we want to go down that road, then let’s openly debate the pros and cons. It is a debate that we were not allowed to have in the 1990s when LGBT first reared its hideous head.

  • evanb

    @Dee: I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. I stopped referring to “LGBT” some time ago, on the basis that the B’s and T’s have a very different fight that that faced by lesbian and gay Americans–not because of any loathing or animostity toward the bi or trans communities. I support everyone’s work for equality, just not necessarily under the same banner, where the issues and challenges are wildly diverse. This is not a “casting out” of anyone, or any kind of hating: it’s simply saying that our efforts might be more productive for our various communities if we weren’t entangling our issues in a way that’s confusing to the public and decisionmakers and counterproductive to our goals.

  • the crustybastard

    So the members of the Kweerty Kompassionate Konservatives appear right on schedule to express their contempt and disgust for a persecuted minority.

    Well, I’m just shocked.

    SHOCKED, I tell you!

  • Riker

    @Dee: I don’t think anyone even really knows where acronym came from. We certainly didn’t vote on it, or have serious public debates about forming this super-community of oppressed people. I think that if we did, we would have stayed separate but allied.

    Rather, it was done by a few activists both gay and trans, who then used the media and public pressure to force it upon everyone else. Over time, it became a forced meme, and then people just sort of went with it without really knowing where it came from. Suddenly,it was like LGBT had always been a thing.

    Lots of people, if they really stopped to consider it, would realize that a tactful separation would be best for both communities. If you really want to help, just stop using LGBT. Use “LGB”, “GLB”, or simply “gay” in its place. If enough people do it, gay press and later even the mainstream media will pick up on it as our preferred term.

    If there’s one thing I know how to do its…well, its sucking dick. But if there are TWO thinks I know how to do, they’re sucking dick and forcing memes.

  • laughriotgirl

    Interesting… one person claims the trans people have HUGE amount of support from the US population – then others claim the trans people hold the movement back. I wonder what it is really?

    When one looks at when and where laws were passed to give trans people basic legal recognition, it was starting well before Stonewall happened. Slowly, the more Trans and gay became equated, trans-specific laws stopped being advanced and passed and started to be traded for gay-only laws (WI, NH, NY to name a few)while gay/trans inclusive or gay-oly laws started to pass. Could be a coincidence, or could be calculated (I honestly don’t know).

    The deal with NYS and marriage. In every piece about the issue I have read from trans people, it has hardly been slamming the passage of marriage. It has, however, been about marriage passing while GENDA failed in the same legislative season. The history of GENDA in NYS is no one of inter-community harmony.

  • pmjenk

    Cam how would you feel if someone told you and your partner that you could marry as long as one of you registered as a female? The question doesn’t make sense does it. Let me re-phrase – How would you feel if the government said ‘alright, alright, you can get married but one of you has to register as the opposite gender so that it looks like a heterosexual marriage on paper.’ This is in essence what you are saying Trans people should accept. That they should go to an office and write down that they are a different gender than they truly are. I am not Trans. I am a 22 year old Gay cisgender male. I would rather wait a few more years for my rights than get them early by sacrificing the rights of part of my community.

  • torako

    @JayKay: are you seriously making a slippery slope argument? are you kidding me??

  • JayKay


    Look how many letters have been forcibly tacked on to the acronym by PC diversity-pimps.

    Do you honestly expect leftists not to try and add a P in there to make the poor, marginalized, oppressed kiddie-diddlers feel welcome?

  • Jason

    Okay, so being gay and being transsexual are not the same thing. Neither are being female and being black, but the movements regarding those groups saw fit to try to help each other out a bit, because they faced a lot of the same basic issues: lack of respect, lack of rights, and lack of real liberty. Isn’t that EXACTLY what’s going on here?

    It’s hard for transpeople to get married, because the government doesn’t always know what sex to call them, and that currently matters to the state. It’s hard for gay people to get married because the individuals’ sexes matter to the state. Hm. If we make the individual’s sex unimportant, then don’t we both end up with rights?

    Gay people, in many states, can be fired just because they were born with a certain sense of attraction. Transpeople, in many states, can be fired because they were born with a certain sense of self. If we make it illegal to discriminate against people for traits that bear no relevance to the work at hand (like gender, sex, or sexual orientation), don’t we both end up with rights?

    Maybe the exact reasons for our similar problems aren’t always that similar, but they are undeniably giving us the same difficulties. Why shouldn’t we all band together and use the strength of numbers to promote rights for all of us at once? It takes what, three to five extra words to ban discrimination based on “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression”? How hard is that? Is it really worth fighting each other to ignore it? It’s a bit of a dick move in my opinion, to exclude people with similar problems from your fight if they’re not doing anything wrong.

    Pedophiles and necrophiles don’t belong in the same category as the LGB spectrum because neither group can obtain consent from the person they’re attracted to and trying to sleep with. Children, particularly, are harmed by early sexual activity.

    Transpeople, on the other hand, fit in just fine. First, they typically have to identify as some form of LGB because their sex and gender may not match, and may not be consistent. If you’re female on Wednesday, but male on Friday, you can’t be “straight” all week long. If you’re anatomically male but intellectually female, you’ll call yourself a lesbian for liking girls, but a lot of people will try to tell you you’re just straight. There’s a huge overlap of transpeople and LGB people. Furthermore, homophobia–particularly when directed at men–is a branch of sexism. The line of thought is that men are superior, so acting masculinely is superior. Acting masculinely means doing A, B, and C….oh, and liking women. So, if you’re gay, you’re not really a man, so you must be less than other men. Lesbians aren’t acting sufficiently feminine when they find themselves attracted to other women. Getting rid of that sexism will help the gay community just as much as it helps the trans community. If we break down gender norms a bit, it becomes easier to be anything on the spectrum: L, G, B, or T.

  • Dee


    I’m right with you. The first thing to do is to stop the casual, unthinking acceptance of LGBT. Since there was never any discussion or debate, there is no consensus. And we don’t have to pretend that there is. Whenever I hear someone using LGBT, I let them know that there isn’t any such thing. It will probably take a long, long time to undo this, but as more gay people become aware of the significance of the re-labeling, it will fall.


    I agree with everything you say, but I can’t agree with you on bisexuals. Bisexuals absolutely belong in one community with gays and lesbians. Bisexuals are defined by their sexual orientation. More to the point, the only reason bisexuals are bisexual is because they are, to a degree, homosexually oriented. That gives them a common definition along with Gs and Ls. I, for one, am honored to be in the same community with bis. We should focus our energy on the T, as it was the addition of the T that constituted a radical redefinition of the gay movement, from a civil rights movement to one that waged war on gender norms.

    Yes, the Black movement and the women’s movement “try to help each other out a bit.” The Gay movement tries to help out its friends in other movements and they try to help us out. There isn’t anything wrong with that and no one would have any problem with our helping out Ts from time to time when it makes sense to do so. But that is not what is happening now. What has happened is that our community has been involuntarily re-labeled and a largely non-gay population has inserted itself as part of one “community.” You could imagine what would have happened if the National Organization for Women had declared that all Blacks are in one community with all women and that no civil rights laws for Blacks could be passed unless they also covered gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, abortion rights, etc. The result would have been a severe curtailment in the progress of the Black civil rights movement and huge hostility between the 2 groups. Of course, this could never have happened b/c the Black civil rights leaders never would have allowed it. Too bad we didn’t have the same smarts to resist an obvious power play by a largely non-gay group.

  • CBRad

    @Dee: Count me in as agreeing with everything you’re saying.

  • Riker

    @Dee: Be careful when you use the phrase “radical redefinition” because that sounds too much like the “radical redefinition of marriage” that the NOMbies try to tell us is happening.

    Other than that, right on. If you have a blog, or a Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus etc, just switch your terminology. It doesn’t even have to be an active thing; if people see the phrase “gay community” more often, they’ll start to pick up on it. This is the way the change happened in the first place, and this is the best way to undo it.

  • Kate LBT

    @Dee: Since 75% of trans people have a GLB identity (ref: Bockting & Davis, 2008) and nearly 100% have some kind of GLB history, claiming that there’s no connection is both deceitful and malicious. It combines erasure of the majority of heterosexual trans people who have a gay or lesbian history with the even more aggressive and nasty erasure of gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. trans people.

    This kind of active cissexual gay and lesbian malice – particularly the vicious assaults by cissexual lesbians against any sort of recognition of trans women as being authentic women or even human beings – is why trans people are so angry at this point in history: because there is an active history of cissexual gays and lesbians undermining trans rights to advance their own, ever since the early 1970s.

    If you don’t like what’s being said, be cognizant of your part in creating the negative culture that’s causing it to BE said.

  • Kate LBT

    There are times when I think that as far as some gays and lesbians are concerned, all trans people (except for conventionally masculine trans men, who are “butch++”) are heterosexual – either you’re heterosexual because you transition to be sexually attractive to heterosexuals, or you’re heterosexual because you’re a perverted straight man transitioning to fuck lesbians.

    And yes, I threw up a little in my mouth typing that.

  • Dee

    @Kate LBT: Gee, that’s a very professional “citation” you got there. I assume that “Bockting” is the sexuality researcher affiliated with the University of Minnesota. But I can only guess. I don’t know who Davis is and I don’t find any joint research by Bockting and Davis in 2008. If you have data and you are not a dishonest slug, why don’t you present your stats in a manner that allows people to check them out?

    In any event, while I doubt that your stat is valid, let’s pretend that it is accurate. 75% of trans people (a term you don’t define) are LGB. OK, so what? It may well be that 75% of florists and hairdressers are gay. That doesn’t mean that gays and lesbians are in a “community” with all florists and hairdressers and should rename themselves LGBFH. And it wouldn’t mean that gays and lesbians suddenly assumed some moral obligation to involve themselves in all manner of issues relating to employment as a florist or hairdresser. And it absolutely would not mean that gays and lesbians should be expected to shelve ENDA and other important legislation while they pursued this or that objective of florists or hairdressers.

  • Tiffany_M


    “Being gay in no way requires me to align myself with any of these people or their ridiculous agendas.”

    Ummm maybe you should unite with the trans community, for much the same reason I align myself with the gay and lesbian community.. baseless discrimination is baseless discrimination and we share many of the same enemies.

  • Dee

    @Riker: That’s a fair point about language. I don’t want to evoke any comparison with anti-gay marriage rhetoric. What words would you suggest to convey the idea that adding the “T” isn’t just acknowledging another member of belonging ot a single set or class, as was the case with LG and B, but rather is a step that requires a fundamental reconception of “gay”?

    Adding the “T” is essentially the same thing as using “queer”. “Queer” is not just a substitute term for gay; it is intended to refer to a vast number of people, most of whom are not gay, who challenge societal norms. When you supplant one for the other, you are making a significant change in meaning. Even if you think that this is a good thing, it is still undeniably a huge change. I think we need to make that point so that this doesn’t come off as a trivial spat over the particular letters in the alphabet soup.

  • Tiffany_M

    Some of these comments disturb me having read all of them.

    Do I support the fact that some transgender activists apparently crapped all over your marriage equality victory in NY? No I don’t and I shared the joy in that victory with each and every gay and lesbian friend of mine both on and offline. I hope you also know and acknowledge that there were a lot of us who primarily identify as transsexual or transgender who fought for those marriage rights right along yous side and I hope that you will throw the same support being Gedna in your state.

    There are certain members of both the gay and lesbian communities, as well as the trans community that tend to speak out of both sides of their mouths… aligned and friendly, until the time comes to throw the others under the bus. I feel generally speaking we have a lot more to gain by being united, than what we do by being divided. The form of intolerance and bigotry thrown our ways may be different, though the enemies are largely the same and if they had their way every last one of us would be afforded as far civil rights as humanly possible.

    The time will come in our lifetime where The L…The G…. and The B are treated every bit as fairly as everyone else, I would say it’s likely going to take place within the next five to ten years at most and it’s going to be a great day when that happens.

    It is my sincere hope that at least most of the gay and lesbian population won’t simply stop fighting once they get theirs and stand up for the trans community and support us in our fight, instead of simply becoming no better than the oppressors.

  • Aiden

    Wow, you are some sick mother fuckers. This story isn’t about gay people and their identities.

  • Mags

    @Cam: People in the trans community were complaining about the overwhelming focus of LGBT groups on gay marriage primarily. It’s a great cause, but maybe it would be cool if we could also get workplace protection, too. You kind of have that, and that’s awesome, so can we maybe get that too? Maybe put effort into that first, or, if nothing else, equal effort? But this is not the case. It’s always been a matter of “Look, just lie under the bus there, and wait your turn. We’ll get to you. I’m sure we’ll get to you.” And that kind of does get old and frustrating. Getting married isn’t much of a concern when you can’t get/keep a job because of your gender identity.

    And for the record, I fought as hard if not harder than most for gay marriage, I spread the word, I did my best to refute misinformation where I saw it, I wrote letters, I called elected officials in New York…

    Trans people are on your side. We just kind of hoped you’d be on ours’, too.

  • Riker

    @Dee: @Dee: The term you used, fundamental reconception” is a good start. One way I frequently use to explain it to people who aren’t necessarily well-versed on the issue is that our fights are very different, and merging the two causes hurts both of them.

  • Dee

    @Riker: Well said, Riker. You know, quite a number of trans people object to LGBT as well. Many of these folks are identified as “classic transsexuals”, i.e., people who identify with the opposite sex and either have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning. These people have no interest in a war on gender norms and they have no interest in being linked in some defining way with gays. They just want to be acknowledged for what they are, men or women, as the case may be.

    I think we should work with these trans people who, like us, object to the LGBT concept. One of their websites is It’ll probably take years to undo this lie, but I am up for it if you are.

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