VIEWPOINTS

Why Everyone Contributes To Transphobia And How They Can Stop

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