I just posted this on a transgender website, in a thread on homophobia.
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Let’s break it down. I’m guessing as to the percentages, but you get the idea.
1. I think many people don’t realize that being transgender is not a choice; that there’s fundamentally no transition; that a transgender girl is and has always been female, mentally. I’ve seen the more intelligent crowd respond in a very positive way about that sort of enlightenment. That takes care of maybe the top 10% of folks, as to intellectual merit.
2. A great many individuals are sheeple and they will hate whomever the preacher or the politician or journalist instructs them to hate. To get such individuals to not focus on transgender girls like me, these second-tier individuals have to stop encouraging hatred. On the political spectrum, these are mostly right-wing folks. To get them to be transgender-positive is a messy task, but since transgenderism isn’t mentioned in the Bible it’s probably not a terribly difficult task to win them over.
ActUp has an article about how a preacher in a small town in Texas placed an anti-gay ad, and no surprise, the townsfolk have since then become hostile towards an openly gay couple who live in the vicinity. They have even had someone vandalize their property with death threat wording. So, the cause-and-effect of this phenomenon is quite real. If a preacher tells his congregation to mellow out about transgender chicks, odds are they will. That takes care of maybe the next 80% of folks, as to intellectual merit.
3. The next 9.5% or so are homophobic but non-violent about it. These are people who experience sexual arousal based on seeing a transgender girl like me. They are also perceptive enough to realize I’m not a genetically integrated girl, and they instantly experience a sense of discomfort due to this arousal being “not OK” by their own ethics according to which homosexuality is fundamentally bad.
These are flawed ethics, but they have a powerful effect. The particular flavor of individuals’ negative reaction depends on their sub-culture, character and personality. They might just frown or avoid eye contact, or they might be distant or rude. They might snicker or point or be openly mean. Either way, the person with the problem isn’t the transgender girl, it’s the homophobic person, and it’s going to remain a problem until the messages permeates the culture, especially in macho sub-cultures. The messages are: being gay is rarely an all-or-nothing thing, and being a tiny bit gay just means you’re a tiny bit gay. It doesn’t mean you’re going to collapse into a total embrace of all things homosexual. Kinsey had a scale that included totally straight, totally gay and many in-between categories. Word of that needs to spread.
Also, if one should happen to be gay, to a tiny or total extent, it’s morally 100% fine.
As a transgender girl, I tend to avoid dealing with folks who are in macho sub-cultures. When I walk past them, I don’t make eye contact or smile; I save it for when it’s likely to be appreciated. My radar is very good as such by now. I don’t want to have someone’s bad premises make my day less nice, and that’s what it comes down to.
4. The next 0.45% or so are deeply homophobic and violent about it. I’ve already covered the homophobia. In addition, these individuals have:
- no problem with initiating violence.
- an “ostrich metaphysics” by which, if they can negate the evidence, somehow the underlying facts are erased, by that way of thinking.
When these conditions are met, the person will try to negate the existence of the transgender girl or whomever they saw when they became sexually aroused in that way that deeply disturbs them. The attacker’s fury can perhaps best be summed up as “how dare you arouse me.” The transgender girl whom this person attacks often is disfigured, bludgeoned etc. as punishment and to erase whatever the attacker might have found arousing. Such people are loose cannons in society, a real and large danger to any transgender girl who has such an effect on them and whom they can attack with any hope of pulling off the attack.
Short-term and possibly forever, there’s no reasoning with such people, nor can they be identified on sight and avoided, so a vigorously exercised right to self-defense is a transgender girl’s best hope. It can help reduce the risk if you avoiding the general sub-cultures where such people hang out. I won’t list the stereotypes but you can figure them out. If I were a transgender girl living in a dangerous area, I’d pack up and leave and move to a more healthy area.
5. The last tiny subsection of the populace has no problem with initiating violence. They will choose whomever they consider a weak target. For a transgender girl to protecting herself, the issues are similar to point 4, above.
I hope this helps!
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Some good feedback I’ve just received: “Sheeple is a derogatory term, and might be counterproductive to your point. I would add to that section that many of these people could be intelligent, just ignorant of the facts. It is human nature to alienate that which we don’t understand. Be it a different lifestyle, a different skin color, a handicap, or a birth defect. I would also add to that section that the best way to reach these people is to find a way to educate them on the facts.”