Internalized Transphobia?

Internalized trans phobia is often a difficult subject. In many cases I relate it to how we treat each other as a transgender person. As we all know, for whatever reason, it is not the best. Unfortunately, it seems the ravages of transition has left persons deeply flawed. Or they simply were before their changes took place. The only place anymore I interact with another transgender person is the occasional cross dresser - transgender meeting I now attend by Zoom. Or, through comments here on the blog. I do my best to remember why I started this blog. It was to provide any help I could to anybody.  I am so fortunate to be able to say, over the years I have received very few transphobic comments to respond to. My favorite continues to be someone who wrote in and told me I was just another old guy on hormones. 

Looking back on other instances of transphobia in my life came from the site where it turns out I met up with Connie and Marcia for the first time. There was a person who lived relatively close to me here in Southern Ohio who I thought might be interesting to know. My ideas came to a screeching halt when all I found she had to talk about was her former law practice and all the operations she had endured. Obviously, it was clear early I didn't meet her standards of being transgender. Even at a point when I was desperately trying to find my new self, it was obvious she wasn't the answer.  

For a more in depth look at how trans phobia can work within a person, let's take a look at how Connie perceives it:

"I know that I am retaining some internal transphobia. It is the reason that I am now working as an hourly employee instead of running my own business, as I did most of my working life. I know how difficult it is to grow a business, in the best of circumstances, but being rejected by a potential customer or client because of my "transness" would be stifling. I've had it happen to me once, and I am too afraid to put myself in that position again. Not closing the deal for any other reason, such as a high bid, can be hard enough to accept, but that's a reflection on my business skills - not on myself for who I am. Unfortunately, being a transgender woman is not on the list of "secrets to success for starting your small business." I have, pretty much, taken the route of going stealth (in the traditional sense; not as I see many people using it as a term simply for not coming out). I mainly just go quietly about my life, and I try to avoid putting myself into situations where my being trans has anything to do with what I'm doing. I see myself as a woman who happens to be trans, rather than a trans woman, which helps to keep my internalized transphobia at bay. Having nothing to do with the current virus lockdown, it's been a very long time since I've had a face-to-face meeting with another trans person. It's so difficult to not start a discussion about trans issues with another trans person, and I've often walked away from an encounter with another trans person asking myself why we didn't simply talk about something else - just as we would have with a cis person. Sure, it's what we have in common, but it's not the only thing. In fact, I remember having a discussion about that very thing with a trans woman! That, I think, is partly out of some transphobia. Even the time I spend reading and responding to blogs is partially a response to my own phobia. It's as though I need to defend myself or make some sort of explanation. I keep telling myself that what I write may be of help to someone else, though; maybe even right now (?)".

Great point...thanks!

Comments

  1. If assume we're talking transphobia within the trans community.

    I helped a very close friend through her transition, from when she was a "he" to the completion of her many surgeries and well into her new life. Throughout her transition, she was very active in our local trans organization but all of that came to an end once she had fully transitioned and started a completely new life and job. She vowed to stay away from the trans community and has continued for many years now to have nothing to do with it. I sort of get that.

    What just killed me and pretty much killed our friendship was a question I asked her when she had separated herself from the trans community. From my pre-teens, I have always felt I should transition. For many complicated reasons, I never did. There was a time, following her transition that I was very, very close to making the decision to go forward. I asked her if she would stand by me, as I did during her transition...going out with me, coaching me, helping me with mannerisms, voice, etc......all of the things I helped her with. With no hesitation at all, she said no. She felt that associating with someone who clearly would not pass, at least in the beginning, would result in her being clocked. OK, I get it, but I was deeply hurt and we now speak to each other perhaps once a year.

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