Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture

December 22, 2008

tgsymbol-116x100A review of a new book, Transpeople: Repudiation, Trauma, Healing by Christopher A. Shelley at the Tyee Books website (link here) contains the following list:

Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture

  1. Denial that the problem exists in the first place.
  2. Inability to distinguish between categories such as queer, lesbian,
    and trans.
  3. Lack of meaningful discussion in educational and workplace settings.
  4. Anxiety over not being able to tell if a person is male or female.
  5. Crude jokes directed at trans people or with trans-related content.
  6. Refusal to accept trans people as one’s own teacher, doctor, politician, dentist, etc.
  7. Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson.
  8. Reducing trans to being merely and solely a psychiatric category.
  9. Trivialization and media spectacles centred on trans-ness as an object of ‘fascination.’
  10. Refusing the fundamental claims of transpeople as being genuinely mis-sexed.

It’s not so much the list itself that bothers me, as much as the fact that I’ve encountered all of the signs so many times I seem to be becoming almost desensitized to them.

5 Responses to “Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture”

  1. queenemily Says:

    Yeah, it does get desensitising. I would have thought “refusal to accept trans people’s genders as valid” would have been on there, or “refusal to treat trans people equally when it a position of power like doctor, teacher, dentist etc.” Ah well.

    Still, it seems like that book’s alright, maybe I should order it of Amazon sometime..

  2. lesfriendly Says:

    correct. and the signs do not only show in society in general, but sometimes within the LGBT community itself

  3. Helen G Says:

    queenemily: True dat, there are definitely things missing, still… not bad for a cis man, I guess.

    lesfriendly: Good point. Sometimes it’s easy to miss the hatred on one’s own doorstep…


  4. [...] Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture 1. Denial that the problem exists in the first place. 2. Inability to distinguish between categories such as queer, lesbian, and trans. 3. Lack of meaningful discussion in educational and workplace settings. 4. Anxiety over not being able to tell if a person is male or female. 5. Crude jokes directed at trans people or with trans-related content. 6. Refusal to accept trans people as one’s own teacher, doctor, politician, dentist, etc. 7. Thinking that being trans is OK but also dismissing the idea of ever dating a transperson. 8. Reducing trans to being merely and solely a psychiatric category. 9. Trivialization and media spectacles centred on trans-ness as an object of ‘fascination.’ 10. Refusing the fundamental claims of transpeople as being genuinely mis-sexed. (tags: lists gender trans) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)links for 2008-08-03 [delicious.com]Thank You, FeminismTop Ten Men of the BibleFeminism Unmasked [...]


  5. [...] Ten Signs of Transphobia in Our Culture « bird of paradox "It’s not so much the list itself that bothers me, as much as the fact that I’ve encountered all of the signs so many times I seem to be becoming almost desensitized to them." (tags: transgender transphobia privilege society genderidentity) [...]


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