“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
What is Transphobia?
Transphobia is the fear, hatred, disbelief or mistrust of people who identify as transgender or whose gender expression doesn’t conform to traditional gender roles.
What are the harmful effects of Transphobia?
Transphobia can take many forms, including prejudice against transgender people, irrational fears and misunderstanding, a blatant disregard of preferred pronouns or gender identity, bullying, verbal, emotional and even physical abuse. Additionally, transgender (or even just thought to be transgender) people may be denied jobs, housing and/or health care. trans.
The stress of transphobia on Trans people can be very harmful causing: depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide.
What can I do to help stop Transphobia?
People who experience transphobic harassment often feel alone and afraid to tell anyone what’s happening. Here are some tools for how to deal with Transphobia:
1. Join a Trans support group at your local LGBTQ community center and become a vocal supporter of the transgender community, regardless of your own gender identity.
2. There are many online communities and support groups with dealing with transphobia and discrimination for those living in communities without adequate LGBTQ resources.
3. Educate yourself on transgender issues as well as gender identity vocabulary. (ie. If you don’t know a person’s preferred pronouns or name, just ask them.);
4. Only if you feel safe should you speak up when other people are being transphobic, such as making jokes, using slurs, bullying or harassing someone because of their gender identity. A good approach when addressing transphobia is by asking questions and staying calm. Often, people don’t know their language is insensitive or offensive.
5. We all make mistakes. It’s okay if you use the wrong pronoun, especially if their transition is new to you. Just apologize and make an effort to use the correct pronoun in the future.