May. 20th, 2017

hollymath: (Default)
I am never going to listen to you about whether something is transphobic.

There is no number of cis people saying "that's not transphobic" who will convince me.

Trans people are the best judge on what is harmful to them. And we as cis people are really not.

This point is also true for listening to white people on what's racist, or men on what's sexist, or monosexuals on what's biphobic...but today we're talking about transphobia because something got tweeted that a cis person said was skating too close to a slippery slope of transphobia and so of course the first thing that happened was a load of people I know to be cis mocked her and told her it definitely wasn't, why couldn't she take a joke (as if being a joke was proof it's not transphobic, because those are two circles that never overlap in a venn diagram, right?).

I have been assured by cis people that all kinds of things that hurt trans people are not transphobic. This is partly because most cis people don't know what transphobia is, but also because people in dominant social categories still think you have to be intending something in order for that thing to happen: if the reasons for doing something aren't transphobic, they think the thing cannot possibly be transphobic.

It doesn't work that way. Intention matters a lot less than impact, and since the impact of transphobia is (almost*) never on cis people, it doesn't matter how many of cis people laugh at you and tell you there is no way that thing is transphobic. We have no idea.

White people have no idea about racism. Men have no idea about sexism. Cis people tend to have no idea about transphobia. They don't have to, it's not as important to their survival, so they just don't.


* With a few exceptions like when cis butch-looking women get followed into ladies' rooms by cis men who think the women are trans.

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Holly

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