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"Transphobia" is Old

it's not just a fear, but an oppression

Date: 06/03/2000

Posted - 3 June 2000 0:24

i think the use of the term "transphobic" is misleading sometimes. it was obviously derived from "homophobia," which is a word created as a parody of pathologization/medicalization of homosexuality. gay and lesbian activists started using the term "homophobia" to argue that it is not homosexuality that is pathological, but it is irrational fear of homosexuality that is.

trans activists borrowed this concept, and named the oppression that hurt them "transphobia." but this is ironic considering the fact that many transsexual activists actually support pathologization of transsexuality, or gender identity disorder, in order to receive medical interventions. clearly, the original power of the word "homophobia" is missing from the word "transphobia."

i think people should call oppressions against trans people "trans oppression" or "genderism," instead of the tired old cliche that has lost its original political implication. it does not matter whether or not janice raymond has irrational fear of transsexual people -- the problem is that she is oppressive to transsexual people. and people who are not trans, including meggyn's advisor, have no right to define what constitutes "trans oppression."