Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals experience discrimination and harassment from other individuals who are uncomfortable with these identities. This is something that we still struggle with, even in the modern age, where being transgender has become more acceptable.
What is Transphobia?
Transphobia can be defined as the fear, hatred, mistrust and disbelief of individuals who are transgender, who do not conform to traditional gender roles, or who are perceived to be transgender. This irrational fear results in trans people not being able to live full lives free from harm.
The forms of Transphobia
Transphobia can take many forms, such as:
- prejudice against transgender individuals
- negative attitudes and beliefs
- misunderstandings taking place
- aversions to transgender individuals
- ignoring preferred pronouns or gender identity
- derogatory language
- in extreme situations, violence
This fear can manifest in both subtle and overt forms of discrimination. If they are perceived as transgender, they might be denied employment, housing, and even health care. How could anyone be refused their basic needs for simply being different?
Why are people Transphobic?
Transphobic beliefs may be held by those who were taught differently by others, such as parents, family members, friends and even religious institutions. These people usually not only hold strict beliefs about traditional gender roles, but enforce them as well.
Others might be transphobic due to misinformation, or simply not having any information at all about transgender identities. This might be because they don’t know about transgender issues or know anyone personally that identifies as transgender.
This causes stress on people in the trans community, as well as cause depression, fear, feelings of hopelessness and isolation, and even result in suicide.
Where can I get help if I’m dealing with transphobia?
Those who experience transphobic harassment more often than not feel alone and are terrified to tell anyone what is happening.
No one should ever be a victim of transphobia.
Support may be gained from:
- Other transgender people
- Online transgender communities
- Support groups at your local LGBTQ community centre
- Allies to the transgender community, such as certain cisgendered individuals
- National organisations
- If you are a student, an adult you can trust, like a teacher or school administrator
It is not a fair way for anyone to be treated, and that is why we need to not only educate society about transgender issues, but also places of employment. A trans individual experiencing any of these issues need support and acceptance from people in their lives, whether family or colleagues.
The team at National Gender Training specialise in training workplaces how to support their transgender employees, how to react, and how to protect them.