Genital-based insults and transgendered people

Genital-based insults and transgendered people March 2, 2012

Christina here…

So last week I posted a The Daily Twitter in which a person with whom I engaged in conversation with attempted to “insult” me by asking if I was born a man.

In another The Daily Twitter, I was called a hermaphrodite, presumably because of my lack of belief in god.

Fellow blogger Natalie Reed over at Sincerely, Natalie Reed had this to say:

I just love being a go-to insult, actually being everything that supposedly undermines a human’s worth and credibility.

Natalie says of herself: “She was born with a Y chromosome but totally kicked its ass.”

In case you didn’t catch that, Natalie is transgendered. As such, whenever someone throws an accusation of “born a man” or “hermaphrodite” at someone else, that someone is using people like her as an insult.

A lot of folks (particular of the religious variety) seek to undermine or discredit Transgender people by denying the identity of the trans individual. They see transgenderism as a type of insanity. They claim that trans people who undergo sex changes don’t “actually” change their gender.  They call transgenderism a destructive lifestyle. They say trans people erode the very fabric of society. They claim trans people would be better off dead. They use quotes when referring to somebody’s gender, or deny the gender of trans people (i.e. “Scott, who was born a man, says he is a woman. He even insists everyone call him Shelley”).

Some people barely see trans people as human. Having attractions to trans people is taboo. Having a mere interest in wearing the clothing of one’s perceived opposite sex is a diagnosable paraphilia.

Transphobia isn’t acceptable.

An individual’s worth and value is not diminished by being trans – or gay, queer, disabled, old, young or poor… you get the idea.

Rationality and critical thinking can destroy transphobia (and other phobias, for that matter). Being able to think beyond, “that’s distasteful to me, therefore wrong” or, “that’s atypical, therefore wrong” is a good start.

While I’d like to pin the blame on religion and religious teaching, that’s not the whole answer. “Changing your sex is wrong because you were born that way” is just as irrational (and missing the point) an argument as, “Changing your sex is wrong because god made you that way”.  Yet the latter requires no religious justification.

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

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