Flat White

No, you’re not transphobic

8 February 2018

8:01 AM

8 February 2018

8:01 AM

Whatever your views are on transgender issues, chances are, you’re not transphobic. Real transphobia involves irrational behaviour and denies trans people a ‘fair go’ not at the expense of others. Real transphobia is physically hurting someone because they’re trans, or not hiring the best job candidate just because they’re trans. Transphobia can be real, but fake transphobia is also real, and throwing (or threatening to throw) fake transphobia accusations around, especially in public discourse, does not help the transgender cause.

As a transsexual woman, I am sick and tired of seeing people being subject to character assassination because apparently they’re transphobic. In many cases, these people are either absolutely not transphobic, or accusing them of transphobia is a stretch (or somewhere in between). Unfortunately, the trans “community”, now run by the Regressive Left, does not call out on fake transphobia often enough, if at all. For this reason and many others, I didn’t leave the trans “community”, rather, the “community” left me. So here are two of my biggest pet-hates of fake transphobia, and why such phobia is not real:

Pet-hate #1: if you’re cisgender (that is, you’re not transgender), you’re transphobic if you don’t want to date a trans person because they’re trans.

Enter India Willoughby. She’s a transwoman journalist and BBC news presenter who was on Celebrity Big Brother 2018 in the UK. On the TV show, a housemate refused to date a transsexual woman, specifically India, as a choice, to India’s disapproval. It appears that the housemate is attracted to women in general, just not transwomen. And that’s okay because no one goes around accusing homosexuals of heterophobia because they generally don’t want to date heterosexuals. If it shouldn’t matter whether India is trans or not, maybe cisgender people (gay or straight) shouldn’t care what the gender (history) of their date is? Of course, personal gender history matters to everyone.

The good news is that you’re not transphobic if you’re not attracted to trans people. I’m sorry trans ladies and gentlemen, but scoring a date is not an entitlement, let alone a human right. You are not entitled to a kiss, let alone a date. It’s almost as if this issue is the trans version of forcing businesses to bake gay wedding cakes. Expecting someone to serve you commercially is not far off from cisphobically expecting someone to serve you sexually (cisphobia is the fear or hatred of non-transgender people).

Is it “love is love”, or is it ‘love is conditional love’? When I was in the dating game after my gender transition, I was upfront and honest before getting intimate, and yes, that meant a general lack of interest in me due to my transsexual background. But with transparency (no pun intended) and patience, I eventually found someone whom I’m still with to this day, no strings attached from either of us. Love is love, right?

Pet-hate #2: the word ‘tranny’ is offensive to trans people. Saying children shouldn’t transition genders, or opposing Safe Schools, is also offensive. In fact, any critical thought on trans issues is transphobic.

‘Tranny’ is apparently offensive because of a link between the term ‘tranny’ and violence perpetrated against trans people. But this comes down to the perception by choice. Words are only as offensive as the perceived offensiveness bestowed upon them by the individual. Therefore, to say some word is offensive is an attempt to shame the (potential) user of the word into not using the word, thereby discouraging truly free speech, and sanitising personal opinion tendencies to the point that discourse becomes pretentious and unhealthy.

It’s sad to see that fear of offending people has taken precedence over freedom of speech. Whatever happened to just simply ignoring something that you don’t like, live and let live? If you’re concerned about who you are (or someone else is) as a human being, and the worth of being said human being, I understand, it’s only human to feel that way. But facts do not have feelings, and the fact of the matter is people have different feelings about the term ‘tranny’. In fact, people have different feelings about children transitioning genders and Safe Schools. If you feel offended, by all means argue your case, but don’t expect that you can cisphobically force your feelings onto others.

Who cares if a fun night out at the pub is called “Tranny Bingo“? Who cares if you find Kenneth Zucker’s professional views on trans children to be transphobic? Free speech means you putting up with speech that you don’t like, since you’re already allowed to make speech others don’t like. Freedom of speech is such a fundamental human right that it’s sacrosanct, and should not be subjected to double standards. We should never accept such double standards under any circumstances.

(Perceived) politeness and understanding should be allowed to come about naturally via civil, mature and robust conversations, not via the kind of dangerously infantilising gender legislation we’ve seen in Canada. Hopefully, we never see that coming to Australia, because when you legislate pronouns when you effectively ban ‘offensive’ words or arguments, everyone is worse off in the long run. Because freedom of speech is the system used to maintain and improve civil society.

My experience of transphobia

Unfortunately, the list of fake transphobia does not end there. Alleged transphobia in 2018 is not what it used to be. The scope of what is allegedly transphobia has broadened to toxic levels. Have we become so weak in our common sense that we’ve succumbed to sensitivity ideology, thereby handing trans people a free pass on taking little personal responsibility to build their resilience?

I used to have a victim complex and possessed learned victimhood myself. These two things are very attractive to the weak mind. I used to have a frame of mind that as a non-Anglo-Celtic transwoman, I’m not just a minority, I’m an intersectional minority and the world is against me because of that. But that was when self-confidence and my sense of direction in life were lacking, making feeling offended, confecting victimhood claims (think ‘microaggressions’), having a sense of entitlement, virtue-signalling to self-compensate for an apparent lack of achievement in life and other inadequacies, and artificially boosting self-esteem, all of that much easier than taking personal responsibility for my own actions and inactions. I used to take advantage of political correctness to the detriment of others, and ultimately myself.

Political correctness is racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic. It assumes that someone like me, a non-Anglo-Celtic transwoman, need people’s speech and language curtailed, and trans-favouring policies and programs, just because I apparently suffer from social disadvantage and discrimination. That’s very discriminatory and prejudice of political correctness to assume. If I am experiencing disadvantage, it is my responsibility do something about that myself; I should be encouraged to take personal responsibility to prove myself and compete on merit. If I am experiencing discrimination, just leave it to me to speak out for myself if I so choose. Speech that ‘hurts’ is not an excuse to shut down speech. We need more politeness, less political correctness, more free debates, not less of them. Agree to disagree, live and let live. If you can’t accept that truth, fine, be like that, but that does not mean you have a cisphobic right to shut down free speech, and control language.

My message to the trans folk reading this: is the glass-half-empty or half-full? A half-empty glass of helplessness and victimhood is toxic. I refuse to be a helpless victim, and so should you. I eventually grew up, saw the fruits of taking my life in my own hands (as painful as that was at first), and forged my own path (like everybody else). If that means that I have internalised transphobia, then so be it. I’d rather have internalised transphobia than to be incessantly cisphobic towards the world. The time has come for us to have a serious conversation about the transgender folly of cisphobia because real systemic transphobia is (almost) over.

Libby DownUnder is an Australian video blogger and writer on social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter). She is a transsexual woman who describes her political views as Conservatarian.

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