Saturday, February 18, 2012

Transphobia... hating yourself?

Like many of us, I get therapy for GID.  Part of it is a support group that meets once a month.  We always have a topic and this month was "Transphobia."  Dr. Osborne sent the following article to us all so we could discuss it.

According to, Transphobia is defined as "an irrational fear of, and/or hostility towards, people who are transgender or who otherwise transgress traditional gender norms."

Ok, so what if you're a Transperson- can you have transphobia? 

Of course!

In fact, a lot of the attitudes and fears are probably based in it.

Let's face it, being this way is far from easy.  I've heard people say that they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemies.  Others say it's a gift.  I'm somewhere in between.  Am I glad to be Sophie?  Yes, but because I accept it.  Did I always?


In fact, it scared the hell out of me, and sometimes still does.  Why?  Well partially because of transphobia.

Fear me?

When I was growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the kids in the neighborhood made fun of gays.  It was just the way it was.  If you couldn't catch a football, you'd get called a "faggot" for example.  When I was young, I realized I was different, that I felt feminine.  Not realizing the difference between "gay" and "Trans" I was so scared that someone would find out. 

Because I was the object of all that derision that I myself had dished out, I directed that inward.  Now remember, this was before the internet, so obviously I was the only weird person who dressed like this and who felt this way.  So add that guilt and shame to the mix.  Oh, and I was very slight and bad at most sports so I caught hell from my peers about that.  All that inward self loathing in addition to the jibes of my peers meant I pretty much kept to myself.

Fast forward to my early teens when I saw something on the news.  The local station ran a week long series called "The Transsexual Dilemma."  So I had a name for it.  And I saw others like me, and saw how much derision they were taking.  Scary!

By my mid teens I decided that I was going to be all man and stopped dressing.  Like many of us, I went overboard trying to prove my manhood to myself and others.  I could still hear the neighborhood kids' insults in my ears- and added to them were my own insults. 

And so my womanhood was buried for many years- by my own Transphobia.

Can you accept me like this?

Now I have accepted myself as a woman inside.  But I still hear the insults and jibes inside.  They are far worse than anything I have heard while dressed (except for the one jerk at the Harrisburg casino last year, but I ignored him.) 

I no longer fear being Sophie as I am now.  Do I fear taking more steps?  Yes, very much.  Am I still scared every time I step into public in a skirt?  Yes, but not as much.  Now I am going to try venturing out as a woman to places that aren't "safe."  In fact, I'm doing so tonight.  Be the person I need to be- who I am.

Conquer that fear. 

That fear is part of my own transphobia- a relic from my childhood that should've been put to bed long ago.


  1. Wonderful post and a topic which so many of us can truly relate to. It is so true that often, our own worst enemy and our greatest fears come from our own selves and our own fears. They truly are the insecurities of a lifetime, built up and bolstered by the environment around us and the many who made us fear showing our true selves. There comes a point in each of our lives where we come to realize that our life is our own and is not and cannot be dictated by others.... others who do not have to live with what we know and feel inside, Hooray for you and best wishes for your outing upcoming and for those beyond. :)

  2. I think that a lot of us go through a bit of a self loathing period. The cool thing is that once you get through that phase and decide that YOU are OK with what you are, life gets MUCH gooder!