Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Internalized Transphobia

2011-11-09_laverne_cox “…we have been exploring, among other things, how internalized homophobia and transphobia develops from us internalizing the voices of our bullies and then turning those voices onto ourselves and each other. Our internalized bullies police behavior, appearance and actions, judging each other as harshly as we've learned to judge ourselves. A really good example of this occurred over a year ago, when a trans woman commenting on a piece I had written said that she wished I would stop calling myself a transgender woman. She said that I will never pass as a woman and that she wished I would just go away. When we police each other's abilities to pass, we are expressing our own internalized sense of shame about who we are. This is just one of many ways our internalized transphobia effects the way we treat each other.”

So wrote Laverne Cox in an excellent article, Hung Up on Bullies: Internalized Transphobia, that you can read here on The Huffington Post.


  1. I read the article by Laverne Cox you linked to and I have to say it was a most excellent read. She seems to have a pretty good handle on what it's like being trans in today's society.

    I've shared many of her experiences even though I was able to hide my female self away as I grew up. I did what the boys wanted me to do in private and I did it because, in my heart and mind, I simply felt I was a girl.

    I was also very young and very dumb.

    The boys and men made it abundantly clear, before, during, and after, that I was to never as much as speak to them in day light! This usually came under the threat of having them slamming their fists into my face!

    They often told me I was, after all, just a queer and, to make matters even worse, I enjoyed wearing dresses.

    Some things never change!

  2. Just shows that the bigotry does not always come from the places you expect. Sometimes those places you expect acceptance can be your worst enemy. And sometimes the places you expect rejection are welcoming.

  3. Ms Pejic isn't even pretending anymore, is she?

  4. I have lived in both NY City and Miami as an openly trans person, and I have to say that I think Laverne made most of that stuff up.

    I lived in NY City from 1981 to 1983, dressing as a woman 24-7. Really, I can think of no place more accepting of trans people. Truth is, most people in NY are just too busy with their own business to even notice anyone that looks different. "Different" is so common in NY City that it has almost become normal.

    As for Miami: I lived there from 1999 to 2000. There must be more to the story that she isn't telling if she was refused admittance to a club. Either she looked so heinous, or was dressed so inappropriately that the bouncer didn't let her in because he didn't want to have to break up the fights that would have ensued, or she just made it up.

    Just because some columnist on Huffington wrote it doesn't mean it's true.

  5. Recently I was faced by the closet example of transphobia ever. Trans people too can be transphobic towards each other. The reason why I'm pointing out the obvious is because I've noticed a disinclination to highlight internalised transphobia where the shame and hatred is not self oriented but trans policing based. There is an assumption among certain transpeople that they are more entitled than others. When I said recently I meant my flatmate and a friend of hers joined forces against me. If that wasn't internalised transphobia then it was certainly a sick power pass time... Wouldn't you agree?