Is it 'transphobic' not to accept someone's gender identity?
- ‘Phobia’ is defined as “intense fear of or aversion to a specified thing,” and WebMd describes ‘transphobia’ as “someone who has hate, fear, or disgust for transgender people or anyone who does not fit into the male/female gender binary.”
- A 2021 Gallup poll found that 31% of US adults “personally know someone who is transgender.”
- John Money (1921-2006) defined the concept of ‘gender identity,’ theorizing gendered behaviors were societal constructions not bound to biology. Opening the first US gender clinic at Johns Hopkins University in 1966, Money was among the first doctors to study/perform “sex reassignment surgeries” and tested his gender theory on the male-born Reimer twins in the controversial “John/Joan” case.
- Before Money coined the terms “gender identity” and “gender roles,” “gender” was primarily a language term applicable to grammar and not synonymous to “sex” until the 20th century.
- In June 2022, Pew Research found that 1.6% of American adults identify as “transgender or nonbinary – that is, their gender differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.” Those under the age of 30 who identify with a gender other than their birth sex are 5%.
Society once promoted gender norms for the males and females that inhabit it. However, authorities and experts worldwide increasingly recognize that gender identity is an inborn attribute that one does not have control over. It is, therefore, transphobic not to accept someone's gender identity as it’s a part of who they are.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states that all people are born free and should enjoy equal rights irrespective of gender identity. The implication is that one should concern himself with what matters to them and leave out what does not affect them. Whether one chooses to identify themselves differently from their birth sex should not be an issue.
Moreover, not accepting one's gender identity leads to various forms of discrimination, most of which have adverse outcomes for the victims. Such bias leads to violence, harassment, and sexual assault. Victims may find it challenging to lead lives like 'normal people.' When people do not accept how others want to be identified, society is bound to witness an increase in lawlessness in various forms of bullying.
Not accepting one's gender identity is also transphobic as it leads to the inhuman treatment of gender-diverse people. Since many still embrace what their societies have taught about sex being biologically ingrained, those who deviate from this line of thought encounter rejection, exclusion, and marginalization. The outcome is that the affected people lead low-quality lives, impacting them negatively.
For instance, a study conducted in 2016 by Harvard University showed that half of the people in the US who identified as gays, lesbians, or queer reported physical abuse from society. The consequences of the physical abuse included depression and the inability to concentrate in the workplace. In our modern era, it's time to end the stigmatization of unique, gender-diverse people everywhere.
Not accepting someone's gender identity does not make one “transphobic,” as a phobia is an irrational fear of something. As feminist and writer Meghan Murphy states, 'transgender activists…use it (the term transphobia) to describe anyone who does not go along with their preferred narrative...' The term is used aggressively to shun and shame.
An individual’s sex is determined by the DNA formed at conception. A baby with XY chromosomes will produce testosterone that 'results in the development of the reproductive tract and the masculinization (the normal development of male sex characteristics) of the brain and genitalia.' Meaning, one's male or femaleness comes with irreversible characteristics in his or her physical body; corresponding brain configurations and functions even develop during gestation.
Additionally, 80% of youth who have struggled with gender dysphoria come to accept their birth sex. This is ultimately good news, as it prevents the gender-confused individual from implementing harmful and irreversible hormonal and/or surgical changes to their bodies. As stated by transman Todd Whitworth, 'transitioning in either direction is a long, expensive, invasive and sometimes medically risky process.' Currently, however, society and even doctors push the affirmation-only model on families and friends of those with rapid and onset gender confusion. Removing healthy organs and contaminating otherwise healthy bodies with chemically-castrating hormones and synthetic drugs is the wrong way to treat mental distress over bodily confusion.
Likewise, gender theory itself has nefarious origins and promotes false ontological views and contradictions, the primary being that a person can be something other than their body. Disagreement is not the same thing as a phobia or hatred of people who express themselves differently. Society doesn’t affirm anorexic individuals by supporting their desire to undergo liposuction; we help their minds align with the reality of their bodies. That is true acceptance.