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An example of Trans-Phobia in Society

I’d written previously about internalized-trans-phobia and noted that one reason why this happens is that “trans-folk have been … misunderstood and the object of derision”.  The following is unfortunately a good example of this.

(This was taken at a June 27, 2011 press conference with Presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum)

…I was with a couple this weekend who live in Vermont, and they have a similar situation up in Vermont… and their second grader has to come home and deal with Transgender Children, who are talking about Transgender Issues in second grade.  These are things that are going to have a profound impact on children… when children are going to be forced to be taught about all of these issues that come with the implementation of gay marriage…it’s going to have a devastating impact on our children.  It’s going to have a devastating impact on families and it’s going to have a profound impact on religious liberties….

That’s one powerful little second-grader… destabilizing religion in America. (does this mean she doesn’t have to do her homework?)

Putting aside for a moment Senator Santorum’s obfuscation of the issues of Gay Marriage and Transgender Children, the Senator as a respected member of society, is transmitting with his words and even more with his tone, the idea that transgender children are ‘less than’, ‘other’ and objects worthy of derision and ridicule.  He is incredulous that a “normal” second-grader would have to associate and learn about his or her gender variant class-mate.

I would say that the Senator gets to be the poster-child for hate this week and can now consider himself to be a contributor to trans-phobia.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post. I would add that the unspoken message is that the gender diverse person (LGBT) is in the senator’s view, a burden, a problem and an object of disgust. Its implied then that we LGBT folks are sullying the rest of society with our refusal to hide, comply and to live in the matrix of gender and sexual constructs of a heterosexual “norm”. His contempt is palpable. Gender diverse kids are not something to be “managed”. Parents and educators may not know how to handle children who challenge societies gender norms and roles but that is not a burden to place upon the gender diverse child. We need to expand our minds, our language and our schema to reflect the diversity that IS and has ALWAYS BEEN; whether society recognized it or not.

    July 1, 2011
  2. PS Point of clarification…obviously not all gender diverse or transgender folks are gay identified! Some identify as heterosexual even as they are gender diverse in other ways.

    July 1, 2011
  3. Yoxi #

    Actually, this may well have a profound impact on the children – but he’s jumping to conclusions if he assumes it’s a negative one :).

    July 3, 2011
  4. Cherilyn Seeberger #

    I don’t ordinarily comment but I gotta say thanks for the post on this amazing one : D.

    June 13, 2012
  5. janice logue #

    tipical dickhead not got a clue about gender disphoria.but always willing to give his pathetic opinion. keep smiling kids its amazing being yourself ,and getting to the end of your journey , this senetor hasnt got the bottle to face who he is never mind to go through this transision that is not a choice for us . my daughter said to me , janice , people who mind dont matter, and people who matter dont mind, take a guess what one he is , in scotland he would be jailed for his stupid coment , he should be taking his hat of to the parents who are helping there child and understanding there childs gender identity ,trust more parents should listen to there cild i wish my parents would have it would have save years of speach therapy , and year of pain one goes through on there journey . iv made to the end of my journey woo hoo , i have never been happier and my daughter is just amazing , she taught me everything i know .smile be happy always . love janice fea scotland xx

    September 8, 2013

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