THE BLOG
08/21/2013 02:50 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

10 Things Transphobes Say That Make Me *Facepalm*

1. You shouldn't change your body when what you really need is therapy to accept how you were born.

Great idea! It would have saved me $50,000 and a 35 percent pay cut. So, where do I sign up for a cure that's accredited by the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association? Because the programs you guys recommend mostly look like a lot of praying away the trans (I'm an atheist), or people screaming and beating the crap out of pillows.

Oh, wait, there isn't one.

Next.

2. This is a choice. "If you chose to be an outsider, you'd better be prepared to be an outsider."

We've been over this already. It's not much of a choice. That's why the entire medical community agrees on the medical necessity of transitioning for many people.

Secondly, way to go blaming the victims! Thought that you guys had decided that was a bad idea after Richard Mourdoch and Todd Akin doomed the republican party in the 2012 elections. Apparently the classics never go out of style.

3. Girls have XX chromosomes, boys have XY chromosomes. Period.

Unless you have Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS). Or an XO karyotype. Or XXY. Or XYY. Or 5-alpha-reductase deficiency. Or Swyer syndrome. Or genetic mosaicism. Or 17-β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase III deficiency. Or Progestin-induced virilisation... etc...

You know, lots of community colleges these days have good intro to biology courses available.

4. God made you this way, and the only way to make God happy is to just endure it.

So let me get this straight. God intentionally made me in a way that causes suffering? In order to make your God happy, I have to forgo treatment that alleviates this suffering?

Your God gets off on my suffering. Think about that for a moment.

Maybe you didn't pick who you thought you did with this whole good and evil thing.

5. You're mentally ill/confused/sick/a freak

The American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, WPATH, and the DoD folks who issue security clearances would beg to differ. The APA flat out says gender non-conformity isn't a mental illness.

Try again.

6. Psychologists and psychiatrists are just a bunch of Godless liberals who tell people what they want to hear and push diagnoses.

Yes, because finding out for certain I am trans has made my life so much easier. Because therapists get paid to tell people what they want to hear. Because it in no way shape or form violates their professional ethics to tell people things which are highly likely to make them attempt suicide.

Oh, and my therapist? She's a Catholic republican.

7. Have tried enjoying "guy" stuff?

Besides boxing, wrestling, judo, four years at a military academy, 10 years active duty, getting a master's in applied mathematics, getting married, designing systems to train fighter pilots, playing fantasy basketball, and flying attack helicopters? No.

I'll take suggestions, but I'm 38 years old, five foot five, and 138 pounds, so MMA fighting or special forces is sort of a long shot at this point.

8. "I'm saying this with love..."

People who start conversations with this one remind me of that not-so-bright kid in bootcamp who heard from some guy you could say anything you wanted to the Drill Instructor if you started the sentence, "With all due respect..." You can guess how well that goes over.

To illustrate the concept in reverse: for all the transphobes out there I am saying this with love. You and your circular family tree are a blight on humanity. If you weren't spewing hate, I suspect you would be squatting in a ditch poking berries up your nose.

Offensive? You bet. It's also every bit as offensive as attacking my identity. If you think you need to start with "I'm saying this with love," then we're all probably better off if you didn't say whatever was going to come afterwards.

9. Calling transgender people "its"

When you resort to calling people non-human, or sub-human, you're treading on dangerous ground. I don't care if I am breaking Godwin's law here because every time I hear about transgender people being called "it," the hair the back of my neck stands up. Reducing human beings to something with no value is a hallmark of propaganda used in genocide. "Plague carrying rats" for Jews in Germany. "Cockroaches" for Tutsis in Rwanda. Darfurians were systemically referred to as "slaves".

When transgender people are labeled "it" and as predators upon women and children, it should make your skin crawl too.

2013-08-19-antitranscartoons.png

(Left: German pre-war anti-Semitic propaganda, captioned: "Here, kids, I have some candy for you. But you both have to come with me..." Right: Screen capture from the anti-transgender cartoon used by Protect Anchorage)

10. You'll never be a "real" woman/man (or other deliberate mis-gendering)

Beyond the philosophical and medical argument of what makes a "real" man or woman, there is the simple level of civility. When you deliberately attack someone's core identity you have foregone the basic rules of decency.

For instance, when Randy Thomasson deliberately mis-gendered Masen Davis on CNN, he clearly demonstrated to me he is a jerk. Despite my opinion that he is a jerk, I would not refer to him as Mr. Jerk during interviews, or in the media, nor even in one on one conversations.

The moral high ground is a lonely place. If you really disagree with everything I stand for, you probably don't want to cede it to me by deliberately being rude.

Honorable Mention: Bathrooms!

Despite the insistence of right wing media here, here, here, here, here, here, and everywhere else that letting transgender people use correct facilities will be a catastrophe, trans people in bathrooms hasn't ended civilization in the thirteen states that have public accommodations protections. What is it with people worrying incessantly about what is in transgender people's pants though? Good thing most health plans cover obsessive compulsive disorders.

I can recommend a good Catholic, republican therapist too.

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