By Penny Robo
Already self-sufficient for years due to parents dealing with substance abuse issues, 13 year old “EJK” came out to her parents as gay, triggering a wave of verbal and physical abuse. Her mother permitted her to live with her biological father at 15, but he was soon incarcerated and, rather than returning to her mother, lived with friends and her grandmother, all while attending school and starting to work, eventually moving into her own apartment by 16. After more than 6 months without any contact with her mother, and considering the ongoing circumstances of her life (including her demonstrated self-sufficiency) she was considered for all intents and purposes to be an adult and in charge of her own medical decisions.
One of her first decisions was to begin hormone replacement therapy. Continue reading “Minnesota Mom is Just… Terrible. Really Awful.”
To the frustration of trans people, allies, and other generally reasonable individuals, transphobic attitudes continue to exist and inflict harm on innocent people. We know all too well that far too many people are transphobic – but why? What motivates this hostility, and in what beliefs and attitudes is it rooted? Previous studies have identified correlations between negative attitudes toward trans people and endorsement of homophobia, benevolent sexism, religious fundamentalism, discomfort with sexuality generally, and a lack of any personal contact with trans people (Rye, Merritt, & Straatsma, 2019).
These associations between transphobia and attitudes in other areas of life are well-established. But what is it about trans people specifically that inspires disapproval? A recent study looked more closely at one manifestation of prejudice, distrust toward trans people, as well as what beliefs are linked to this mistrust and what separates this antipathy from disapproval of other sexual minorities. Continue reading “What is transphobia made of? Perception of deception predicts transphobic prejudice”
Referenda against marriage equality, and the accompanying public debates which inevitably surround them for months or years, have been among the ugliest episodes in American politics. In the heyday of these measures, campaigners against marriage equality routinely promoted some of the most brazenly scaremongering political ads, events, and materials, crafted to stir up significant public hostility against any recognition of the legal equality of same-sex couples. These campaigns attempted to convince voters that if marriage equality were not stopped at the ballot box, all manner of terrible fates would befall not only them but their children as well, evoking the perennial libel of gay people as an inherent threat to kids. Continue reading “Evidence of increases in homophobic bullying linked to anti-gay political measures”
The British press often seems to have an insatiable need to find the next big thing to get upset about regarding trans people – and what could be a more sensational topic than having sex with us? This month, the Daily Mail decided it was necessary to express pretend bafflement at NHS safer sex guidance for lesbian women. What’s the issue? Well, the materials outrageously acknowledged that not all lesbians are cis: Continue reading “Scraping the bottom of the transphobia barrel: Daily Mail fearmongers about trans-inclusive safer sex advice”
Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a bit occupied this year – I’m still working on resurrecting the classic Gender Analysis website, and I’m also mostly avoiding getting in pointless fights with terrible people on Twitter all. day. long. Why? Well, I’ve got something else going on: I finally started college this January.
This is especially significant for me given my past experiences with the educational system and how this ended up influencing the course of my life. As a child, I was accelerated two grades ahead, and so I started high school at 12, which ended poorly with lots of bad memories and trauma. Whether from puberty and the accompanying onset of severe depersonalization and depression, living in an unsafe household for years while my mother tried to finalize her divorce from my violently erratic ex-stepfather, simple emotional immaturity and unreadiness for the high school environment, or some combination of these, my time at high school turned into a slow-motion trainwreck of conspicuous failure, disappointing and enraging pretty much every adult in my life. When you’ve been skipped ahead multiple grades due to supposed “giftedness”, this is something everyone expects will continue to manifest itself; it was always clear that I was expected to do well academically and then go on to college, even though doing just about anything was already increasingly difficult, and the prospect of going through two more years of high school was just unimaginable. After years of being berated about this at length on a daily basis and hauled to a succession of unhelpful therapists, I dropped out at 14 due to being wholly unable to function at school, which was honestly a relief to me – I just wanted it all to end. I later got my GED at 18, but I never again wanted to be subjected to anything like what I’d been through. Continue reading “Zinnia goes to college, gets more knowledge”