Recently, an article titled “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural,” written by Gavin McInnes, appeared on this website. In the article McInnes argues that transphobia is a natural response. He argues that, in his words, “when a man chops off his penis and parades around like a woman, that such a thing should not be accepted, and should be repulsed.” He argues that transgender people are mentally ill. He argues that when a trans man gets his “breasts cut out and ‘her’ clitoris extended” that is of the utmost evil and even worse than a trans woman. He argues that when someone says they are transgender, gendering them correctly and using proper pronouns — which of course he says is the opposite — feeds into their ‘mental illness’ and is wrong. He then argues that transphobia is not only natural, but justified and right.
Well, I have a question for Mr. McInnes (or should I say Ms. McInnes as he seems to find it perfectly keen and acceptable to misgender people based on hate?). Since when did dictating who one is or how they should live their lives become acceptable and natural? In the free world, if we force someone to commit to a career for their lives that they do not want to do, and give them no option to change or work their way out of it, that is considered cruel. If we were to imprison someone against their will, that would be considered horrible. And, more to the point, if we were to take a cisgender person and force them to live as the opposite gender for the rest of their lives, that would be considered outright wrong by everyone. And, it would be. Yet, it is considered perfectly acceptable by you, Mr. McInnes, and others like you, to force a transgender person to live a life as the gender that they are not. To live presenting as the opposite of their mind and soul. That is acceptable to you, but forcing a cis person to do the same would be unacceptable.
This is called a double standard, Mr. McInnes. In a civilized society, we frown upon those.
In your article, if it can be called that, as it is more of an uneducated rant spewing hateful dribble, you claim that “trannies” die before their 30s because of suicide. I will admit to you that many transgender people do die young. But, it is not all as you would say, there are quite a few, even several I know who live to be in their 60s and 70s. And yes, many of us do take our own lives. About 45% of us have attempted suicide. You argue this is due to mental illness. No, in most cases it is not simple mental illness. In most cases, it is because of people like you, Mr. McInnes.
People who attack transgender people do so emotionally, verbally, sexually, and physically. And do not deny that. Compared to the standard population which faces a murder rate of about 1 in 1000, the transgender community faces a murder rate of about 1 in 12. If you want to know why so many of us die young, look at that number. For every 12 trans people out there, statistics say one of them will be brutally murdered. Sure, a couple here and their may be for the same reasons other people are murdered. But when you have almost 100x the murder rate of the general population, and your community makes up approximately a third of a percent, that is not just normal murders.
These murders take place because of hate. And Mr. McInnes, and others like him are the murderers or are partly responsible for them by promoting violence against us. Articles such as “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural” justify violence and hate against our community. If one of the readers of your article takes it and justifies attacking or killing a trans person because of it, that person’s blood is on YOUR hands, Mr. McInnes. And do not say that that is not what you intended, because even if it was not, which by the content of your article is debatable, you dehumanized transgender people outright and purposefully, and when you dehumanize a human, you are saying, albeit indirectly, it is okay to treat them as less.
A human is a human. Murdering a transgender person is no better than murdering a cis person. Murder is wrong, and to justify it, advocate it, or otherwise promote it makes you guilty as well.
Back to the subject of suicide. Yes many of us attempt, and unfortunately complete suicide. The reason is because of transphobia, in most cases. The reason is because we are dehumanized, because we are not allowed to be who we are with out getting the permission of those around us and society. We need to get permission from our partners, from the government, from doctors, from psychiatrists. Do you know how awful that feels? That I have to ask people like you to be myself? Of course you do not, Mr. McInnes. So you have no room to speak on the matter.
When we are bullied, attacked verbally, emotionally, sexually, and physically — when we are disowned like trash that can be thrown away by our families and friends — when we are treated like we are subhuman. Yes, that does cause depression. Yes, that can make one contemplate suicide. It would make anyone.
These actions against us are transphobia. And at this point I will stop attacking Mr. McInnes as he attacked our community, and address the subject at hand. Is transphobia natural? Let me ask the readers, is disowning your child natural? Not at all. It goes against nature. Humans are genetically ingrained to keep their children close, even if it means sacrificing their own lives to keep them safe. Yet, transphobia can break this natural instinct. Because of transphobia many parents do disown or throw out their transgender children. This makes many of us homeless.
And before it can be argued that it is natural, let us look at children and animals. Children and animals have no issues with transgender people. My cat, for example, loves me for me, my cat does not care what parts I have or what I present as. Sure, she does not have as much discernment as a human might, but if transphobia was truly natural wouldn’t non human animals do it? Homosexuality is found in animals, so are various other social adaptations and behaviors. Yet transphobia is not one of those. And how about children? Children up to a certain age are accepting of transgender people of their true gender. Transphobia is alien to all non human animals, and it is alien to children who have not learned the stigma.
And even with adults. If a transgender person is “passable” and people do not know that they are transgender, they will be treated perfectly as the correct gender. A straight man or lesbian woman may find a trans woman perfectly attractive, and a gay man or straight woman the same for trans men. It is not until it is learned that this person is transgender that some will suddenly change their behavior towards them. This implies to me that it is a social issue, not a natural one.
Naturally people will be accepting of trans people as their true gender until they are taught otherwise. Then they freak out and dehumanize us. Of course, not all people are like that. Many are accepting, loving, and supporting of us. Others simply do not care, as it is none of their business, as it is none of Mr. McInnes. Those who are transphobic are taught to be that way from the media, from religion, from other transphobic people, and of course from articles such as “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural.”
So, transphobia is not perfectly natural. In fact it seems to be the exception to the rule. Transgender people however are natural. Even with out transition, with out hormones, with out genital reassignment surgery, people still identify as a certain gender innately. And with transgender people that gender is not the one they were assigned at birth. That is naturally there, and whether or not it is common, it is still natural. Transphobia is on the other hand not innate, but taught.
Still, if one still wants to believe that transphobia is natural, I would like to make a final point. Cancer is also natural. Cancer is a disease that can be caused by outside factors but also happen naturally as the cells reproduce. With cancer infected cells breed and kill the healthy cells around it. Just in the way that transgender people, many of whom are perfectly mentally and physically healthy are killed or driven onto the streets or into the grave because of transphobia. Cancer kills healthy cells, and transphobia kills healthy people.
Transphobia is a cancer upon our society. Whether it is natural or caused by other factors, the result is the same. Transphobia kills, hurts, and destroys lives. And like the cancer that it is, to have a healthy society, it must be treated.