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Cis Gay Appropriation of Gender Role Struggles

August 18, 2010

NOTE: I have since come out as trans, but was still in denial about being so when I wrote this.


As a genderqueer gay person myself, I fully understand how negatively life-affecting gender stereotyping can be, and the consequences of not fitting into the gender stereotypes in question. Even when I was three years old, I would get into fights with my babysitter at the time if she tried to put a bow in my hair or make me wear a dress, and those kind of stereotypes have continued to affect me to this day.

But here’s the thing: the root of all this is not homophobia. And if we want to eradicate the problem, the cis gay community needs to admit this:

The root of the problem is transphobia, and the ultimate victims are trans people, whether gay or straight, not cis gays.

As far as the world knew when I was 3, I didn’t even have a sexual orientation! Not to mention that with this particular type of discrimination among the post-puberty set, it is not the fact that the victims in the situation, if cis gay, are attracted to someone of the same sex; it’s the fact that they don’t fit into gender roles: ie transphobia. I don’t mean to suggest that cis gay people should go around proclaiming to be the recipient of transphobia,  as that would be appropriation in and of itself, but it’s essential to admit that that’s the root of the problem. Claiming that gender-stereotyping assholes are being “homophobic” is not only false at it’s core, but it is also ignoring what the true problem in the situation is. Of course many transphobic people are also homophobic, but the two -isms are not the same and even for purely selfish reasons cis gays should not be confusing them, let alone out of respect for trans people! To do so is not furthering a solution to the actual problem at hand.

So while they are not the same thing, if we want to fix what we often perceive as homophobia, if we really want to have a gender/orientation revolution we should be eradicating the ROOT of the problem: transphobia. Don’t forget that for every jab you get for being gay, someone gets 10 for being trans in general, and a countless increase for being a trans woman.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 12:53 am

    True that. If only more gay people would realize that attacks on the basis of gender identity and expression are more about transphobia than homophobia.

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