What is Transphobia? in Identity
Transphobia is the phrase used to describe the intense dislike of or prejudice against transgender people. It also covers the dislike of transsexual, intersex or androgyne people.
A transgender person feels that their external appearance does not match up with the way they feel internally about their gender identity. Find out more about gender identity.
If you are 18 years old, have gender dysphoria and have been living as your preferred gender for at least two years you can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, which will let you change your name and gender on your birth certificate.
How are people transphobic?
Transphobia can involve name-calling, discrimination and even violence. Find out more about bullying here.
Transphobia not only covers issues of LGBT acceptance, but sexism and gender roles too. These issues mostly involve the way in which men and women are expected to act in society. If a boy acts in a way that isn’t typically ‘masculine’ e.g. isn’t interested in sports, then he might be called a mix of homophobic and sexist names like ‘gay’, ‘jessie’ or ‘girl’. For transgender people this highlights the issue that some people may have to those stepping outside of their set gender roles about what it means to be masculine or feminine.
For some transgender people there is also the issue of dress. There have been a number of cases where pupils that were born male but don’t identify this way want to wear skirts to school have been refused to do so by schools.
Pronouns can also be an issue – being referred to as ‘him’ or ‘her’ incorrectly can be uncomfortable for a transgender person, especially when they are trying to establish their new identity. It can also be difficult for teachers or fellow students if they haven’t been known by that identity since they’ve been at school, but it’s all about a matter of respect.
Who’s trying to make a difference?
There are organisations that work on behalf of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people such as LGBT Youth Scotland. You can find out about some of the work they do by visiting the LGBT Youth Scotland website.
You can also learn about more about transgender identity on the ChildLine website.