What do we mean when we talk about internalised transphobia? Where does it come from?
Many of us have been taught that gender non-conformity is wrong and shameful. We tend to feel extremely ashamed of being a “tranny”. I use that word on purpose because reactions to that word show how threatening the word is. If we don’t deal with the shame which is linked to fear of rejection, fear of abandonment and feelings of worthlessness, then a natural reaction to being perceived as a tranny is a fight or flight response. I think that the insistence that transwomen are ‘actually’ women, rather than men who transition to live ‘as’ women has come about because people feel that it’s easier to accept the concept of themselves as women doing woman things than as men doing woman things because that still triggers all of the threat based responses. I used to feel like that so I recognise it in others (of course it’s possible that I’m just projecting my own experience onto others, but the responses are so predictable that I don’t think so). I’ve now worked through my issues and so being seen as a tranny or a man or anything else someone can throw at me doesn’t hurt and doesn’t trigger these responses.
I have to be honest, I don’t like being associated with males. I especially don’t like being associated with men because a lot of men behave in ways that I just can’t identify with at all and I don’t want to be associated with that. It’s very uncomfortable to be called a man because it triggers our thoughts of everything that we don’t want to be. I think that’s a normal and valid response to reject it and feel hurt by it.
But then we have a choice. We can either remain in a state where we continue to be triggered and hurt by it forever.
Or, we can try to understand how and why it hurts and with that knowledge move to a stronger place.
My opinion (and of course I could be wrong but I really believe this) is that the trans narrative that we see now (and this is quite a recent thing) firmly pushes people down the first path. It creates a culture of victimhood and fragility. A culture where self worth is based on a well intentioned untruth. That males can be actually female.
The second path is based on destigmatising the truth that yes, trans people exist. Yes, our experiences are valid and worthy. Yes, we transition away from the socially constructed expectations of masculinity so that we can live an authentic life. Yes, it is authentic and we have as much right to live this way as anyone else. Yes, we experience gender dysphoria and it’s awful. Yes,transition is necessary to relieve the dysphoria. And it’s perfectly OK to be trans. Males can live ‘as’ women and be loved and accepted without needing to believe that males can be actually female.
It’s unnecessary and untrue.
Internalised transphobia isn’t what stops us accepting ourselves as female. It’s what stops us accepting ourselves as trans. It’s the fear of being seen by others as a male who lives as a woman.
It’s not self hating to be at peace with the truth. It’s self hating to hate the truth. Modern transgender culture has reversed this and it’s so unhealthy.