Heterophobia and Cisphobia

I am not going to argue if people of a designated minority have fears towards members of a cultural majority, like how some blacks are cautious around white people, how atheists tense up around vocal Christians, and some (cis) women are towards (cis) men. As a transsexual man, I don’t suffer as much from the “cis-tem” as many others in the LGBTQ community do. (Hell, some even say I’ve gainedprivilege”, when others general lose it.) Declaring my equal rights does not give me any special privilege or exemption that doesn’t already exist for cisgender heterosexuals:

The concept[s] of [cisphobia and] heterophobia as […] discriminatory and oppressive force[s] is questionable. Whereas homophobia can result in the individual and systemic oppression of LGBTQ people, there is no evidence to show that so-called heterophobia has ever led to the curtailing of straight people’s rights and liberties.

—“Is It Possible To Be Heterophobic?”, LGBTQ Nation

To some extent I may possible suffer from another possible definition of “heterophobia”, as detailed later:

Can gay people be actually heterophobic in the sense of having a real, crippling fear of straight people? There aren’t very many studies about it, but it’s very possible for someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or non-binary to be afraid of [cisgender,] straight people.

After all, countless LGBTQ people have and continue to suffer discrimination, violence, and death due to homophobia. Even in progressive countries, bullying is still rampant among school-aged children. Cases of teen suicides and incidences of mental health issues are much higher in LGBTQ youth (and LGBTQ youth of color) than in straight, white teens. Each year, dozens of trans and non-binary people are violently killed, their stories going largely unreported.

As such, many members of the gay community can be untrusting or unfriendly towards straight people they don’t know. Gay men may be warier about acting “soft” or effeminately around straight men out of fear. Trans people may be less inclined to “disclose” their transness[, … ] because they could risk getting hurt or worse. Gay couples may hide their personal life from their workmates to avoid discrimination and unjust treatment in the workplace.

When someone insists on vocalizing their faith, I will tense up, get my guard up—ask anyone who’s been subjected to prayer-based conversion therapy (like me), and many of us cringe at religious obsessors who insist it’s the first (if not only?) thing about them, because prayer was used as a source of hate, instead of love, to ”cure” us from our sexualities and gender dysphorias, rather than use prayer to help affirm our sexualities and dysphorias.

When a cissexual man tries to act super macho, I roll my eyes—if not sass with a comeback to break his ego. During my days at Starbucks, I once had a man say “real” men don’t need cup sleeves; I retorted that his masculinity must be fragile in order to say something like that. Boy did he shut up!

When a woman insists on using anatomy to define womanhood, not only do I cringe due to gender dysphoria, but also remind her of all the cisgender women who’ve had to undergo forced sterilizations, as a form of cultural and racial/ethnic genocide—were these women no longer “women”? What about women who can’t reproduce because of other medical issues? Are women just reduced to capabilities to breed and reproduce?

Yes, the fears minorities have against cultural majorities are real, if not justified. However, when fighting to stop oppression against us, it doesn’t mean we’re asking for “special” rights; we are fighting a system that insists on denying us equality for simply being different.

If anto-vaxxers and anti-maskers can demand “bodily autonomy”, why as a transsexual am I not allowed the same right to my body? If straight people can be vocal about who they find attractive of the opposite sex, why can’t people attracted primarily to the same sex be allowed as well? If straight, infertile couples can access IVF, why can’t gay couples?

There is a particular type of straight person that believes in a so-called “gay agenda” which “heterophobic” LGBTQ people are pushing to destroy the fabric of society, sow discord, and promote anti-Christian values. These folks believe that LGBTQ people are already privileged and want even more special privileges.

But for most LGBTQ advocates, the fight for equality is just that – the fight for equal rights and the ability to live in this world freely without fear of violence, hatred, and discrimination.

We’re not “asking” for anything. We’re just done being oppressed, and demanding the religious right to stop denying us equal treatment just because they “disagree” with us.

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