A note on the scope of this guide:
This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the Lesley Community. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.
Transphobia is prejudice plus power; anyone of any gender can have/exhibit gender-based prejudice, but in North America (and really worldwide), cisgender people have the institutional power, therefore Transphobia is a systemized discrimination or antagonism directed against transgender/genderqueer/agender persons. Transphobia and cissexism are rooted in a desire to maintain the gender binary (i.e. the categories of 'male' and 'female'), a social construction which seeks to assign gender based on a person's declared sex at birth. Transphobia, as well as the gender binary from which it extends, obscures the reality of the fluidity of gender and marginalizes the identities and experiences of persons whose gender does not align with their birth-assigned sex and/or who do not align with either category of male or female.
Trans folks can be agents of transphobia as well (by perpetuating the notion of gender binary or "passing" superiority and using it to discriminate against other transgender people. For example, a trans woman at a company may refuse to hire a genderqueer person because their gender presentation might "confuse" customers, or a trans male administrator at a traditionally women's college may deny the application of a non-passing trans woman for not "transitioning enough."
Anti-Transphobia is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter transphobia, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on gender, gender identity, and/or gender presentation.
Pronouns are words that stand in for specific people or things. The gendered personal pronouns are She, Her, Hers, Herself; He, Him, His, Himself. There are also gender-neutral pronouns: They, Them, Their, Theirs, Themself; Ze, Hir, Hirs, Hirself (pronounced zee, here, heres, hereself)—these are used by some trans folks who don’t align with typically male or female pronouns.
Refusal to use a person's identified pronoun is disrespectful and dehumanizing. Similarly refusing to use or acknowledge gender-neutral pronouns at all dismisses and disrespects the people whose gender does not conform to male or female. (See below for info on misgendering.)
Misgendering is to refer to a person using terms (pronouns, nouns, adjectives...) that express the wrong gender, either accidentally or deliberately; for example by calling a woman "son", a boy "she", or a non-binary/agender/genderqueer individual "he" or "she". (See above for info about gendered and gender-neutral pronouns.)
For Trans Folks in Crisis
Community Awareness & Support
Local & National Support Organizations
The term cisgender or cis refers to when someone’s gender matches their birth assigned sex and, by extension, when a person’s gender matches the gender others perceive them as. While cisgender refers to someone’s sex and gender appearing to align, cisgender privilege speaks to how perceived gender/sex alignment means not having to think or address topics that those without cisgender privilege have to deal with, often on a daily basis. (from "Got Privilege")
To give you an idea of cisgender privilege, here are some examples of the benefits a cisgender person receives :
Cis fragility (drawing on white fragility in critical race theory) is rooted in a desire to restore and reproduce cisnormativity. It is a combination of lack of stamina in interrogating their conceptualizations of gender, as well as a resistance to challenging those conceptions, often react[ing] with defensiveness [and] forcing trans people to do the emotional labor of comforting the cis person in addition to educating them.
Cis people exist in a social environment which validates their genders and reinforces a gender binary which corresponds to their lived experiences, giving them relative privilege to trans people. Cis people therefore can can exhibit a low tolerance for that which challenges their gender identities and their conceptions of gender more broadly. (from Cis Fragility)
Being a Supportive Ally
A- always center the impacted— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) June 13, 2016
L- listen & learn from those who live in the oppression
L- leverage your privilege
Y-yield the floor
Celebrating Trans Folks
Wipe Out Transphobia (Website)
Transgender Revolution (Video)