Wondering about the use of "Transmisia" instead of "Transphobia?" Check out information about the change HERE.
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.
Transmisia (also called 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 Transmisia is a systemized discrimination or antagonism directed against transgender/nonbinary/genderqueer/agender persons. Transmisia 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. Transmisia, as well as the gender binary from which it extends, obscures the reality of the spectrum and 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 transmisia as well (particularly when acting as representatives of cis-dominated systems, such as higher education) 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-Transmisia is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter transmisia, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on gender, gender identity, and/or gender presentation.
Transmisic Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to gender, gender identity, and/or gender expression. They are structurally based and invoke oppressive systems of a (cis)gender hierarchy. Transmisic Microinvalidations, Microinsults, Microassaults are specific types of microaggressions.
Note: The prefix “micro” is used because these are invocations of (cis)gender hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), where as the "macro" level refers to aggressions committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy). "Micro" in no way minimalizes or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions.
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.)
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 conceptions 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 assumptions about gender and their conceptions of gender more broadly. (from Cis Fragility)
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
The Transcending Gender Project (Photo Series)
Wipe Out Transphobia (Website)
In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that the collaborators on this guide occupy some of the oppressed identities outlined here, but not all of them. We have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources for the anti-oppression issues in this guide, but we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies.
We welcome and greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for the guide, particularly from the perspectives and experiences of the marginalized groups listed and not listed here.