‘Transphobia’ Means Fear of the Other Side

“Transphobia” means fear of the other side. Remember that. “Homophobia” means fear of self (or of something similar to you). Remember that.

So, when you read a headline like, “UNIV. OF CHICAGO STUDENTS OFFENDED BY GAY ACTIVIST’S ‘TRANSPHOBIC SLUR,'” you will know to place the story in the nonsense category. (Thankfully, the publication running the piece seems to understand that the headline bespeaks nonsense.)

Note that it was a homosexual activist, Dan Savage, that offended a T-word person.

“What’s a T-word person,” you ask. Thank you. I’m dying to tell you. It really cuts to the heart of the story.

According to a first-year student and member of the LGBTQ community who asked to be identified as Hex, [homosexual activist, Dan] Savage used the slur t—– as an example in an anecdote about reclaiming words. Cox then added, “I used to make jokes about t—-ies,” audience members recounted.

Painstaking research revealed that “the slur t—–” is — hide the children’s eyes — “tranny,” of which the plural is trannies. So heinous is the word that nobody wanted to type it — hence the painstaking nature of the research.

As I was writing this, I came up with the expression “T-word” all by myself. I thought it might be original. Much to my chagrin, a commenter at the Chicago Maroon stole my thunder. His remark gives us a worrisome glimpse at the level of discourse in our American institutions if higher learning:

I can’t believe it’s frowned upon to say the N-word but saying the T-word is okay? It’s 2014 people.

You got that? It’s 2014!!!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was Charles Coulombe posting under an assumed name to parody the folks on the other side. (Hint: when someone reminds you of the year in relation to a burning social issue, he’s probably not a conservative.)

But there is more to the story. The earlier-mentioned “first-year student and member of the LGBTQ community,” whose name is “Hex,” disclosed further painful revelations about the T-word:

“That was one of the most hurtful parts,” Hex said, explaining the perceived insult was that Cox used the slur to refer to the group of people she joked about. “In that context, it was like being applied to all transgender people,” it said. (“It” is Hex’s chosen pronoun.)

Yes, you read that correctly, “‘it’ is Hex’s chosen pronoun” — a journalist actually wrote that about a fellow human being’s reference to himself. We don’t know Hex’s actual gender, and perhaps Hex is a little confused about it, too, but Hex has a gender.

But it gets weirder. We learn that from the Chicago Maroon that:

Hex asked Savage and Cox to use the term “T-slur” instead of the actual word. According to second-year Sara Rubinstein, an executive director of QUIP (Queers United in Power), and Hex, Savage then named other slurs, asking if they were suitable to use instead. “Obviously [he attempted] to threaten me and make me feel uncomfortable in that space, which was pretty successful,” Hex said.

The organization that sponsored the presentation from Dan Savage is the Institute of Politics, whose Executive Director is Steve Edwards. Edwards stated this about a meeting between himself and some of the aggrieved parties: 

“We listened openly and sympathetically to the concerns about language and about the dehumanizing effects of language and expressed our desire not to be a place where dehumanizing language is used,” Edwards said.

Keep in mind that the concerns about language and about the dehumanizing effects of language were uttered by people identifying themselves as “It” and “Queer.”

And transphobia means fear of the other side. Remember that.

We, too, have concerns about language.