Transphobia: a social and historical construction

Unfortunately, there is still a lot to understand about sexuality. We know that this is something socially constructed and is intended to meet a certain social convenience. Therefore, we must try to understand it from a historical perspective.

The model of sexuality considered healthy was established in the Modern Age with the structuring of the bourgeois nuclear family. Before that, religions already standardized what was considered sin in the sexual field. In this way, all sex that did not aim at procreation and formation of the heteronormative, cisgender and monogamous family was considered sin, crime and disease.

Therefore, the only genders that the system admits without prejudice are the male gender in the male’s body (man) and the female gender in the female’s body (woman). Furthermore, as gender is a social and historical construction, it varies according to the time and place in question.

So, for example, what is considered male, male, male in a society in New Guinea, in 1850, is different from what is understood in the USA in the full year of 1950. It is evident that there is an economic and social pressure to standardize Nazi – Fascist – Totalitarian. After all, the greater the alienation and massification, the greater the control and power.

However, there are people who are born and do not identify with the gender that society imposes on them, regardless of the sexual organ they have. Gender norms do violence. In this sense, they exist to organize social functioning, which is geared to a certain convention and subject to a certain social, religious, financial and political system. Transphobia appears.

Transphobia during the life journey

Those people who do not conform to such gender norms are called transsexuals, transvestites, transgender, non-binary, gender fluid, agender, bigender, intergender, polygender, androgynous, etc.

However, these individuals, on several occasions, end up suffering prejudice and discrimination due to their gender identity. Thus, the term “transphobia” was coined to deal with cases of fear, contempt, aversion and aggression against these people.

In this way, to better understand how prejudice is rooted in society and how it influences trans life, we will trace a journey of the lives of these individuals.

a complicated start

Well, we started it all with a child who doesn’t identify with the imposed and convenient gender with his biological sex, however, soon he starts to suffer hostility. Most do not live in large centers and live in the interior of our immense country, where contact with diversity is much less. Therefore, relatives often incur discrimination, especially in those families that are very religious and traditional.

At school, these children are bullied. Thus, they are unable to study and stop attending classes for fear of being attacked by their colleagues. However, on several occasions, the pedagogical team itself also falls into transphobia.

In this sense, another issue of internal debate occurs when they start to grow. This is because they need to fight the physical sexual characteristics that are emerging due to hormones. Other than that, they are in a constant battle not to accept the gender that is imposed on them by every society.

At this point, the fight within the family is often already established. There are several stories of family violence against trans and non-binary people. In adolescence, some are expelled from home or simply leave, as they cannot stand the pressure and violence.

In addition, there is also a vast history of child abuse by family members. This needs to be said, as society believes that gender and sexual affective orientation are necessarily “altered” because of childhood sexual abuse. Pure myth. This subject is too complex to be explained in such a simplistic and reductionist way.

The fight for survival

Without education and qualifications, most trans people migrate to larger cities and seek to “hormonize” themselves clandestinely. However, they do not find properly qualified health equipment and in sufficient quantity to be able to offer this service in a safe and dignified way. Transphobia reigns even in the few places that exist.

Therefore, as trans people do not have any qualifications for the formal job market, prostitution ends up being a chosen path, however, it is not even recognized as a profession – it is not protected by rights, much less duties regulated by laws. .

Therefore, such work activity ends up being marginalized by society. However, the problem is not prostitution itself. The big problem is being discriminated against and being the only option available: the person is forced to sell their own body in order to survive.

Violence and invisibility

Drugs and crime are present in many social segments, however, in the world of prostitution they are very frequent. So, the components of this context are diverse: nightlife, lack of money, marginality, underworld, violence, having to resort to drug trafficking, theft, other crimes, unprotected sex, etc. All this ends up being part of the survival of many trans people in our hostile and excluding society.

In such a “discriminatory world”, trans people suffer even more violence after enjoying their sexual services, after all, many transphobic clients attack them. Brazil is at the same time the country that most consumes pornography related to trans and transvestites and the country that most kills this population.

Transgender men have the same problem. They are more invisible than trans women, as they are also crossed by issues such as machismo, misogyny and transphobia. Not to mention non-binary and gender-fluid people. These few appear to tell their stories, such is the social prejudice.

To withstand such invisibility and social violence, many trans and non-binary people resort to drug abuse. Others end up developing serious psychiatric illnesses that can lead to self-harm and suicide. Many others live in horrible conditions, secretly “hormonize” themselves and are “enslaved” by other trans people (pimps) in exchange for a certain “protection” and housing.

Changes still not enough

It is true that the situation of trans, transvestites and non-binary people has been changing a little bit in our country. The social name can already be used in various social places, for example. But this is still just the beginning. Transphobia is still recurrent.

It is necessary to invest in the education of this population and society in general. Some laws already protect the LGBTQIA+ population in certain aspects. However, in a broad way, there is still no decent educational and professional qualification in relation to the trans population, much less access to the formal job market, dignified health care, respect in public agencies and other segments of society.

It is urgently necessary to do a gigantic work of basic education in this country that involves: psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, sexuality, emotional intelligence and respect for human rights.

Prostitution needs to be regulated as a profession. It needs to be an option and not the only work alternative for this social segment. They must have guaranteed rights and duties, a guarantee of retirement and dignified preparation for old age. Unfortunately in Brazil, the life expectancy of a trans person is only thirty-something years old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.