Cisphobia?

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Cisphobia?

Postby gwenfox » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:38 pm

Something happened to me the other day that I'd like to share. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well. The background to this story is that I went into severe denial about my trans status about 15 years ago after being attacked. A few years ago, the feelings of "gender disphoria" started to really ramp up, which eventually led to my coming out to my wife (she was far more understanding than I have any right to expect), as well as many of my friends. They have all at least tried to understand.

Then, a few days ago, my wife talked me into coming out to my mother-in-law and talking with her. Now, my in-laws are both staunch Republicans (Fox News, Glen Beck, the whole 9 yards), so I was pretty sure they were going to be furious and it was going to be a disaster. However, not only was my mother-in-law gracious, she was the first cisgendered person I've come out to who immediately used female pronouns with me. I actually cried.

So, here's the question - has the world changed in it's attitudes towards trans people while I haven't been noticing? Does anyone else always assume that when a cis person finds out about you, they will have a negative reaction? Or, am I being "cisphobic"?

- Gwen -
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby Erica » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:40 pm

As you tell more and more people, you'll be amazed by the positive response. Every now and again you'll run across someone who blows you away with a response that is completely opposite of what you expect. Sadly it runs in both directions. There have been a couple of people that I thought for sure would accept me completely, but in reality, no not at all. Fortunately those have been the extreme minority.

I think the thing with most right wing types is that they probably do disapprove of most people like us or are at least they are willing to stand quietly be as people they identify with denigrate us. But they know you so you're different. You aren't like the rest of us at all.
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby Someone Else » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:52 pm

Erica wrote:Every now and again you'll run across someone who blows you away with a response that is completely opposite of what you expect. Sadly it runs in both directions.

What she said.
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby Vicky » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:47 pm

Erica wrote:I think the thing with most right wing types is that they probably do disapprove of most people like us or are at least they are willing to stand quietly be as people they identify with denigrate us. But they know you so you're different. You aren't like the rest of us at all.


HOW VERY TRUE!

Not only for Gender issues, but race and you name it! I have relatives that will not sit on the port side of an airplane for fear of being thought to have any sympatihies with a left wing. Over the course of many funerals though have been the instances when someone introduces themselves as being from groups that the dead relative has openly and vocally hated but the story of individual kindness done to "People They Knew" brings tears to my eyes years later.
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby tiffany_elizabeth » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:18 pm

gwenfox wrote:So, here's the question - has the world changed in it's attitudes towards trans people while I haven't been noticing? Does anyone else always assume that when a cis person finds out about you, they will have a negative reaction? Or, am I being "cisphobic"?

- Gwen -


Nothing's really changed. People by nature tend to have a "live and let live" mentality. Granted, you won't always find supporters, but the detractors aren't as bad as people think.

For example, I won't come out to my parents because I already know how they feel. My mother thinks anyone who wasn't born female and dresses as a woman does so for sexual reasons. She doesn't buy the female mind, male body notion, it's just if a man wears a bra he's doing it to get turned on.

But I know that if I do come out to them they won't disown me or disinherit me. It will be several months of confrontation, several months of awkwardness, then back to normal, even if they do refer to me as their son and use my male name.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, will leave me unless I come out to her in exactly the right way.

So for the most part you're being "cisphobic." Close knit relationships don't often deteriorate beyond repair. It's usually just a few years of discomfort. It just seems like it happens more often because those are the stories you read and hear about, but for the most part you'll encounter "you do your thing, I'll do mine."

By the way, this goes to show that you shouldn't paint conservative republicans with a broad brush. I'm a "dittohead," been Hannitized, and on some issues I make Limbaugh and Hannity look like Clinton and Obama. If there are ultraconservatives who are transgendered it stands to reason that there are ultraconservatives who support us.
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby DYSSONANCE » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:59 am

Ok, specifically, regarding cisphobia:

if used int he sense of being transcentric and having a prejudice against cis folk, well, stop it. FOr one, in order for that to be a concern, you'd have to have a social and systemic degree of authority and power that you can exercise over them.

You don't, being trans, so that's not ac concern.

In the sense of an actual phobic response, well, in that case: do you feel an aversion to people who are cis, an intense dislike of people who are cis, or a fear of cis people (in general, not in terms of specific individuals) as a whole? If so, then *maybe* you are cisphobic, but, more likely, given the degree of terrorism conducted b ya relative handful of cisfolk, you might be excused for such.

As far as the situation, what's been said earlier is what I would say. We hear about the dangers of all of these things -- of coming out, of disclosure, of, basically, telling the world about who we are, and how so many of us are knocked down and kicked, emotionally or physically, and we tend to think that such is the way that it always is.

When, in fact, odds are pretty damned good that the reverse is true -- and, as noted before, to those who are close to us, well, they "know" us. We're different from those other weirdos.

Part of being out, though, is knowing there's a responsibility for saying "no,.actually, those weirdos are like me."
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby gwenfox » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:23 pm

The way I meant the phrase 'cisphobic' would be better described as a *possibly* irrational fear of a cisgendered person's reaction to discovering I am trans, not a fear of cisgendered people per se. I'm at the point were paranoia about what people are thinking of me is setting in, and I suppose I'm looking for reassurance.

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今日のテマこれです。。。女人
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby Erica » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:38 pm

gwenfox wrote:The way I meant the phrase 'cisphobic' would be better described as a *possibly* irrational fear of a cisgendered person's reaction to discovering I am trans



I'd probably refer to that as stigmaphobic or something. In theory you could be afraid of anyone having a bad reaction to the news.
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Re: Cisphobia?

Postby SarahElizabeth » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:42 pm

Its easy to demonize a group of people who you do not know. It is much harder to do that to someone you know, especially if it is a brother, sister, or someone in the family. Or a school friend. Or a co-worker. Etc.
People like Rush, Glen, and the others on the daytime hate-radio rhetoric, blah blah blah machine make their living off of hate and fear. They are like radio pimps. They use others to make their money.
Do I hate these people? No. If I were to hate them, I would be as bad as they are.
I really pity them for using others.
And I truly pity those who listen to their perverted dogma.
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