Steph's Place

29th June. The true definition of transphobia

Google and Oxford Languages are the most credible source.


It is a word that is often misinterpreted, yes used on its own, it means an 'irrational fear of or aversion' - but I am talking 'Transphobia'. Note that it is all one word, no hyphen, not two separate words, just one word.

So what is the true definition of Transphobia?

Well, to some extent that depends on who you are and what definition you want to find. Gender-critical people, of course, invariably prefer a meaning that doesn't encompass them, so they conflate transphobia to mean fear.

Naturally, very few people genuinely fear trans people but indeed, a few dislike or are prejudiced against transgender people like myself.

Merriam-Webster, Stonewall and Trans Actual all publish their take on the word Transphobia. Still, for us perfectionists in the UK, I much prefer the trusted Oxford Languages version, which by good sense is also used by Google.

And the definition of Transphobia from Oxford Languages is unequivocal, it is a "dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people."

Now, obviously, we all dislike some people for various reasons. I don't like Piers Morgan for example but I don't dislike all white cisgender heterosexual men.

So we are not talking about the odd transgender person who, for some reason, has ruffled your feathers.

But if you dislike trans people in general, then I am sorry... you are transphobic.

Prejudice is somewhat easier to explain; we all know what this word means, but if you are talking about a trans person, perhaps replace the word "trans" with the word "black" or "gay" and then ask the question, am I racist or homophobic? You may find you shock yourself!

The advantage of using Oxford Languages definition is that it is short, sweet and most importantly, is simply the most credible source. As a kid, I used the Oxford Dictionary at school - we all did back in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

I guess hard copies are rarely produced these days, but Oxford has re-branded itself and is now very much online.

Their website is full of interesting facts saying they have existed for over one hundred and fifty years and are the world's most trusted provider of definitions and meanings.

So when they say Transphobia means "the dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people" and a vast American search engine decides to use them - make no mistake, this is most certainly the true definition.

And if a gender-critical person or organisation attempts to use their own definition - just call them out.

Google and Oxford are not wrong.


Authored by Steph  @PlaceSteph

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