Over the past several years, I’ve heard a lot of arguments against people being transgender.
- “People are born either male or female and should stay that way.”
- “The Bible says it’s wrong, so it must be.”
- “It’s a mental illness, and if those people got some help, doctors would cure them.”
- “It’s not natural.”
I could write a post about each of those arguments, addressing why they are incorrect and giving evidence to the contrary, but I don’t want to waste my time or yours.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that the person making the argument dislikes transgender people – they just didn’t want to say so. They disguised their dislike in the form of a reason why people shouldn’t be transgender, based on some bit of evidence they had heard or read or someone had told them.
Here’s the thing, though- just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it false.
Every year, the calendar tells me that spring arrives on March 21. In New Hampshire, spring doesn’t often arrive until late April. In early April, we still get snowstorms, even blizzards. Now my calendar says it’s spring, so we shouldn’t be getting snow anymore, right? Wrong. I wouldn’t say I like that snow comes in April, but it happens, and I can’t change that.
Not liking something does not make it false.
Just because someone doesn’t like the idea of someone else being transgender doesn’t make them NOT transgender. Just because a group of people, a religious organization, or a political group doesn’t like the idea of transgender people doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
But it’s easier for someone to say, “There’s no such thing as transgender people; there are only males and females” than to say, “You know, I just don’t like the idea of people being transgender, it makes me uncomfortable to be around them (or fill in whatever the reason here*).”
*Here’s a hint: sometimes, it’s because they don’t understand what being transgender means.
Fear of the unknown and lack of understanding are generally (note that I said generally, not always) the reasons why people have a dislike for demographics other than their own.
The other reason has to do with tightly held core beliefs. In this great article from The Oatmeal, they write:
“Core beliefs are the beliefs which people cherish the most deeply. They usually develop from childhood and are compounded by life experiences. Core beliefs are inflexible, rigid, and incredibly sensitive to being challenged.”
Inman, Matthew. “You are Not Going to Believe What I have to Tell You. The Oatmeal
This is why some people have difficulty accepting that people can be transgender, nonbinary, or pansexual. It doesn’t align with what they believe deep down in their core. It goes against everything they have understood since they were young, and they have their faith, education, and traditions to support those beliefs.
That doesn’t change the fact that transgender people exist.
Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly's Gender Spectrum Collection.
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