Friday, February 26, 2016


Transphobia by trans people or as it is otherwise known as “Lateral Hostility”
I'm A Trans Woman, and I'm Transphobic. So Are You.
The Harlot
By Safíra Anouk
Updated February 18, 2016

This past year, 2015, was marked by an unprecedented amount of attention paid to transgender issues. 

Hollywood coming-out stories have taken center stage at a time when many of us would rather discuss workplace discrimination, gender equality, and access to transgender healthcare. However, in the midst of this era of increased transgender awareness is also a reactionary backlash — transphobia.
I am a trans woman, and I don’t like other trans women. I am transphobic, and so are you.

Internalized oppression is the involuntary internalization of discriminatory societal values among members of those groups who are being discriminated against. It is often unintentional—we all want what is best for ourselves and our communities, but internalized oppression undermines our better intentions through divisive socialization. Intended to promote homogeneity among diverse populations, it exalts a small elite class by which everyone else is measured. Its aim, to divide and conquer, causes internal strife and conflict underlined by currents of self-hate. In this way, transphobia among transgender women is a symptom of a greater misogynist ether.

Internalized transphobia divides us against one another and teaches us to hate ourselves and each other by proxy. When we judge other trans women on cisgender passing privilege, social attractiveness, sexual identity, or choice of gender presentation, we are comparing them to an unrealistic ideal of cis-womanhood. Then through brutal competition, we sacrifice each other in an effort to find validation through the invalidation of others. This behaviour, which keeps us from having actionable solidarity and community, is incentivized by our desire to be accepted by the cis-hetero mainstream.
And that is known technically as “Lateral Hostility,” or “Horizontal Violence.” PlanetTransgender had an article about it last year…
Q and A put to Indi Edwards on Lateral Hostility 25th April, 2015.
1. What does ” Lateral Hostility ” mean to you

Lateral hostility happens when an individual or individuals bully and oppress their peers from within a community setting rather than one’s true adversaries. In our case being Trans I have always noticed it and regrettably been at both ends of the phenomena. Personally I have had a lot of time to think about mistakes I’ve made in the past and would invite others to ask themselves the same question.

2. How do you see it differing from open debate?

It’s when a debate descends into name calling, victim blaming, vilification and verbal violence. Words hurt, actually words can kill. As a community we cop a lot of hostility from some cis gender folk who don’t understand us or refuse to, however when it comes from your own peers it seems to cut deeper and have a very negative and profound effect on the individual on the receiving end. LH often only ends in community division and isolation for the individual who is being chastised.

3. How has it harmed the Trans(gender) community

Basically it often holds us back from moving forward as a community and at its very worst can cause the victim or victims to feel marginalized within their own peer group and can lead to self-harm and/or suicide. Make no mistake it does happen. The perpetrator is often hurting for their own reasons and may lash out blindly with devastating results. There was a recent example where a notable Trans activist recently told another Trans activist to drink bleach and go kill herself. This was a knee jerk and emotionally driven action that could have had dire results.

4. What do you see as the key drivers of ” LH ” to be. Is it always personal?

I think yes it’s always feels personal and again partially stems from oppression. The oppressed oppressing others or I like to call it “hand me down” oppression. It’s really sad that this is happening in our community however it’s good that we are now having the conversation that needs to be had. We as Trans people are very emotionally invested in our own community. This emotional investment is like a hair-trigger waiting to be pulled.
Here is her speech at the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health (ANZPATH)'s

This morning I have my 6 month endo check-up, afterward I am talking to doctors at a local hospital and then in the evening I have a meeting at the Connecticut chapter of the NASW (National Association of Social Workers)... A busy day.


  1. Thank you for this one! This is a very important blog post. We need to look at this type of aggression.

    When I first started blogging about trans issues I was viciously attacked by what was then known as "classical transsexuals"/the Harry Benjamin Syndrome tribe, i.e. separatists trans women. Around 2013/2014 tumblr suddenly saw a surge of "truscum", mostly FTM separatist.

    They all preached the gospel of there being two kinds of trans people: the real ones, explained as the ones who had brains of their target sex, and the false fetishists. Basically they used theories developed by transphobic scientists to attack the kind of trans people they did not like. The fetish and autogynephilia theories were very popular, as was they idea that some trans women were nothing but effeminate gay men.

    The good news is that both tribes have lost much of their clout, most likely because of infighting and quarrels about what defined a "true transsexual" (or in the case of truscum, a "real transgender" -- they actually tried to take over the word transgender!).

    More about HBS and truscum.

  2. Thank you for sharing this post. This was great insight. How do most heterosexual women treat you? I have an author friend that writes transgender fiction. I want to learn and support but I feel sorta stupid in a way for not knowing all of this. I do hope the very best for you and I wish you lots of acceptance and support.

  3. Nicola Summers2/27/16, 9:52 AM

    Thanks Diana, as the author of that piece in PlanetTransgender I find it hard to accept this "lateral hostility" and it rears its ugly head each day, in every country and at every stage of transition. It is a real reflection on our maturity as a group and is fundamental in our lack of developing a cohesive presence as a valid segment of the community.