Thursday Serious Thread - Approaching Someone With Transphobic* Views



This piggybacks of a lot of twitter threads being posted over the past few months. It ties into the TERF arguments, and the recent Labour Party inner-wranglings a bit, but mostly it’s about ground level issues.

I work with older men and many of them are as “woke” as they can be; pretty convinced that being gay isn’t a thing they disagree with, and that immigration issues are “not really a thing”. But one subject really sticks in their throat; trans issues.

I understand that the language of the world is going to struggle with people transitioning, and the world isn’t quite ready yet to be okay with the language around this whole subject, but it’s the snide comments and belittling of a view that, in all honesty, I can’t really say is something I’m entirely confident in talking about. My imprecise language would rightly offend many, in the moment, much like when my our parents might try to talk about “the gays” in a non-offensive way.

Many know what is homophobic* but many don’t know what transphobia* is, my self include to the fullest extent (obviously). How do you handle someone who is very pointedly and obviously mis-gendering someone (for example, Caitlyn Jenner being called Bruce and a man, or Chelsea Manning being called male, in conversation) without raising their hackles? Is there a way?

Like a man identifying as a feminist (something that shouldn’t be said lightly in a lot of ways, as @DarwinBabe has explained well before on here before) how can someone be an ally or help or whatever verb/adjective you want to use on this issue?

Tough thread. Maybe too tough. Maybe a wrong headed thread. Maybe the wrong thread for International Women’s Day. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe nothing’s ever right. Maybe, well, can I just have a hug please?

*Now, this is just the word I’m using to describe the language used, not the person who says them - as in, calling someone a poof is homophobic, but doesn’t mean you’re homophobic, per se


I don’t get it, what?




Do you pull them up on their homophobic language? Because surely the answer is ‘the same way’.

I’m not going to pretend I’m good at doing this because I get anxious about creating conflict and will take the path of least resistance every time, but the only productive way to do this as someone who isn’t a member of the marginalised group in question is to self-tone-police. Calmly and politely. In good faith, like you think they want to ‘get it right’ but have inadvertently said something not-OK.

I realise this is an imperfect analogue but my 70-year-old father still occasionally uses the phrase “half-caste” which as far as he knew was a perfectly acceptable phrase and is said with no malice whatsoever. I’ll just say “I think people of that background prefer the phrase ‘mixed-race’” or something like that. Link it to the people in question, rather than your own ‘offence’ at a word.

The thing you’ve hit on with your post is that bigoted views and bigoted language are not necessarily the same thing, and it’s easier to change the latter than the former.


I have a pretty mixed record on this. I’ve had colleagues in the past - not even that long ago - say some sexist things and have let it slide to avoid trouble, which I regret. In other contexts, I think I do better - my brother-in-law expresses some really reactionary views, and I always calmly try to reason them out with him (he once said, with genuine conviction, the idea of women being paid less was bullshit because Jennifer Lawrence made more than Chris Pratt for Passengers… that was a fun conversation).

I think Owensmaterob is right - calmly and politely, suggest the better alternative, give them the idea and leave it up to them to decide if they want to do better. If they genuinely do, that will be enough - if they don’t, well, a full blown argument wouldn’t have gone anywhere either.


? it’s a bit confusing what you’ve posted. it isn’t a thing as in they don’t see it as an issue?




The full blown argument always feels like it’s in the post, I find.


Think there is ambiguity around being gay is not a thing, presumably you meant as in its not an issue rather than it doesn’t exist


even more so immigration issues, what does ‘not a thing’ even mean in that context?


@ttf @no-class @Im_On_Safari Jesus.

Right, a massive typo in there. Fucking hell. I assumed that you were being a dick @Im_On_Safari and summarising the whole post in a stupid quipe about me saying something reactionary, not realising I’d actually fucking wrote that! Jesus

Everyone, I apologise.

I meant, in that sentence, not to say that at all - in actuality, the exact opposite. It was meant to read as follows.

I work with older men and many of them are as “woke” as they can be; pretty convinced that being gay isn’t a thing that they disagree with

My imprecise language was meant to read that these older men are of the opinion that being gay and immigration issues, things that could easily be something their demographic would be against or have strong opinions on, but they actually are quite the opposite and believe that they “are not a thing”, meaning, not a personal issue to them. Christ.

I couldn’t have been even more of an idiot if I’d tried eh. I hope my explanation is thorough and you understand what I was trying to say.

Mods, shut it down. Fuck it.


Absolutely. I unreservedly apologise. Sorry. :frowning:


Yeah, no worries. Didn’t know if you were making a point about the language around identifying as gay or what I dunno, I’m still hammered. Just confused me


ah no worries, figured it was some typo or something missing. definitely wasn’t being confrontational about it, just trying to fully understand the situation.


I generally just beat people up if I disagree with them.

Seems to have the effect I want.


From the POV of me seeing someone back-up what I wrongly thought was a dickhead joke, I hope you understand my confusion. What a dolt.


Is there some way to edit the OP with the original intention, mods?

Seems a shame for a sensible and well-intentioned thread to get derailed over a mistyping.


I read it literally but that made no sense in the context of the thread so took a moment to figure out, never thought you actually meant that though




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