TDOR2020: Transphobia infographic series

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Traditionally, this is a day on which we remember those who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. This year, between October 1st, 2019, and August 31st, 2020, 350 people were murdered. Robbed of their chance at life.

But what exactly is transphobic violence? What does it entail? Is it really limited to just physical violence? In this three-part infographic series we dive into what “violence” really means, what forms it takes, and what we can do about it; right now.

Transphobia #1: Direct violence

The transcription of this infographic is below the images. You can find a Dutch version of the graphics at the bottom of this page.

In 2020, 350 people lost their lives to transphobic violence. 98% of those killed globally were trans women or femme, and 15 was the age of the youngest person killed. But this is not just a global problem, this is also a Dutch problem. In The Netherlands, transgender and gender-diverse people are 7 times more likely to be abused or threatened with abuse: this is a Dutch problem.

“I still have the scars from when I was beaten with a broken bottle.”

“People curse at me regularly when I tell them I’m trans.”

“Someone was spitting at my feet repeatedly. When I asked them to stop, they beat me with their belt.”

“I’m afraid to lose control when I’m drinking, because I’m afraid people will find out I’m trans.”

Direct violence against trans people can feel justified when structural* and cultural* violence is legitimised. We need to break the cycle. Not being transphobic is not enough, you need to be anti-transphobic.

What to do now

  • Educate yourself. Consume content created by trans people of all backgrounds, don’t ask the transgender and gender diverse people in your life to do all the work for you. 
  • Respect boundaries. Ask for pronouns if in doubt, but do not ask intrusive questions about people’s experience. 
  • Be actively anti-transphobic. Acknowledge intersectionality, appreciate diversity, and welcome inclusivity. Think about your usage of gendered language, and how binary standards affect transgender people.
  • Find support at the COC Trans Café in The Hague.
  • Share these messages with your friends, family, and network.
  • Donate to organizations fighting for trans rights: Transgender Netwerk Nederland, COC Haaglanden, and many more.
  • Join your local Pride organisation and help put trans issues on the map: volunteer with COC Haaglanden or Leiden Pride. Get in touch with us to discuss the many options.

Sources

Transphobia #2: Structural violence

The transcription of this infographic is below the images. You can find a Dutch version of the graphics at the bottom of this page.

Transphobic structural violence is the avoidable impairment and harm of transgender people by the social structures and institutions that could and should help people meet fundamental human needs.

Current barriers to self-determination and identification prevent transgender people from participating in and contributing to fundamental activities under their experienced name and gender. This can lead people to have to reveal their transgender identity against their will, in violation of their right to privacy, to avoid being suspected of using falsified documents. This results in not only distress at having one’s identity continuously rejected, but also possible discrimination and abuse. 

Examples of this in The Netherlands are: 

  • Requiring medical diagnosis before changing official documents. This can take years of non-medical waiting times due to gatekeeping and no option for informed consent treatment.
  • A lack of budget and resources for gender clinics, leading to very limited mental health support during this difficult process. 
  • A lack of education about gender dysphoria within the Dutch healthcare system, leading to grossly inadequate care, even for unrelated conditions.
  • A lack of awareness and resources in schools, universities, and workplaces, leading to “othering” and setbacks in education and employment.

Structural violence against trans people makes direct acts of violence or transphobic cultural violence feel justified. We need to break the cycle. Not being transphobic is not enough, you need to be anti-transphobic.

What to do now

  • Educate yourself. Consume content created by trans people of all backgrounds, don’t ask the transgender and gender diverse people in your life to do all the work for you. 
  • Respect boundaries. Ask for pronouns if in doubt, but do not ask intrusive questions about people’s experience. 
  • Be actively anti-transphobic. Acknowledge intersectionality, appreciate diversity, and welcome inclusivity. Think about your usage of gendered language, and how binary standards affect transgender people.
  • Find support at the COC Trans Café in The Hague.
  • Share these messages with your friends, family, and network.
  • Donate to organisations fighting for trans rights: Transgender Netwerk Nederland, COC Haaglanden, and many more.
  • Join your local Pride organisation and help put trans issues on the map: volunteer with COC Haaglanden or Leiden Pride. Get in touch with us to discuss the many options.

Sources

Transphobia #3: Cultural violence

The transcription of this infographic is below the images. You can find a Dutch version of the graphics at the bottom of this page.

Transphobic cultural violence is the way certain aspects of a culture are used to justify or legitimise direct or structural violence. This is seen in some religious and political ideologies, language and art, the neglect of trans issues in empirical science (lack of research), and the disregard for developing gender research (lack of funding).

Examples of this in The Netherlands are: 

  • The dehumanisation of trans and gender diverse people begins with transphobia at home, with a lack of family acceptance and reduced support in social groups. 
  • Hostile religious political parties, such as the SGP, CDA, and ChristenUnie, which lead the opposition against gender neutral language and identity laws that protect trans and gender diverse people.
  • Lack of awareness or positive representation of gender diverse people, leading to cultural invisibility or marginalisation.
  • Every single one of these issues is compounded by misogyny, sexism, and racism.

When the act of direct violence or the fact of structural violence are legitimised, cultural violence is made more acceptable in society. We need to break the cycle. Not being transphobic is not enough, you need to be anti-transphobic.

What to do now

  • Educate yourself. Consume content created by trans people of all backgrounds, don’t ask the transgender and gender diverse people in your life to do all the work for you. 
  • Respect boundaries. Ask for pronouns if in doubt, but do not ask intrusive questions about people’s experience. 
  • Be actively anti-transphobic. Acknowledge intersectionality, appreciate diversity, and welcome inclusivity. Think about your usage of gendered language, and how binary standards affect transgender people.
  • Find support at the COC Trans Café in The Hague.
  • Share these messages with your friends, family, and network.
  • Donate to organisations fighting for trans rights: Transgender Netwerk Nederland, COC Haaglanden, and many more.
  • Join your local Pride organisation and help put trans issues on the map: volunteer with COC Haaglanden or Leiden Pride. Get in touch with us to discuss the many options.

Sources

  1. TNN, “Overal op je hoede”
  2. NOS, “Grote tegenstellingen Tweede Kamer over transgender en interseksewet”
  3. TNN, “Mediamonitor 2018”
  4. Marianne Campbell, Jordan D. X. Hinton, and Joel R. Anderson, “A systematic review of the relationship between religion and attitudes toward transgender and gender-variant people”
  5. Open Society Foundations “An Essential Legal Right for Trans People”
  6. Council of Europe, “Protecting human rights of transgender persons: A short guide to legal gender recognition”

Dutch version: Transfobie #1: Direct geweld

Dutch version: Transfobie #2: Structureel geweld

Dutch version: Transfobie #3: Cultureel geweld

en_GBEnglish (UK)