transphobia |ˌtransˈfəʊbɪə, trɑːns-,| noun [ mass noun ] an extreme and irrational aversion to transsexuality and transsexual or transgender people.
"Transphobia" is not in the dictionary, yet words such as "homophobia" and "xenophobia" are. When writing the word "transphobia" into Microsoft Word a dashed red line appears underneath to indicate a misspelling or made-up word. However, "transphobia" is in fact spelt correctly and the correct term to describe either a fear or range of negative attitudes towards transsexual or transgender people.
In the fight for LGBT equality the transgender community are often left behind. Lesbian, gay and bisexual rights are improving across the globe, however the transgender community are still experiencing frequent discrimination.
The transgender community has a lack of basic legal protection in many countries - an example of institutionalised transphobia. There are stories of horrific abuse published in the global media too regularly, and in 2012, on average a transgendered person was murdered every 72 hours. Transphobia exists in our society and it is impossible to ignore.
Including the term "transphobia" in the dictionary is not about accepting the horrible hate crimes that take place, it is about giving recognition to all those who go through a daily struggle because of the state of our society. It's about identifying the attitudes that deny the transgender community equality and respect.
Members of the transgender community experience victimisation purely because of their gender expression; for expressing the person that they truly are. Entering "transphobia" into the dictionary will both educate people about the stigma that transgender people face and prove that this vulnerable community is not invisible.
The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the most renowned dictionaries in the world and even includes the vernacular and rather derogatory term ‘Chav’, yet it does not include a word used to describe the terrible prejudice faced by a whole subsection of society, and neither, in fact, does the dictionary and spell check of the most popular word possessor Microsoft Word. The omission of the word "transphobia" from the dictionary could in fact be said to be a reflection of the transphobia in our society.
People are people regardless of gender identity or expression and the terms that identify their life experiences deserve to be recognised. We must advocate the rights of the transgender community at this time of civil progression and make sure that no one gets left behind in the discrimination of the past.
It is said that the beginning of overcoming a problem is identifying it.
To submit the word "transphobic" and/or "transphobia" to the Oxford English Dictionary please use the following link: http://www.oup.com/uk/oedsubform/
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