One Tragic Example
An article in elciudadano.cl today tells of how eight or nine thugs in Ancud, Chile, attacked a pretty transgender girl with no justification, choosing to pick on her due to her being transgender (and, I’m adding: “a pretty.”).
She’s alive but in bad shape — teeth missing, nose broken, and of course in the hospital. This sort of brutality against transgender girls is not unusual — they’re not just killed or hurt but intentionally disfigured as if the violence were intended to punish the person and erase their prettiness or sexiness.
In the movie American Beauty, one character is vehemently negative towards anything to do with homosexuality and ultimately initiates violence. Turns out that this character was himself a gay, hated himself for it and turned the hatred on others.
In this article, I explain how this is related to the above real-life example of the trans girl.
I’m not a psychologist, but it seems to me that the field of psychology has already figured out and explained much of the issue. There are probably more factors, but I’m focusing on one, specifically, in this article. The website PonderAbout.com has a quote:
“Shame” denied and projected is “contempt.”
A friend with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling told me that contempt is the emotion that [more than anger, for example] immediate precedes the initiation of violence.
Contempt is the key to the puzzle.
A. Kinsey showed that, as a matter of scientific fact and historical record, some subsection of the male population is gay or bisexual. They don’t choose it; it’s biological.
B. Some men have anti-gay cultural values.
Some men might be in both groups, i.e., are gay or bisexual AND have anti-gay cultural values. This group has the potential for psychological conflict.
In a situation where someone like this realises he’s attracted to a man, he is also likely to conclude that he is gay or bisexual, and feel self-contempt. It’s been shown that many people refuse to own that self-contempt, and instead project it on whomever they consider as the root cause of this mental train wreck. So, they feel disgust for whichever male they feel attracted to. Some men will also initiate violence against that person.
The phenomenon is called homophobia not because the person is afraid of gay or bisexual men, but is afraid of the effect they have on him.
The typical “out” transgender girl differs visually from the average genetically integrated girl by looking more masculine. Being transgender girls, by definition we also (either do or did) have “outie” plumbing.
Using an oversimplified, highly superficial, concrete-bound standard that I consider fundamentally flawed when describing humans (even though it works nicely for gendering barnyard animals), the imprecise thinker presumes that anyone who did or does have “outie” plumbing is basically male.
If that imprecise thinker is male and is attracted to a transgender girl, then because he mistakenly classifies her as male, he classifies himself as bi or gay by implication.
He already punishes himself psychologically with his own flawed thinking, because it’s an incorrect conclusion on an important subject: his sexual orientation.
Often, this sort of flawed thinking also goes hand in hand with presuming that being bi or gay is somehow evil. A guy who has all of these misconceptions will emotionally react to his (mistaken) realization that he’s gay or bisexual by classifying himself as evil too,
by his own standards.
Often, this sort of flawed thinking also goes hand with deep personal insecurity, and being highly concerned about social image, specifically what his guy friends think. And so, his (mistaken) realization that he’s gay or bisexual also makes him realise he’s now a social outcast by the standards of his buddies.
For such a thinker, his self-image and social image both collapse at that instant, and he experiences immediate and intense deeply primal pain and fear.
Often, this sort of flawed thinking also goes hand with poor impulse control, of acting rather than pondering. So, when all this occurs, the thinker doesn’t become pensive. Instead, he springs into physical action.
Often, this sort of flawed thinking also goes hand with externalizing blame. The thinker immediately seeks someone to blame, and so he blames the transgender girl who inspired the sequence of events. That’s who his physical actions are aimed at.
Often, this sort of flawed thinking also goes hand with a lack of respect for rights, so the thinker doesn’t have inner control that prevents him from initiating violence. We know that disgust tends to be experienced right before violence, and that the thinker projects his self-disgust onto the transgender girl, so his physical action is to initiate violence at the transgender girl.
This is a long causal sequence of events, but it tends to be morbidly validated when we
observe that the prettier the transgender girl is, the greater the risk is, of this occurring.
Also, the violence is often aimed at specifically disfiguring her. In the absence of our analysis, that seems like an odd focus; but in context, it makes more sense. The transgender girl isn’t seen as the problem being attacked; her attractiveness is. That’s why disfigurement (e.g., severe facial injuries or pouring gasoline on her and setting her on fire) tends to be the agenda. The transgender girl’s attractiveness is seen to be the problem.
The phenomenon is called transphobia not because the guy is simply afraid of transgender girls, but he is afraid of the effect we have on him — and the implications.