No, “transphobia” is not the fear of chemical compounds that have a molecular structure in which two atoms or groups are on opposite sides of a double bond.
What it actually means is – well, like homophobia, nothing at all really. Since “phobia” means an irrational fear of something, arachnophobia, for example, is a condition where one has an irrational fear of spiders. One of our daughters has arachnophobia, a fact that prompted one of our other children to drop a rubber spider into her drink a few Christmases ago. The screams were audible throughout Southern Ontario.
No-one has that kind of irrational fear of either homosexuals or transvestites. Both words, being meaningless, have little use other than as a substitute for rational discussion when a liberal encounters someone who thinks either state is anything less than completely normal and charming.
Suzanne Moore, who frequently writes for the Guardian newspaper, appears to have left Twitter this afternoon having faced heavy criticism for her controversial remarks about the trans community.
The journalist came under fire for a line in an article in the New Statesman titled, Seeing Red: The Power of Female Anger, which was published on 8 January. In it she wrote:
“[Women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.”
She then defended her use of the phrase “Brazilian transsexual” – which many considered to be offensive – not least because Brazil has an appalling record on transphobic hate crime.