Any one of these parts on their own can be transphobia.
Stereotypes are widely held ideas about a certain group of people, which are oversimplified generalisations.
Prejudices are unjustified preconceived opinions, attitudes, thoughts, and feelings about a person, which often come from believing in stereotypes about the group they belong to.
Prejudice function in 3 main ways:
– Maintaining an exploitation/domination relationship (keeping people down). – Enforcing social norms (keeping people in). – ‘Disease avoidance’ (keeping people away).
Discrimination is the actions (including failure to act) based on prejudice.
This can include interpersonal discrimination in one’s private life, e.g. social exclusion, bullying and harassment, physical and sexual violence.
It can also include discrimination in public areas of life, e.g. exclusion from human rights protections, exclusion from other legal rights, exclusion from or discrimination in housing, healthcare, the justice system, accessing goods and services, recreation and sport, education, employment, etc.
Examples include: requiring medical interventions in order to gain an accurate birth certificate, landlords refusing to rent to trans tenants, inadequate access to appropriate healthcare services, schools or employers not taking action to keep students or employees safe.
67% of trans people report experiencing high levels of discrimination in NZ, 44% experienced this in the past 12 months (vs 17% of the general population).
Cognitive; thoughts about people.
Overgeneralised beliefs about people may lead to prejudice.
”Being trans is a sexual fetish”, ”They are dangerous”.
Affective; feelings about people, both positive and negative.
Feelings may influence treatment of others, leading to discrimination.
”I am genuinely afraid of sexual violence from trans women”.
Behavior; positive or negative treatment of others.
Holding stereotypes and harboring prejudice may lead to excluding, avoiding, and biased treatment of group members.
”I want to stop trans women from using women’s bathrooms” ”Trans people should be sterilized to change their birth certificate”.
It is very common for trans people to be stereotyped in a variety of ways, and to experience stigma and discrimination across all areas of life. The impact of widespread transphobia is the key factor in the disparities faced by transgender people.
These disparities include: being bullied in school (21% vs 5% general population), being forced to have sex against their will (32%, vs 11% of women in the general population*), poverty (trans people’s median income is half the median income of the general population), going without fresh fruit and vegetables (51%) and putting up with feeling cold (64%) – 3 times the rate of the general population, being asked invasive questions during a medical visit (13% in the last year), reparative [conversion] therapy (17%), avoiding healthcare visits to avoid being disrespected (36%), high levels of psychological distress (71%, vs 8% general population), suicidal ideation (56% in the last year), suicide attempts (37%).
Gender Minorities Aotearoa undertook research in the Wellington region in late 2019, in order to gain understandings of the circumstances surrounding homelessness for transgender people; their experiences of it, the support services required to address it, and the housing aspirations of those experiencing it. This report details the findings of the research in which 43 participants contributed.
These participants are mostly European/Pākehā young adults and gender diverse. A large proportion of them have had relatively stable home environments as children, yet many of them have experienced situations of homelessness from an early age. All of the participants disclose that they have at least one health condition, with the three most prevalent conditions being: mental health condition, neuro-diversity, and disability. For most, employment opportunities and incomes are limited.
The participants tend to move housing within the same region; moving across regions seems to be less frequent. However, most of the participants change sleeping arrangements frequently, from every few weeks to every few months. This is due to a number of concurrent and compounding factors such as poor quality housing, temporary availability, unaffordability, and eviction. All of the participants have been able to sleep in safe and relatively long-term housing at some point over the past five years, however, about two-thirds of them have also experienced unsafe, temporary, or exposed forms of housing.
When describing safe, stable and long-term housing, the participants mention affordability and good quality housing as key criteria, as well as positive relationships with flatmates; in particular, flatmates who are not transphobic or sex worker phobic. The characteristics of the neighborhood are also important to consider (e.g. close to public transport and services). Finding appropriate housing is impacted by experiences of stigma and interpersonal prejudice, structural and systemic discrimination, potential changes to whānau composition, and limited financial capacity; necessitating moving frequently to try to improve one’s situation. To help in their search for suitable housing, the participants rely on their close networks such as friends and family, and the use of technology including social media and apps. Many also contact professional organisations or support services. A range of other strategies are used, including the provision of semi-commercial sexual services.
A number of recommendations are provided to help address some of the disparities highlighted in this research. They include an emphasis on prevention and better access to the welfare system, as well as the delivery of timely and integrated support services when people experience homelessness. Safety is a critical factor and needs to be reflected in the provision of temporary/emergency housing, as well as long-term housing (e.g. council and public housing aimed at trans and non-binary people). These need to be complemented by other actions to address disparities and assist people to sustain their housing. For example: reducing discrimination across education and employment in order to be able to afford rent; better access to appropriate healthcare services to enable trans people retain employment; and education campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination.
GMA is part of the Sex and Gender Diverse Health Outcomes Working Group (SGDWG) – alongside a number of DHB healthcare providers and clinicians, as well as trans and intersex people working in this area.
The SGDWG works across Capital and Coast District Health Board (Wellington and Kapiti region) to develop appropriate, well-resourced, and equitable gender affirming healthcare.
The SGDWG is holding it’s second annual community event, with a panel discussion/panel presentations explaining what services are now available and how you can access them, as well as plans for the near future.
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.
This will be held on on Tuesday 10th of November at 5.30pm, at the the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre on the corner of Colombo and Rintoul Streets in Newtown.
The Newtown Community and Cultural Centre is mobility accessible, and there will be kai and drinks provided.
”Trans people from their teens to their 70s were asked to identify objects of personal importance and to share the objects’ stories. What emerged was a quirky collection that is a testament to the diversity of trans experiences, and which disrupts established (and cis-written) narratives about trans lives.”
We are so grateful to Project Coordinator Will Hansen, and the team from Te Papa, for their enthusiasm and vision.