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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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47 Responses

  1. annalouise
    annalouise April 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    The conclusions seem a little iffy to me.

    But most importantly, I find it really troubling how quickly straight liberals jump on this theory. It’s very convenient, since it allows them both fling homophobic insults at the Marcus Bachman’s of the world with a clear conscience and it let’s them off the hook, because clearly the *real* homophobes are gay people not nice, open-minded straight people like themselves.

  2. Jadey
    Jadey April 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

    I really hate this particular theory. It always comes off as a backhanded slap against gay people, subtly validating the idea that being gay is loathsome and trivializing homophobia. I’m not saying there aren’t cases of people projecting their fears about themselves or trying to cover themselves, but the glee with which this particular notion is perpetuated as being somehow vastly explanatory of homophobia in general ignores and erases the reality that most people are straight and most homophobic people are therefore straight as well. A few notorious cases do not a generalization make and the IAT, while an interesting psychological measure, doesn’t mean what people often assume it means.

    A strong cognitive association is just a strong cognitive association – it can’t speak to what that association means to the person and why it was formed. If I, a strongly homophobic person, am used to thinking of “gay = not me”, then I’m still used to thinking of queerness in association with myself, just in a different context than is being assumed. Thinking about something in the negative is not the same thing as not thinking about it at all – the mental link is still formed. Not to mention that this particular lay theory has so much currency and familiarity that any study of it is open to serious response bias, unfortunately. Not in the administration of the IAT itself (the nice thing about a response latency-based task is that it’s very hard to fake), but in the sense that these individuals might have also formed that cognitive association prior to being tested specifically because they *are* aware of the assumption that exists between homophobia and closeted queerness, whether they meant to or not (implicit association and all). It’s a major empirical weakness in the field, as our critics are fond of pointing out. We try to manage it through good design and replication, but it’s there.

  3. Nahida
    Nahida April 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    I agree–this theory always annoyed me. Superficial easy fix.

  4. Donna L
    Donna L April 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    It bothers me too, for the same reason. There are way too many straight “progressives” who are way too eager to use homophobic rhetoric against right-wing politicians and media figures. (And transphobic rhetoric too, as with Ann Coulter.)

    Besides, all it really concludes is that 20% of those who make a point of claiming to be “10” on the heterosexuality scale actually experience strong same-sex attraction. Not really a surprise, but it’s not 100%, either.

  5. EG
    EG April 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    I just…don’t care very much. I don’t care if you’re homophobic because God told you to be or because you’re anxious about your own sexuality or because you think it’s evolutionarily counterproductive. Not my problem. Just stop being a homophobic asshole.

  6. Jadey
    Jadey April 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

    And just also…

    Of course gay people can be homophobic, whether they’re out or closeted. Internalized shit happens all the time.

    And being gay doesn’t *make* someone homophobic, which is the other part of this theory I always resent, because it fucks up the chain of causality. Living in a homophobic society, surrounded by homophobic peers and role models and not challenging this way of thinking is what makes people homophobic, whether they’re gay or straight.

  7. Callisto
    Callisto April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |

    I assume the “glee” with which the accusation of being gay is hurled at homophobes is due to the obvious idea that a. it’s an insult that’s clearly hurtful and/or scary to that person, and b. if said by an open-minded straight person or an out gay person, it’s an insult that carries absolutely no weight if thrown back. It just struck me as taunting the bullies with their own weapons because it’s simply not worth the bother of finding your own — who would bother with these idiots?

  8. matlun
    matlun April 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

    I have always wondered about this. Especially in the US the homophobes seem to be going about how dangerous it is to be exposed to gays (especially for children) because you may be converted. Does this line of reasoning not imply at least some homosexual tendencies? (Ie why do they feel that they could potentially be “converted”?)

    Still, from a moral perspective I agree with EG. The reasons for someone being a homophobe does not matter that much to anyone except possibly their therapist.

  9. Jadey
    Jadey April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    b. if said by an open-minded straight person or an out gay person, it’s an insult that carries absolutely no weight if thrown back.

    This is where I strongly disagree. Collateral damage. I don’t want to hear queerness being ragged on by anyone for any purpose. It sends a very fucked up message to those of us who are trying to figure out how to get by as gay in an queer-unfriendly world.

  10. Jadey
    Jadey April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

    To be clear, I’m not arguing that we can’t come down on people for being hypocritical. But not in a way that’s just using their own toxic weapon. It sends out too much pollution.

    And any “open-minded straight people” who want to think of themselves as allies can either find a better weapon or just walk away from it altogether if it’s not worth the effort.

  11. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

    Ages ago I remember (but not particularly clearly, due to it being ages ago,) reading an article by a feminist author who linked homophobia with the fear of being treated like ‘a woman’

  12. Li
    Li April 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

    “It’s a compelling theory — and now there is scientific reason to believe it. In this month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, we and our fellow researchers provide empirical evidence that homophobia can result, at least in part, from the suppression of same-sex desire. ”

    Dear Mr Science Guy. Correlation =/= causation.

  13. Li
    Li April 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

    Also, the actual study is behind a paywall, but I’m interested in the gender breakdown of the subgroup.

  14. Jadey
    Jadey April 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

    @ Li

    I looked at it, but it doesn’t give the breakdown of the subgroup by gender, likely because to do that would mean inadequate cell sizes for their analyses (fewer than 20 is frowned upon, generally), particularly for the male participants, who tend to be harder to come by. Their hypotheses also did not relate to gender, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t conduct or report this. If you emailed the researchers (Googling the first author should pull up an academic email of some kind), they would likely tell you.

    One other point before I go is that in my experience journalists are pretty careless about disseminating scientific findings and that however much the researchers themselves may have hedged and contextualized their results and acknowledged limitations of design and interpretation, there’s just no guarantee that makes it into the article or the headline. It’s incredibly frustrating.

  15. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    I’ll admit I used to be all for this whole theory, and I happily made the jokes and brushed off homophobes as “closeted”. But I realized how very fucked up it was that I was keeping to the script of gay being something that was wrong with the person. Treating it like they were guilty of a crime, caught red handed. It made me really think about what I was saying and perpetuating, so I’ve tried to not go that route anymore. I don’t care if they are gay, what they are saying and doing is fucked. I taunt them about that, not their sexuality.

  16. Li
    Li April 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    The reason I raised it, in case it isn’t clear, is because things like the benefits of heterosexuality can change dramatically with gender. Which may not have bearing on their hypotheses but does impact alternative explanations.

  17. William
    William April 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

    Its not a perfect theory, and its not always right, but the idea of homophobia being the result of repressed desire has a lot of support in modern psychoanalytic circles. The same general process that would lead to a closeted person being homophobic plays out all over human interactions. I’ve seen that exact object relation play out more than once, although sometimes its come down to jealousy while other times its been more about desperately trying to deflect the suspicion of more violent “friends.” I’ve also encountered homophobes who were, clinically speaking, just hateful assholes.

    I think one of the biggest problems with the idea of a relationship between homophobia and sexuality is that, like most cases of pop psych, the theory loses a lot of what makes it useful as it becomes translated into whoever is listening. It isn’t being gay that leads to homophobia, its the closet and all the fucked up internalized shit that comes with it. The stress of trying to push something like that down, especially in the face of a society that so violently threatens sexual minorities, leads to some incredibly difficult and complicated defenses. When you’re working with someone who displays a high degree of homophobia its worth keeping those kinds of things in mind and being aware that same sex attractions are likely on the clinical horizon. When you’re just talking about some blowhard on TV? Sure, they might be gay, but they might just be an asshole. Or they might be a gay asshole. Or a sexless asshole jealous of other people getting off and extra angry if its in a way they hadn’t thought of. Or anything, really. Outside of the context of the couch making guesses is just making guesses.

  18. DouglasG
    DouglasG April 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    This theory always seems to pop up every few years, and it always seems to be received with unseemly glee by a particular type of person. The glee reminds me of the attitude of a team captain for a game of kickball who has just succeeded in palming off the unwanted last pick onto the other captain. The way the theory keeps popping up without significant variation makes me think of Elizabeth Peters’ novel The Murders of Richard III, and how Ricardians keep lapping it up every time someone serves up the same old dish of how Henry VII really was behind the murder of the princes in the Tower.

    It also interests me that, whatever the venue, the discussion of this study or any of the many similar ones that preceded it contains very little mention of possible bisexuality. But I’ll admit to a reluctance to follow up some of the possible questions in that direction. There are enough distasteful (or worse) gay and bi people in the world as it is without our having to accept people like Mr Bachmann among our numbers.

  19. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |

    I guess I could say that the one good thing about transphobia is that nobody goes around saying that those who hate trans people are really trans themselves.

  20. thinksnake
    thinksnake May 1, 2012 at 2:40 am |

    Wasn’t all that subliminal stuff shown to be complete bunk a few years back? Or did I just dream that?

  21. AMM
    AMM May 1, 2012 at 6:26 am |

    the idea of homophobia being the result of repressed desire has a lot of support in modern psychoanalytic circles.

    I’m not sure what that is supposed to prove. It wasn’t so long ago that the consensus in psychoanalytic circles was that homosexuality was a mental illness, and there’s a contingent that is still convinced of it. In my experience, psychoanalysts are no freer of the the prejudices of their class than anyone else.

    I do think that serious homophobia is proably a reaction to something in the homophobe, but I don’t think it is necessarily gay impulses. Homophobia, like misogyny, is based on hatred of anything that can be seen as “unmanly”, which would include feelings of tenderness and vulnerability — or weakness.

    My impression is that people who get most upset about homosexuality are also likely to have traditional attitudes about manliness — that being a man is about being dominant, tough, and invulnerable. In this view, sex is about dominance and submission, so for a man to voluntarily “submit” to sex with another man makes him a gender traitor. In line with this, I have noticed that a man who rapes another man, but doesn’t otherwise “act gay,” is often seen as not really gay by the homophobic community.

  22. Meg
    Meg May 1, 2012 at 6:41 am |

    I’m a social psychology researcher, and definitely not a big fan of the IAT (for reasons which have been really well pointed out above!).

    Having said that, what doesn’t come across well in the NYT piece is that the journal article itself is actually about parental support and parental homophobia and how/whether this impacts on individuals’ later homophobic feelings/acceptance of their own sexuality.

    So while their write up in NYT is a little frustrating in terms of framing it in a similar way to the ‘homophobes are just gay really’ lay theory, their original research point is actually closer to being something about how controlling and homophobic parents can result in sexually confused and homophobic kids, and the process through which that happens.

    But I think that discrepancy in itself (NYT vs journal) says something sad about how even researchers (the NYT piece is by two of the academics involved in the research) choose to frame their findings for mainstream media.

  23. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 1, 2012 at 7:11 am |

    I’m not sure what that is supposed to prove. It wasn’t so long ago that the consensus in psychoanalytic circles was that homosexuality was a mental illness, and there’s a contingent that is still convinced of it.

    Can’t you do this with any group ever? “I’m discrediting the value of this statement because it was put forth by X group of people who once upon a time thought Y offensive thought”? What X group of people never thought or put forth something shitty?

  24. William
    William May 1, 2012 at 7:53 am |

    It wasn’t so long ago that the consensus in psychoanalytic circles was that homosexuality was a mental illness, and there’s a contingent that is still convinced of it.

    If by “not that long ago” you mean “before the 1930s,” then yes. Source.

    Still, you’re right, the view had a resurgence in American circles because of the political situation of psychoanalysis in the US and the somewhat more sexually conservative American psychiatric community being uncomfortable with the idea of fundamental bisexuality. As for a contingent being convinced that homosexuality is pathology, I can tell you from experience that such a view is not reflected by either any of the major current writers in psychoanalysis, any of the major names at the institutes with which I am familiar, current journals, or the kinds of discussions you see at things like the Division 39 spring meetings. Hell, the last time I was at the spring meeting it was run by an openly gay man, a fair number of the presentations were by LGBT presenters, there was a disproportionate number of LGBT practitioners, boyhood femininity was a major topic, and one of the biggest names in the industry was taken to task by a major gay analyst in a very public manner for insufficiently attending to a client’s specific sexuality issues. Psychoanalysis is a fairly gay science today. More importantly, psychoanalysis has experienced a pretty significant swing away from pathologizing behavior since the ego psychologists started to loose their sway, a trend which accelerated when Butler, Chodorow, and the feminists started making their critiques.

    In my experience, psychoanalysts are no freer of the the prejudices of their class than anyone else.

    While you’re absolutely right that analysts are no freer of prejudices than anyone else, your assertions to this point suggest that your experience with analysts is limited and reflects realities that are, at best, decades out of date. I’m not just spewing out of my ass, I’m a practicing therapist and an institute fellow.

    Homophobia, like misogyny, is based on hatred of anything that can be seen as “unmanly”, which would include feelings of tenderness and vulnerability — or weakness.

    How can you make a generalization like that? Human beings aren’t nearly so simple as to leave so neat a line. Sure, some homophobia comes down to a hatred of the feminine, but a reaction like that can come from a lot of different sources. Reducing the entire discussion down to something so theoretically neat just replicates the same problems we started with in the “homophobes are gay” meme: it ignores human diversity and forcloses actual understanding in favor of comfortable fairy tales.

  25. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve May 1, 2012 at 8:07 am |

    Maybe none of us is 100% straight (obviously not an original idea on my part, the ‘continuum’ has been theorized many times,) and all this study shows is that homophobic people have a greater self loathing.

  26. DouglasG
    DouglasG May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    [I guess I could say that the one good thing about transphobia is that nobody goes around saying that those who hate trans people are really trans themselves.]

    Yes; you are at least spared that. I’m glad for you, as surely you wouldn’t want them.

    During the peak of Mrs B’s campaign, the only way I could keep from throwing up from all the gloating (by my purported allies) over how queeny Mr B sounded was to keep reminding myself that the nasty things they were saying were about closeted near-hypocrites of a very particular stripe, but I wondered on occasion how often that distinction blurred in the minds of the gloaters.

  27. roymacIII
    roymacIII May 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    I don’t care if they are gay, what they are saying and doing is fucked. I taunt them about that, not their sexuality.

    Seconded.
    I’ve never liked the whole “oh, obviously a closet case” thing.
    It always feels way too much like using someone’s sexuality (or assumed sexuality) as a weapon against them, which I’m not very okay with.

  28. D
    D May 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

    http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/homophobic-maybe-youre-gay.html

    (actually, ive seen this type of opinion discussed endlessly in lgbt space, people….why not let us come to our own conclusions……)

  29. Li
    Li May 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    D, I’m a little confused. Who is the ‘us’ you’re talking about? Who isn’t letting them come to their own conclusions?

  30. Marcie
    Marcie May 2, 2012 at 5:59 am |

    @DonnaL:
    You might be up to something, regarding the accepted transphobia in certain parts of radical feminism.

  31. AMM
    AMM May 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    In the spirit of http://www.xkcd.com/386/ , and against my better judgement:

    William @24:

    It wasn’t so long ago that the consensus in psychoanalytic circles was that homosexuality was a mental illness, and there’s a contingent that is still convinced of it.

    If by “not that long ago” you mean “before the 1930s,” then yes. Source.

    Not unless you count the 1930s as continuing until something in the 1970s. The DSM listed homosexuality per se as a disorder until 1973-4, and didn’t entirely remove it until 1987. The 1973 decision was highly controversial within the mental health community at the time.

    I certainly remember the time when mental health professionals explained homosexuality as a perversion caused by things like inadequate father-attachment, excessive attachment to the mother, etc., and I wasn’t even born in the 1930s (or 1940s, either.)

    Some links:

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_mental_health.html

    http://www.aglp.org/gap/1_history/#analysis

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/204/transcript

  32. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve May 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |

    It wasn’t so long ago that the consensus in psychoanalytic circles was that homosexuality was a mental illness, and there’s a contingent that is still convinced of it.

    Not unless you count the 1930s as continuing until something in the 1970s. The DSM listed homosexuality per se as a disorder until 1973-4, and didn’t entirely remove it until 1987. The 1973 decision was highly controversial within the mental health community at the time.

    consensus = unanimity of opinion

  33. Jadey
    Jadey May 2, 2012 at 9:51 am |

    @ AMM

    Psychology, yes, although I think William’s point was specific to psychoanalysis, which is only a subset of the mental health field and has not dominated it in a very long time.

    @ Meg

    Good catch! I didn’t notice that it was two of the actual researchers themselves who wrote this article. Very, very disappointing in that case.

  34. Doublylinkedlists
    Doublylinkedlists May 2, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    The idea that many vociferous homophobes themselves experience same sex attraction perfectly explains how people can honestly believe that something can make you gay. It’s the search for an external cause for a hated internal characteristic. The same sex attraction has to come from somewhere, and that place is obviously some malevolent devil, not their godly soul!

  35. William
    William May 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    The idea that many vociferous homophobes themselves experience same sex attraction perfectly explains how people can honestly believe that something can make you gay. It’s the search for an external cause for a hated internal characteristic. The same sex attraction has to come from somewhere, and that place is obviously some malevolent devil, not their godly soul!

    I don’t think its so much that anyone thinks homophobia makes someone gay but that gay people who live in the context of a repressive and often violent closet sometimes end up internalizing messages about how evil their sexuality is and project their hatred (and jealousy) outwards.

  36. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists May 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

    @William

    Why are you telling me this? I obviously understand that.

  37. Donna L
    Donna L May 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

    @DonnaL:
    You might be up to something, regarding the accepted transphobia in certain parts of radical feminism.

    I might be up to something or I might be on to something? I’m not sure what you’re driving at. I hope you’re not suggesting that anti-trans radical feminists are anti-trans because deep down they’re really repressed trans men themselves? I highly doubt it, and besides, most of their more virulent hostility is reserved for trans women, not trans men.

  38. William
    William May 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    Why are you telling me this? I obviously understand that.

    It would seem that I somehow missed an important clause somewhere along the line. I personally blame either gay marriage or exhaustion.

  39. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl May 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |

    I highly doubt it, and besides, most of their more virulent hostility is reserved for trans women, not trans men.

    … which of course has nothing to do with the virulent homophobia of the trans women community, eh? Cotton ceilings and what not.

    Do you really want to go there Donna? It doesn’t need more than a quick google search to find some horrifically misogynistic, lesbian-phobic tripe coming out of the trans women’s community.

    Care to address that?

  40. EG
    EG May 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    Yeah, Donna, don’t you know it’s your job to address every single thing ever said by any trans woman ever?

    Q Grrl, we had the conversation with anti-trans assholes about the cotton ceiling issue. You can only consider trans women homophobic if you fail to accept them as women and/or dykes themselves; that’s transphobic bullshit. Because otherwise, what you’ve got is a subordinated class of women pointing out that considering them “untouchable” is insulting and obnoxious, and getting together to figure out ways to address that.

  41. Jadey
    Jadey May 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm |

    Right, all the lesbian-hating trans lesbians. Because *that’s* definitely endemic. It has nothing to do with some pretty justified anger against transphobic *cis* people (some of whom, yes, are cis lesbians). Nope, none at all. Because the “cotton ceiling” controversy was definitely more about trans women being assholes than cis women being assholes.

    OH WAIT NO

  42. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca May 4, 2012 at 2:29 am |

    I’m glad you’re finally outing yourself as a transphobe here Q Grrl. I figured you were one based off some previous things you wrote–on the thread about CeCe McDonald, for instance–but it’s nice to have any uncertainty cleared up.

    … which of course has nothing to do with the virulent homophobia of the trans women community, eh? Cotton ceilings and what not.

    You were being sarcastic, but yeah, it does have nothing to do with what you call “the virulent homophobia of the trans women community.” The aforementioned “radical” feminists hate trans women because–as gender essentialists–they see trans women as men, and they hate all men to begin with. These Neo-Victorian “radical” feminists often have less hatred for trans men for a related reason: as gender essentialists, they consider trans men to be women, and they only hate some women (sex workers, “fun fems,” women into BDSM, etc.). So it’s fairly simple and has nothing to the homophobia of any community.

    It doesn’t need more than a quick google search to find some horrifically misogynistic, lesbian-phobic tripe coming out of the trans women’s community.

    You know what? One this count, at least, you’re a little right. There’s plenty of homophobic trans women out there. . .in particular I’m thinking of some of the women who resent transsexuals being included as “LGBT,” and the homophobic things they’ve said. But guess what? There’s plenty of homophobic white people. There’s plenty of homophobic disabled people. There’s plenty of homophobic people with brown hair and hazel eyes.

    And I’m not going to take responsibility for the homophobia of a political opponent like Marcus Bachmann just because he and I both happen to be white. Likewise, neither I nor Donna are going to take responsibility for the rhetoric of any homophobic asshole political opponent out there just because she happens to be trans.

    Now all of this is totally different than the transphobia of the Neo-Victorian “radical” feminists. It’s not that these folks happen to have been born a certain way and also some of them happen to be transphobes. It’s that they’ve learned to be transphobes because of their shared, fucked up political ideology. In the same way that right-wing Christianist theocrats like the Bachmanns learn to be homophobes because of their shared, fucked up political ideology.

    So yeah.

  43. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca May 4, 2012 at 3:04 am |

    Oh, and one last thing. I normally don’t care too much about grammar, and anyone who pays attention to my posts knows they are riddled with misspellings, omitted words, and grammatical mistakes. But Q Grrl, I believe it is the trans woman community, not the trans women community. For the same reason that it is the “gay community” and not the “gays community.” Or the “feminist community” and not the “feminists community.” When a word is acting as an adjective it is not necessary to make it plural.

    Now I’ll feel like a jerk if when you typed “trans women community” it was just a typo and you meant to type “trans women’s community” because I notice you said that also, and that is in fact grammatically correct. I’m basically just trying to passive aggressively express some of my anger at you for your insensitive, reprehensible views toward people like me. Seriously, forget I said anything. Address your like 10,000 other issues with trans women before you worry about this.

  44. EG
    EG May 4, 2012 at 7:10 am |

    Should we also note the very real political, professional, and physical damage that has been done by transphobic lesbians, not only by hateful, noxious comments, but by maneuvering trans women out of spaces and opportunities for women and by actual bashing?

  45. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca May 4, 2012 at 7:42 am |

    Yeah, good point EG. I wonder how many cis lesbians have lost their jobs or been denied access to a domestic violence shelter because of homophobic trans women. (Actually I don’t wonder. The answer is zero). Maybe Q Grrl should Google that before she tries to pull some sort of reverse-discrimination false equivalency bullshit in the future.

  46. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl May 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    You can only consider trans women homophobic if you fail to accept them as women and/or dykes themselves;

    …or when they say specifically homophobic things about lesbians. Just sayin’.

    (or when they consistently interrupt conversations that involve lesbians and homophobia to talk about transphobia)

  47. EG
    EG May 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    Let me rephrase, as I blurred the subjects at hand: one could only consider a meeting of trans women to discuss the cotton ceiling an example of anti-lesbian homophobia if one does not consider trans women to be women. Otherwise, you have a subgroup of women who are attracted to women–a subgroup that is routinely discriminated against–getting together to discuss why there are a number of cis women who are attracted to women who not only consider them untouchable but regularly express this thought in a number of offensive and harmful ways, and how they might handle that situation.

    or when they consistently interrupt conversations that involve lesbians and homophobia to talk about transphobia

    Gosh, those uppity trans women! Thinking that they’re members of the feminist community–that some of them might even be lesbians themselves–and might have pertinent or interesting comparisons or thoughts to add to the conversation! Jeez, it’s like how those black women talk about their experiences with racism and those Jewish women insist on talking about their experiences with anti-semitism. You’re write, that’s totally homophobic, and absolutely on a par with the hateful and harmful bullshit that mainstream and radical feminists and lesbians continue to circulate about trans women.

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