Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia, Intersexphobia, Non-binary-phobia, Thirdgender-phobia, Genderqueer-phobia are not the hatred perpetrated by merely cisgender heterosexual people. These sorts of hatred transcends the queer population too. While the umbrella terms such as Queer, Gender and Sexual Minorities, LGBTIQAPGG+ or MOGAI marginalised orientation (sexual/romantic), gender alignment (identity/expressions) and intersex bodily variation carries a population of people whose sex, gender or sexual orientation is stigmatized and discriminated in society, marginalization and privilege that work inside the queer population is often something that isn’t discussed.
There are gay men who endorse heterosexual male oriented patriarchy. There are gay men who limit their fights to just male homosexuality and enable misogyny, transphobia. I have heard from many gay men that they think lesbian sex isn’t sex at all. Being a cisgender gay man, does not mean one would not endorse patriarchy. There are cisgender gay men who would selectively reject heteronormative idea, yet take patriarchy along.
There are cisgender gay men tell that lesbian relationships are fragile because there isn’t a man to protect it. That lesbian sex isn’t sex because there isn’t a penis in it. Gay and Lesbian conversations are cisnormative. The discussions on homosexuality is limited to cisgender gay and lesbians, transwomen who are lesbians and transmen who are gays, aren’t talked in these discussions.
It might not be new to hear many cisgender gay and lesbians ignoring trans people’s issues. I have seen people trying to use dead names and disrespecting pronouns. There’s been many instances where cisgender gay and lesbians want to put the idea of ‘same-sex marriage’ and not ‘marriage equality’ just to exclude transgender and non-binary people out of the loop.
Biphobia is also prominent among gay and lesbians, where a common generalization comes that bisexual people are cheaters. There is this assumption that being attracted to two gender means that one cannot stay stable in relationship with one person and that they are ultimately the cheaters. Similar stigma also happens to polysexual and pansexual people. The idea that just because you are attracted to some gender, and you hit on everyone of that gender is a driven loop by heterosexual cisgender male notions. I think it is a stretch of the idea cisgender heterosexual people think, that if you are a gay man you will hit on every other man and if you are a lesbian woman you will hit on every other woman. While, there is no relation between one’s sexual orientation and number of partners, one’s sexual behavior, how many will one hit onto, etc; such stigmas are more often to be faced as bisexuals, pansexual, and polysexuals.
Many cisgender gay, lesbian, bi, pan and poly people can get away with not even thinking about transgender and non-binary issues, because afterall cisgender privilege is something that they can easily navigate with the society, and also that sexual orientation is not visible as gender identity can be.
There are also transgender people who are homophobic. One on hand there is a intolerance, stigma and non-acceptance of transwomen who are lesbians and transmen who are gays, even in the trans circles. Many transgender people think that homosexuality is limited only in the cis people and bring heteronormative essence of man and woman. Also many transgender people think that in cisgender gay and lesbian relations, one has to be masculine and one has to be feminine, often the same what cisgender heterosexual people think. That in gay relations one man must be a bit girly and the other a macho; gay relations such as between effeminate and effeminate or macho and macho is also stigmatized. Similar dynamics work for lesbian where it is always expected that one needs to be a tomboyish woman and the other needs to be fem; where fem-fem relation of tomboy-tomboy relations are often stigmatized.
There is strong body norms even in the transgender circles, that transmen need to appear as a cisman and transwomen need to appear as ciswoman. For transwomen, it would mean, follow very hyper feminine patterns of expression from walking to eating, put on lots of makeup, dressup in only certain pattern. These could even aggregate as, to be a transwomen, one needs to be obedient to her male partner, must do all household chores, seeks beating from their male partner because that is a part of being a ‘wife’ and complete all the social norms associated to cisgender women. Similarly, for transmen, it would mean to appear very fiercely, to smoke and drink, and not even cook at home because it is a feminine task. I have heard conversations in where transmen talk about ‘controlling’ their wives, because that is what men do, from disrespecting their consent on sex, to beating them, or to have a ‘manly’ attribute of extra marital affair.
I have seen transwomen who have not shaved being disgusted by other transwomen who do not have facial hair. I have experienced of being shamed for not putting makeup and appearing ‘beautiful’ by other transwomen who do makeup. Not all transwomen want to have makeup, not all transwomen want to wear saree and lehenga, not all transwomen want to wear heels. However, these strong notions about ‘being a transwoman proper’ has harmed many transwomen who do not meet these standards. These transwomen have been shamed and stigmatized by ‘transwomen of standards’.
Those rigidness of norms are so strong that the core idea of the trans and non-binary movement has been underlooked. One of the major issue transgender and non-binary people face in society is, not being able to express the way people want. While we advocate in society to allow people express the way they feel and experience, we ourselves internalizing the norms of how a man should express and how a woman should express, and moulding it into transmen and transwomen definitions, is contributing to more harm.
Trans circles are heteronormative. I have witnessed people being shamed just because a transman and a transwoman have been in a relationship. On one hand, cisgender homosexuals and bisexuals stigmatize transgender homosexuals and bisexuals, and on the same time transgender people who are homosexual and bisexual face stigma from heterosexual transgender people. A heteronormative idea of being transgender, has been deeply internalized in the trans circles, leaving no space to discuss diverse sexual orientations among trans people.
Not just cisgender gay, lesbians, bi, pan and poly people, but also many transgender people do not accept third genders and non-binary identities. The idea of gender binary is also deeply internalized in the queer circles. Non-binary people face erasure even from cis gay, lesbian, bi, pan, poly as well as transgender circles.
Along all these, there are many third genders, who do not accept transgender people. Many third genders even say that transgenders need to call themselves as third gender. While, among the transgender circles, trans people who do not choose to transition, face stigma, many third genders stigmatize those trans people who choose to transition. It isn’t shocking to hear that many third gender people want to leave the idea of being a man and woman untouched, as in terms of keeping the idea of man and woman cisnormative. Many of them also advocate for three genders idea: Man (by which they mean cisgender men), Woman (by which they mean cisgender women) and Third Gender (anyone else). Many third genders seem to dismiss the idea of transgender and non-binary gender identities.
The diversity of non-binary gender identities haven’t yet been a topic of discussion in the LGBT movement. Therefore, despite the rejection of LGBT as an excluding abbreviation, many have chosen to continue it.
Amidst all these discussions, intersex bodily variations are rarely even talked about. Anyone who was not born intersex, seem to hold an idea that to have intersex bodily variation is ‘disgust’ and ‘not normal’. Similar ideas do not just come from cisgender heterosexual people, but also from everyone in LGBTQGAP+ people. While the discussion on intersex people hardly takes place, the discussion often gets limited in their biological sex, and people don’t even understand intersex people being a biological sex, they have their own gender identity and their own sexual orientations. Many people are not yet aware about the term ‘endosex’. While intersex means individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies, ‘endosex’ are the people who fit in the definitions of male body and female body.
Sex, Gender and Sexual Orientation are three different aspects of every human being, when we talk about diverse Queer / MOGAI identities, it works there too. There has even been debate that if LGBTIQAPGG+ should be placed on the same board or not.
Despite we put LGBTIQAPGG+ in the same loop, we should not forget that many identities such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, etc are based on sexual orientation, and people who have these sexual orientations can be men who are navigating with patriarchal values, can be cisgender people navigating with cisgender privilege; while transgender, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, agender, third gender are based on gender identities; and your assigned sex at birth is intersex or not; creates a complex relation of marginalization and privilege in the Queer circles and movement, which is often not discussed.
One of the reasons might be this toxic positive idea of ‘unity’. Also for the fact that just because you identify among these diverse queer identities, does not mean you have learned about any other identity. People who are not intersex, do not have to deal with the shame and stigma associated with your biological sex, and grow up in the society that disgusts that intersex bodily variations.
[ Note: Many people these days do not use abbv. LGBT, for being exclusive. Umbrella terms such as Queer people and MOGAI population is used. MOGAI (pronounced ‘muggy’) as an umbrella term. MOGAI stands for marginalised orientation (sexual/romantic), gender alignment (identity/expressions) and intersex bodily variation. ]