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It hurts the most.

Internalized transphobia refers to the discomfort that a person may feel as a result of internalizing society's gender norms. Simply put these are the societal gender norms or behavior or perceptions that we have been conditioned through our childhood and passing adulthood, which create a sort of structure for, how an individual is supposed to act/behave, or what the person should be interested in, or how they are supposed to eat, walk,sit, talk, etc. Which are all based on the premise of your ascribed biological sex.

For example a man is expected stern, decisive, strong and masculine. Whereas a woman is expected to submissive, delicate, feminne.Further, a man is expected to like and excel in sports, whereas a woman is expected to excel in dance, arts, singing,etc. Although bare in mind, the understanding of masculinity or femininity is very fluid, dynamic and subjective these days. All these are regressively constructed patriarchal stereotypes, but yet also play a very pivotal role in a trans person's life.

More often than not you will see a trans person who is dysphoric of their biological sex, try to conform themselves or mold themselves according to the stereotypes. Which can lead to seriously debilitating outcomes for the individual. As the root of these stereotypes themselves are problematic and cause issues not just to the trans community, but the cis-hetro community as well.

These issues of internalized transphobia could be, a severely lowered self esteem, anxiety, paranoia, depression and in worst cases suicide. Hence, this issue is not something that is to be taken lightly.

Both gender dysphoria and internalized transphobia are very much correlated, as the discomfort caused by the dissonance between body and mind, an individual starts contemplating about their manhood or womanhood. As to whether they are man or woman enough. For trans men it could be, do I look man enough? Am I not tall enough? My voice isn't deep enough? For trans women it could be i have masculine features, my voice is too deep, I'm too tall and many more such insecurities. All these cause a degrading effect on ones functioning in day to day activities.

I myself am a victim of these conditioned stereotypes, where I always find myself taking one step back from doing things because of thinking I'm not woman enough for it, or I'm not pretty/feminine enough for a man to love me, and many more such things cloud my mind. These are what they call as cognitive distortions, where an individual builds a reality founded on irrationality. As we know men and women both come in all different kinds of shapes, sizes and colors.

Some coping techniques that help me in such events are, grounding myself in logic and reasoning, self affirmations, and deconstructing my beliefs/thoughts.We need to recondition ourselves and overwrite all the illogical ideologies. One step at a time, to a healthier and happier trans life.

Love Love

Sharon Londhe

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