Transphobia is... / by Sydney Baloue

...when your grad chair says that "steroids" are making you crazy.

...when you are the only student male professors interrupt as you're saying something intelligent in class.

...when there are no gender neutral toilets in your department and you're glad you pass "well enough" to go to the men's toilets even though you're outraged that not everyone has that luxury.

...when you don't fit someone else's expectations of what it means to be a black person because of your gender identity and expression.

...when you correct someone's incorrect usage of gender pronouns and they give you a nasty stare in response.

...when you tell your mentor that another professor makes you feel uncomfortable and unsafe and they don't believe you, do nothing, and try to invalidate your feelings.

...when you tell your grad chair that the death of a trans-masculine student of color (a confirmed suicide) in the Penn Law school makes you feel bad and your grad chair can't understand why you would feel upset about the incident.

...when after telling your grad chair about this death and how upset you feel, you're labelled "crazy" because you actually felt something in an environment that is hostile towards emotions.

...when you're cut off every time you try to incorporate trans identity in class discussions regarding identity politics.

...when others try to weaponize your trans-ness against you.

...when a cis male professor jokes about how "stupid"  gender pronouns are with a cis male student in front of you at a department dinner and thinks nothing of it.

...when queer cis students aggressively try to shut down your ability to speak in class on queer issues.

...when two cis male professors label you "aggressive" for asking a thought-provoking and generative question another professor had a difficult time answering at a Q&A.

...when cis straight black people attack your perspective on queer/LGBT issues and say that you have "an agenda" as "an activist."

...when you're labelled "an activist" for daring to be visible and unapologetic.

...when cisgender people who try to pass themselves off as "mentors" and think very highly of themselves in terms of identity politics regressively dismiss your experience as a trans* person.

...when it's clear that you were (in the words of Audre Lorde) "never meant to survive" and being intelligent and daring enough to even show up ends up being an act of resistance.