A phobia is a fear. For instance, I am agoraphobic, sometimes resulting in a panic attack. It happens and I recognize it as a fear-based reaction.
I suppose this is why I have issues with the words transphobia or homophobia (funny, spell check says homophobia is a word, but not transphobia…make of that what you will). They do not get to the heart of what they are intended to address, which is something more akin to a hatred or disgust often revealed through speech or actions. A transphobe or a homophobe (again, one clears spell check…guess which) would be someone with a fear of trans or gay people, perhaps a fear that they will accidentally sleep with one of us? A fear of waking up one morning gay or trans?
No, these words have been coined to serve as a word such as misogyny. Miso- being the Greek root implying hate and/or disgust. And so a misogynist hates women unlike someone who is gynophobic, who fears them (and who may be a misogynist as well, but hate and fear can go together).
It only stands to reason that we apply the proper root word for those who, rather than fear us for being trans, hate us for being that particular brand of Other that often brings out the worst in them. In that trans is a prefix, we can use the suffix form of mis, which is -misia and get
Transmisia – A disgust or hatred for trans people.
While I’m sure we can delve further into roots and further differentiate hatred for trans women or trans men, transmisia will serve as a catchall (and, yes, I tread dangerous ground applying a catchall term for any group of trans people given the inherent desire to reject any trans related word applied without previous consent – I apologize in advance if you are so offended by my creation and application of a new word in the trans lexicon).
However, I will not apologize to the… transmists. I know it’s not as evokative as transphobe, but it is more accurate. I’ll throw a new label at this kind of person if I so choose.
It’s a simple thing, really, to be a transmist. All you need do is give in to that desire to other another group and, deciding amongst the few remaining groups that are still socially acceptable to other, you pick trans people as your targets-du-jour. We are so simple to ridicule after all. We make for easy jokes. Sure, we suffer to a greater degree as a group than most, but that’s because we are such easy targets, so easily othered. So easy to hate and deride for any number of reasons, which ever suits you best for your particular need.
You may just need us to generate attention to yourself because some book of yours is about to be re-released and no one would notice or care otherwise. But by inciting transmisia in others via your vitriol, you become all the rage on the interwebz. There is no such thing as bad press after all. You know there are enough transmists out there who will buy your book just to spite the hated trans and so you write some hate filled screed and it makes you relevant just when you need to be to sell some books. Hate sells.
Transmists don’t fear us. They don’t suffer from a phobia. They hate us. They enact violence against us, both in word and deed. Fear would give us power where we have none. And, yes, the Other can be a fearful figure, but only insomuch as we are the boogeypeople used to scare children at night (Be good or the trans woman will pee in the stall next to you!) and not because we wield anything more than the power to have internecine battles over nomenclature. We don’t suffer because people are really afraid of us.
We suffer because people are disgusted by us. Because they hate us.
That’s not transphobia. It’s transmisia.