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Opinion

Transphobic jokes affect trans people

When you make fun of a marginalized group, you disrespect those who belong to that group, even if you didn’t direct your comments to those specific people.

A few months ago, someone I know commented on a Facebook post of someone else I know and made a joke about gender. When my trans child confronted them on it and I later confronted them on it, they responded by saying that their comment wasn’t directed at my child and that they’d never disrespect my child like that.

The thing is though when you make fun of a marginalized group, you disrespect those who belong to that group, even if you didn’t direct your comments to those specific people.

If you make fun of black people, you disrespect all black people, even your friend John, despite not mentioning John’s name. If you make fun of Jewish people, you disrespect all Jewish people, even your friend Jill, despite not mentioning Jill’s name. If you make fun of Muslim people, you disrespect all Muslims, even your friend Robert, despite not mentioning Robert’s name. If you make fun of women, you disrespect all women, even your friend Rebecca, despite not mentioning Rebecca’s name. If you make fun of gay people, you disrespect all gay people, even your friend Peter, despite not mentioning Peter’s name.

And if you make fun of trans people, you disrespect all trans people, even your friend’s child, despite not mentioning your friend’s child’s name.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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