Published on February 6th, 2012 | by Wild Gender
Ignorance Vs. Hate 101
Ignorance is a state of being uniformed.
Hate is defined as intense dislike or passionate dislike; feelings of extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.
Suffix Meanings: Ist: One who follows a principal or system of belief. Phobia: an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object
One can be ignorant to gay people and not be homophobic.
One can be ignorant to different cultures and races’ struggles and not be racist.
One can be ignorant to gender variant people and not be transphobic.
One can be ignorant to sexes’ and not be sexist.
One can be ignorant to the Holocaust and not be Nazi.
The list can go on and on and on…
The point is that people can be ignorant without being hateful (or a “hater”) and anyone can be ignorant without having a phobia towards a certain group of people.
Instead of attacking others or harassing others based on their beliefs, we can educate them in a helpful way, by being positive and kind.
All of the time people ask me questions or make statements, relating to being trans (FTM), that can be considered “ignorant.” Questions/Statements like:
- Do you have a penis?
- Do you have both a penis and vagina?
- Does this make your girlfriend a lesbian?
- What size is your bra size?
- What was your original name, you know, your real name?
- Have you had surgery? Are you going to have the surgery?
- Which bathroom do you use?
- So how will you have sex?
- How will you reproduce?
- If you walked like this ____ you would pass better.
- Your ____ makes you look like a girl.
- That’s not your real name.
- I don’t get it, does that mean you are still really a girl?
- So does that make you a lesbian?
At first I thought that all of these questions and statements were personal attacks on being transgender. Most of the time they aren’t. Most of the time people are just ignorant and uneducated. After years of being out I recognized that people will ask questions like these because they are curious and want to learn. I learned that people make these statements just because they don’t know better. Instead of automatically hating someone or bitching at someone educate them:
1. Nicely and calmly, tell them why their question or statement was inappropriate or why it made you feel comfortable.
2. If you are open enough to answer their question and feel comfortable enough to do so then do so but do not answer the question if you do not want to. You do not have to answer or respond to these ignorant statements.
3. Be respectful towards the people asking the questions and they will most likely show you respect back.
4. Educate people. The only way people will learn and stop asking ignorant questions or making ignorant statements is through education. Knowledge is power.
5. If you do not want to directly educate them then send them some online resources!