Critically discuss transphobia in a particular institutional or theoretical context (for example in medicine, sports, the armed forces or your own work place, or within feminist theory). You should draw on theories of sex and gender in your response.
Transphobia refers to the elements of hatred, mistrust, disbelief, and fear of people who are either transgender or thought to be so, or those whose gender expression does not conform to the respective traditional gender roles. In recent times this has increasingly become a common way of preventing people who are transgender or do not conform to the societally constructed gender roles from enjoying freedom from harm or ridicule. There are so many forms of transphobia depending on the culture or background of the individual/community. Examples of common forms include negative beliefs and attitudes towards transgender individuals and couples. It may also take the form of prejudice against and aversion towards them, or misunderstanding and irrational fear. In many other instances, name-calling, abuse, bullying, derogatory language and even violence is often expressed towards the victims (Neil & Garland, 2009). This paper explores the aspect of transphobia, and in particular within the context of workplace.
Being transgender is among the least talked about issues in any society and as a result, transphobia is still very prevalent at the workplace. Transgender employees tend to receive a less favorable treatment from their employers and fellow employees as well. This discrimination usually takes several forms depending on who is perpetrating it. For instance, employers may deny promotions or training opportunities to transgender employees. Another common form is offering terms and conditions of employment that are less favorable. Fellow employees may also be involved in acts of bullying or making fun of these people. Regardless of the mode of transphobia, the fact is that it exposes the victims to emotional and psychological turmoil which in turn gives rise to instances of depression and suicidal thoughts (Beemyn, 2011). To others, career advancement becomes hindered and they stagnate at the lower level for a long period of time. Some even lose their jobs altogether and their economic survival becomes a critical challenge.
Cases of discrimination and harassment of transgender people in the workplace are common even though most of them often go unreported. Some colleagues outrightly engage in unwanted conduct in relation to the sexual identity of the transgender people. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the effect of this is the violation of their dignity (Spijkerboer 2013). It creates to them a working environment that is offensive, degrading, hostile, and humiliating. As a result, it becomes very difficult for these people to perform well in their respective tasks and their productivity becomes minimal. A common example of a form of harassment that many engage in without realizing in is consistent...