12 Most Common Transphobic Dog Whistles

Since the Brexit vote of 2016 and the GRA consultation of 2018, things have been getting increasingly hostile for trans people in the UK.

Stonewall reported an 81% increase in transgender hate crimes by June 2019 as a result.

When engaging with people about trans issues, especially online, transphobic dog whistling is common place. Whether you are trans or nonbinary yourself or an ally, it is important to recognise these words and phrases.

Here are the 12 most common:

  1. “I’m an actual woman.”
    “I’m a real lesbian.”FB_IMG_1593109722157.jpg
    What they are conveying to you is that they believe that trans women are not real women, which of course they are!
  2. “You can identify as anything you like.”FB_IMG_1593108655417.jpg


    This sounds like tolerance but at the core of this statement is the belief that trans people are living a fantasy that should not be indulged.

  3. Talks about a natal or biological man or woman.FB_IMG_1593108664040.jpg


    They are referring to the gender they were assigned at birth and that they still identify with. They are cisgender. They will often refuse to use the term cis because they believe they are normal and trans people are abnormal.

  4. Reference to the number 41.FB_IMG_1593108659980.jpg


    41% is the number of trans people who attempt to end their own lives. Obviously transphobic people like the idea of trans people dying. Some give 41% discount in their stores for example.

  5. “Sex is real.”FB_IMG_1593108609264.jpg


    Yes it is, but like gender it is highly socially constructed and definitely not binary. People say this because they think trans people want to erase the realities of biological sex, when it is trans men and AFAB nonbinary people who are fighting for gyno care for example.Sex is really irrelevant when talking about trans rights. The only person who needs to know my sex is my doctor.

  6. “We have to protect women’s spaces.”
    “We are protecting women and girls.”FB_IMG_1593108670370.jpg


    What this means is that they believe trans women don’t belong in women’s spaces. It’s a convincing one for a lot of people. I too believe in protecting women, girls and safe spaces, but unlike the majority AKA the cis, I know this is a transphobic dog whistle. Trans women are women and not predatory men.

  7. “Are you intact?”
    “It’s an intact male.”FB_IMG_1593108695268.jpg


    What they mean is have you had bottom surgery and if you haven’t, then you can’t possibly be trans and you must be faking it to gain access to vulnerable people. Even if you’ve had bottom surgery, they still won’t accept you as a man or a woman.An important side note here: having surgery or not doesn’t make you any less trans or nonbinary.

  8. TIM & TIFFB_IMG_1593108675684.jpg


    These translate to:Trans Identified Male (trans woman)  & Trans Identified Female (trans man.)

    Don’t worry, they don’t have an horrendous acronym for people under the nonbinary umbrella……..yet.

    You can see the glaring transphobia in the names that the acronym spells but also continually denying that we are who we say we are.

  9. Gender CriticalFB_IMG_1593108650259.jpg


    This doesn’t mean that the person is critical of oppressive genders like cis men, far from it. Nor does it mean they are critical of the suffocating patriarchal  gender binary. No. It means they are a trans exclusionary reactionary transphobe.On social media this is often accompanied by a black and white racing flag in the username or bio. This indicates that they believe there are only 2 sexes/genders.

  10. Follows all the big transphobes on twitter.FB_IMG_1593108690693.jpg


    Some names you may be familiar with:JK Rowling
    Graham Lineham
    Women’s Place UK (WPUK)

  11. “Children are being forced to transition.”FB_IMG_1593108614374.jpg


    What this means is they don’t know anything about medical transition pathways and are using misinformation to demonise the trans community. Medical transition is not available to children.Another word they may use in this context is, “transing.” You can’t make someone trans, just as you can’t make someone gay.

  12. “Trans cabal.”
    “Trans agenda.”FB_IMG_1593108683273.jpg


    They believe we have an agenda funded by big pharma to trans the world. The Cabal thing is also rooted in antisemitism.Thanks to all my very unimpressed trans and cis friends for their selfies and the local trans community for helping me research these dog whistles.

    Stay safe out there folks and never stop fighting for what is right.

    Black Lives Matter
    Black Trans Lives Matter
    Black Disabled Lives Matter

    Frankie X


14 thoughts on “12 Most Common Transphobic Dog Whistles

  1. Things to add to the list:
    Rapid onset gender dysphoria / ROGD — rooted in the idea that people are being coerced into transitioning. And it sounds sciencey!
    Autogynephilia — literally means sexual arousal to the notion of oneself as a woman. Rooted in the idea that being trans is self-fetishizing and wholly a sexual thing. Also sounds sciencey and officious so it MUST be accurate, right?
    To add to point #3: “female-bodied” / “male-bodied” — I mean, yeah. Drawing a line between “real women” or “real men” and the trans ones.
    To add to point #8: “TRA” / “TRAs” — stands for “Trans rights activist(s) which, yeah, I mean, we ARE, but it’s only TERFs that call us “the TRAs”.
    To add to point #2: Referring to being a woman as a “costume” or a “feeling”
    Some prominent TERFs to add to item #10:
    Julie Bindel
    Maya Forstater
    Meghan Murphy

  2. Some of these are new to me, and the 41 thing is horrific… is there somewhere I can cite… I dont think cis folx will believe me!!

  3. I find even the phrase ‘genuine concerns’ or ‘concerns’ makes me feel a bit sick. But I may have been online for too long…

  4. Pingback: Ex parte Deves: A sort of shitty Andúril – Papers and Letters

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