If I had to guess the meaning of transphobia independent of context, I would guess it means “fear of crossing.” Sample sentence: “Hiram was unable to cross the street after the light changed due to his transphobia.” After reading about it in the context of an article at the Daily Mail, I understand the term to have considerably less meaning and considerably more baggage. The article explains:
Children as young as three are being asked to sign a contract pledging not to use transphobic language at school.
The pledge is contained in a ‘home-school agreement’ which all children must sign before they start at Turnham Primary School in September.
The infants [sic] must also promise to refrain from using homophobic and racist phrases and to be tolerant of people with different sexual orientations and lifestyles. Each child must print their name and provide a signature to confirm that they understand their ‘responsibilities’ while attending the school.
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Even if a child can sign his name at age 3, it is doubtful he will be understand the language of the contract, the relevant portion of which appears below:
Indeed one parent is quoted as saying:
My son is three, yet he is meant to pledge not to use “transphobic” language.
How am I meant to explain it to my three-year-old that he must sign on the dotted line not to do something which he is not even aware exists when he can barely hold a crayon? This just fills me with dread about what sort of politically correct, tick-box bureaucracy runs this school.
I agree that teachers need to be made aware of transgender issues as it affects a number of children who suffer in silence, but to make three-year-olds sign up to something they do not even know exists is bonkers.
The Mail piece goes on to note that the school is funded by the British government, which explains much. It also states that executive head teacher Selina Sharpe declined to comment.
Instances of burdening small children with accusations of bigotry and cautioning them against such behavior have turned up on this side of the pond as well. Last month, a black Indiana state legislator insisted that the white son of a colleague was afraid of her because of her skin color. The child’s age: 18 months.
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