In the first week of January, seven U.S. states introduced bills that would severely curtail the rights of trans and nonbinary youth to access gender-affirming healthcare, participate in school sports, and use restrooms that correspond with their genders. To answer the question, “What makes some people hold transphobic views?,” Salon.com turned to Psychology Professor Abbie Goldberg.
“We live in a society that is fundamentally transphobic by virtue of the fact that being cisgender is positioned as normative and trans/all other gender identities are other” and therefore are considered to be “lesser than, devalued, or deviant,” she explained. “It is difficult for people in general not to be shaped by transphobic assumptions and ideas.”
Goldberg is the Jan and Larry Landry University Professor of Psychology and the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Clark University. Her research focuses on diverse families, including LGBTQ-parent families and adoptive-parent families, as well as the experiences of marginalized groups such as trans youth.