The acronym TERF, stands for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism”. It’s simple in concept and evil in practice, those who don’t believe that women who are transgender are “real women”, that somehow by our claim of femininity it detracts from their femininity. It’s the same sentiment for those against gay marriage, that somehow it detracts from straight marriage. TERFs seek to divide and alienate those who are different from them, those they cannot understand or fear. That there are gay and lesbian TERFs only exacerbates the problem. The discrimination another LGBTQ person shows becomes a foundation for their own discrimination. Transgender people are the target now, but once we are pushed back into a closet again, then the rest of the LGBTQ will be a target.
TERFs twist feminism to be about keeping the purity of the female gender, and as a tool against all others, which would be men since they only believe in binary gender. This was also how gay/lesbians were viewed not too long ago, that they had a choice to be gay. Which means they can now fix you, make you straight. TERFs might pretend to be feminists, but they are really a conservative-agenda time bomb, put right inside the LGBTQ community.
Transgender people as a group have no agenda except to want to live, work, pay taxes, love and laugh like anyone else. That is our agenda. TERFs seek to “disprove” our existence, perpetuate the belief that we choose to lie or pretend because we just “want to be fake women (or men)”. They can’t see a male standing before them so it must be a female. They see a penis, well it must be a male. Most of us hide for fear or a lack of a better option. When transgender hide behind the mask, isn’t a lie, it’s survival.
TERFs will have cis people believe that they are trying to help them by getting rid of that “pretender” who is only claiming to be another gender to make cis folk unhappy. That we are willing to lose family members, wives and children to be who we are, is somehow proof we are selfish and uncaring or psychologically unstable? The family members we lose by coming out get to stay a part of the family, the only ones who lose are the transgender people who are rejected. There are instances, money for transition, in which we choose selfishness, after years of hiding behind the mask to make everyone else feel at ease. Most of us worked all our lives, putting everyone else first, is it still unjustified selfishness then? At what point can we just be who we are without apologizing?
A lot of TERFs tend to be cis men and women who have had a spouse come out to them as transgender. Whether the breakup happened by the spouse not being open and making bad choices or the cis partner being violently against the spouse, they make the conclusion that their blanket view on all transgender is valid, which is a myopic view to say the least.
Unfortunately, the TERF movement, and it has become a movement, is centered on removing transgender rights, healthcare, protection and legal standing. They do this with the fanatic fervor of a religious zealot. Why do they care? Why do straight people care about homosexuals? They care because it is control for them. They can gain control of our lives to an extent and it gives them a feeling of power.
We often feel the necessity to defend, to explain or to look for acceptance when we are attacked by TERFs and transphobic people. I know I spent half my time on twitter doing nothing but defending and trying to educate others, not necessarily TERFs or transphobes, just people. It almost never ended well. (except Kim B, you are awesome girl!) But a TERF wants you to defend, they want to marginalize you and find a fault in your argument. Having a fault in your argument during a normal conversation is different than one in social media, you are expected to be an expert and to have all the answers or you lose and in the case of defending who you are, lose your right to be the gender you are somehow. I want you to notice something, they never have to defend their existence to anyone. They never have to explain why they “feel” female or why we should believe that their DNA is designated female. We should NEVER have to defend our existence or our gender. If I say I am female, I just am, deal with it or not. Defend the cause, defend others, instruct and inform those who honestly don’t know if you like, but stop explaining to hostile people why they shouldn’t be hostile.
In the end, TERFs only seek exclusion, embracing others in the LGBTQ community when it furthers their overall agenda which results in further exclusion. Their agenda, by the way, isn’t to live, work, pay taxes, love and laugh. Their agenda is to tear down anyone who isn’t like them, to exclude transgender females from a claim of femininity with the laser focus and determination of someone who has already made up their minds about you.