Transgender People

Violence and abuse happen in LGBTQ relationships.  It’s never a survivor’s fault.

  • Even if they argued back or protected themselves from getting hurt
  • Even if society or families don’t accept LGBTQ relationships
  • Even if a person is a transgender person
  • Even if a partner says no one else will be with a survivor
  • Even if this was a one-night stand or someone a survivor has known a long time

It’s STILL not a survivor’s fault.

Survivors don’t deserve to be abused, teased, hurt, controlled, or isolated.  Partner abuse includes many types of abuse and can happen on the first date, during or after a hookup or in a relationship of 20 years.

Transgender people face some unique challenges in identifying partner abuse in their own relationships and in the relationships of their friends.  This page includes challenges and resources that specifically discuss partner abuse experienced by transgender people.

How do people use transphobia in an abusive relationship?

Abusers do not have to look far to find hurtful and controlling applications of transphobia.  In other words, a transphobic society provides more than ample models for how a transgender person can be controlled and manipulated.  Abusers borrow these models and use them against their transgender partners.  For example, abusive partners of a transperson might use transphobia to convince the survivor that no one else will love them as a transperson.  Or, an abuser can threaten to out a transperson or discontinue support for transitioning–both of which would make the transperson more vulnerable to transphobia outside the relationship.

Are trans people abusers too?

Transgender people can be survivors of abuse, but it is also true that transgender people can be abusers.  Transgender individuals can also use transphobia to control or manipulate their partners.  Some cisgendered individuals may not be out about being in an LGBT relationship.  Transgender people can threaten to out their partner as being in an LGBT relationship that could make them vulnerable outside of the relationship.

If “T” is included in LGBT, why doesn’t it feel like the community notices abuse of or by transgender people?

While transgender people are commonly lumped in with LGB people–most notably in the acronym LGBT–this inclusion is often false or even rife with animosity on the part of LGB people.  This within-group tension can leave transgender people with fewer sources of support, as some LGB people do not support rights of transgender people.  Finally, even within transgender populations, there is a hierarchy based on transition status, ability to pass, or attractiveness–all of which might make peer support less secure when a transgender person experiences partner abuse.

Other Resources for Transgender People