“Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts”: Transphobia, Symbolic Violence, and Conservative Christian Discourse
In this chapter, Caroline Blyth and Prior McRae explore the symbolic violence of language, as they discuss the transphobic violence inherent within conservative Christian discourses. Written as a dialogue between the two authors, Blyth and McRae look at a number of Christian responses to the “transgender debate” which have appeared in recent years on Christian social media sites, in book and journal publications, and within formal statements issued by churches and Christian-based community interest groups. Their discussions explore the violence intrinsic to these responses, which range from outright intolerance on the one hand to those tempered with a veneer of “benign concern” for the sinful status of transgender people. Although less explicit than the subjective physical violence affecting many people within the trans community, Blyth and McRae argue that these discourses nevertheless act as a constant source of transphobic violence, by problematizing or even negating the validity of trans identities, and ultimately attempting to erase trans people from families, churches, and communities.
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