I’m a trans man who’s had his fair share of travels and in all that time, only once was my gender ever brought into question inappropriately. Not by foreign immigration staff, not by local immigration staff, but by a single CISGENDER GAY FILIPINO MAN whose job is to frisk passengers. This is what happened:
In 2014, we were going on a family trip. At the second baggage scan, I was frisked inappropriately by a cis gay man at NAIA Terminal 3. I say inapropriately, because having traveled many times over the course of my life, at least 100 times by plane, I know that a standard frisk does not aggressively slide crisscrossing against the chest and groin area. The “frisker” looks up at me angrily and says, “You’re a girl?! You’re supposed to be there!”, while pointing at the women’s lane. I ignore him, then my brother who was next in line was met with an aggressive, “Are you also a girl?!” He shook his head, got frisked, and said, “That was the most touchy frisk I’ve ever had in my life.”
So there’s a cis gay man using his position to basically sexually molest air passengers and discriminated against me!!! I was so angry I couldn’t speak. I would later have many more negative encounters with cis gay men in my life.
Can marginalized people oppress others? Yes. I was reminded of this fact this very morning when I read a transphobic comment on our organization’s page. (See image below)
Image w/ comments in question: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=2833783260002906&set=a.2833248320056400
Koko Arcilla: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014141710972
Lusdoc Allan: https://www.facebook.com/AllanLusdoc1
Koko Arcilla commented, “This is a transman page. Is he/she/it?” (translated from Bisaya and corrected). It is derogatory to refer to any person as “it”.
(Note: Trans persons should be referred to by their preferred pronouns. Trans men as he/him and trans women as she/her. Trans people may also use other pronouns that they are comfortable with.)
Lusdoc Allan replied, “Too bad” (translated from Bisaya).
(Note: There is nothing “sayang” about somebody being gay, trans, or otherwise.)
Cis gay men need to be schooled in the proper terminology and refrain from using language that can be demeaning, derogatory, and/or offensive.