Regardless of your gender identity or sexual orientation, you could be at risk for domestic violence. In fact, your risk as a member of the LGBT+ community may be even greater than that for your cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. However, domestic violence does not necessarily affect all subsets of the LGBT+ community equally.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence suggests that, compared to rates of abuse among people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual, domestic violence against transgender individuals may occur more often. Additionally, it can also involve specific and unique features.
1. Questioning or ridiculing your identity
An abusive partner may put you down by questioning your gender identity, telling you that you are not a “real” woman or man. Your partner may also call you hurtful names targeting your identity specifically.
2. Ridiculing your appearance
Depending on your gender identity, your partner may tell you that you are not attractive as a man or woman or that you resemble the gender assigned to you at birth. Your partner may also offer you advice on how to improve your appearance. On the surface, this may seem like an attempt to be helpful, but the intent is to demean and belittle you.
3. Using offensive pronouns
You have probably informed your partner of the pronouns that you prefer, but your partner may refuse to use them. Your partner may also use dehumanizing pronouns such as “it” in an attempt to reduce you to the status of an object or a possession.
4. Public abuse
While abuse often happens behind closed doors, as a transgender individual, you are more likely to experience public violence at the hands of a partner than you would if you were not transgender.