Fascism and transphobia are ALWAYS linked

Anti-feminism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and racism are THE entry points to fascism. Remember, the FIRST Nazi book-burning was the burning of books from a trans clinic.

Given that, would it surprise you to know that Hitler was quoted to motivate Trump’s insurrectionist crowd?

“Hitler was right…” – Rep. Mary Miller (R – Ill.)

While not all anti-trans activists are fascists and Nazis, anti-trans hate is a popular recruitment tool for fascists and Nazis. Whether it’s religious nationalists or so-called “ethnostate” activists, they all leverage anti-trans hatred as a recruitment tool.

White nationalist recruitment

Steven Hotze waving sword at hate group meeting

Groups with fascist tendencies all use anti-trans hate as a recruitment tool. Consider this question: What happened to the lead-up to Trump’s 2015 presidential run?

A man named Steven Hotze –infamous for getting up on stage to swing a real sword about while screaming about how he’s going to drive out all of the ‘homofascists’ (projection much?) from his city, paying a fascist who kidnaped someone for “stealing” Trump ballots, and advocating for BLM activists to be murdered— formed a hate group to promote religious nationalism by attacking transgender people:

Religious nationalist activists

Hotze’s campaign rolled out a how-to kit (which the TransAdvocate protested) that other locations implemented, coming to a head with North Carolina’s infamous HB2 or the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.” While transphobia is a time-tested recruitment tool for fascist movements, in every instance, fascism always ends in the same place:

In consideration of this inevitability, intersex activist and TransAdvocate contributor, Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello noted the following about Trump’s insurrection:

The Congressmembers who were hustled to safety were not the only people in the buildings beside the rioters and the security forces. A congressional staffer who is a visibly trans woman was assaulted by the mob, for example. During the Trump rally that wound the mob up, Don Trump Jr. had ranted to the cheering crowd about his father’s unceasing battle to stop trans women from being recognized as women. Without Trump in office, (cis) women and girls would never be safe in bathrooms or able to win sporting competitions again, he fumed. The crowd roared its transphobic agreement. The insurrectionists with zip-tie handcuffs in hand were roaming the halls looking for Pence and the Congressional “traitors,” but when they saw a trans woman, bonus. . .

– Dr. Costello, 1/8/2021

With the knowledge that anti-trans violence –and hate crime in general— has risen with the tide of Trumpist fascism, why did Donald Trump Jr. feel that he would motivate his insurrectionists by going on an anti-trans rant?

What’s more, after Trump lost the House, Senate, Executive, and failed in his coup d’etat, why are right-wing groups ramping up efforts to target transgender people for anti-transgender legislation?

You tell me.


Within trans discourse, the “phobia” in transphobia usually refers to the strong behavioral tendency to reject (eg, a “hydrophobic” substance) non-cisgender people, issues, causes, and/or concerns. However, the term, in very specific instances, may be utilized to indicate a presumed fear-based cause to observed anti-trans behaviors.


According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, some of the attributes of fascism are as follows:

  • Opposition to Marxism
  • Opposition to political and cultural liberalism
  • Totalitarian ambitions
  • Conservative economic programs
  • Corporatism
  • Military values
  • Mass mobilization
  • Violence
  • Extreme nationalism
  • Scapegoating
  • Populism
  • Revolutionary image
  • Antiurbanism
  • Sexism and misogyny

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.