Humans have always set their rules and norms for the society, and if someone decides to be different or unique, they are mostly looked down upon. Throughout the history of the United States of America, numerous groups have been looked down upon because they look different or they have different preferences. For example, African Americans, homosexuals, Native Americans, and now one more group that has been added to this list of groups being discriminated against are transgendered people.
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A person is considered to be transgender if their gender identity is inconsistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people are nothing new for the society, but they are still looked at like they are not normal. About 1.4 million adults identify themselves as transgender in the United States. Although the transgender population is growing in size and visibility, many experiences of transgender people remain a mystery to the public and scientific community.
Transgender people have been facing this discrimination and hatred for so long. They are regular human beings who decided to change something that they were born with and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has a right to follow their heart and do what they believe is right for them even if it is to change who they are. Unfortunately, many people do not agree with this and this creates a controversy between what is right and what is wrong. Therefore because of these people, we need more stricter laws to protect transgender community so they can live their lives with peace and also because it is the right thing to do. The laws protecting these people would help reduce the harassment rates and help spread awareness.
The citizens of United States of America are entitled to their rights, like freedom of speech, freedom of press and many more. However the law has forgotten about the freedom of choosing their sexuality and gender. Transgender people suffer so much everyday just because they choose their happiness over societies perception of them. Today’s modern society does everything possible to make transgender people’s lives filled with harassment/abuses, hatred, which leaves them with nothing but attempting suicide. The 2015 US transgender survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime (?Sexual Assaults and the LGBTQ community’). Almost half of the transgender population deals with assaults every day of their lives and there are no laws protecting them because it’s not considered a real problem. In today’s world people seem to be okay with the idea that almost 50 percent of the transgender people are abused, harassed almost every day of their lives.
Living a normal life is never easy for a transgender person. In this society there are people who came out as a transgender and are still supported by friends and family that live happy. Even a simple thing as using a public restroom is like hell for transgender people. Entering a bathroom can come with anxiety because all they can think about is safety and health issues. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted in 2011, they received responses from more than 6,000 transgender people, it was found that over half (53 percent) of them have claimed to have experience harassment not only in bathrooms, but other public accommodations as well such as hotels and restaurants and 10 percent of trans people have reported to have been physically attacked while at these facilities. Thirty-two percent of transgender people said they limited the amount they ate or drank at least once in the previous year so they did not need to use a public restroom. Eight percent reported having a kidney or urinary tract infection, or another kidney-related medical issue, because they avoided restrooms ( Trotta).
These findings reveal a very disturbing amount of discrimination and hatred toward transgender people. These numbers reveal how much pain transgender people have to go through everyday without many people knowing about it. In places without strong anti-discrimination protections, transgender people can sometimes face criminal penalties for using a restroom that is consistent with their gender identity. In Dallas, for example, a transgender woman was ticketed for disorderly conduct in 2012 for using the women’s restroom at a hospital. An Idaho transgender woman in 2013 was informed by the police that she was unwelcome for the next year at a local supermarket, because she had used the women’s restroom there (?Know your rights: transgender people and the law,’ 2018). No human being deserves to be treated with so much hatred even if they changed their gender that they were born with.
This discrimination does not just take place in bathrooms or public places, but it has also made its place in the workplace. In a study Equalities review, transgender people with jobs were surveyed and many respondents have experienced harassment from co-workers and employers. Nearly 29 percent of the group experienced verbal abuse and harassment in the workplace environment, and about 4 percent received physical abuse. They go through even harder times with families, friends, and at public places, and if that’s not enough, they also go through harassments at work too. Sometimes they are lucky to still have a job even with all the bullying and harassment because many would just fire them. The transgender unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average and it is not surprising because there are no federal laws barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In fact, in 30 states workplaces fire transgenders only on the basis that they are transgender (?2017 workplace equality fact sheet’). A job is everyone’s main source to feed themselves and their families but transgender people are more likely to get fired just because of their gender identity. Transgender people need to sustain their own lives as long as possible, and for them to be denied of that right and silenced because of their minority factor is one of the major reasons that people need to be more aware of what transgender people go through.
The discrimination and the hate that the transgender people get from the society is wrong and that affects their health too. These health concerns that the transgender people face are due to the minority stress which is characterized by negative social attitudes, abuse, rejection, and unfair treatments. Due to the minority stress, they are at a risk of emotional abuse, physical or sexual violence, depression, and suicidal thoughts.The minority stress paradigm was developed to address the stresses that accrue to gender and sexual minorities as a result of higher rates of stigma and discrimination. According to the minority stress theory, gender? and sexual?minority status is a fundamental cause of discrimination and health disparities because it is socially stigmatized and entails disadvantage (Sassler). While approximately 6.7 percent of the general United States population suffers from depression, nearly half of all individuals who identify as transgender experience these issues. Over 41 percent of trans men and women are estimated to have attempted suicide ” a rate that’s nearly nine times as high as the rate of other Americans (Schreiber).
The life of an adult transgender is already hard filled with abuse, rejection, harassments, and in the end depression. While this wasn’t enough, transgender youth aren’t safe from this oppressive environment either. In schools they are a subject to constant discrimination, from policies and administrations who fail to fight for them from severe bullying by other students. There are numerous transgender kids who are getting bullied at school, facing rejection, and are attempting to take their own lives. Almost 50 percent of transgender teens have taken their lives (Ettachfini).
In September 2016, the parents of Marilyn Morrison, an eight-year-old transgender girl, made the decision to pull her out of school after her complaints of constant harassment were met by no response from the school’s administration. The child described the school as “a horrible, horrible place” where teachers refused to accept her chosen name and where she was denied bathroom rights. Ash Haffner, a 16-year-old trans boy took his life after enduring years of bullying, according to his mother. Another was 16-year-old Taylor Alesana, who not only spoke out about the harassment she experienced on her YouTube channel, but who also reported it to school officials. In the end, its effects were too devastating for Alesana to face everyday. There are many heartbreaking stories of transgender kids who lost the fight and decided to end it. They never got a chance to enjoy their precious life just because the people around around them were acting inhumane. Transgender kids feel less safe and less supported. A report by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that “transgender individuals reported retrospectively high rates of harassment, assault, and sexual violence when they had attended K“12 schools.” According to Bullying Statistics, transgender students are five times more likely to miss school out of fear of bullying.
In today’s modern society where everyone should be accepting of one other, it’s really difficult if our country leaders do not support or tolerate our transgendered people. President Trump’s administration is weighing a move to define gender as strictly biological, denying the very basis of transgender identity and adding that they’re “unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with,” ( Washington Post). It will almost be as if transgender people do not exist because they never had or will never have any laws protecting them. California is seen as one of the most liberal states in U.S in regards to lesbian, gays, and transgender rights, which have received national recognition since the 1970s. As of the year 2013, California has been the only state to have passed a law allowing transgender students to pick bathrooms and sport teams to join. Gender discrimination in employment is a violation of California state and federal law. Under California law, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on gender, including gender identity and gender expression (Acevedo).
Most support for LGBT rights can be seen in the largest cities, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, as well as many cities on the Pacific coast. Recent polls have indicated that a large majority of Californians support same-sex marriage. New California regulations recently took effect that specifically address protections for transgender persons, including equal access to use of facilities such as restrooms. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) already prohibits discrimination or harassment against applicants or employees who identify as transgender, regardless of the person’s sex assigned at birth ( Worsinger and Lee). It is against the law in California to discriminate against someone based on their sexuality. In fact the new rules specify that employers must honor an employee’s request to be identified by a preferred gender, name, or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns (Worsinger and Lee).
Even though California is one of the biggest states to support transgender people, a disagreement can still be seen locally. In the Central Valley, Clovis school district seemed to have some different opinions on the issue of equality for transgender people. Clovis Unified parents are pressuring the school board to separate transgender students from the general student body in bathrooms and locker rooms, despite federal and state laws that protect those students’ rights. Private bathroom trailers are being installed at two schools for now, and the district will monitor their use to determine if they are needed districtwide. This summer, the district spent thousands of dollars to transform unused shower space into private changing stations after hearing related concerns about locker rooms. But one group known as ?Stop the madness’ claimed that it was not enough. They urged to repel the law as it is a matter of safety. One of the members stated Since Obama came in, it’s been all about equality. This whole equality thing has trickled down now into the education system, and it’s creating a mess.
The group believes that the district installing trailers is just a ?band aid approach’ and will only perpetuate bullying. Either way, it’s discrimination. The ideal plan would be to forget separate bathrooms and go back and fight the state and repeal the law This is a safety issue. My girls don’t want to be put in that situation where a male is changing in their locker rooms or can come into their bathroom. said one of the parents. Local transgender advocates showed their support for the district’s privacy accommodations. Clovis Unified spokeswoman Kelly Avants said that the accommodations are for any student who wants privacy. Every parent in the district meeting wanted the best for their children and just wanted them to be safe and away from bullying. The world around us is changing. The laws are changing. It’s a tough situation to figure out how we maintain our high standards and also be inclusive and follow the laws and I think where the board has struggled is communicating with the community stated Steven Fogg an ophthalmologist and Clovis Unified parent who is also running for the school board. As the school board is only focusing on the price for new bathrooms and privacy space, the parents are thinking about their kids and want what’s right for their kids.
Discriminating against other groups and people have always been a part of the American history. Transgender people are nothing new to our society and now it’s time to stop hating them and accepting them for who they are because they are just normal people. As this hatred has been going on for a long time, it will not be an easy step and will take time, but something needs to be done. The families and friends are the first step in helping this problem. Everyone needs emotional support from their friends and family and so transgender people need and expect the same love and support from their friends and family. The hate and rejection that is sent towards them from the close ones hurt the most and that should stop. Instead the family and the friends should be the best support system they can ever have. Friends and families should always be there for them and speak up if something wrong is going on with the transgender people. As they get more support, transgender people can find more confidence and actually be a little happy in their lives. Receiving any support from friends and family will decrease the suicide and depression rate for transgender people.
Transgender people have always been casted away in the shadows when the rights of the LGBT community have been brought up. They need their own identity and people need to know about transgender people out of the LGBT group. Surprisingly, many people can’t even define what transgender means, but this can change. Transgender people are normal beings and they perform everyday things just like anyone else, so they shouldn’t be treated any less than those around them. Their choice of being male or female should not affect those around them. More people need to stand for gender equality for everyone and show others the damage that the transgender community has gone through in the past few decades. Transgender discrimination is something that can’t be ended so easily, some steps can be taken in order to reach the goal of gender equality for all. Even with bringing the change, there will be a lot of people that are skeptical about transgender people but in the end all transgender people deserve to live a respectable and happy life. Transgender people shouldn’t have to go through different things that the rest of the population doesn’t go through, and transgender people are suffering daily. More awareness of the discrimination they go through is one step closer to achieving total gender equality.
Everyone has the right to be free and follow their hearts. Our founding fathers made sure that the people had rights to protect them. That means that transgender people also have a right to be free and live a life without any abuse or harassment. We as a community have to come together to insure that the government make stricter laws to protect transgender people and also help enforce the laws. Not only do we need laws that protect transgender people nationally but also locally and state officials need to make sure that that everyone feels safe and protected. This will hopefully motivate others to understand these people and treat them just like normal people. Furthermore, school authorities need to make sure that they are creating a safe environment for every student and helping to create a safe environment for everyone. Children should be taught to be respectful and more understanding early on in hopes so they can help change this experience for the generations to come. With the new laws in place, suicide rates will go down and they can enjoy their precious life with protection.
With more awareness, acceptance, and new laws, the transgender community will feel welcomed and comfortable. The amount of hate and discrimination they have gone through is wrong and enough. Our transgender community should be treated just like normal human beings with equal rights as everyone else. A change will institute a new way of thinking and more people will accept our transgender community. They should be allowed to use public bathrooms, go to school without worrying about bullying, and just be themselves. Optimistically, transgender people will never have to avoid public restrooms just to avoid harassment. They should be able to walk outside confidently and walk without any fear.
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