Transgender refers to a person not identifying as the sex they were born as. Due to the fact that some people consider being transgender “wrong,” they face discrimination in their everyday lives. The transgender community faces issues such as healthcare discrimination, violence, have problems making a living, and more. Which is disappointing for the people in history who worked hard to support the transgender community. More than just raising awareness needs to be done to fix the problems that the transgender community go through.
Many people throughout history have worked hard to support the transgender community. Lili Elbe was the first person to ever transition sexually to a woman. According to Biography.com, “After marrying Gerda Gottlied, Elbe realized her true gender identity and began to live her life as a woman.” She worked hard to become who she really was, and that was a woman. She did this by undergoing a series of surgeries. Then, in 1986, a transgender man named Lou Sullivan wanted to make sure that he could support other transgender men like himself. According to Glaad.org, it states, “Transgender man Lou Sullivan founds one of the first advocacy groups for transgender men, and publicly challenges authority figures who claim trans men cannot be gay.” Sullivan definitely worked hard so that transgender men didn’t have to feel alone in their life journeys. Eventually, organizations started to form as advocates of the transgender community. According to Glaad.org, “TLC(Transgender Law Center) begins its work to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of gender identity and expression.” The people who founded these organizations worked hard to create something that could change transgenders’ lives forever. It is truly amazing that people throughout history have strived to make a difference in the world. However, no matter how hard they have worked, there are differently still some major flaws in how transgender people are treated today.
People in the transgender community have to go through discrimination in the healthcare system, have problems with getting money for themselves, and deal with violence everyday. To begin, transgender people get murdered and brutally beaten every year. According to the LA Times, “…a report released this year by the Human Rights Campaign… at least seven transgenders have been killed in the U.S. since January.” This statistic ended up leading to 13 deaths in 2014 against transgender people. In 2016, it went up to 26 transgender deaths, which is tragic.
This is a mural of pictures of some of the transgenders that were murdered in 2016.
Additionally, some in the transgender have a hard time staying above the poverty line. According to the Human Rights Campaign, “In too many cases, this lack of legal protection translates into unemployment for transgender people.” Because of this some transgenders, especially one of a different race, make less than $10,000 per year. Which could lead to selling drugs and their bodies for sex. Adding on to their struggles with making a living for themselves, some clinics and hospitals won’t give adequate or no health care for transgenders. According to the Human Rights Campaign, “… the NDTS found that almost 20% of respondents had been refused medical care out of outright bias.” Everyone needs to go to the doctor every awhile, including transgenders because they are people too. If they don’t get proper healthcare, they could get very sick. As you can see, violence and other discrimination against transgenders happens very often and it’s not stopping with just raising awareness s a solution.
Some might argue that Transgender Remembrance Day is enough to stop discrimination against transgender people. However that is incorrect because not everyone knows about this day and some don’t care. But they will care if it involves them. So therefore, we should create more laws that if you seriously discriminate against a transgender person, you need to pay a fine. But, in the situation of murder or serious brutality, they need to spend time in prison. Some people want to help by, “If you are part of an LGBT organization… help make the organization a truly transgender-inclusive and help it to prioritize transgender-related work…”, according to endtransdiscrimination.org. Doing this isn’t enough to stop transgender discrimination. Instead you should do things that draw attention to your cause. Also, people like doctors should make sure they can work with transgender and how to treat them properly and be permitted to give transgenders healthcare. As endtransdiscrimination.org, “Change the curriculum of medical, health, crisis response…programs to include information about transgender people and how to treat transgender and non-conforming people with respect.” Changing the curriculum is taking a step towards equality for transgenders because this means they will be respected in ways that they should have been before. However, many things can be done to stop this issue, but no matter what is done, something needs to be accomplished. According to transequality.org, we should, “This effort cannot be limited to just Transgender Day of Remembrance. Public education, policy change, and community efforts are needed to address the complex causes of anti-trans violence and ensure victims can receive support.” If you do something that can get people’s attention, they will most likely listen and try to fix the problem that you know needs fixing. Raising awareness doesn’t get everyone notified. But, there are some things that you can do to get people to listen to what you have to say.
This picture is of some people doing a demonstration for transgender rights.
Transgender people obviously lead a tough life. These people take a huge risk to be who they want to be. Which is why we need to take action so that the people of the transgender community don’t have to be afraid to walk down the street or go into the public bathroom marked with the gender that they identify as. That’s why we need more laws to protect these innocent people. So the next time you see discrimination against a transgender person, remember that they are people too and help them. Who knows, you may save or change someone’s life.