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Trans-Phobia and the Dangerous Legislation You Should Know About

Posted: April 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

There was a recent segment on The Daily Show that had a fantastic piece on aspects of being transgender.  Some elements were subtle, like Trevor Noah not falling for the common trap of asking Angelica Ross about her genitalia, but instead treating his guest like a three-dimensional human being.  But there was also a segment provided by Jessica Williams that highlighted the daily bigotry they have to endure.  Please watch April 6th’s episode:

http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/1b9vdp/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-april-6–2016—angelica-ross-season-21-ep-21087

One important element not stated was that this community is constantly at risk for hate crimes without these policies.  Blazer noted that every third day a trans person is murdered.  Hate crimes released by the FBI in November 2015 gave a startling report stating that hate crimes tripled between 2013 and 2014.  In fact, this is such a painful reality for trans people that each year on November 20th, there is a sobering ceremony called the Day of Remembrance to honor those brothers and sisters who died under these circumstances in the last year.

This means that safety is one of the most important aspects a trans person must be constantly vigilant about.  “Passing”, or the ability to blend in with cisgender majority (people whose gender identity matches their biology at birth) is crucial. Imagine having to be a trans male forced to walk into a woman’s bathroom with a beard, or a trans woman having to use the men’s bathroom wearing a dress.   We are either asking individuals to have bladders of steel so they can “hold it” until they are home, or being instantly outed to a community we already know is hostile.

For those worried that this puts others at risk, there are no statistics supporting this.  Gender identity is separate from sexual deviance like pedophilia, voyeurism, or assault.  Nor is it linked to sexual orientation.  They aptly state in the segment that just because you have a job, like the priesthood, or an identity like being a feminist, republican/democrat, etc. does not mean there are inherent mental health issues.  And in case anyone quotes former diagnostic manuals, realize that the American Psychiatric Association has evolved enough to no longer consider gender dysphoria a disorder.  It is a therapeutic issue because, like other quests about self-esteem and identity, so therapists can help lessen the discomfort they feel every day.

These individuals want what most people want- to live in a world where they can be themselves, be safe, and to be happy.  Please do what you can to help make that possible, whether it is through political activism to educating yourself so you can be a compassionate person to those who need to be welcomed.

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Resources:

 Balzer, Carsten (2009). “Every 3rd day the murder of a trans person is reported” (PDF)(3).



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