Transgender: A word used for those whose gender identity that is different from the gender they were assigned to at birth. In this Narrative I explore the question “What is the most effective strategy for addressing the emerging transgender population in the US?” and its responses being to support the fight for equal rights and opportunity for transgender people. The fight for trans equality has always been fought by those who identify as Transgender. The adaptation for trans people being able to live in the US with equal rights and with opportunity for living is one that is mostly logical based on facts and empathy
“An umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. An umbrella term for transsexuals, cross-dressers (transvestites), transgenderists, gender queers, and people who identify as neither female nor male and/or as neither a man or as a woman. Transgender is not a sexual orientation; transgender people may have any sexual orientation. Transgender is a broad term and is good for non-transgender people to use. “Trans” is shorthand for “transgender.” (Note: Transgender is correctly used as an adjective, not a noun, thus “transgender people” is appropriate but “transgenders” is often viewed as disrespectful.)”
What would this look like? Law and policy against the discrimination of trans people for jobs, housing and healthcare.
Allowing for the justice for Trans people is the best thing to do because It is very common that trans people face much hardship that is unnecessarily due to their gender identity. According to the National Center for Trans Equality(NCTE) an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth are Transgender and LGB identified . In a study by the NCTE shows this such hardship:
At the forefront of this topic is the rights of children in school, pertaining to bathroom usage and transitioning in public school settings. Organizations like Welcoming Schools have resources for schools and teachers to understand gender how to interact and help transgender students feel most comfortable.
The ways they describe this allowance for comfort are honoring trans students pronouns, allowing them to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity and avoiding situations that force students to make gendered choices(e.g. such as splitting the class into boy and girls)
- The Who and Why
An important leader in the this trans movement is Laverne Cox, a Trans Woman, Actor, Artist and Activist for LGBT rights. She speaks for the acceptance, visibility, Medical support and Justice for trans people. “If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence.”
Laverne Cox gained Iconic status as one of the first openly trans woman actresses from her role as Sophia Burset from the hit show Orange is the New Black. She used her gained influence to become an activist for transgender people by speaking at events and schools about her experience as a trans woman finding her identity
The impact of her speaking can be seen in a quote of a student of Saginaw State University , a school where Laverne Cox spoke, a student wrote “I attended the event with very limited knowledge of the transgender community and its fight for civil rights…I learned a lot about both the transgender community and about life in general.”
The National Center for Trans Equality(NCTE), an advocacy group created in 2003 by transgender activist for the advancement for trans equality. an “organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.”
NCTE is based in Washington D.C. lead by a staff of ten trans activist whose motive is to assist in passing “clear laws and clear policies that prohibits discrimination” They focus on the many issues of transgender people such as Employment, Housing & Homelessness, Police, Jails & Prisons and many more.
The NCTE has connections with the white house and is referred to at times for assistance in in creating policy according to former White house LGBT liaison, Gautam Raghavan
In our case study, we examine Coy Mathis’ experience according to the 2013 reporting of the Rolling Stone.
Coy Mathis, was born a boy who from the age of 18 months loved all things associated with femininity. Coy’s family didn’t mind his feminine dress and behavior until Coy demanded to wear his dresses out of the comfort and security of their home.
In the beginning, Coy’s parents thought of his gender variance as something that would eventually pass and decided to not allow Coy’s wishes to dress like girl outside of the family house. What Coy’s parents then saw was a new version of Coy as he grew older; they found that Coy showed signs of depression not wanting to eat, interact with anyone and only lay on the couch, pouting rolled up in his sister’s pink blanket. Coy is an example of the affect of parent support and its importance to children’s well being
Seeing this change in Coy, his parents decided allow him to Dress anyway he wanted just so that he would return to the old Coy. The difference in Coy’s behavior was two different worlds. When in boy clothes, Coy was quiet and reclusive but with Girl Clothes on, Coy was Happy and social. When Coy got old enough to attend school that is when things got harder for Coy. When Coy wanted to use girl pronouns( She/her) and use the girl’s bathroom, Coy received lots of resistance. Coy’s Parents decided to file a case for Discrimination and won
What we see in Coy’s experience is the necessary need for parent and schools to accept transgender children.
Currently, the acceptance of trans people is continuously being becoming more and more accepting with movements such as Black trans lives matter and states such as California making legislation for transgender students to choose the bathroom they identify with.
Written by: Jared Winn-Taryor