An End To Transphobia Essay

1528 words - 6 pages

There are 700,000 transgender people in the United States (Gates). Imagine you are one of them. You recently turned nineteen years old, and you are enrolled in university. You are among the luckiest transgender people. Your university chose not to discriminate against you because of your gender identity when you applied. You come from a supportive family, so you have the opportunity to attend university and eventually have a decent-paying job and the ability to support yourself, instead of being kicked out of your childhood home and forced to enter the sex trade to survive, like many transgender youths (Bigelsen). Your health care provider has chosen to treat you despite your gender identity. Because of this, you are luckier than most transgender people; however, you still face many daily struggles, even at your seemingly progressive university.
Public restrooms always present a dilemma. If you use the restroom of your anatomical sex at birth, you will likely be harassed. If you use the restroom of the gender that you identify, you may be kicked out. There is one set of unisex public restrooms on your university’s campus near the dining hall. You use these when you are near them, but you spend most of your day in buildings on the other side of campus. You have to plan when you will eat and drink throughout the day because you do not have the luxury of using the restroom whenever you please. Upon meeting new people, you are often met with uncomfortable questions and remarks such as, “Have you had the surgery?” or “So you’re really a (wrong gender or sex).” Even after you have corrected people, some may choose to refer to you with different pronouns than you prefer or address you by the name given to you at birth rather than the one to which you currently answer. You often are assumed to be of a certain sexual orientation, even though a person’s gender identity is not necessarily related to one’s sexual orientation. You are excluded from joining “greek” organizations on campus because of you gender identity. You find some support from the LGBT organization on campus, but they specifically choose not to host or participate in events for the transgender community because they claim that there are not enough transgender people on campus for that to be worthwhile. Several big cities in your state have laws that protect transgender people. There are no statewide protections, and you do not live in one of those cities. Throughout your life, you have been called countless derogatory slurs and been subjected to bullying, alienation, and harassment because of your gender identity.

Although they are among the population’s most victimized group, transgender individuals are not the only people who are subjected to this type of societal pressure or rejection. Gay and bisexual people are also discriminated against or harassed because they do not conform to a gender expectation: being sexually attracted exclusively to the other sex. Some...

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