Talia Nevada


Transgender Equality in America

Transgender. The moment I said that word, you froze. “Oh no not this again.” Yes, it is a sensitive topic and we don’t like to talk about it, but we have to. First things first, what is “transgender”? According to an organization called BelongTo, “Transgender or Trans means someone whose gender differs from the one they were given from when they were born. Transgender people may identify as male or female, or they may feel that neither label fits them.” Now, this is a completely legitimate thing. This isn’t just some high schooler deciding that they want to be different from the other kids. This is a living and breathing human being who brain just does not match up with their genitalia. That’s just simply the case.

Now, I have this friend. His name is Jordan. He is in choir, he rides skateboards, he loves his music, he shops in the men’s section. But, here’s the thing: Jordan has breasts. And filled out hips and full lips and a slim waist and dainty hands. And Jordan, he has another name. Kirsten. “Kirsten, you scum. Dirt. Trash. Disgrace. Get out of this house and don’t come back. Don’t come back until Jordan is dead. Don’t come back until Jordan is six feet under with the worms.” This is too common of a situation for transgender youth. The National Center for Transgender Equality found that “Family rejection and discrimination and violence have contributed to a large number of transgender and other LGBQ-identified youth who are homeless in the United States - an estimated 20-40% of the more that 1.6 million homeless youth.” Jordan was one of those 1.6 million. And Jordan decided to pretend that he was dead so he could go home. Kirsten returned home and they never spoke of it again. Nothing happened more after that. Oh, except for the fact that Kirsten went into her room a week later and… According to USA today, “Suicide attempts are alarmingly common among transgender individuals… 41% try to kill themselves at some point in their lives.” Jordan was one of them.

We need to implement a bill that states that all transgender youth will have a safe place within 1 miles of all schools so they are close to an area where they can be secure if they are ever put on the street. “Oh, well what about our homeless Americans. Aren’t they our first priority?” ABC has concluded that there is an estimated 700,000 and possibly more transgender youth in the United States. And there’s an estimated 500,000 homeless Americans. That’s a difference of 200,000. Now 20-40% of that 700,000 are homeless due to family rejection, discrimination, and violence. That’s 210,000 homeless transgender youth that we need house and keep safe and secure. I’m not saying that we need to build more buildings. Not at all. We can just simply designate a place, such as a fire station or hospital, as a safehouse for our beloved children.

Now our youth are not only being abused in their schools, but in the public. “The transgender bathroom dilemma.” Can a biological male be in a female bathroom? “The theory is that men, in their relentless quest to watch women go to the bathroom, are going through years of hormones, surgery, changing their name, their wardrobe, coming out to their family, all for that big payoff of peeing in a room without urinals.” (Davidson) The general public is scared that a male predator will lurk in the female bathroom and rape or molest a woman, but do you want to know the truth? If a man really had the incentive to commit that crime, they wouldn’t care what bathroom it was in or the gender of their victim. According to the Rainn Organization, “17.7 million American women have been victims… 2.78 million men...21% of transgender youth.”

Transgender persons should be allowed to use to bathroom of their gender. If you’re a female, you use the female bathroom. If you’re a male, you use the male bathroom. Why should they be excluded from that?

Over one in four transgender citizens lose their job due to bias and three out of four are experiencing or have experienced hiring refusal, harassment, privacy violations, and even physical and sexual harassment. Now I ask you: how is this in any way acceptable? They are still a human being with human rights! They deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Some transgender workers have even been so fearful of harassment that they switch jobs. That is simply unacceptable in today’s society. No one, and I mean one, should feel so frightened and terrified of their workplace that they are forced to leave for their own personal safety.

We need to place safe places near schools for the homeless transgender youth. We need to allow transgender beings to use the bathroom of their gender. We need to make the workplace a safe and harassment free environment for the transgender community. This is a new era. A new age. Everyone is equal. We’re all human beings. It’s time we’re treated like it.