Dear Future President,
“When I was perceived as a black man I became a threat to public safety. When I was dressed as myself, it was my safety that was threatened.” This empowering quote from Laverne Cox, one of the transgender community’s leading advocates, details the struggle of not only transgender people, but specifically P.O.C transgender people. The rights of trans people are denied, their voices silenced, and their murders are regular occurrences; some even resort to taking their own lives. Suicide rates are 41 percent for transgender people and 4.6 percent for the average population. Government officials are actively trying to take away their basic human rights. Something needs to be done; transgender people’s rights need to be something you advocate for.
Advocating for transgender people is important because over 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide in their life; the rate of people who actually commit suicide is 41%. Lives are being lost due to people not being accepted, being subjected to blatant hate, and their rights being actively denied. One New York Times article states, “Suicide is a constant among transgender people; we are one of the most at risk communities in the country. One study suggests that over 40% attempt it over the course of our lives.” The transgender community is at risk, help should be provided and available to all. Furthermore, transgender students struggle explaining pronouns, name changes, and transitions in general are hard and can be detrimental. School environments should be altered to be more androgynous and neutral. In Pronoun Privilege on the New York Times, “Divulging one’s gender through an announcement of pronouns at best contradicts the reality that our gender may be ambiguous, and at worst forces students to reveal a potentially vulnerable part of themselves.” Harsh environments like classrooms are nerve wracking for genderqueer students. Finally, Louisiana my own state, is currently trying to enforce discrimination against LGBT people, something people have done in the past but not inclusive to transgender people. According to the New York times, “Edwards' anti-discrimination order is similar to orders enacted by two former Louisiana Democratic governors — but he added language protecting against discrimination based on gender identity, a provision that protects transgender people.” Indeed, the state of Louisiana’s attorney general is attempting to make discrimination against people sexual orientations that vary from heterosexual legal, now including how people identify their gender.
As our next president, I believe that you should advocate for transgender people’s rights, until in our country everybody of any gender expression is equal. Ultimately, unnecessary loss of life needs to be prevented, schools need to be more accepting, and discrimination against anybody must be illegal. These are changes you should make.