Gender is a spectrum: Trans, gender nonconforming, and non-binary people deserve to be treated equally as their cisgender peers. During my sophomore year, I had a class where there was a trans student. In the middle of the year, she began wearing feminine clothes and asked the teacher to call her by a different name. Some students in that classroom were uncomfortable with the fact that this student is a transwoman. Since they were uncomfortable with her they decided to harass her and call her names. They made hurtful comments about what she wore, her makeup, and dehumanized her. Students only stopped harassing her when she went back to conforming to the gender boxes society has placed her in.
In today’s society, people have trouble accepting others who don’t fit into a gender box. The hatred and non-acceptance of trans people are bigger than name calling and hateful comments about their gender identity. For a lot of trans people, it’s a matter of life and death. The article, “How the Transgender Murder Rate Reveals the Ugly Lie of “Acceptance” , talks about how trans women are murdered at an alarming rate. According to their research, 2017 was one of the deadliest years for transgender folks.
There are still no laws that protect all transgender people across the country. Especially with the current administration in the U.S. that have been focused on removing protections that were put in place to keep trans people safe. It started with removing the important guidance on transgender students restroom usage. Most recently Trump implemented a ban against transgender people from military service.
In order to create a path of acceptance, we need to start with our youth. An effective way to teach youth would be to implement a curriculum about gender identity and how gender is a spectrum. If you are not part of the LGBTQ+ community, learn how to be an ally. If you’re not sure how to, check out “Be an Ally & a Friend” by glaad.org; a media site with a mission to accelerate acceptance for all LGBTQ+ people.
Too many trans people live in fear of living as their most authentic self because of the amount of hate people have for them. We need to start teaching our children about gender identity so we can all start to understand that there is no wrong way to be human. This will only better us. Our society will be an accepting place of all people where uncomfortability is only motivation to become educated and not a lifestyle.