In 2017 you would think people would have evolved beyond ignorance and hate towards people who are different than them but it appears they have not and continue to have hate in their hearts towards certain groups of people and transgender folks are the ones who are hated the most. There are a lot of groups of people in the United States and around the world who are hated and discriminated against but this group of people who seem to be mistreated the most and it seems to get worse as time goes on. I say around the world because we do know of many nations that do not support LGBT rights and treat them very horribly but the focus here is on the states as for one I am an American and two, as a leader in civil rights we should do better but sadly we do not and trans Americans are treated very badly.
LGBT rights have come a long way and advanced greatly over the years but in some ways we have gone backwards and one of those ways is the treatment of transgender people in this country. We did great things when we won the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children but somewhere along the way our transgender brothers and sisters got lost in the conversation and the right took advantage of this by attacking their rights and bullying them so much that they have the highest suicide rate of any group in America. This is wrong and must be spoken about, we no longer can remain silent on this issue as if we do then lives will be lost, make no mistake about it. We owe it to the many transgender youth as well as adults who are bullied, denied their rights, and even murdered to fight for them and stand with them.
I often debate politics on Facebook and Twitter as well as at rallies with those who support Trump and right wing policies and when I do it truly makes me infuriated to see how people treat transgender folks and the hateful, ignorant, and vile things they say about them. I often have to restrain myself, I am not a violent person but the way they treat trans people makes it difficult to stay non-violent. I went to a trans rights rally a month ago and heard the story of Diamond Williams, who was a young transgender woman who was brutally murdered in
Philadelphia,PA not long ago. She was one of many that lose their lives because of this ignorance and hate thrown at transgender people in this country and sadly there will be more.
There are so many transgender people who become victims of hate crimes and tragically many of them are murdered and many of those are transgender women of color and the number of these hate crimes and murders continue to rise as the years pass. LGBT people in general are victims of these hate crimes but those in the transgender section of the community are the most at risk and many in the media or in our government do not seem to notice or even care. They are one of the forgotten populations in this country and I am here to say that as a trans ally, I do not and will not forget them. They are human beings and they deserve the same respect and dignity that the rest of us deserve, thankfully our last president understood that and passed hate crime legislation to protect them as well as having some trans friendly policies including allowing them to serve in the military. Now, I am no fan of the military as many know but if people want to serve they should be able to regardless of who they are or what they believe.
Obama also allowed for transgender students to be able to use the restroom that aligned with their gender identity by issuing a federal guidance to the states and this helped so many feel like they were able to freely e themselves. You see, the far right likes freedom, they are always talking about freedom this and freedom that but when those of us on the left try to get some of that freedom for our causes then they kick and scream and fight against it. They do not believe in true freedom, just selective freedom.
They want the right to have an assault rifle or to use religion to discriminate but don’t want others to have their rights. When Obama fought for the transgender community and tried to grant them some of the rights they had been lacking for so many years this nation saw true progress and equality but now that we have a fascist president who along with his very anti-LGBT VP Mike Pence don’t value the rights of trans people or anyone in the LGBT community and are hell-bent on hurting them and removing their civil rights.
The HB2 anti-trans law in North Carolina hurt so many including the people in that state as they have lost billions from boycotts from that failed law but the worst part is that they hurt an already vulnerable population and that is transgender people. The hateful law in NC along with similar hateful laws in other states make trans people feel more isolated than they already are and even some in the LGBT community make them feel this way, they have the highest suicide rate of any group in this country and it isn’t because something is wrong with them, there isn’t anything wrong with them. It is because they are not only denied rights by state and local governments but they also are hated and bullied by our society and nobody accepts them. There are all these stigmas and ignorant lies about who transgender people are and what it is and what it isn’t and these forms of misinformation are dangerous and irresponsible.
The ignorant anti-trans people I have talked to say that they don’t want “Men using the woman’s room” or that it is a “Sick mental illness” but it is neither of those things. That is pure ignorance! Trans women aren’t men and trans men aren’t women, gender identity is not about body parts, it is about how you feel about who you are. It is not “pretending” to be something like the haters who don’t know what they are talking about say. They are who they are and should not be hated for that, they should be accepted as they are not hurting anyone by trying to be true to themselves.
The American Psychiatric Association has said that transgender people are normal and not mentally ill and changed their position by saying it is no longer a mental disorder yet the right continues to be harmful by calling them sick and saying that it is a mental disorder when it isn’t anymore. The right still says that homosexuality is a mental disorder too and that was removed in the early 1970s, they do not know what they are taking about and just using false information to hurt transgender people and it is a dangerous agenda that they have.
Trans lives matter and I am proud to be an ally standing in their corner, I am always with them and will fight for their right to use any restroom that they choose to use. Trump fans and other far right Republicans continue to use fake news to spread this message that trans people are “perverts” and “predators” but these are lies as they are the least likely people to harm or molest kids, that title usually belongs to straight, Republican men. They are the ones who sexually assault women and kids, not trans people. Our transgender friends simply want to be left alone and use the restroom in peace, they do not wish to harm anyone or create victims, they are the victims.
They are attacked both on social media and in real life, they commit the most suicides, and they have the hardest lives and it is all for not wanting to hide anymore and be who they are and were meant to be. I wrote about this issue in my book that I released on LGBT rights called “Defending Equality but should have focused on the trans issue more as currently they are the ones who are attacked the most and the ones who are most misunderstood. Our trans brothers and sisters are humans just like you and men and deserve to be treated with respect and humanity and they need to be loved as they have been through so much.
Trans lives do matter and I really want to encourage people to get to know a transgender person and get to know their struggle and who they are deep down before you judge them. They are people who have people who have feelings and they have hopes and dreams like the rest of us and for us to call ourselves good human beings we need to treat other human beings the way they deserve to be treated, especially those who are mistreated by our society and hated for who they are. So many of trans youth struggle with drug and alcohol issues and have no place to go because their parents abandoned them and threw them to the curb, they feel rejected and need a safe place to be. This is one reason why the safety pin movement was created, it was adopted because in Trump’s America nobody is protecting them from hate and harm and they do not know who is safe and who they can trust and this is the same with Muslims, immigrants, and so many others hated by his Alt-Right fans, we must let them all know that they are safe with us and they can be who they are.
I guess that my message for trans allies is to keep fighting for our trans friends, they need you now more than ever. My message for those who are ignorant and hate trans people is to try and have an open mind and heart and see them for who they are, look beyond their differences and just be a friend, also try and educate yourself on the issue of gender identity and don’t be so quick to judge what you do not know or understand. Finally, my message for transgender people is to not give up, keep fighting the good fight, and be who you are no matter what, we have your back and we will fight for you ALWAYS and we will continue to educate the public and defend you against hate, ignorance and injustice wherever it comes up.
The fight may be hard but equality and love is always worth it and if we keep going then we are sure to win in the end and change things on this issue because hate never wins , it never has and it never will. The upcoming months and years may be tough for LGBT rights as a whole but especially for trans rights as we do not know what is in store for the movement under Trump but I do know that trans lives matter and so do trans rights and we have come to far to go back now!