Essays on Transgender

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Sexism and Transgender

The traditional sense of sexism has been dominating the society in history. When women suffer from sexism, they do so in a way that they are targeted by men, who have brainwashed people in all positions such as leadership and influence to ensure that the male individuals dominate the society. When men suffer sexism, they […]

Pages: 2 Words: 527

Gender Bias and Discrimination of Women

Television has always been is primarily heteronormative. In TV shows, it can be seen that men are most commonly portrayed as the head of the house, while women normally have less power. People who believe in heteronormativity not only believe in the gender binary, but also believe that heterosexuality is the default sexuality. Also, they […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1113
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Propoganda Is…

Propaganda, what is Propaganda? It is simply a mechanism of spreading and promoting planned ideas and directions. It can be used for a good cause or to cause damage. A lot of these mechanisms are used in Advertising and PR. In various sections in today’s world propaganda is used in business, politics even to impose […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1807

Discrimination against the transgender community has been an extremely prominent issue in society for many years. It’s important to recognize the inequalities people face due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. People who identify as transgender not only possess an increased amount of depression and anxiety compared to gays and lesbians, but they aren’t accepted in society as often as their LGB peers. Sexual assaults, physical assaults, harassment in schools, and job loss due to biases have contributed to transgender’s depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts.

There aren’t enough laws that protect the wellbeing of people who identify as transgender. There aren’t enough businesses hiring people who identify as transgender. There aren’t enough communities assisting the families of children who identify as transgender. There aren’t enough schools providing gender-neutral bathrooms, policies against the discrimination of transgenders, and sports teams allowing people who identify as transgender to join. Most importantly, there aren’t enough people advocating and speaking up for the transgender community whose voices have been silenced by narrow-minded administrators, teachers, professors, family members, and government and state officials.

I interviewed several people who either had basic common knowledge about transgenders, or advocate for the LGBT community. Within these interviews, I asked questions about religion, adoption, the Ball State campus, and improvements that could be made in educational institutions. I chose 4people to interview. The 4 I chose were at random but I knew that had different religious and ethnic backgrounds. I wanted to make sure my interviewees were different than one another so I wouldn’t get the exact same answers for every question I asked. Interviewing these people was an eye opening and information filled experience for myself, as well as for them.

I interviewed a friend of mine named Caleb who grew up in England but has lived in a small Indiana town for quite some years now. He identifies are heterosexual and he is Christian. One of the first questions I asked him was “how do you feel about certain religions believing in equal rights for heterosexual relationships/marriages but not same-sex marriages?” he responded by saying “having a Christian background and living in Indiana, a very conservative states, religions can be very harsh with same-sex relationships and marriages. But at the same time, non-religious people want religious people to change their beliefs because that’s the way our society is progressing.” Though I don’t agree with his second statement, I do believe that your background can determine your future beliefs. If you grow up in a household that’s against homosexuality, then there’s a chance you inherit those beliefs. As you get old, though, people tend to branch out and discover their own beliefs that may not match up with their family’s beliefs.

I interviewed my friend May and asked her the same question. She responded with “I think everyone has the right to believe in what they want but the second those beliefs enter laws and effects someone’s life is the second I don’t agree with it.” Religion is a difficult topic to discuss, especially when the focus is on homosexuality. People can identify with a religion that has the reputation to perceive homosexuality as a sin but the individual may not necessarily agree with that. It’s important to not generalize a person with what their religion’s beliefs and moral systems are because they don’t always match up.

The next question I asked both of them was “how do you feel about people who identify with the LGBT community not receiving equal rights as heterosexuals in applying for adoption?” Caleb responded by saying “there are so many kids in the world that need a home, so it shouldn’t matter what someone’s beliefs or sexuality is. I feel that if the individual or couple is properly equipped with the ability to nurture a child and give them a loving and welcoming home, it shouldn’t matter.” May agreed with his statement and said, “It infuriates me because there are gay and lesbian couples that are much more deserving and qualified as parents than heterosexual couples.” Adoption within the LGBT community isn’t discussed as often in the media as other problems are but not having the right to adopt a child because of one’s sexuality is institutional discrimination and it needs to come to an end.

I asked May and Caleb if they believed there was an adequate support system on the Ball State campus for transgender students and staff members as well as people who were transitioning. Caleb’s responded by saying how oblivious he was about institutional discrimination against people who identify as transgender. Since he was unaware of the current policies and programs installed to provide better support for transgenders, he ended his response with “there is always room for improvement.

There is a great need for academic peer mentors, resident assistants, and hall directors to hold events, programs, and discussion panels to have students ask questions and speak on their beliefs to talk about the transgender community. It can be beneficial but at the same time, it may be difficult to encourage people to attend because it may not be as appealing to some as it is to others.” I liked his comment on how resident assistants, academic peer mentors, and hall directors can implement diversity within the residence halls by creating community boards and panels so everyone can voice their opinions and help come up with ways to prevent the discrimination of transgenders in institutions. May’s response was very similar to Caleb’s. She agreed that she didn’t have as much knowledge as to how Ball State supports the transgender community but believes that there is always room for change.

The two other people I interviewed were my friends Kadian and Brianna. I asked Brianna “what are some common misconceptions about transgender men and women?” she replied with “I’ve heard the ‘it’s just a phase’ or ‘transgenders are just gay in disguise”.” Kadian chimed in and said, “I don’t get why you have to ask someone who identifies as transgender what sexual organs they possess. You wouldn’t ask a straight person that.” Kadian brought up a very valid point. People tend to wonder if a male transgender still has a vagina or if a female transgender still has a penis.

Heterosexual people have this privilege that they’re unaware of and unless someone has close ties to the LGBT community, it’s difficult to notice it. I asked Brianna what improvements would she like to see happen for the LGBT community in the future within the Ball State community. She said “more gender-neutral bathrooms, more support groups and organizations, celebrity speakers such as Laverne Cox who came last year, and more endorsers.”

Along with my interview, I created a survey. When asked about how knowledgeable one was about transgender rights, only 14% reported to be extremely knowledgeable, whereas 43% claimed to either be moderately or not knowledgeable at all. It’s very worrisome to see the statistics. Being ignorant and unaware of the tribulations others face on a day-to-day basis shows the amount of privilege people have. You don’t understand what’s going on in the world until it happens to you personally, a friend, or a family member.

I asked the people taking my survey to rank how strongly they agree with the statement “people who identify as transgender aren’t provided with as many legal protections as their cisgender peers.” 71% strongly agreed with the statement and 29% chose “neither agree nor disagree.” Even though people don’t know as much about transgenders, they still recognize the inequalities they face every day within institutions.

What surprised me the most about this survey were the amount of people who didn’t know what Title IX was. Title IX is a law that “requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding.” Title IX doesn’t specifically cover people who identify as transgender, but should. 43% of people who completed my survey have never heard of Title IX. Many people in general haven’t heard of it and the ones that have only know because of sports.

In my survey, I asked “what are some ways college campuses can attain adequate support systems for transgender students and staff?” The top responses were creating safe zones, marketing and exposure to campus events and fairs, better counseling services, and setting aside funding money for transgender inclusive groups on campus. These are great ideas for college campuses to start doing and just by doing one of these, the climate of the campus can change dramatically.

Transgender lives matter just as much as any other life. Many people are oblivious to the day-to-day struggles people who identify as transgender face. Whether it be depression, anxiety, suicide contemplation, applying for jobs, trying out for a sports team, or really having to use the bathroom and not knowing which one is socially acceptable to use are just a few to start off with. Once people begin to understand what it really means to be transgender, then the community can start to make a change; a change to become a more welcoming, safe, and understanding environment for people who society doesn’t seem to have much knowledge and/or care about.