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Human Nature’s Obsession with Phony Empathy

March 21, 2016

It is human nature to concern oneself in another’s life. The question is: when is it too far? To what extent is it acceptable to meddle in a person’s long for happiness by reason of ‘sensibility?’ Nowadays, many attempt to empathize with transgenders. This fails because of our lack of understanding; most do not value transgenders as equals. Gender identity is a popular topic of discussion. Some stand rigidly against the idea of gender modification, some are incredulous by the fact that people cannot accept it, and some simply are afraid of it. Although I believe that nobody can fully comprehend the complexity of this issue, we still debate it constantly. Transgenders should be respected and treated as equals because we have no justification in attempting to interfere with another’s happiness, as non-transgenders barely differ from transgenders.
Geena Rocero, a transgender fashion model and a TED talk guest, told her audience that everyone is “put in boxes.” She explains that people’s limits differ from person to person; she elaborates that some are constricted by society, religion, or their family, and some by the gender and body assigned at birth. Every human feels some constraint on who zie is. Transgenders fight the preconceived future given to them by the world. The only difference between a transgender and a non-transgender, or between me and my grandpa, is what people think about us. Rocero continues to explain her sense of belonging after she became a model; zir “outside self finally matched [zir] inner truth.” Happiness erupted in Rocero; I am filled with joy when someone feels comfortable being who zie is, and I question anyone who sees this as wrong and opposes it.
When a child wishes to be represented as another gender, parents have varying reactions and opinions. Many parents and onlookers are afraid of transgenders’ effect on their children; they try to protect and shelter their children. A heated disagreement occurred in Illinois' largest high school district as a child who transitioned to a female wished to dress in the girls’ locker room. As the school board discussed the issue, Teresa Saunders, a parent questioning the board’s discussion, asked “[w]hat if this were your child?” (Eldeib). We, as human beings, seem to disregard other’s feelings and issues. “In [denying the child the right to the locker rooms,]” Saunders remarked, “the administration is treating [transgenders] as though they [a]ren't human beings at all” (Eldeib). We should give people the right to be happy and comfortable.  If a child lives zir life as a female or as a male, then zie should have the same rights as any other person of the same gender. The transgender part of a person should not distinguish what zie can do and what is accepted.
On the other hand, Dr. Paul McHugh, an anti-transgender professional, argues that transgenders are mentally ill because of their extremely high suicide rate: the whole United States’ population’s percentage of suicide attempts is 4.6%, while transgender’s rate is 41% or nearly half of the US transgender population (Malone). On the contrary, Ford points out that the high suicide rate has nothing to do with being transgender but from the “rejection, discrimination, violence, [and] harassment” that surrounds them (Ford). There is no valid reason to victimize transgenders. Transgenders across the world struggle with angst by being their gender assigned from birth. Some fear their decisions because of the negative outlook on transgenders, but many are finally happy with who they are, as their appearances match their minds.
Society puts unfair regulations on the way people should act. We, as human beings, feel the need to judge and criticize the way a fellow friend lives. We think of transgenders as illegitimate males and females. People delve into others’ lives and try to be empathetic; it is our nature to do so. We are not truly empathetic because we look past the blatant, yet hidden realization in front of our noses: we are the same. We are all people with restrictions and fears. Transgenders do not differentiate themselves from society; society marks them as unusual and peculiar. Schools, governments, doctors, and friends should look at transgenders without superiority but with actual acceptance and courage.

Works Cited
Eldeib, Duaa. "Transgender Locker Room Case Settled, but Another Test Looms." Chicago
Tribune. 04 Dec. 2015: 1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Ford, Zack. "No, High Suicide Rates Do Not Demonstrate That Transgender People Are
Mentally Ill." THINKPROGRESS. Center for American Progress Action Fund, 22 June
2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Malone, Luke. "Transgender Suicide Attempt Rates Are Staggering." Vocativ. Vocativ. 5 Mar.
2015.Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Rocero, Geena, Perf. Why I Must Come Out. TED conferences. Transcript. TED. Mar. 2014.
Web. 16 Mar. 2016.


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