Pi_Pen

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Message to Readers

This is a piece I wrote on transgender discrimination. I'd appreciate it if you read it and if you gave me some feedback. Thanks. :)

Transgender Discrimination

July 22, 2019

FREE WRITING

2
Introduction
All over the world, transgender people are constantly denied basic rights. They face their very existence being negated and having to cope with people who, through ignorance, assume that being transgender is a mental illness. However, this is just not true. Transgender people do exist and they deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Sex or gender?
There is a fundamental difference between a person's sex and their gender identity.
Someone's sex relates to their biological characteristics and X/Y chromosome combination (if someone has X and Y chromosomes, their sex is male, if they have two X chromosomes, their sex is female; there are also other combinations for intersex people, such as XXY).
A person's gender is related to how they identify. Someone's outer appearance has nothing to do with their gender.

Definitions

Transgender: someone who is transgender has a gender identity that is opposite to their biological characteristics and X/Y chromosome combination.

Transsexual: this is very similar to the definition of transgender, but this is specifically for those who undergo operations to adopt a body that matches their gender identity. They may undergo surgery or hormone therapy, for example.

What makes someone transgender?
Many people believe that being transgender is a mental illness, but it simply isn't. Some studies show that there are three main factors that are believed to make someone transgender:
DNA
In fact, identical twins usually have the same gender identity.
Hormones
Such as the level of testosterone.
Brain structure
The brain of transgender people usually has the shape that matches their gender identity.
For example, if someone whose biological sex is male is transgender, their brain structure will be similar to that of a cisgender female.
People who identify as female usually have a larger frontal cortex, while people who identify as male usually have a
larger cerebellum and hypothalamus:

This indicates that being transgender is not a choice.

Also...

Transgender people's cerebral reactions correspond to their gender identity. A study by the University of Liegi, in Belgium, subjected some transgender people to an androgynous hormone, and their brain's activity corresponded to what one would expect based on their gender identity, not their biological sex.

Pronouns
This is incredibly important, and using the wrong pronouns, which may seem like an insignificant mistake, can actually be very offensive to transgender people. In general, it's best to ask people which pronouns they are comfortable with. You should use pronouns that match gender identity and not biological sex. For example, if a person whose sex is female is transgender, he is a transgender man.

Recognition of transgender people
Often, transgender people are made invisible by society, which refuses to acknowledge their very existence. This is incredibly horrible, and we all need to see that people who are transgender exist and deserve respect. Another important step to recognize people who are transgender is including them in stories, movies, etc. It is also important to not always "make a big deal" of non-cis people's gender identity in movies, as it is just a normal aspect of life like it is to be cisgender.

Conflicts about the transgender community among feminists
Some feminists don't endorse the transgender community, stating that it promotes stereotypes.
However, this isn't true: for example, if someone likes to wear dresses and makeup, that doesn't necessarily mean that their gender identity is female. Cisgender males can like to wear dresses, and so can transgender people who identify as male.
Stereotypical elements are no indication of gender identity.

The bathroom issue
An issue that has recently been very much debated is the "bathroom" issue, which involves a discussion on whether transgender people should be allowed to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Those who say that they should use the bathrooms that match their biological sex state the potential danger of cisgender people using bathrooms opposite to their sex anyways. However, this argumentation doesn't take into account
that it would be unlikely for someone to come out as transgender simply to use a different bathroom (by now, many people have pointed this out, but this topic is still being debated).
Not allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender is denying their identity and thus their very existence.

Bullying and violence
Transgender people are very likely to face other hardships, such as bullying. 75% of transgender students, for example, do not feel safe at school. This makes them less willing to attend school, which can have serious repercussions on their future and career goals.
Hatred towards people who are transgender can also have very serious consequences, and many transgender people face violence due just to who they are. Killings of transgender people are unfortunately very common, and it is important for the government to help protect transgender people from this hatred, something that can't be possible if the government of a certain country itself is against transgender people.
Murders of transgender people are particularly common in Latin America, and it can be one of the reasons that transgender people try to immigrate to the United States. Unfortunately, transgender people are still mistreated in detention centers in the U.S.
This clearly needs to stop, and one way to try to oppose this is to raise awareness on this issue.

A few steps to equality

1. Recognizing the existence of transgender people
This is vital to our society. It seems so very simple, and yet today many still refuse to accept that not everyone is cisgender. This is a very necessary first step in this path to equality.
  
2. Allowing transgender people to live as the gender they are
This means removing legislation that stands as an obstacle to the recognition of transgender people. This includes allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity and fill out queries on gender in documents with their identity as opposed to their sex.

3. Treating transgender people with respect
This step includes using the right pronouns and the right name (transgender people may change their name to one that they feel matches their gender identity better) and not "making a big deal" out of someone's identity. It's really just who they are, and it's not something you should necessarily show tremendous shock about.

4. Including gender identity (and not just sex) as a category that is protected from discrimination
This step would impede employers from firing people because of their gender identity, landowners to kick people out of their apartments because they are transgender, etc.

In conclusion...
You are wonderful and deserving regardless of your gender identity. You are who you are, and who you are is not a mistake.
Being who you are is not a mental illness. And gender identity is not a choice, it's who you are.
Be proud of who you are, for every gender is wonderful and must be respected.
You are who you are and no one can negate that.
You don't have to know who you are right away. It takes time to know in which gender identity you fit. And you don't need to label yourself.
What's important is being proud of who you are and not letting anyone's hurtful words or hatred affect you. No one can tell you who you are or that you have to be a certain way.
Your gender is a beautiful piece of who you are. You are loved.
CREDITS
• Various articles that I have unfortunately lost.
• A study by the University of Liegi, in Belgium.
• For statistics on bullying of trans people and news of mistreating of trans immigrants: National Center for Transgender Equality.
---
I'm thinking of putting together a sort of "counterpart" to this on non-binary discrimination. :)

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  • July 22, 2019 - 11:24am (Now Viewing)

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7 Comments
  • r|A|i|N

    this is a great piece! i’m so glad you’ve called attention to this - it’s a really important topic and you’ve done a great job debating it.


    4 months ago
  • Pi_Pen

    @Lizbadiz: articles (in Italian): https://www.wired.it/scienza/medicina/2018/06/08/identita-genere/, http://www.bioeticanews.it/biologia-e-gender-a-confronto/.


    5 months ago
  • Pi_Pen

    rainandsonder: thank you so much. :) lizbadiz: Ok, glad you're interested. :)


    5 months ago
  • lizbadiz

    If you ever find the links to the articles that you lost, please post them as I'd be extremely interested to check them out.


    5 months ago
  • rainandsonder

    excellent article! you’ve covered pretty much everything here.


    5 months ago
  • Pi_Pen

    Dani A. Remlap: certain parts of the brain have what is called "sexual dimorphism", which means they are different for males and females. However, I wouldn't mind doing more research about this. :) Thanks for the feedback, and don't worry, you didn't sound rude. :) <3


    5 months ago
  • Dani A. Remlap

    I don't mean to be rude, this piece is very thought out. But I thought the gendered brain debate had been disproved? Maybe I'm wrong here, I'm no expert. I was just wondering because I remember reading an article that talking about there not really being such thing as a male or female brain.
    Great essay/informative article though! Thank you


    5 months ago