Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Related imageIt is courageous to be transgender now. I learned that when I watched the sports awards show. I must learn more. I am still getting used to seeing the White House covered in gay rainbow colors and the Supreme Court ruling 5-4 that gay marriage is legal in all the States which includes the 14 states where it was against the law.  There is real competition for the best dates and wedding rooms for couples this fall. There are Vanity Fair covers featuring not so woman on its cover and TV shows like Transparent in the media. But there are news shows making mistakes in even identifying a transgender person.  They feel that they have to go to the genital questions and which bathroom do they choose.

It is not ok to ask people about their sex organs just like it is not ok to ask if the penis is circumcised or not.  Now that transgender people are out in the open we need to understand what it means. Transgender people have a gender identity that differs from the one they were born with.  That gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation. Gender identity is who you are and sexual orientation is who you love.  Some transgender people do go under hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery as part of their transition but some do not and   their decision on this matter is none of your business. Just like circumcision of a penis is not a public issue.

Related imageMy only concern is with 7 year olds in public bathrooms. However a giant woman will not go to the men’s room and take out his penis at a urinal. She will go to a stall in the woman’s bathroom. Maybe the kid will notice the feet turned the opposite way when hearing the tinkle but they shouldn’t be looking anyway. I am sure transgender people will always choose stalls in whatever bathroom gender they now identify with. Call a transgender person whatever they want to be called. It seems ok that we call the black guy Puff Daddy or   P Diddy and he is the same person. Arizona says that the sex on your birth certificate will have to match the sex of the bathroom or locker room you use. The target is transgender folks. They will get 6 months in jail and a $2,500 dollar fine for peeing somewhere. I think the Supreme Court needs to rule on this issue too. 13 Bills have been brought to the legislatures in various states on the bathroom issue.
There are more than 700,000   transgender individuals in the United States. That is more than the population of Boston and does not include just gay or lesbians. A 2011 Survey done by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 41% attempted suicide. They are more likely to make less money a year compared to the other general population.  Those who expressed a transgender identity or gender non-conformity while in grades K-12 reported alarming rates of harassment (78%), physical assault (35%) and sexual violence (12%).  These children need support and help.

Related imageNow take DMV the Department of Motor Vehicles problems when a woman lists herself as a male. In West Virginia she was called it and was told to put her hair back and take her   earrings off, makeup and wig for the photo.  Getting a driver’s license can be a humiliating experience. The whole point of the photo is to identify you how you look from day to day. They let you say whatever weight you want.   No one smiles for those photos because no one is happy anyway.

In the military President Obama said he is open to transgender people serving in the military yet they are still banned from enlisting because of the genital issue. Meanwhile quietly there are approximately 15,500 transgender individuals on active duty or in the Guard or Reserve forces. You can be discharged for being transgender but the rules are enforced inconsistently depending on your branch of service and commanding officer. The experience can vary wildly. Where can a person be who they identify with? It is a civil rights issue and we all know how long it takes for civil rights issues to be settled. 

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