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Transgender Discrimination: A Never Ending Cycle

Recently the country has been in complete shock due to the Trump administration’s discrimination towards the transgender community. According to the New York Times, “Trump is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” Make sense? Well in a nutshell, essentially he is trying to get rid of protections for gender identity and sexual orientation that is outside the binary. What your sex is listed on your birth certificate is what you can only be identified as, and can never be changed.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made an attempt to belittle trans people across the country. Earlier in the year, the Trump administration made a plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military (even though the previous ban was lifted back in 2016 under Obama’s presidency). The Guardian.com says Trump claimed trans members would be a burden due to the military due to a medical costs and “disruption.” Despite the ban’s alterations for limited circumstances, current trans military members are still greatly affected by it.

People have the right to be themselves, and the simple fact that the president is making moves to erase an estimated 0.7% of the population’s identity is pushing things too far. The trans community has been facing hardships for many years, and acts like this make it seem as if their lives don’t matter.

Discrimination in employment, housing, public places (such as restrooms), and even health care are nothing new. The struggle for accurate documentation, legal name changes, protection of the rights of trans people in jail, and even protection of gender nonconforming students in school are still slowly growing.  Its as if one step forward leads to ten steps back in the progression for equality. Events leading up to today in regards to transgender advocacy didn’t really spark until the Stonewall Riots back in 1969. Since then, hate crimes have rocked the country and in 2017 alone there were 28 reported killings of trans people in the US, according to the DailyBeast.com. These reported killings do not mask the fact that there are even more homicides steadily increasing each year, along with a study from the Human Rights Campaign stating, “More than half of transgender male teens…reported attempting suicide in their lifetime, while 29.9 percent of transgender female teens said they attempted suicide.” This study also included the staggering percentage of nearly half of nonbinary youth in the same boat.

Trans rights are human rights. It is so important to be all-inclusive and stand up for these 1.4 million adults that live in the US. Education and understanding are huge aspects in helping the transgender community move forward, and further support the fight for equality. No matter what law is put forth, these people will not, and cannot be erased, forgotten or ignored.