The Issue Of The Trans Community

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In April of 2015, Diane Sawyer premiered an interview on 20/20 that stirred up a heated debate within several, special interest groups in the US. Bruce Jenner decided to tell Sawyer that he was a trans woman, officially “coming out”. After a name and identity change in the public eye months later, Caitlyn Jenner became the media face of the transgendered community. However, as many quickly realized, Jenner’s point of view and experiences differed from other trans individuals in the US, and it drove an already hot topic into a fiery argument in multiple areas of social debate. While there are numerous supporters of Jenner, there are equally just as many that do not see her as a trans woman but a man dressing like a woman. These arguments are both equally valid because of a critical problem within the trans community: a lack of clear definition of what transgenderism is. For the remainder of this piece, I intend to explore this area of debate, as I believe it is a large part of why trans discrimination is so difficult to fight in this county. Outside of any pronoun discussion, I want to talk about what gender identity can mean for different people. Many individuals walk through their lives - today and in the past - not realizing how this affects them. A common habit we make when we interact with one another is to place people into categories, labeling and presuming things based on these groups (Kirkland, 2006, p. 89-90). For example, men and women have been carrying labels and roles dictated by their gendered categories for thousands of years. Men should be hunters. Women should be gatherers. Men bring home the meat, and the women cook it. Men work, and women keep house. These are stereotypes as old as society itself, but throughou... ... middle of paper ... ...hich had yet to be addressed in previous court appearances. By establishing the root of the matter is that sex organs and gender are not be the same, this opens discussion for removing the binary line of male and female to encompass all forms of self-identity that should be protected by law. It also points out the root is stereotypical assumption, not fact. The action required to properly protect the transgender and gender nonconformist community is to make a clear division between sex and gender and make a legal definition of the latter. Once this is in place, laws with definite consequences against discrimination can protect gender from situations like Smith’s. As it stands currently, this might be the only way to guide society away from trans discrimination, sadly, but it is clearly necessary to have a formal definition to weed out the ignorance associated with it.
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