Transgender Rights and Discrimination Essay

Transgender Rights and Discrimination Essay

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The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notes, “Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. This is also known as gender identity discrimination” ("EEOC - Sex," n.d., para. 3). According to Canas and Sondak (2014), many states have adopted legislation that supports transgender people as a protected class. Colorado passed legislation extending protection to transgender people in 2008 (Brinker & Maza, 2014). However, one of the biggest controversies surrounding transgender individuals is which bathroom should they use? Zanin (2009) notes, “bathrooms remain one of the most acceptable gender-segregated spaces in cities which can present problems to those who do not conform to gender norms…” (para. 1). The question, then, is should transgender people use the bathroom that most closely mirrors their biological gender or the gender they identify with? While individual beliefs may vary greatly, legally, there is less of a gray area. This paper will address the recently decided Colorado case involving a transgender six year old child, Coy Mathis, and her fight to use the girls’ bathroom at school. In addition to this, legal issues and implications employers should be aware of will also be discussed.
Historical perspective
Statistically, 0.3-0.5% of individuals in the United States (approx. 700,000 people) identify themselves as transgender and global estimates provide similar percentages (Gates, 2011). Studies conducted regarding transgender individuals show that this class of people suffer from unusually high physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, as well as discrimination in housing and employment (Patel, 2013). Patel (20...

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...and transgender. Retrieved from
Patel, R. (2013). 78 trans murders in 2013, mutilation common. Retrieved from
Restroom access issues. (2005). Retrieved from
Sex-based discrimination. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Sorenson, D. (2006, November 16). Some restrooms at UA will be ’gender neutral’. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved from
Zanin, A. (2009, Fall/Winter). Where is it Safe2Pee? Women & Environments International Magazine, 37-39. Retrieved from

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