Transgender people are attributed with a disparity in the sense of their gender and the sex assigned to them by birth. They do not find themselves fit psychologically, socially, and sexually with the gender they have been born with. Therefore, they sometimes feel an urge to transform their gender through medical treatment according to what they feel about their sexual orientation. A number of issues are related to transgender people, which need to be addressed to position them as satisfied inhabitants in the society. The country’s legislation has practiced discrimination partly in providing enough rights to the transgender community. People’s views about this group of humans are still much stereotypical. Despite implementing workplace ethical standards in the organizations, transgender people have failed to receive equal status and opportunities. Discrimination and antipathy towards transgender persons have limited considerably the scope of their economic pursuits. The conservative church does not acknowledge transgender persons to be eligible to practice the religion to full extent or become a representative of a religious school of thought. Transgender rights have become an issue of debate in recent decades, yet no considerable progress could have been made in this regard. Anti-transgender group of people oppose the idea of reassigning sexual dimension through surgery (from male to female, or from female to male), as well as equal recognition of the rights of transgender people. The recognition of transgender rights could have not been achieved comprehensively to date, causing a continuous violation of human values, unavailability of equal opportunities, insurmountable impedance to reaching self-actualization, and a substantial damage to self-esteem, health, and integrity.
Transgender people make a substantial portion of the country’s population. According to a census, they constitute approximately 0.3 percent of the total population of the US. That is, more than seven hundred thousand people can be categorized as transgender (Gates). This number suggests that their problems cannot be ignored at political, economic, or social fronts. Transgender persons should get everything that is necessary to help them secure their identity, respect, and wellbeing; otherwise, a huge portion of people’s strength would remain unsatisfied, leading to a social disturbance.
Theories of equal human rights suggest that all human beings must be considered equal based on the fact that all belong to the same species. A significant theory, egalitarianism, defends equality of all humans by recognizing their very nature of creation. “Egalitarian doctrines tend to rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status (Arneson).”Such theories of human equality argue that everyone should have equal respect for belonging to the human race, get equal opportunities to thrive in the society, and receive equal recognition for the services rendered to the community as do the other cisgender individuals do. Moreover, former Vice President Joe Biden exclaimed once that the issue of transgender equality is an issue of civil rights of the present time.
The country’s legislation has not provided any non-discrimination protection to the transgender people. The federal government has taken a few steps to benefit the transgender people through non-discrimination protection, but these initiatives have created no impact on improving the wellbeing of these people. The gender identity has not been included yet in the country’s non-discrimination law so that the rights of people could be protected based on it. According to the reports generated for estimating the equality index, only a few states prohibit discriminating acts against transgender persons. These prohibitions have been applied with respect to employment, housing, public accommodation, and education. The legislation is even restraining transgender people to access public facilities where gender identity is required to prove. It is also allowing exemptions to be created in the religious context, ultimately giving rise to increased discrimination towards transgender community.
Transgender people live at the margins of a society, being most vulnerable to health hazards. These individuals are forced to involve in sexual activities that can prove fatally harmful to them. HIV risks are higher in these individuals than others. The social discrimination carried out towards this community does not allow them to pursue healthy sexual relationships. The fact is that even the healthcare providers do not understand the needs of transgender people. This lack of information results in alarming consequences for these poor individuals’ health. The governments and human service organizations must invest their resources for finding solution to their issues, especially their health issue. The Western psychiatrists have declared transgender persons to be mentally disordered. This is a much embarrassing situation where such responsible professionals have degraded the whole community of transgender people. This declaration has closed many doors of progress and acceptance for transgender individuals in the society. It intensifies the stigma and increases the difficulties associated with their identity.
Transgender persons are more prone to violence than cisgender persons. They have been reported to be a victim of physical or sexual violence as soon as they reveal their gender identity. This violence can be attributed to the stereotypical image people have sketched about transgender people in their minds due to the influence of propaganda done against them. “A national US study indicated that 35% of individuals who expressed their gender identity or gender non-conformity at any time between kindergarten and grade 12 (around ages 5 to 18 years) fell victim to physical violence, and 12% become victims of sexual violence (Winter et al.).” The effects of these violent assaults cause many psychological disorders among the victims. They cannot survive as the normal contributors to the community. Their ambition, potential, and commitment are lost. In a study conducted in the US regarding the transgender people, it was reported that forty-one percent of these people have attempted suicide out of depression or other psychological disorders.
People’s views about transgender persons vary according to their values, beliefs, and perceptions. Studies reveal that the attitudes and opinions of people about transgender persons are strikingly different in different contexts and can be altered as well through educating, training, and brainwashing. The government can launch programs for modifying people’s views in this regard. The impact of TV programs have been estimated by researchers in moderating public’s opinion about this minority group. Respondents who have had greater exposure to transgender people’s media portrayals have a more positive view about them. Currently, the public is divided in their opinion about them. They do not like the transgender persons to share their bathrooms, and they mostly do not even like to vote for them in elections. Moreover, it has been observed that people with little religious backgrounds do not demonstrate more aversion towards them.
Transgender people face social intolerance, prejudice, and discrimination from the early age. They are not given proper respect; their self-esteem is torn apart by their peers. They have to face intolerance even by their families. Their sense of integrity is ruined by their class-mates, school teachers, siblings, and so on. They have to leave their education incomplete. They could not find a place to thrive and express their potential so that they can get due reward of their efforts. Transgender persons are hardly seen to occupy prominent social status in any of the country’s states. A few examples do not matter in this regard where the whole community of these people are at stake of survival. People’s perceptions, values, and behaviors towards transgender persons are responsible in shaping their fate.
Workplace discrimination is a serious dilemma of organizations that claim to comply with the ethical standards of modern time. Research shows that transgender people confront maltreatment, discrimination, and harassment during the recruitment processes and at the workplaces. Transgender people are avoided in recruitment process of most of the organizations. They are usually forced to leave their jobs due to their gender identity, claiming that they do not adjust in the structure and operations of the organization. Transgender people are harassed in many more ways at the workplaces. They have to face verbal harassment as well targeting their gender identity, which makes their morale much lower. They have been reported to be attacked physically because of their degraded perception. People can never forget about their gender identity. Many times, transgender people are compelled to present their gender in the wrong way so that they can secure their jobs. They face denials for their promotions at their positions of work. A survey of transgender employees revealed that sixteen percent of them have to leave their jobs once in a life at the minimum due to their gender identity issue. Thirty percent reported that they had an experience of being fired, getting denial of promotion, and bearing a mistreatment emotionally or physically during their careers. More than fifteen percent of the respondents indicated that they have been physically attacked or sexually assaulted by their peers (James et al.).
Discrimination at workplaces lead to financial problems by transgender people, which ultimately lead to poverty. People who are not considered as socially or potentially equal to contribute to the community at their best can never be able to find an established status in the society. Lack of economic resources will make the life of transgender people miserable, as they have no social status to protect them. Unemployment is the major problem faced by these people. Due to lack of sufficient financial resources, transgender people are forced to live a life below the poverty line. They cannot avail comfortable housing. They are supposed to live in backward housing schemes with little facilities of life. They cannot get proper medical treatment due to lack of funds. They live at the edge of survival, such that they can lose their lives with a slight mishap. Their health is usually at stake due to unsafe and deviant sexual activities for which transgender people are forced by the members of the society. The lack of funds only adds to their misery. These people have no support of law, society, or the professionals of any industry. They survive in life out of sheer luck.
A counter-argument for the transgender people has been presented by the Catholic Church. The Catholic school of thought does not accept these people to represent them in any way nor do they recognize them as being eligible for observing the religion to the fullest extent. The Catholic representatives argued that people have been created and recognized only as ‘men and women’, and there is no further distinction made in this respect to make someone eligible for religious work. Therefore, they reject the idea of transgender identity. They claim it to be only a misconception that has been originated from the betrayed ideology of freedom and pursuit of desires. On the contrary, the transgender persons argue that people are born with certain gender identity; however, it is the body hormones that control traits and inclinations of a person. The development of hormones inside the body is out of a person’s control. Consequently, a person is bound to react as per the hormones drive the thoughts and desires. Further, the mental chemistry is another factor that determines a person’s sexual orientation. This chemistry is affected by genetic as well as environmental factors, and compels a person to behave a certain way sexually. Moreover, the personal experiences of a person disclose the reality of sexual inclination of a person. Most of the times, transgender people know about their sexual orientation after having some relevant experience. In short, all three justifications of transgender identity
The religious schools of thought vary in their view about transgender people. The Protestant school have accepted transgender in many aspects. They have allowed the transgender persons to carry on work as priests. The Unitarian Universalist Association has abolished the terms like ‘men and women’ and, instead, they assert the use of ‘people’ word for addressing all human beings, as it is more inclusive of all the gender identities.
Transgender rights have been little recognized by the members of any community existing today. The government’s initiatives are not sufficient in resolving the issue of transgender people. Legislation still does not recognize transgender people as do they recognize the rights of cisgender people. People are always showing discriminating behavior towards transgender persons, in schools, homes, and workplaces. The religious thoughts of different schools vary with respect to their core values and beliefs towards the transgender people. The Catholic Church raises a counterargument about the transgender people, saying that there is no official gender identity recognized for religious purposes by the church other than men and women. The transgender people respond to their saying by arguing based on hormonal effects, brain chemistry, and genetic traits affecting psychology, body demands, and sexual orientation of a person.
Arneson, Richard. Egalitarianism. 2002.
Gates, Gary J. How Many People Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender? 2011.
James, Sandy, et al. The Report of the 2015 US Transgender Survey. 2016.
Winter, Sam, et al. “Transgender People: Health at the Margins of Society.” The Lancet, vol. 388, no. 10042, 2016, pp. 390–400.
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