In a forever changing political world, human rights are always a hot topic of conversation. This year LGBT rights, specifically transgender rights have been a rollercoaster drunk kind of conversation. Maybe each week we could all play the game ‘delete as applicable’. It goes something along the lines of ‘XYZ political statement’ … delete as applicable… Fuck Yes / What the actual fuck.
The main question is how can we go back and forth on such a fundamental issue? We are still fighting for LGBT rights in countries that have never had them. Under the lower of Trump, the US is now reversing decisions previously made to improve the lives of transgender and other LGBT individuals. The problem is we (myself included) are all just hoping that this is a ‘four-year’ kind of deal and that all will be changed back when the next president comes into office but what if its not?
A little terminology:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964: Federal Law, protects against employment discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex and religion.
DOJ: Department of Justice
Transgender: ‘relating to a person whose sense of personal identitiy and gender does not correspond with their birth sex’.
GBBO: Great British Bake Off
The current hand:
When Obama and his beautiful jawline were in power the DOJ viewed the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 as protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. Now they are reversing their stance meaning that employers can legally (depending on the state) discriminate because of a person’s sexual orientation, which seems crazy right? I mean if you’re a top cardiac surgeon I don’t care who your partner is or if you are transgender, just do your jam and send me home in time for GBBO.
20 states as of April this year have passed bills meaning that a person cannot be discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender, 2 states have passed laws on just sexual orientation. However, this leaves 28 states (the majority) left to discriminate. They are literally just letting discrimination happen because… well y’know… actually I don’t… please fucking explain.
In mid-august Trump in all his wisdom announced that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the military, part of this was giving the military six months to implement this ban. The reason given:
‘Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail’.
Fuck Yes/What the actual fuck
The cost is estimated to be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year which to us millennials is a shit tonne of money, just imagine all the avo on toast we could get for that! However, how much is it in relation to the US budget? (Im so glad you asked)
The US Military budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1st, 2017 – September 30th 2018) is $824.6 billion. In other words Mr Trump, you better find an actual excuse other than your hate campaign. Mr Trump they have chosen to fight for your country to protect you and fellow civilians. Some have served for more than a decade and you repay them by kicking them out? Whats up with that?*
What is the deal here in the UK bro?
Whilst we may have gone a little astray with the who Brexit shindig.** We are moving forwards and making gender a little more fluid in terms of the law. The ‘Gender Recognition Bill’ is in the process of being passed. It is thought that under the bill adults could legally change the sex on their birth certificate without a medical diagnosis. Non-binary individuals would have the option of choosing ‘X’. This will be instead of the current system (Gender recognisiton certificate) that was put in place in 2004.
**Europe we are really sorry but we are still in the ‘facing the wall stage, refusing to apologise and admit we made a mistake stage’ of the row. Give us time.
Why all the numbers?
41%. – Attempted suicide rate of transgendered adults in the US.
In a study carried out by National Center for Transgender Equality with 6000 respondants, 41% reported ever attempting suicide. (Grant et al., 2011). Compared with the general US population reported average of 4.6%.
Hatred and mistunderstanding of transgendered individuals is still huge. Whilst looking up some sources for this piece I found multiple hate rants. The two below were on the first page of two artices published by the Independent online. There were many.
- ‘Good Morning Freaks! All those libtards, LGBT supporters should be rounded up and locked up in padded cells. No wonder kids these are more confused than ever!’
- ‘They is no such thing as a non-binary person. Keep your sick ideas to yourself, most people are not listening.
The negative comments such as those above are what is damaging people. It makes people feel worthless, wrong and all fucked up.
Well let me tell you, you are not fucked up, you are fantastic and brave. There are plenty of people who want to fight your corner, narrow minded individuals are the minority not the majority. We’ve got your back.
Treating people like humans should not be optional, it should be a given.
Its time to talk.
We love you for being you.
*Since writing the above, James Mattis (US Defense Secretary) has announced that whilst a study is carried out, transgender troops will be allowed to continue to serve. (don’t you just LOVE politics). Watch this space.
If you wanted to know more about the studies facts and figures the link is below.
Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults