(Editor’s note: This story is the first part of a multipart series “Identity Crisis” examining the transition from one gender to another that begins in Issue #2 and will continue through Issue #6. Several staff members took it upon themselves to interview, take photographs and conduct research. The results of their combined efforts follow.”
by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief
Transgender isn’t a phase, it’s reality.
The term “transsexualism” is a mismatch between someone’s gender identity or gender expression and their assigned sex.
In our society today, the transgender issues have become more national.
The most historic event for the transgender community was when Bruce Jenner, now known as Caitlyn Jenner, did an interview with Diane Sawyer on April 24. This was the last interview Jenner did before transitioning into a woman.
The two-hour exclusive interview aired on ABC-TV, and it helped society understand the transgender community more.
Jenner explained to Sawyer and the world that she has always thought and felt he was a woman, showing society that being transgender isn’t a phase, but it is who you are.
Even before Jenner, there has been many reality TV stars, actresses, and actors who have portrayed being transgender on TV shows and movies. There has even been TV shows dedicated toward being transgender.
For example, ‘Transparent,’ which has been a hit for Amazon, was inspired by director Jill Soloway’s family. Soloway’s father told her he was “coming out” as a transgender woman, and that surprised Soloway. It became the inspiration for the show.
Society might see more transgender people coming out on TV shows and movies, but according to ReachOut USA, there is more to it than that.
According to ReachOut USA, people in our society discriminate and are violent toward people who are perceived as different According to the Human Rights Campaign, four out of 10 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) youth say the community in which they live is not accepting of the LGBT community. LGBT youth are twice as likely to be physically assaulted, kicked, or shoved at school.
According to the Transgender Law Center, the transgender community is at risk of violence because of their gender identity and transphobia within intimate partnerships. A Transgender Law Center report found that transgender survivors were two times as likely to face threats within violent relationships and two times more likely to experience harassment than someone in a heterosexual relationship.
Even though there have been reports about the violence involving the transgender community, according to the Transgender Law Center, many of them are not willing to report the abuse because of many factors, such as “being outed” and the privacy and safety of their personal lives.
According to the Transgender Law Center, there have been some reports about violence projected on the transgender community, but no one knows how many transgenders are within our society due to the fact they are scared to show who they really are. Also, the U.S Census Bureau doesn’t ask if someone is transgender.
Even if the Census Bureau did ask who was transgender, there still would be unreliable responses, according to the Transgender Law Center. There are statistics about the transgender community, but those numbers are a rough estimate because of the response society would give to the transgender population. The main issue as to why society isn’t more accepting toward the transgender community is because many don’t fully understand the community, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, there have been many studies reporting whether transgender is a mental disorder, or if the transgender individuals are born with it.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender is not a mental illness, but it still remains as a stereotype.
Other reports from biologists say gender is a complicated matter, which is why it’s so hard to truly identify the reasoning for people being transgender.
Whether it is not a mental illness, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, or it is, society is changing, and that also includes the transgender community. Transgender individuals are “coming out” into society, rather than hiding in the shadows, thanks to the support and courage of others. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, laws, policies, and attitudes are changing around the country, making life better for transgender people overall.