Culture Wars and Transgender Rights

| Dec 14, 2015
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A recent ACLU panel in Chicago discussed the legal rights of transgender people. According to the panel the entire legal system is based upon the concept that gender is determined by genitalia and set at birth. Needless to say this is dramatically different than our understanding of gender! This conflict in the understanding of gender is at the center of the dispute over transgender rights and effects how we are treated when stopped by the police, incarcerated, use the bathroom, etc.

Transgender people have lived in the shadows of American culture for years. Since the Supreme court cases on marriage equality we have become more visible and we now occupy a bigger place in society. As we seek our rightful place in American society, it is important to remember that in doing so we challenge some of society’s attitudes, norms, and customs. This is not an unique situation. This is the way that progress is made and how a society evolves. Remember that at one time slavery and denying women the vote were the legally recognized norms of America.

Our challenge to the values of our society has been met with acceptance in some places, tolerance in others, and great resistance from still others.

The good news is that there have been many significant legal advancements in recent times that recognize that we do, in fact, have legal rights as transgender people. Most of these advancements have come through specific city, or state laws, federal court decisions, or federal agency directives. The bad news is that there is resistance to change and there is a lot of hard work ahead for us.

Success in the recognition of our rights is a matter of changing hearts, and minds, as well as laws. Progress is being made state by state. Marriage equality was achieved through advocacy, passage of laws, and resort to the federal courts. It is essential that we continue to educate society about gender; to advocate for local, state, and federal laws which protect our lifestyle; to continue to vote for transgender friendly candidates; and to seek the protection of the federal courts when our rights are questioned or challenged.

Stay Strong and Stay Proud.

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Category: Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am a retired trans woman who lives in florida.

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