There are transgender people everywhere. They come from all sorts of life. Some of them are our parents, siblings, kids, siblings, friends, neighbours, and even co-workers. Transgender people come in all ages- from the older generation to the younger ones. The transgender community is one of the most diverse in the LGBT fold and has representatives of all ethnic communities, faiths, and racial backgrounds.
A transgender person is one whose gender identity varies from the sex they were assigned at birth. It is notable that even though the term “transgender” appeared during the late 20th Century in the modern world, individuals considered transgender have been in existence throughout history and various, if not all, cultures.
The population of transgender people is increasing significantly. And, as the community becomes more visible, it becomes increasingly vital that we aim to understand it. Whether you’re a family, friend, or acquaintance of a transgender individual, this article will help you understand the community much better.
What it Means to be Transgender
As we mentioned earlier, the transgender community is a diverse one. As such, one cannot generalise issues when it comes to transgender individuals. For instance, there are transgender people that describe themselves as genderqueer, non-binary, bigender, agender, gender non-conforming, and other identities that are true to their personal experiences.
Some transgender people prefer to change their appearance or pronouns while others have surgery or take hormones in order to transition into their preferred gender. A lot of transgender youth prefer to be known as something other than “girl”, or “boy”. This may mean that a significant portion of the youth in this generation identify with the transgender spectrum.
Challenges Faced by the Transgender Community
Poverty: While it may be hard to admit, the truth is that a lot of transgender people live in poverty. The reasons for poverty within the transgender community are varied. However, it is possible to always tell where it stems from. Transgender people face discrimination from schools and other learning institutions, the workplace, and even the community in general. As a result, they may not enjoy equal rights that the rest of society does which may in turn, lead to poverty.
Harassment, Stigma, and discrimination: Even though there have been strides where acceptance of the LGBT community is concerned, the trans community has faced stigma, discrimination, and even harassment. While intolerant views are fading, a society that understands little to nothing about transgender individuals is still hell-bent on ridiculing such people.
Physical and Verbal Violence: the LGBT community faces physical and verbal violence just for being who they are. Some have experienced intimate partner violence, others have been sexually assaulted, and others have experienced physical abuse.
Lack of legal protection: India’s LGBT population is still a long way from achieving and enjoying equal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. There aren’t clear policies to protect the community against workplace discrimination or even stigma in learning institutions. This means that the community may not attain recourse any time they seek compensation against issues such as discrimination.