Transgender civil rights are an essential issue that has been the subject of much discussion and debate over the past few years and more so this year with so many anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA bills passing and on the docket. The legal protections and rights that transgender people should have, include the right to express their gender identity freely, access healthcare and education without discrimination, and be protected from hate crimes.
In the United States, transgender civil rights have been a topic of national conversation for decades, with notable milestones such as the landmark case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student whose lawsuit reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and the repeal of the military’s ban on transgender service members.
Here are a few things to know about transgender civil rights:
- Gender identity is protected under the law.
The United States has laws that protect against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This ruling was a significant victory for transgender civil rights.
- Transgender people face disproportionate levels of discrimination and violence.
Transgender people experience higher rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence than the general population. They are more likely to experience homelessness, unemployment, and poverty. Furthermore, the National Center for Transgender Equality reports that nearly one in three transgender people have experienced physical violence as a result of their gender identity.
- Access to healthcare is a critical issue.
Transgender people often face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, including discriminatory practices by medical providers, insurance companies, and pharmacies. As a result, many transgender individuals have difficulty accessing hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgeries, and other necessary medical treatments.
- School policies can affect transgender youth.
Transgender youth face unique challenges in schools, including bullying and harassment. Policies such as bathroom and locker room access can significantly impact their safety and well-being. Several states have passed laws that prohibit transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and these policies have been challenged in court.
- Intersectionality matters.
Transgender people are not a monolithic group, and their experiences are shaped by factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability status. It is essential to understand and address the ways in which multiple forms of discrimination intersect and impact transgender individuals.
I share all of this because I am part of the LGBTQIA and have a family member that is trans. I am appalled at what I see happening in all of these states banning and reversing things under the disguise of protection for the children.
Transgender civil rights are an essential issue that requires ongoing attention and advocacy. It is critical to recognize the unique challenges that transgender individuals face and works towards creating a more equitable society where everyone is free to live as their authentic selves without fear of discrimination or violence.