As the mother of a transgender daughter and someone who cares deeply about the transgender community, my heart is heavy. Although I cannot and do not understand a transgender person's journey, I can and will support their right to live authentically.
I belong to a number of private Facebook groups for transgender individuals and their allies. I am regularly moved by the members' commitment to embrace, support, and uplift one another, but I am also incredibly saddened to hear the amount of rejection and harassment transgender members face from family, peers, coworkers, and society in general.
The current political climate around the transgender community is heartbreaking. Here is a link to an updated list of all of the anti-trans legislation being considered in our county: freedomforallamericans.org/legislative-tracker/anti-transgender-legislation. These proposed laws appear to come from a place of fear and ignorance rather than science. Below are some insightful statistics from a GLAAD report titled Statistics about Discriminations Faced by Transgender People:
- Trans people are four times more likely to live in poverty than cis people.
- Trans people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for People of Color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
- Almost half of the trans respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
- Ninety percent (90%) of trans people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job.
- Fifty-three percent (53%) of transgender people report being harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation (for example, a bathroom)
- Forty-one percent (41%) of trans respondents report attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.
By legislating against trans rights, I expect discrimination will only get worse and increasingly negatively impact the mental and physical health of trans individuals.
It dumbfounds me that the party which wants to limit government oversight is so gung-ho to legislate this aspect of people’s lives. I recently watched a campaign ad that said the liberals want to replace our girls with men. What does that even mean? It does not make any sense.
Everyone is different — race, religion, sexual orientation, interests, gender, hobbies, and values — AND we are all equal. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and live safely.
If someone is worried about men dressing up as women to enter women’s restrooms to molest women, then they are worried about men, not transgender women. Transgender individuals just want to live authentically. I choose to embrace my transgender siblings. Please join me. And if you choose not to, allow them to their lives without interference.
Kimberly is a suicide loss survivor hoping to make a difference for others through her transparency.
Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash