Injustice at Every Turn

BY Advocate Contributors

February 04 2011 12:30 PM ET

Transgender
people are discriminated against because they don’t act or look in a
way that fits with conventional ideas about gender. All men, women and
children – regardless of how they identify – are hurt by these rigid
gender codes. They suppress authentic expression throughout our society
and negatively impact relationships across gender, as family, friends,
coworkers and spouses “police” acceptable gender expression.


If
there was a ray of light in our study findings, it is in the resilience
of transgender people and their families. Contrary to popular
mythology, transgender people often maintain ties with their families of
origin and their spouses, partners and children. We found that family
acceptance had a protective affect against suicide, HIV, homelessness
and other negative consequences of discrimination for study
participants. This finding affirms what we know as advocates working on
the front lines: families are enormously burdened by the hostile
environments their transgender children, spouses and parents are living
in, but they press on.

They often strain to find a way out of no way.


Over 1,000 people came to Tyra Hunter’s funeral in DC. Her high school
shop teacher, her parents, her clients, and her big, extended family.
But no medic was ever disciplined or fired because of what happened
that night. This report is written to draw a line in the sand against
this pervasive inhumanity in our midst.


We all need to use this
opportunity to change the way we work and live to create a world that
affirms the humanity of and empowers transgender people to fully
participate in our society. We must all work strenuously and
continuously for justice.



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