By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com March 13 2014 8:39 AM ET
The Human Rights Campaign has launched a new series of online videos aptly titled "Debunking the Myths: Transgender Health & Well-Being"
The first video, "Myth #1: Surgery is a Top Priority for All Transgender People," addresses the false notion that gender-confirming surgeries are essential to every transgender person's identity. In reality, only 33 percent of transgender people have reported undergoing some form of gender-confirming surgery, with 14 percent of transgender women and 21 percent of transgender men not interested in ever having genital surgery.
"Not every trans woman or man wants to have surgery, but for some of us, it is vitally important," Joanna Maria Cifredo, director of community engagement for Casa Ruby, says in the video. "It's very expensive for a population plagued by unemployment. Often times, through health insurance is the only way that these individuals can access gender confirming surgeries."
Kandice Fields, another individual featured in the video, speaks to the often-invasive questions trans people are expected to answer from well-meaning strangers — something that 41 percent of transgender individuals report being asked in professional settings.
"I know that many people may be curious, or coming from a good place and wanting to educate themselves and build relationships with people," Fields says. "But reducing people to what surgeries they've had, and what their genital configuration is, is dehumanizing, objectifying, and impolite. It's rude. Generally, you wouldn't just walk up to someone that you don't really know well and ask them about their genitals. That would be weird for anybody."
HRC will be releasing additional videos throughout the month of March. Watch the first video from the series below: