A word that is numerous definitions to various people; to some, it means a person changes his or her gender instead of remaining with the one he or she was born with, but it means so much more to others. To people who are transgender, this means, they changed their gender as a result of not feeling secure in the body they were born in. This word describes them as they changed their gender knowing it was the rational decision for them to live a happy life.
Every member of the transgender community hopes and prays that they will be accepted and respected for who they are; they want others to understand why they changed their gender. Many people who face discrimination, have been dealing with this issue and the aftermaths for more than half of their life. Throughout her life, Grace Godin had battled with depression and doubt, and many times even thought about cutting herself. One night when she was 13, she cut deep into her skin praying she would bleed out. That night, she asked herself — since I am worthless, why does it matter if I continue to live? But, she was able to rediscover herself and could attend college with guidance from the foundation call PFLAG, which unites LGBTQ members with their family, friends and loved ones. While her mom is supportive, she has an acceptable connection with her dad; even though he refuses to call her daughter rather than son (Ungar).
Most members of the transgender community, try to make others see that the decision they made for themselves was for them and that they do not want to be treated as less than everybody else, they want to be treated as equals. They want people to understand how the discrimination they face can affect them.
Acceptance and respect do not always happen; some judge and discriminate the transgender community based on the choice they made. Most, if not all of this information and facts have come from research papers and studies that prove the side effects of discrimination. In July 2015, The Lancet demonstrated the serious discovery that anguish, combined with not being able to consent; is said to be the central distinction of degrading mental health (Schreiber). This causes an increase in the transgender communities’ response to discrimination, stigma, no acknowledgment, and the harassment and injustice they face daily. Since they are not considered human beings, this means that most communities and places around the world do not think laws should protect them. Most of the states in the United States do not have Anti-Discrimination laws that shield the transgender population from harassment; thus, transgender human’s battle discrimination in their everyday lives. In 2011, The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, discharged a paper titled Injustice at Every Turn, which proved the serious injustice endured by the transgender community: immense amounts of inequality during business, housing, medical management, learning, justice systems, and sometimes in their own household (Espejo 19).
But, they are not the only ones affected as a result of changing their gender, during this process, it can affect the population around them in different ways, and for the sake of this everybody needs help through the process. There are many professionals who agree that to change a person's gender they must have support and stability to complete the process. Cadyn Cathers, a professional who works with transgender individuals, illustrates an approach claimed the Heinz Kohut’s self-psychology. Cadyn expresses the thesis humans can advance their own accomplished 'character’, but three factors must take place early. The first is mimicking, a caretaker must be capable and safe to display an individual’s conscious emotional state of mind. The second is idealization, which factors that everybody needs a leader that can be a productive effect on them, and a leader to educate them. The third is twinship, which factors that everyone requires someone in life comparable to them (Schreiber).
What people do not realize is that a negative effect will have a negative consequence and that those effects and consequences can affect the surrounding community. Some people take discrimination too far, and when they do this can affect the health and lives of the transgender community. Roman Espejo stated that “Experiencing discrimination may often cause significant amounts of psychological stress”(Espejo 19).
This results in transgender people to question whether or not they are singled out because of how they identify themselves, because of other social situations or if it was because of these. Most discrimination against the transgender population happens since they do not have protection, and without that protection, they do not feel protected from the harassment and abuse they face constantly; which can cause some to develop actions of self-harm. “Suicide attempts are alarmingly common among transgender individuals such as Lampe; 41% try to kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the public. The numbers come from a study by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute, which analyzed results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” (Ungar).
Many people do not think before they speak or act, it is something that all humans have in common, no matter what, and, people who do this, cause serious problems that can arise, which have serious consequence, especially when it is said or done to a person intending to cause them physical or emotional harm. Espejo said "An astounding 41% of transgender people are recorded with attempts of suicide when related to the common community, their rates increasing when others are rejected from places of business because of biased people, which was 55%, 51% are attacked and abused, or had complications at home, and 61% are sexually abused” (Espejo 34).
Every day members of the transgender community struggle to face and battle the discrimination that they are given daily. Some continue to fight, while others feel like it is not worth it like they are not worth it. What people do not realize is that they are people too, people who deserve to be treated as human beings and people who should be protected, and not judged. While some view members of the transgender community as different, they are not, they are still people, who deserve to be treated as equals. Why should they be judged for making a decision that not only is what they want but is also not harming anyone else physically?