What triggered me to write a blog on trans-relations initially, was a conversation I had overheard between two nurses where I work. So basically, one day I was at work minding my business as usual, and then I hear a conversation ensue about a transgender patient. I don’t want to give details about the person who made the forthcoming comments, because I’m sure people at work view my blog. Why is his identity necessary for the narrative? Well, he is a person in charge of overseeing staff/nurses- and he is also a gay (cis-gendered) man. So lets get right to it.
There is a trans woman who is being seen for depression, and he begins to say to his colleague ” I don’t understand the whole new transgender thing, like you’re either gay or straight…everyone wants to be transgender now”. He continues on to say, ” I’m not calling him a ‘her’, whatever he was born with is who he is” and he repeats it again, “I’m not going to call him a ‘her'”.
In that moment, I got very emotional. I couldn’t believe that a health professional had just said that. A person who’s job and career focus is to be non-bias and care for people.There were so many things that were wrong. I tried to imagine how I would feel if I were trans, and I realized I’ll never know. This person came to a hospital for help, and they’re not even safe here. But what I did know was that the people who speak and use the analogy ‘LGBT’, are rarely speaking for the ‘T’ in the community. “LGBT” has just become a standard analogy of false inclusiveness in politics and in social relations. It is clear to me, as a bisexual woman that trans-relations are often overlooked within the community, and extremely ignored, rejected, and ridiculed.
I want to define what it means to be transgender, as I know that not everyone is familiar or well versed in this area. Being trans is described as your gender identity differing from your anatomical make-up. Your gender identity is your internal sense of feeling like a man or a woman (some fall into a gray category that is defined as gender binary). For a transgender person, your gender identity does not match the sex you were born with.
This morning I awoke to see the hash tag #transrightsarehumanrights and I was nervous to find out what ensued for that to become a trending topic. The President of the United States, Donald Trump tweeted out these tweets :
Trump has said that he will not accept Transgender individuals to serve at all in the US military, his defense being: it would cause ‘excessive medical costs’ and ‘disruption’ . There is so much ambiguity in ‘disruption’, but if I am talking about Donald Trump then I must know that the vagueness in that statement is just a ploy to spew hatred, trans phobia, and bigotry. Trans people are not a disruption. This ban is dehumanizing, and I think what people will miss from this, is that this is opening the door for more ‘legal’ discriminatory practices. If the POTUS can ban trans individuals from the military than this will undoubtedly become more systemic than it already is. He is promoting a comfort in being trans phobic; He’s creating a ‘space’ and a ‘culture’ that is of hate. America is supposed to be a place that ensures freedom, and the ‘American Dream’.
I seen someone tweet that it wasn’t a big deal, and “who wants to go into the military anyway?”. Many LGBT people seek the military as a career path because of discrimination in their regular work place. To put this into perspective, the Department of Defense is the largest single employer of trans people in the U.S. In terms of the health of the trans individuals, the cost that he is saying would be too much, is actually extremely small in proportion to what the Department of Defense spends on healthcare a year. For example in 2014 the DOD spent 49.3 billion in general health care and it is estimated that at MOST it would cost them 8 million for trans-related health services. The action made by Trump is the epitome of what is means to regress, and it is a major set back for the United States and the trans community. Everyone should be angered by this decision, everyone and anyone who fights for equality.
” Complacency is a far more dangerous attitude than outrage” – Naomi Littlebear