Despite the remarkable progress of the transgender campaigns in the previous decade, resulting in substantial public awareness and great legal victories, the transgender community faces massive discrimination, poor health services and is much prone to violence. Here we look at the common challenges that transgender and transexual face.
Challenges that Transgender and Transexual Face
As mentioned, the daily life of a trans person is full of discrimination and denial. From basic needs to luxurious needs. Here are some main challenges that trans people face in their everyday life;
Violence and Discrimination
The cases of violence and discrimination are on another level when it comes to trans people of color. They are discriminated against when trying to seek medical assistance more than their white counterparts. They also face high chances of poverty and unemployment. However, there is a long way to ensure that the general trans community gets the equal share of jobs, healthcare, and other critical services as normal human beings.
On most occasions, trans people are fetishized. They are not viewed as normal people. Of course, they are! There are laws made about using bathrooms, which is an essential aspect of human life. This poses a great challenge for trans people who are refused to use a certain bathroom due to their gender identities.
Most trans suffer from homelessness due to the rejection from their families. Homelessness leads to depression that later may result in suicidal thoughts. Being a transgender person and at the same time homeless, you become a host of different challenges, including sexual assaults. Trans people who have come out risk being unemployed and are more prone to violence and poverty.
Ironically, same-sex partners are accepted and enjoy legal protection while trans people are viewed as second-class citizens.
According to statistics, the challenges encountered by transgender people are a cause of alarm. A 2015 survey done by the National Center for Transgender Equality shows that 29% of trans people live in absolute poverty. 30% had been homeless at some point in their lives, while the unemployment rate stood at 15%, three times the national average.
In terms of harassment, the survey revealed that 46% had been verbally harassed a year before the study was conducted, and 47% had been sexually harassed at some point in their lives. Although there has been much acceptance of trans people in the corporate world, 30% of trans people were fired, denied promotions, and faced other types of mistreatment in their workplace.
1 in 10 trans people was a victim of violence from their family members due to their sexuality, while 8% reported having been kicked out of the house due to their gender identities. 17% left school due to harassment, physical and sexual assault.
A month before the survey, 39% reported increased psychological stress.4 in 10 trans people had attempted suicide—a third of those who sought medical assistance reported to have been harassed or denied treatment. In 2016, 22 trans persons were murdered. According to activists, the crimes are higher but underreported because local law enforcers may not classify a trans person murder as a hate crime.
Challenges that Transgender and Transexual Face – Lack of Health Insurance
Caitlyn Jenner was lucky to afford hormone replacement therapy (HRT), facial feminization surgeries, breast augmentation, and a tracheal shave. Of course, with the help of tens of thousands of dollars. For most transgender people, receiving standard medical care is challenging.
Therapy and gender-affirming procedures are necessary for some trans people to feel right with their bodies.19% of trans people do not have health insurance, and only a few can afford these procedures with their own money. Hormones can cost up to $150 each month, making it a tough fight for those with medical covers to prove that the procedures are medically necessary.
Due to these challenges, most trans people who are financially unstable are forced to live within a body that they are not comfortable or safe in.
High Rates of Unemployment
If you are a fan of I AM Cait, it’s evident that Caitlyn Jenner has a well-paying job. But it’s not always the same case for trans people. It’s not an easy task for a trans person to get a job and a well-paying job, for that matter. 33 out of 50 states have no laws to protect gender identities, i.e., in over half of the U.S, you can be fired based on your transgender identity.
Almost half of the trans persons report being fired, denied employment, or promotions due to their transgender identities. 90% of transgender people reveal that they are harassed at their place of work regarding their transgenderism.
Due to discrimination, 14% of trans persons are unemployed compared to 7% of the general population. 15% live on less than $10,000 per annum.
Homelessness and Unemployment
It’s unrealistic for some people like Caitlyn’s $3.6 million Malibu mountaintop estate but realistic for most people to desire to own a home. 19% of trans people have been denied housing at some point in their lives, while 11% have been evicted regarding their gender identities.
Lack of housing and employment forces these people to opt for cheaper houses or trade sex with somewhere to lay their heads.
Due to unemployment and housing discrimination, 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives. As if that is not enough, shelters refuse trans people or make them stay in shelters that do not align with their preferred gender.
Challenges That Transgender and Transexual Face – How Can You Help?
First, they should be able to access healthcare assistance. Everyone needs to be healthy to be able to face daily life challenges. Secondly, trans people should be given an equal opportunity for housing and employment. To pay their bills, they need employment and promotion at the workplace. Lastly, we need to ensure laws to protect the trans community and support organizations with transgender community problems at heart. Do not discriminate or victimize them since they too need to lead a happy life.