Trans people experience discrimination in every aspect of their life. Despite increased representation in media and the fact that 3 in every 10 U.S. adults know someone who is trans, there is still a stigma surrounding their gender identity.
Based on a survey done on transgender discrimination in 2016, more than half of youth thought to be trans persons were harassed at school, while a quarter of trans youth experienced physical assault. In fact, about 10% were sexually abused in the past year, and more than 50% have been sexually abused in their lifetime.
Transgender Stigma and Discrimination
Society has expectations regarding the behavior of males and females. Those who behave differently from how they are expected by society are stigmatized and discriminated against.
As a result of stigma and discrimination, trans people are treated with disrespect and can be physically assaulted by people close to them.
Being harassed by those who are supposed to support you can lead to other mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In fact, LGBTQ youth who face rejection at home are at higher risk of substance abuse and other overall health problems.
Additionally, trans people are at risk of contracting various viruses such as HIV. This comes as an added burden to trans people of color. Unfortunately, most people do not show compassion towards trans because they are unaware of their challenges.
Places Where One is Likely to Experience Discrimination and Stigma as a Trans Person
Below are top common places where trans people are likely to experience discrimination and stigma:
Everyone needs health services to be in a good physical and emotional state. Unfortunately, most trans people are discriminated against when trying to access the most valuable care needed by every human being, in this case, health care.
Related: Transgender Issues in Healthcare
Place of Work
Some companies have no set of rules to ensure the safety of their trans employees. Declining to use the preferred pronoun or name is one of many ways to harass a trans person.
People discriminate against transgender communities when it comes to public accommodation. For example, denying a trans woman to use a women’s bathroom is discriminating against them.
Access to Services
Trans women face challenges when accessing social services. Most women’s shelters in the US do not accept or house trans women. Being a homeless trans woman makes you vulnerable to sexual assaults.
How to Reduce Stigma Against Transgender Community
There are various ways to reduce stigma against trans people. They include:
Understanding Transgender People Can Help Reduce Stigma
Learn more about transgender identity. You can get information from books or through online platforms about how they live and the challenges they face. The information will help you understand more about their true identity. Understand that the gender that an individual affirms is who they really are.
Promote acceptance of differences and ensure freedom from bullying. Ensure there are no gender-segregated groups at school. Include trans people representatives in the school’s activities. Honor the preferred pronouns and names of a trans person. Respect and allow them to use the preferred gender-closet such as bathrooms.
You can show respect to trans people by simply using their preferred pronouns. Go the extra mile by including them in same-gender groups of people of their affirmed gender. Although it may seem difficult at first, these steps will help in assuring them that they are accepted and respected, and will help in improving their self-esteem.
Ensure there are policies prohibiting discrimination due to one’s gender identity. Include the trans people health issues in the health insurance cover of your organization. Therefore, ensure equal opportunities regardless of gender identity when hiring and promoting employees.
Support Transgenders to Reduce Stigma
usually, trans people need more support when transitioning. If you have or know of a trans who is coming out, you should offer support. Ideally, supporting them does not only mean you acknowledge what they are doing, it means they are accepted regardless of their gender identity.
Every person should have an equal right to live free from discrimination, violence, persecution, and stigma. Each state should ensure that its citizens can enjoy these rights. States should ensure the protection of transgender from violence and discrimination by:
- Emphasizing efforts to monitor, prevent and report any cases of violence or discrimination against transgender
- Investigating and prosecuting any kind of abuse against trans adults, youth, children, and defenders of their rights
Reduce Stigma Against Transgender Community
Most transgenders depend on themselves, meaning they have to work hard to get by in life. Stigmatizing and discriminating against them means a lack of opportunities, support, and anything else that makes life worth living. Harassment or discrimination against transgenders at school or in the place of work can lead to low performances that negatively impact their life.