Transgender Issues – Ignoring Inconvenient Facts
As I am sure many others have, I have noticed an increased focus in the media on Transgender issues. There seems to be a considerable disparity in the reactions to what actually occurs and the level of outrage generated. To be clear, I am fully in favour of free speech, and I believe everything should be up for debate, with no ifs and no buts.
It is estimated that transgender people constitute less than 1% of the worldwide population, with figures ranging from <0.1% to 0.6%.
Transgender people still face blatant discrimination, high rates of violence, and poor health outcomes despite the dramatic progress made in the last decade by the transgender movement. Many trans people suffer from adverse health and economic consequences, and it’s not clear why. Some of the key issues are outlined below:
Problems Affecting the Transgender Community
Transgender Safty in the Community
American Medical Association declared violence against transgender people an epidemic in 2019. Physical violence against transgender people, and especially against Black transgender women, is extremely prevalent. In transgender people who participate in sex work or other criminal or informal economies, this is particularly true.
Its statistically more likely trans women and trans people of colour are treated violently. There is a higher likelihood of physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and harassment for trans people than for non-trans people.
Poor Economic Outcomes for Trans People
The poverty rate for trans people is high, and this is even higher for trans people of color. Nearly 29% of transgender adults live in poverty, along with 39% of Black transgender adults, 48% of Latinx transgender adults, and 35% of Alaska Native, Asian, Native American, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander transgender adults.
An estimated one in five trans people experiences homelessness at some point in their lives because they are rejected by their families or denied housing because of who they are. Almost one in three homeless and transgender people are turned away from shelters.
Lack of Healthcare Literature to Support Evidence-Based Practice
In health care, there is a binary system in place with males and females catered for exceptionally well. Transgender patients, however, even though already discriminated against due to other challenges, they face the challenge of getting evidence-based care. One example of this is male and female treatments for a simple urinary tract infection are different. Male patients are recommended to undertake a prostate examination; however, does the evidence still support this initial action in Transgender cases? The literature needs to catch up fast to enable proper evidence-based care.
Poor Physical and Mental Health Outcomes.
Transgender individuals face a variety of health disparities, including HIV infection, lack of primary care (including transition-related healthcare), and suicide attempts.
No National Laws Protection Transgender from Discrimination
Transgender people face several barriers as a result of discriminatory laws and policies. One example is access to the restroom. Republican politicians have turned bathroom legislation into a political battleground in the US. As a result, trans women are at increased risk of physical and sexual violence in states like Alabama and North Carolina, where toilet usage is restricted to birth gender.
Employment Issues and Unemployment
A June 15, 2020, Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, clarified that federal law prohibits discrimination against transgender employees. Yet over three-fourths of transgender people have experienced workplace discrimination, and one in four have lost jobs due to bias. Employers refuse to hire, violate privacy rights, harassing employees, and even physically and sexually abuse them on the job, and transgender people experience these issues at even higher rates.
Transgender Rights are Human Rights
These points are certainly issues that must be addressed, and indeed as a global community, we should do all we can to make this happen. For me, equality of opportunity is the most important then it’s up to the individual to get the right outcome. I believe that anyone who is suffering should at least be given a chance and opportunity to help themselves, and collectively, we can do this by levelling the playing field for some of society’s most disadvantaged.