The Shakerite

Transgender Rights are Human Rights

1.3 million transgender Americans are having their identities threatened. President Donald Trump announced the scary intent of his administration Oct. 21.

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Transgender Rights are Human Rights

The transgender flag represents the pride and rights of the transgender community.

The transgender flag represents the pride and rights of the transgender community.

Wikimedia Commons

The transgender flag represents the pride and rights of the transgender community.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

The transgender flag represents the pride and rights of the transgender community.

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“All we ask for is acceptance and validation for what we say that we are. It’s a basic human right,” transgender model Andreja Pejić said.

I believe that everyone should have a right to choose the gender that they identify with, just as everyone should have a right to choose who they love.

However, President Donald Trump wants to take that right away from more than 1.3 million Americans.

On Oct. 21, Trump announced that his administration was considering changing Title IX to exclude transgender individuals.

In a New York Times article, a transgender woman wrote something that rings true for the LGBTQ community: “I know how damaging the proposed Trump administration regulations could be to our community. But I also know how damaging the very threat of these regulations already is.”

Even though Congress has not passed any laws to change the definition, the suggestion is already spurring protests and outcries nationally.

What gives the government a right to decide what you want to do with your own body, mind or spirit? What gives the government a right to decide your sexuality or gender? What gives the government a right to decide who you are?

The answer to those questions is very simple: nothing. The government has no right to decide what gender you want to be. Gender is a major identifying trait for many people. Why should this be compromised and forced?

A change in gender can be the source of light in someone who is struggling in a world that is so dark.

Gender is a spectrum. You should be whoever you want to be. You have the right. 

Gender is a spectrum. You should be whoever you want to be. You have the right.”

I was recently scrolling through beauty influencer James Charles’s Instagram. On a post for National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, one Instagram user commented “Ur not a girl,” while another commented, “you are a BOY. not a GIRL. get it into your head.” A third commented, “GOSH I WISH THEY WOULD BAN EVERY STATE OF LGBTQ YOU GUYS ARE SO FREAKING ANNOYING.”

I was appalled. I kept thinking, “How could anyone say this?” And then I realized that we are not educated about gender. We don’t have discussions about how hard it is to come out. We don’t have discussions about how people can identify with different pronouns. We don’t talk about the things that we don’t understand. We generally avoid the topics that make us uncomfortable.

I’m not just speaking as a Democrat right now, I am speaking as a human who is concerned for all of the people whose identities could be taken away from them.

I’m asking everyone to talk. Talk to each other. Ask questions. Become more accepting. Because when we leave Shaker, we will struggle with the harsh realities of inequality in the world.

Gender has three dimensions, body, identity and expression. So many things go into our gender, not just what is in between our legs, not just what one is assigned at birth.

When many of our parents were children, a mere 30 to 40 years ago, being anything other than straight or cisgender was not talked about. Look at how far we’ve come. Now, why are we trying to regress the LGBTQ community’s hard work?

I want to make it clear that this is not an attack on anyone. This is a collection of suggestions on how we can do better as a human race. I want everyone to know at our cores, that we are all just human, and taking away our rights to define our genders is taking away our rights as humans.

Because transgender rights are human rights.

If you want to learn more about gender identity, attend the school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance meetings. GSA meets from 3-4 p.m. Thursdays in Room 231.

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Transgender Rights are Human Rights