People define transgender in different ways depending on the society they are in and the upbringing. The most common meaning of transgender is someone whose gender differs from the sex they were given at birth. In the contemporary society, people are going through medical treatment to become a member of the opposite sex, which is also transgender. They emulate certain characteristics of the gender they wish to become. In the modern American society, people have rights to become what they want. Transgender is a matter of what one feels and no one should suppress feelings of what would want to become. As gays have been accepted and incorporated into the American society with equal rights and privileges, so should transgender. Therefore I firmly believe that transgender has a place in the American society as the population is highly rising with a population of 700,000 transgender living in the USA. Many who have come out as transgender have said that they have dealt with gender dysphoria since they were young children. Many of them would have wished to be open about it but feared how the society would react. They probably feared seclusion, rejection, and loss of their families or even trauma from the news media. As a corporation, these people deserve to be accepted and loved just the way they are.
Gender relations and roles may differ depending on the expectations that groups, individuals and society have of someone based on their sex and more so the societies belief about values and gender. These relations are the products of interaction between an individual and their environment that gives people cues about what type of behavior is appropriate for what sex. In the traditional set-up, gender roles were defined according to the societys belief about the differences in sexes. Leadership positions were given to men as women were seen as weak with no academic qualifications to lead. Tough tasks were also assigned to men in regards to their masculinity and easy female jobs at to their feminists. The modern society has changed that concept. Therefore gender is no longer the sex of a person, but a concept that human beings tend to create socially by interacting with one another as well as the environment. Gender is therefore a social construction demonstrated by individuals, society and groups in possessing particular traits, values or status irrespective of their sex, society they come from or culture. (Walker, 1999)
There is transgender inequality the society where they are not protected at work school or society as a whole. Why are they not protected just like the gays? As explained above, one can only suppress or hide their feelings just for a short while, then they will eventually arise while much stronger. This is who they are and coming out loud takes a lot of courage and risk. These people more often face transphobic harassment where there are hostile feelings and attitudes from people. They receive emotional disgust, hate and anger from other persons. These attitudes and habits are unacceptable in the modern society as everyone has been civilized and they should accept people as they are. They can be fired from work for not conforming to gender norms because they are not protected in 33 U.S States. Understanding of the transgender people should be the primary goal of U.S so as to incorporate them in the society.
In the past, transgender has been arrested and termed as insane to the extent of being taken into asylum insane. A male who tried to pass as women were referred to as berdaches in the Native American tribes. Women who attempted to assume male roles and masculine were termed as passing women who were discriminated against. Any transgender was taken on trial and arrested for indecent behavior for dressing in attires of the opposite sex. The modern society claimed to be civilized and conformed to the modern world. If people are civilized as they say, then why not accept transgender in the community. Public display of affection is allowed in the American society yet if asked, I would argue that it is indecent behavior. If PDA is allowed, why not transgender? Denying of transgender equal rights and opportunities only shows the hypocrisy of the society yet it claims to be civilized. The old days of prejudice are long gone and people should start accepting the society as it is.
The recent transition of Olympian and reality TV personality Bruce Jenner to a transgender woman has significantly helped to increase transgender visibility in the U.S. After his coming out into the spotlight as transgender, many more people have had the courage to come out and speak about their struggles. He expressed his happiness for such a long time of struggle and how he can live his real self. People seemed to be moved by this bold move. His documentary series has captured a lot of tension in the television with high ratings. It takes a lot of courage to air even such a program on TV and the world should try the transgender point of view. This shows that with time, the society will accept transgender in the American society. Having a little humanity and understanding how they have struggled for acceptance, visibility, protection among others is enough to incorporate them in the contemporary society.
Just as gay marriages and lesbians have been legalized in the American society because of their visibility and growing numbers, so will transgender be legalized due to their growing number of 700,000 in the U.S. There is hope for the transgendered community. In the past years, great soldiers such as Albert Cashier were transgender who continued to live happily as men throughout their lives. Although the first transgender Organization and publications were not responded favorably to law and medicine, there was growing awareness of transgender in society. In the late years, riots occurred in the streets where people were against transgender community sending them away from the villages. Despite the riots against transgender, a network of transgender psychological, social and medical support system was put in place to support and advocate such organizations in the world. ( Institute of Medicine U.S, 2011)
In the history of U.S, President Barack Obama was the first president to use the word transgender in public. He used this word during a State of Union address condemning any form of persecution for people who are lesbians, gay, bisexual or transgender. This is a great sign that with time, transgender will have a place in the contemporary American society protecting their rights against discrimination and inequality. It is strictly about gender identity and all people should have a right to identify themselves with the gender that they feel suits them. Therefore, I firmly believe that transgender has a major place in the contemporary American Society.
Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2011). The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Walker,Alexis J.1999. "Gender and Family Relationships:' Pp. 439-474 in Handbook of Marriage and the Family 2d ed. Edited by Marvin B. Sussman, Suzanne K. Steinmetz, and Gary W. Peterson. New York: Plenum.
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