In this essay, we will use the term "trans" to refer
transgender persons and transsexuals. This saves
wear and tear on our fingers and your eyeballs.
In 1991, three same-sex couples launched a lawsuit in Hawaii called "Baehr v. Lewin." They were seeking marriage licenses from the state. A quarter of a century later, on 2015-JUN-26, after a battle that raged throughout all 50 states, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriages across the United States except for American Samoa. The rulings by the Supreme Court do not necessarily apply there because the population in that territory are residents, not citizens, of the United States. Gay marriage become available a few months later in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the remaining four U.S. territories. Some counties still refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but this is only a minor inconvenience. If necessary, engaged couples have traveled to an adjacent county and picked up licenses there.
Having been defeated in their fight against marriage equality, many religious, social and political conservatives almost instantly switched to oppressing, denigrating, and discriminating against transgender persons and transsexuals. The latter are mostly made up of individuals who were identified on the basis of their body's appearance at birth, but now identify as the opposite gender. For a minority in the trans community, they either change from time to time between male and female, or believe that gender does not apply to them.
Having achieved the right to marry, many LGBT individuals and groups are now concentrating on employment protection, accommodation security, and equal rights for the entire LGBT community, including transgender persons and transsexuals.
Many, probably most, adults in North America have never met a trans person, or are unaware of having met one. Here are photographs of two trans women and one trans man which you may find helpful:
Dr. Camille Cabral a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual at a demonstration in Paris. She was identified at birth as male and now identifies herself as female.
is a MTF transsexual kick boxer model, actress, and former Buddhist monk from Thailand.
Buck Angel is a female-to-male (FTM) transsexual and film producer. He was identified at birth as female and now identifies himself as male.
Webmaster's comments: (bias alert)
If I were a gambling person, I would bet against the conservative movement succeeding in their drive to prevent trans equality.
Every discriminated against group in the U.S. who became organized to seek equality in the past has eventually made major progress. This includes: blacks, women, lesbians, and gays. All have fought for equality and made significant progress.
The Millennial generation -- persons born between 1982 and 2002 -- are the first generation in which the majority has met and befriended members of the LGBT community. They are now teens and young adults, 14 to 34 years-of-age. Many Millennials despise discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. They regard all of these as irrational, immoral and bigoted. Many Millennials have become disillusioned and uncomfortable within the faith group in which they were brought up. They are leaving their religion to become NOTAs -- people NOT Affiliated with any religious group. Some have become disinterested in religion; others have become Agnostics, Atheists, free thinkers, "spiritual but not religious," etc. This is one of the main causes of the continuing drop in the percentage of U.S. adults who identify as Christians. It is decreasing by about one percentage point a year. Meanwhile, the NOTAs are growing by about the same rate. Attacks on the trans community can only accelerate this trend in the U.S.
Scotland exhibits today what might be the future of the Christian church in the U.S.: A 2016-APR survey showed that 52% of Scots now identify themselves as "not religious." 1
Developments in early 2016-April:
Leaders of three existing agencies recently commented on the battle for trans equality:
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality said:
"All the people who lost the marriage equality fight, they’ve now decided that trans people are fair game. They’re going to claim trans people are sexual predators, but the public is quickly going to learn that’s just nonsense." 2
Dru Lavasseur, Transgender Rights Project director for the LGBT-rights group Lambda Legal commented on the 2015-NOV repeal of a municipal human rights ordinance in Houston, TX that had protected the LGBT community. He said:
"It’s been an alarming wake-up call since November. We need to prioritize bringing transgender people into the movement in leadership positions, with transgender voices leading the way." 2
Jay Brown, the director of research and public education for the Human Rights Campaign, said:
"Public education isn’t something that happens overnight. We’ve had some incredible victories in the past few years as a movement, so it’s hard to take a loss. But that’s part of the movement — we take steps forward and some steps back. 2
Two new pro-equality programs have been launched recently to help the trans community gain equality:
The Transgender Freedom Project will share the personal stories of trans people. Project Director is Kasey Suffredini, a transgender attorney. He said:
"In most parts of this country, people don’t know a trans person. The work in front of us is to put a face on who the trans community is. That’s the way that we win. ... What happened in North Carolina, as terrible as it was, has really galvanized people." 2
He suggests that success across the U.S. "... will not happen overnight." He has suggested a ten-year time frame.
His reference to the event in North Carolina was to HB 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. It is "widely viewed as the most sweeping anti-LGBT law in the country." 2 It was widely understood as simply repealing an ordinance in the city of Charlotte NC which had given persons access to public washrooms according to their gender identity. The new state law has been called a "bathroom bill." It requires trans persons to use the public washroom in accordance with their birth-identified gender. But little attention has been given to other provisions in the bill:
It prohibits other municipalities from passing an ordinance similar to Charlotte's.
It removes the right of workers in the state to sue under a human rights law. They had been protected if they were fired because of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. 3
One might speculate about the response would be if one of the trans persons shown above followed this law and entered a public washroom that matched their birth-identified gender.
The Trans United Fund will pressure state and federal candidates for political office to take a stand on rights for the trans community. Hayden L Mora is the director of the Fund. He said:
"We welcome the support of our allies. But it’s crucial that trans people build our own political power and speak with our own voices." 2
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Joseph Patrick McCormick, "Church of Scotland numbers suffer as over half of Scots are now non-religious," Pink News, 2016-APR-03, at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/
David Grary, "Transgender activists push back with new advocacy, education campaigns," The Toronto Star, 2016-APR-03, at: http://www.thestar.com/
Nina Martin, "North Carolina’s Terrible Anti-LGBT Law Is Even Worse than We Thought," Mother Jones, 2016-APR-05, at: http://www.motherjones.com/