Transgender Acceptance


Karla Santoyo

True friends will always love and support you for being yourself.

Jake Paz, Staff Writer

Currently, society is more accepting of transgender and gender nonconforming people than in the past. More clubs like our very own Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) are being established in schools to help unify students and members of our community. It is important to support people that view themselves as transgender because it helps make the world a more accepting place where everyone is treated equally. 

“We make sure to talk about trans* rights in GSA because they want to be accepted for what they identify as and I truly believe that the first step is to educate the public on the proper etiquette within the trans* community,” senior Felipe Ferreira said.

A person who is transgender is someone who does not identify with the sex they are assigned at birth and some feel as if they are trapped in the wrong body. In order to truly understand transgender people, society must learn the difference between sex and gender: sex refers to the biological and physical characteristics that define men and women, whereas gender refers to socially constructed roles of how men and women should act in society. A misconception about transgender people is that all of them are either gay or bisexual, which is not true. They can be gay, straight, bisexual or any other sexual orientation –  just like anyone else.

Support for the transgender community is shown in a variety of ways, such as participation in events during Transgender Awareness Week, which occurs annually from Oct. 14-20. One of the events, which takes place every at the end of this week, is known as the Day of Remembrance. Throughout the day, people remember those whose lives were tragically lost due to the discrimination and harassment transgender people are put through everyday. It is important to acknowledge this solemn day in order to bring light to the atrocities that occur to innocent people simply for being who they really are. To learn more about Transgender Awareness Week and how to participate next year, click here.

Unfortunately, there are some people out there that do not think transgender people deserve the same human rights as others due to their closed minded views of the world. Those who do not support the transgender community believe that gender is solely and entirely determined by the reproductive system someone is born with. It is nonsense to them that someone may feel as if they were born in the wrong body or feel like they should have been the opposite sex. Some of these people have gone to great lengths in order to oppress the transgender community, going as far as attempting to pass laws making transgender people use the restroom that correlates to their sex.

“I think that transgender people are not accepted in our society because a lot of people grow up with the idea of a gender binary and they don’t understand the difference between gender and sex,” sophomore Angelica Viscito said. 

Advocacy for transgender acceptance is a key step towards ending the negative stigma of being transgender. One important advocate is celebrity Laverne Cox, an actress on the hit show Orange is the New Black, who speaks about the acceptance of transgender people through allusions to her past experiences of being bullied as a child. With the help of her character on the show, thousands of fans are able to relate and learn about people like Cox.

“The trans* community’s voice has been amplified now and more of us have been coming forward and saying ‘This is who I am and this is my story,'” Cox said.

Thanks to the work of advocates like Cox, transgender people will begin to feel comfortable and safe everywhere they go, knowing that they are gaining respect and acceptance.

The advances in transgender acceptance give hope to a future where someone’s gender identity will not cause them to be discriminated against. This future may arrive faster than anticipated with the help of educating society about being transgender, in hope that people eventually comprehend what the term means.