Imagine being out casted by your home, your community, your school and even the people that share the same beliefs as you. Imagine being forced to act and think a certain way, dress a certain way, to believe that it’s wrong to know who you are and what you want. Imagine having laws and regulations set against you. That’s what it is to be placed in the life of a trans person. To be trans means people who do not conform nor identify to the sex they were born with and to be transsexual means to be a person who feels they belong of the opposite sex and assumes the physical characteristics of the opposite gender role they assume. Trans people tend to experience severe exclusion not only from the rest of the world but as well at their LGBT community but within the recent decades, the attack on transphobia has increased. Through public and legal policy implications, we as individuals can learn how the trans movement rose from the shadows and has been able to pass policies that protect themselves and make us understand trans peoples biological and physical circumstances.Order now
The Trans Movement had become so powerful and made their voices heard within public policy. Countries like America, Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, Pakistan finally recognize a third gender and its definition of gender past the male and female binary. The typical individual thinks of “sex change” when thinking of trans people but fail to realize the wide definition and meaning it falls under. Through the process of public policy, the movement is able to educate individuals and legally recognize gender identity without the influence of their personal opinion and morals. The acceptance of gender identity from the government ensues whether other organizations and private businesses will be forced to recognize the gender identities of Trans people and as well recognize non-discrimination laws that are put in place.
In order for this to be done, there would need to be laws put in place besides on a federal level; local and state as well, that are placed into categories such as education, businesses, housing, employment, etc. Bills such as the “Bathroom Bill” show how extreme and discriminatory the government can be with many Trans people. In March 2016, North Carolina was the first state to pass a law limiting the use of bathroom access for transgender people while removing anti-discrimination protections for LGBT.
Opposition such as conservative’s groups supported the laws by stating it protects their privacy rights. Others as the University of North Carolina and school board of governors state this law “is discriminatory and violates civil rights laws including Title VII, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA)” (Constitution Center, ‘Explaining Bathroom Bills, Transgender Rights and Equal Protection’). Cases such as Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board helped to pave the way and ruling of the “Bathroom Bill”. Gavin Grimm was a sixteen-year-old transgender boy who identifies as male but had not gone sex reassignment surgery. Grimm was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria; “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender. People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems” (American Psychiatric Association, ‘What Is Gender Dysphoria?’).
Grimm’s therapist made a recommendation that he start living his life in accordance to what he identifies himself as, so he was allowed by his school to use the boy’s bathroom, but many parents complained. Gloucester County School Board then held many meetings in which a policy was issued stating that the boys and girls bathrooms and locker rooms can only be used by the biological gender associated with it. They also stated that all gender identity issues can be stated in private facilities and not the school since it was public. The high school provided a unisex bathroom so that Grimm can use as an alternative. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took Grimm’s case.
ACLU argued that the school violated Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 and violated Grimm’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This prohibits any discrimination of sex in any educational setting that gets funding federally. While the Department of Education regulations state under the Title IX that separate bathrooms must be provided, ACLU also argued that the DOE released a memo in 2015 stating that schools must treat students based on what they associate their gender identity with.
The Eastern District of Virginia district court originally dismissed the Title IX claim and did not rule on his Equal Protection claim but the Fourth Circuit later reversed and remanded it, and stated that the Title IX claim could be made. Judge Niemeyer dissented that ““This holding completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes…” The following year after, trans students went to school hopeful and with guidance knowing that they had policies in place to protect them. Grimm is just one of the few cases in which individuals who identify as transgender have been discriminated against.
In Students and Parents for Privacy v. United States Department of Education, a group of parents decided to sue the Illinois school district after allowing a transgender female to use the locker room she identified as. The school allowed and gave the student this option due to not wanting to get sued by the DOE, who had warned the school that if they did not comply and allow the student to use the facility she identified as with her gender, they would risk federal funding for violating Title IX. The group of parents suing stated that this violated student’s privacy and forced girls to use the same restrooms with biological males.
Later of the Office of Civil Rights found that it was a violation of Title IX to not allow transgender individuals not to use the bathroom they associate their gender with. Cases like these show progressions in educational and public settings towards the rights and anti-discriminatory laws set in place for Trans people. This is so much more than just about bathrooms, this shows how though there are challenges are presented and faced, the rights of trans people are protected under Title IX and that they have a right to their own gender identity. The introduction of transgendered individuals in the United States Military has not been allowed until recently.
In June 8, 2015, American Medical Association stated that there was no reason medically to exclude transgendered people from having the ability to serve in the United States military. It then came into question why were there medical and psychological policies put in place to prevent transgender people from serving their country when roughly 15,000 transgender individuals are already serving? (National Transgender Discrimination Survey: 2015, Chapter 12: Military Service).
To be transgender was considered disqualifying due to it being a psychiatric condition. Undergoing to gender reassignment surgery was as well considered disqualifying due to it being a physical condition. On June 30th, 2016, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that openly transgender people would be allowed the opportunity to serve in the United States military underneath the Obama administration and would take effect January 1st, 2017. It wasn’t until the Trump administration had not met the deadline and attempted to place a ban on the new troops that were transgender.
On December 11, 2017, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld the decision to block President Trump’s ban, even if it was just temporarily. Of course, the Trump administration appealed the ruling but was denied. Many argued that the President’s ban violated the Fifth Amendment rights of Transgender individuals. Cases such as Karnoski v Trump show how the transgender movement continues to fight for their rights, even the right to serve their military.
As mentioned above, President Trump announced the ban for transgender people in the military and shortly after his decision, Ryan Karnoski sued. Karnoski is a transgender man who always wanted to serve his military. He sued claiming that the ban against transgender people in the military violated the Equal Protection Clause and his First Amendment right. It was then that the court district issued an injunction that prevented the military from putting through the ban. Karnoski then filed a motion for a Summary Judgment and a brief was filed that was in support of Karnoski and other transgender individuals that challenged the ban. Later on, the district court did not rule in favor the Karnoski’s claims stating that the ban is put in place to prevent the disruption of unit cohesion and/or overspending in military resources.
This reasoning has no justification whatsoever due to the fact that there being extensive research by not only American Medical Association, National Transgender Discrimination Survey and as well as the United States Military own research showing that being transgender will not affect the military negatively. The transgender movement also succeeded in becoming such an unstoppable force and achieving their goals by taking on a social approach. Groups such as Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and the Alliance Defending Freedom have made such a huge impact on the transgender movement by campaigning and fighting against those who oppose the LGBT movement.
The groups have had the ability to help the LGBT by providing health care, educating those who are not as well informed about the LGBT community. These groups also help to form protest and fight for equality. One specific example of this would be the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). They help to fight against the discrimination of transgender students from grades K-12 in public schools. NTCE had even proposed an amendment to protect LGBT students across the nation. According to the GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 75% of transgender students feel unsafe due to their gender identity while 55% face harassment within their schools thus leading to them not doing well in school and eventually dropping out due to missing class or not involving themselves more in afterschool clubs. Groups like the National Center for Transgender Equality, Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Alliance Defending Freedom make sure to educate those about the LGBT community so that future discrimination does not occur by their teaching and policy approach.
Lastly, through political approach, the Trans movement was able to achieve a wide set of goals by passing bills that protected them from discrimination in public and private settings. Like in the Grimm case mentioned above, bills have been passed to help protect transgender people against discrimination. Governor Chris Sununu is one of the few Republican politicians that have helped to pass bills that helped to protect transgender people in the state of New Hampshire. The bill helps to ban discrimination based what individuals help self-identity as by protecting them in employment, public settings such as stores and restaurants, and housing. Governor Sununu worked with the Freedom New Hampshire transgender advocacy group to protect the future and wellbeing of transgender people. After many years of fighting for the equality that they deserve, the transgender movement has seen a remarkable success.
Even with those that embody hate, discrimination and chose to place bans over the rights of transgender people rather than to help humankind prosper and all be equal, the trans movement will remain strong and fight to set policies and law that will prohibit sex and gender identity discrimination. Many states not protect those who self-identity different from their biological sex in settings such as schools, restaurants, stores, etc. and help to protect their self- expression. Though transgender people continue to face discrimination globally, the fight to for equality among all is still within reach. With this strong movement, they will continue to prosper until no individual is left behind.