The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Transgender and the Trump Administration

As of now, 2018 is shaping up to be the make or break year for transgender rights. Recently, a possible restriction to the gender binary could come into play following a proposal from the Trump Administration to narrow the idea of gender based only on a person’s sex assigned at birth.

To a lot of people, this might make sense, given the fact that so many people don’t understand that a person’s gender is not the same as their sex. Their gender is psychological while sex is genetic, and even those lines can become blurred when taking intersex into consideration.

I’d like to preface this by underscoring the fact that I am cisgender, my gender identifies with the sex I was assigned a birth. But that’s not the case for many people I am close to.

Recently, I had a conversation with a few friends of mine abroad, and our friend Grace, who is transgender. Grace, who was assigned male at birth, has been fighting for almost five years now with her identity, something that for a while, she had only confided in me about.

Grace’s parents shipped her out to a military school in hopes of fixing what they thought was broken. It was here that I became a lifeline for Grace on nights where she thought death was a better option than a life of oppression.

This is the issue with the plight against transgender people. Many Americans don’t give thought to how their words and actions affect the mental psyche of teenagers who already go through enough turmoil without withstanding hate.

Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager, wasn’t given this consideration when she stepped onto the highway in 2014. Even after her death, her parents still referred to her using her dead name and incorrect pronouns.

Boxing transgender youth into a socially constructed binary is not an option when you consider what’s at stake.By creating a national law that states that what a transgender person is feeling regarding their gender is wrong, you’re not just invalidating their existence. You’re also allowing their feelings of confliction to stew within until they can’t handle living like that anymore.

This environment would result in thousands of lives being lost and for what? How does another person’s identity directly harm you?

As someone who is cisgender, there’s no reason for me threatened, afraid, or confused when I talk to my friends who are transgender because I don’t see any difference between us that is worth hatred.Their identity is theirs and it does nothing to infringe on my own.

I have so much more to say on the matter at hand, and how much it both infuriates me and breaks my heart. But instead I’m ending it here and taking it to the polls.

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