Transgendered People

Improving Justice for the Transgendered People

Transgender inequality is the unequal protection transgender people receive in work, school, and society in general. Transgender people regularly face transphobic harassment. Ultimately, one of the largest reasons that transgender people face inequality is due to a lack of public understanding of transgender people. There are many misconceptions and surrounding what it means to be a transgendered person. Some may assume that transgendered people are just confused, that perhaps a “butch” woman got pushed over the edge – or the same for a flamboyant man. But this is not so, once you consider all the diversity of trans people as a whole – there are feminine transgender men, as are there masculine transgender women. The stereotype for trans men or women, as it were, is usually highly inaccurate.

A transgendered person is simply someone whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional male or female gender. The rights of trans people are protected by a range of international and regional mechanisms. Yet, punitive national laws, policies, and practices targeting transgender people, including complex procedures for changing identification documents, strip transgender people of their rights and limit access to justice. This results in gross violations of human rights on the part of state perpetrators and society at large. Transgender people’s experience globally is that of extreme social exclusion that translates into increased vulnerability to HIV, other diseases, including mental health conditions, limited access to education and employment, and loss of opportunities for economic and social advancement. In addition, hatred, and aggression towards a group of individuals who do not conform to social norms around gender manifest infrequent episodes of extreme violence towards transgender people. This violence often goes unpunished. We also believe that people with intersex conditions and folks who identify as transgender or transsexual can and should continue to work together on human rights issues.

However, there are important differences to keep in mind so that both groups can work toward a better future.