Brooke Forgetta Professor Ghilaine McDayter November 20,2010 Discrimination of Transgeders within America “Every single day, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people get fired from their jobs simply because of who they are. When employers discriminate, we all lose because hardworking, qualified Americans are out of a job. We need everyone to tell Congress clearly why ENDA needs to pass and pass quickly. The march is a great opportunity for people to get resources and skills to make this happen. Jobs, families, and even lives, are depending on this,” said Mara Keisling.Keisling is the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and was speaking about the Employment-Non Discrimination Act.
The act will hopefully impose stronger discrimination laws, more laws pertaining to transgender rights, as well as simple things such as bathrooms and locker room rules. Transgender people undergo vast discrimination within many areas of their lives including the workplace, schoolyards, as well as within society as a whole and the discrimination has a very substantial effect on their emotions, family, and social life. Perhaps the most salient developmental task of adolescence is that of developing a sense of identity,” (Erikson, 1950). Finding ones self in adolescence is already difficult enough but attempting to figure out your identity when you don’t even know if you are a boy or a girl makes the process that much harder. “Developing a positive identity within a heterocentric social environment can be especially challenging for GLBT you the because there are often sever social penalties, such as ostracism, taunting, and even violence, for not conforming to socially approved dating practices and gender expression norms. (Morrow, pg. 1)Even as transgender and homosexual youth do indeed find their true self and have confirmed his or her identity they still have the daunting task of making this identity fit within the social scheme of life.
It is very rare for children to accept differences within their environment and it is often one feels pressured to conceal his or her identity. Peer pressure plays a vast role in fitting in within adolescent years. “The stress of feeling different from the majority of their peers-whether with regard to sexual orientation or gender expression- can be daunting,” (Morrow, pg. ) transgender children are somewhat forced into playing the socially acceptable stigmatized role for this reason exactly.For children to develop a positive identity and not conform to the socially acceptable gender or sexuality takes great courage and resilience and is indeed very rare. As if children find it difficult enough to find themselves, it is often that their family life is one of which they feel most judged. Since gender variant youth are often told they don’t fit in and can feel it as well they are in a constant search for a place where they can be themselves.
In desperate search for affirmation, they often place themselves in risky environments such as public venues where adults congregate seeking sexual contacts. ” (Biegel, p 193). Transgender children are put at such a higher risk than adult transsexuals due to the fact that they are so vulnerable and feel so much more displaced in the world. As if feeling like they don’t fit in the world isn’t enough transgender children are often out casted by their families.Parents often find a way to punish their child for what they believe is a decision they are making, not the person who they really are. It is often that they are labeled the problem in the family and “Families may begin to project their anxieties about other family conflicts on the transgender child as a way of avoiding confronting the real issues. Some transgender children and youth are shipped away to behavioral camps, psychiatric hospitals or residential treatment facilities, where rigidly enforced gender conformity further represses their needs and does more harm than good.
(Mallon, p. 9) Sending a child to camp where they are surrounded by kids just like them can only make them better realize they are different from everyone else and somewhat backfires on most parents’ plan to make their child fit within social norms.There is no way to alter a person’s true being and there is also no current way to minimize the discrimination transgender people undergo every single day. Transgender children have an immeasurably hard time “coming out” to their families. Many youth believe that something is wrong with them and that they cannot ossibly let down their family because they believe that being different will not be accepted by their parents. “How open to be with the family about their transgender identity is a major issue for transgender youth. ” (Morrow, pg.
1) “Those who come out to their families hope for support and validation, yet they are at risk for disapproval, maltreatment, and disownment. ” (Teague, 1992) No child wants to be mistreated by their families because your home is supposed to be a place of acceptance as well as a sanctuary.It is often that children feel as if their families will disown them. Kids then find a need to hide their identity and portray the correct gender society has labeled them. Furthermore, It is harder for youth who are very close with their families to come out. “Thus transgender youth who are more strongly identified with their families may be more likely to try to meet the heterocentric and traditional gender role expectations of their families,” (Morrow, pg. 2).
Therefore the closer the family, more of a distance grows between the family and the child’s true identity. As a result, most transgender children hide their true identity from their families probably because “In a study of more than 100 gay, lesbian, and transgender youth who had disclosed to their parents, only half of the mothers and siblings were accepting of the news, and less than 25% of fathers were accepting. ” (Morrow, pg. 3) It is very understandable why transgender children don’t want to come out to their families based on this statistic.If the chances of your family approving are that slim then it is almost worth it for children to conceal their identity. It is in some rare cases that families are very supportive of their children and approve of their differences. “Some families weather the crisis and are able to effectively incorporate the news into ongoing life,” (Morrow, pg.
5) this entails that there is some hope for transgender children wanting to come out to their familes. NEEED HELP HERE!!!!!Transition: Even in cases where families do indeed approve of their child’s differences, there is a high chance that society will not approve. MAYBE SOMEHOW INCORPORATE THIS PARAGRAPH TO AREA ABOUT FAMILY Not every child performs the correct gender society labels them and “Children who deviate from the socially prescribed behavioral norms for boy or girl children are quickly pushed back in line by parental figure,” (Mallon, p 3). Behaviors, mannerisms, and play that appear to be gender nonconforming to a parent may feel perfectly normal to a child.It is only logical that a child attempting to be someone they are not often leads them towards depression as well as behavioral problems. “The percentages of transgender youth involved in substance abuse, runaway and homeless situations, and prostitution are significantly higher than those of their peers,” (Biegel, p. 181).
The stereotypes initiated and pressurized by society often make transgender youth perform an identity of which they truly are not.