January 29, 2018

Transgender Identity (Isabel Benito, Hector Bustos, Yuxin Wo)

The Merriam Webster dictionary  defines being transgender as  “of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; especially: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.” In modern society, identifying as transgender is much more common and accepted as it was in the past. Unfortunately, this does not mean that transgender people are accepted by all communities. 

Transgender people in the United States face various identity issues all of which negatively affect their way of life. According to Human Rights Campaign, the greatest issue transgender people face is lack of better healthcare. The healthcare system developed in the United States is not meeting the needs of the transgender community. Not only is there a lack of resources to meet the needs of the transgender community, but many transgender people have been turned away by medical doctors because of outright bias and unfair judgment. The transgender community also faces harassment and stigma. There have been many cases in which employers, friends, and even family have rejected transgender people upon learning about their transgender identity. There is also a lack of identity documents among the transgender community. “Many states require evidence of medical transition – which can be prohibitively expensive and is not something that all transgender people want” (Human RIghts Campaign). The lack of identity documents makes every area of transgender people’s lives even that more difficult. 

Even though the transgender community faces a lot of adversity with their identity and other external forces, there are many brave, incredible, and successful transgender people living in the United States today. One of those people is Dr Ben Barres. Dr. Ben Barres is an American neurobiologist at Stanford University. Since 2008, Barres has been Chair of the Neurobiology department at Stanford University School of Medicine. He transitioned in 1997, and became the first openly transgender scientist in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2013. Like Dr. Barres, there are many successful transgender people thriving in the community everyday as doctors, scientists, teachers, firemen and women, and the list can go on forever. The point is that transgender people help make the community they reside in a better place.


Merriam Webster Dictionary

Human Right Campaign


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