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Transgender Community Growing but so is Transphobia

Growing… But So Is Transphobia

By Holly King, Esme Tilley, Ben Holden and Jack Norris

‘Shim’, ‘queer’, ‘hermaphrodite’. These derogatory terms should not be used in people’s vocabulary today. We should accept the whole LGBTQ community and embrace their differences. Our world has gone through many changes due to growing positive recognition of people of different ethnicities and religions, now it’s time to accept everyone. With a growing population of people coming out as transgender, it’s now or never to come to terms with the facts.

We asked members of our school to give their opinions on the transgender community. All of the replies were extremely positive about the subject and various teachers gave comments such as, “It’s important that everyone is happy with themselves, no matter what gender they are.” and “People need to be more forgiving and less ignorant towards transgender people.” Miss Goss, a religious studies teacher, told us: “Transgender people should not be treated differently as they are just doing what they need to do to be happy. I don’t mind whether anyone is a transgender as long as they are comfortable and happy in that gender.” Due to lack of the counter arguments, we asked Miss Goss to tell us what she thinks the opposing side would have to say about the transgender community: “In the past we didn’t have the medicine that could change people’s genders, they didn’t need it then so they don’t need it now.” (This is the other side of the argument and not Miss Goss’s actual opinion.) An anonymous transgender student currently studying at our school told us: “I was judged at the start but my friends and family supported me.”

Shocking statistics show transphobic hate-crime has increased in the UK by 170 %( May 2016, The Independent). Even well-known celebrities have shown transphobic acts which have been slammed by audiences. Piers Morgan, who hosts his own TV show, has been slammed for his transphobic and insensitive questions whilst interviewing a person who is transgender. The interview has become the subject of controversy due to his harsh interviewing ‘techniques’ with a high school student. He continued to question her and repeatedly used her old name; making her feel uncomfortable and under transphobic attack. This has spiced up a bitter feud against the celebrity.

Furthermore, Donald J Trump (President of the United States of America), in the midst of his election campaign, tried to enforce a ban of the transgender community, forbidding them to go into the school bathroom that they feel comfortable in, fuelling accusations of being transphobic. These are just a few examples of transphobia in the mainstream media.

Overall, the issue of transphobia in the UK is still a prevalent problem that is affecting many people’s lives. People need to be educated on this subject as more people are proudly coming out as transgender; it is our responsibility as the younger generation to accept their decisions and teach the older generation, who are generally less understanding, so that everyone is aware of the growing transgender community.

From birth we are constantly pressured into gender roles, with blue and pink clothes filling the shelves and a distinct lack of gender neutral clothing and toys. A way forward may be for the new generation of parents to abandon these stereotypes and allow children to follow which ever path they choose, this way transgender people will feel more comfortable with who they are. Stop the labelling and start accepting.

PDF article relating to Transphobia attached

  • The Prince's Teaching Institute Leadership 2018
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