- Oliver Kriska
Throughout history transgender people have fought hard for liberation, employment protections, and equality. Transgender people have faced violence, hatred, and discrimination. One famous example of this can be seen in the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969, a violent demonstration between police and members of the LGBTQ community which kicked off the gay liberation movement and fought for an end to a discriminatory legal system. Although identifying as transgender is far more accepted in modern society than it was during the past, there are still many challenges to overcome, whether that be socially or internally.
In only 1993, Minnesota became the first state to ban employment discrimination on the basis of perceived gender after the passing of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Up until 1999, marriage between a transgender person and a partner of the opposite sex was illegal. For example, Christine Jorgensen (1926-’89), a widely known transsexual woman in Bronx, NYC, was denied a marriage license. Her fiancé was fired from his job after rumors spread around of their attempt to marry. Other states are still fighting to ban this type of discrimination of trans people, and the United States is still split on whether or not the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution prohibit discrimination based on gender. President Obama even issued an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in employment by the federal government and its contractors
Speaking from experience, coming out as trans is stressful enough. You don’t know how your friends and family will take it, and you could risk being kicked out of your home. Personally, my parents didn’t accept me for who I am when I first came out as trans, and they’re still coming to terms with it. I’ve lost close friends. Family members stopped talking to me, and overall I was treated differently. In the end, though, I see it as a good thing. I, similarly to a lot of people, would rather come to terms with who I am and be free to express myself however I feel, even if that means I lose people on the way.