Trans rights are human rights

      1 Comment on Trans rights are human rights

Today is the Trans Day of Remembrance.

One of the changes in the last decade or so that I find the most amazing and wonderful has been the radical increase in the safety of trans folks in the US. It’s still terrible, mind you. The level of violence, discrimination and abuse is very high, and should be totally unacceptable. But the world I grew up in was much, much worse—and the world outside the US is mostly much, much worse.

I grew up cis in a culture that had no word for cis. I grew up with the kind of unthinking contempt for people who were not cis that my culture intended me to have—I had, to at least a limited extent, an appreciation for diversity of sexual orientation, and was skeptical of the narrowness of acceptable gender performance, but I was entirely ignorant of the experience of trans folk. I have been learning, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn, and as I learn I become aware of how ignorant I was.

Well. My point is just that—well, my point is honestly that trans rights are human rights. It’s that simple, and that basic. Trans rights are human rights. And it terrifies me that for most of my life growing up, at least until I was 18 and really, honestly much later than that, I did not understand that trans rights are human rights. If I didn’t understand that what it meant to take the human rights of trans folk seriously, liberal feminist gay-positive me, how fragile, how vulnerable, how terrifyingly temporary is the progress of the last decade?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

1 thought on “Trans rights are human rights

  1. Michael

    I didn’t appreciate the scope of the pressure for gender performance and how early it begins until my own preschooler started working so hard to enforce those norms himself among his classmates before he even turned 3, despite our conscious efforts as parents to counter those societal messages. It was astonishing and frustrating and overwhelming. On the other hand, the experience of getting to know some of his trans classmates (who are 6 or 7 years old) and seeing the support they are receiving from their parents and their schools, and the comfortableness they can therefore have asserting their own identities, gives me hope that this piece of human rights can progress rapidly. The progression from intolerance to tolerance to support has been gratifying to see.


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