Transgenders in the Workplace

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The Trials of the Transgender Population
February 17, 2013

The Trials of the Transgender Population
Much of the discrimination that is faced by the transgender people comes from the same place that anti-gay discrimination stems from. LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people challenge the “norms” that society has placed, in the workplace and in life, on how men and women should act.

“Transgenders face many adversities not only in life, but in the workplace as well.”

Since everyone is curious as to what a transgender person is, allow me to shed some light on this. A transgender person is a person who sees themself as another sex that they were not biologically born to. While it was thought at one point in time to be a gender disorder, it has been proven not to be but some psychologists still use this as a clinical term.

Transgender people have been around since the dawn of man and the earliest records indicate that in 1530 BC an Egyptian queen named Hatsheput took the throne and was the second queen to rule Egypt until 1482 BC. Hatsheput learned of a disapproval from a predecessor so she started dressing in mens clothing, and also wore a false beard which signified kingship to Egyptian people.

Studies have reported that the transgender community lives under extreme psychological pressures that active military do not exude. Some 55% of transgender people live with a very high case of social anxiety. The normal level of social anxiety that is faced by the American population is only 6.8%, and active military is at 8.2% as shown on the graph below (Cristian, 2013).

Figure 1. Insidious: Extreme Pressures Faced by Trans People. (Cristan, 2013).

Most acts of discrimination experienced by transgender persons originate from strict traditional beliefs placed around a misunderstanding of sexual conceptions of a society. Societies founded on religious doctrine have strict morals, which involve individuals under the umbrella label of the LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) who fail to conform to these strict morals and guidelines, and in turn are shunned upon.

Transgender people today still fight for equal rights just as gay people fight for the equality of marriage. One of the hardest hit places in this fight is in the workplace. Currently there are no laws that prohibit an employer from firing a person just because they are transgender or gay, and nine out of ten Americans think that there is, believe it or not this type of discrimination is legal in most states. The sad part is once a transgender person is fired from a position, there is nothing that they can do legally, yes they can pick up a picket sign and throw some words around, but it still will not help their cause. The National Center for Transgender People states that “Transgender people face extreme conditions with finding jobs, and transgender people also experience unemployment at twice the national rate.” (Crosby, 2011). A recent survey that transgender people participated in stated that “90% have experienced some type of harassment or mistreatment on-the-job “(Davis, 2009) pg.1.

The transgender population faces significantly higher rates of housing, unemployment, rape and assaults. Discrimination with housing adds to the homeless rate. Unemployment rates drive an involuntary forced participation in such economies like sex work which yields a higher rate of spreading or contracting HIV, AIDS, and other various sexually transmitted diseases. While violence and discrimination narrows the life expectancy, it also produces other psychological disorders. With the lack of equal rights and discrimination faced by the transgender people it is damaging to their wellbeing. Gender-based discrimination and victimization were found to be independently associated with suicide attempts. A population made up of 41% transgender people had a history of trying to kill themselves (American Psychological...
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