Mandatory Reading: http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender
Recommended Reading: Aggregated Sample of Articles on LGBTQ Discrimination and Problems
http://www.livescience.com/11208-high-suicide-risk-prejudice-plague-transgender-people.html -- Typical transgender people problems.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tgyts3u1i74snma/transWomenFacts.txt?dl=0 -- Articles on trans women and their problems.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/w06x97s724cqpqq/hydra-Autumn_trans_gaming_log.txt?dl=0 -- Shit that happens not just online.
Of Interest: Hard Science
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5s5s9okftooxfsb/lgbtqStudies.txt?dl=0 -- LGBTQ2SIAA problems in general.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nty3egw26siz20y/transMedicalStudies.txt?dl=0 -- Links to relevant studies on various aspects of neuroscience, psychiatry, etc. involved wrt trans people.
Public attention has been growing over the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Asexual, Agender (LGBTQ2SIAA) community*, and the community itself is growing, in part thanks to the Internet and proliferation of communication. Legal resources are increasing and social contradictions within typically perceived society are becoming more apparent and visible through intensification of social problems at large and due to the efforts of equality, feminist, men's rights, and other groups (whether or not these groups alone are right or wrong on issues they lay claim is separate question,, that although not removed from the issue I will present, are not the focus). Discrimination is revealing itself to be independent of intent: there are contexts in which overt discrimination such as targeted street violence are obviously intentional, but there exist also contexts in which social policy necessarily excludes large portions of specific social groups that may on paper look well-meaning. Thanks to continued advocacy and open-mindedness working together, more and more understanding is achieved.
*: Not all distinguishable groups are included. See discussion.
Gender and Sexuality
Growing evidence presents challenges to traditionally and/or commonly held beliefs about gender and sexuality.
Gender is taken to mean "gender identity" while sexuality is taken to mean "sexual orientation". A basic, colloquial understanding would be that gender is the internal sense of being a man or woman (or, from these distinct points, identify further distinctions a la third gender, genderqueer, etc.). Sexuality would be the overall pattern of physical, emotional, romantic, or some subset, attraction to others.
Sometimes, gender and sexuality are conflated. This is less likely to happen given that people are growing more open to the facts surrounding the lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities.
Gender and Sex
A colloquial definition for sex would be bodily patterns of chromosomes, hormones, internal and external reproductive organs, secondary sex characteristics, etc. This is also often conflated with gender. One prevailing theory is that gender and gender are two distinct attributes. Another theory is that gender and sex are intertwined but not equivalent -- two distinct variables that are also partially functions of each other.
Problems arise from the conflation of gender, sex, and sexuality in any subset of at least 2 members, let alone the overt demonization or discrimination of any three of these. There are many myths and jokes that are made at the expense of the LGBTQ community. Many of these or their misbegotten evolutions are used as justifications of both overt and unintentional legal discrimination, such as the "trans panic defence," whereby a man can use in the legal defence against a charge of homicide the excuse that "they were deceived by a trans woman" under the false pretense that the trans woman is actually a man, when under a model that does not conflate gender, sex, and sexuality, there is no defence of such a murder. Such myths prey on people's fears and ignorance to produce many horrible consequences, only one of which is discrimination and harassment in the workplace and in public, performing daily tasks of shopping, traveling, and work.
Societal organization also leads transgender people, particularly trans women, to higher risks of bullying and exclusion at any age, and naturally, predictably, the consistent bullying and harassment that can begin at very early ages depending on how a child expresses their gender often leads to problems in adult life in coping with mental illness, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. This set of relations of bullying and harassment with health and life consequences is similar to that of gay and lesbian people, although not quite under the same bases under the gender, sex, and sexuality model.
I'm here to gather thoughts, answer questions, dispel what myths I can, provide what information and links I can, or otherwise nudge people along to understanding. Although I'm not the type of person to follow current events very closely, I have an interest in this subject and would be happy to do what I can to provide news links, journalism, studies, etc.
EDIT: I'll be advocating for LGBTQ rights and social change though.
Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on Dec 26 2014, 10:52 pm by Sand Wraith.