Protect Trans Rights - Today, Tomorrow, and Every Day after that.
by Kennedi Munson
From birth, one is told that they have to be confined into “socially acceptable boxes”. Be it their: religion, sexuality, or even their bodies, society has compelled one to believe that “breaking out of the said box” is a violation of some “higher power”. So one shames those who have the courage to “break free”. One shames those who opt to remain unconfined, unlabeled, and effortlessly free in their own version of themselves, without acknowledging the influence of their condemnation. For years now, transgender individuals have been admirable revolutionaries, breaking the mold, despite adversities. With notable LGBTQIA+ pioneers such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and more being commendable individuals towards the LGBTQIA+ movement, it’s irrefutable that the advances made in gay history have been one that’s scaled decades. Yet, when the Human Rights Council (HRC) states that in 2020 over 44 transgender and gender-nonconforming people died in 2020 — the highest such number since HRC began tracking anti-trans violence – it’s clear that collectively society must come together to support the trans community, and work to bring this violence to an end.
In The Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM) of this year’s PANAMUN XXIX conference, delegates stand together to debate and discuss the issue of measures to protect the rights of transgender persons. With opinions ranging from The United States, all the way to Russia, this committee and its delegates intend to address the prominent topic of the transgender community with respect to their country.
The United States is a country known for being the “land of the free”. Yet ironically, this phrase falls short when it comes to the protection of marginalized groups such as the transgender community. Historically, trans individuals have been discriminated against in employment, healthcare, marriage, and more. A recent account of this prejudice can be reflected in Texas (a notably transphobic state), and how they just passed a trans sports ban that their governor, Greg Abbott, intends to sign. In summary, the ban intends to limit the participation of trans students in school sports, via using the athletes’ birth certificates to “verify their ‘biological sex’”. Since March, Texas has been disturbingly adamant about preventing trans kids from participating in sports in alignment with their gender identity – with at least 19 proposals since March. Such harassment has placed a target on the backs of transgender children and adults and exacerbated both intolerance, discrimination, and violence against trans people within the state. Further emphasizing the vital importance of society as a whole uniting to protect the trans community now more than ever.
Contrastingly, countries such as Canada have made notable acts towards the protection of transgender rights, with a recent ruling from a Canadian court to declare “deliberate misgendering in the workplace a human rights violation”, accompanied by Bill C-16 passed in 2017 that “would protect gender identity and gender expression in the Canadian Human Rights Code”.
Ultimately, though countries have a long way to go, in relation to making their territories safe for trans and gay individuals, it’s clear that as of recently, many have been making noteworthy steps that one must acknowledge. Specifically from a community lens, apps such as Instagram have given individuals the opportunity to put their gender pronouns (he/his/him, she/her/hers, they/them/their, etc) in their social
media. With the intention to not only identify their gender identities but also to
protect non-binary or transgender people online. Such examples exhibit the minimal yet effective measures being made to protect and express alliance with the trans community and demonstrate how much farther the general public needs to go to make instances of trans hate, harassment, discrimination, etc, an act of the past.