OPINION: Transgender people deserve equal rights


Photo credit/ Tony Webster

Twin Cities Pride Parade in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 24, 2018.

Transgender people deserve the same basic human rights afforded to their cisgender counterparts. According to the Human Rights Campaign, issues the transgender community face include discrimination in daily life and heathcare.


Discrimination against transgender people often comes in the form of job discrimination based on gender identity.

Jobs should be hired based on skill and gender identity should not be the sole consideration for a job. Even if a transgender person is fortunate enough to get the job, they can then be subjected to harassment and termination based on their gender identity.

Only 21 states have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survery shows that 26% of transgender respondents lost their job because of bias, 50% were harassed on the job, 20% were denied housing or evicted, and 78% of student respondents were assaulted or harassed. Transgender students are also at risk for discrimination.


Trans women experience more of a social stigma than men. Although there is always a double standard between men and women, it’s even more confusing to apply this double standard to trans women. Policing people because of their gender, whether they’re assigned at birth or not, is absurd.

Transgender women also experienced more discrimination, which mainly comes from cisgender males.

Health Care

To seek proper healthcare, a transgender person would need to take the risk and come out to their healthcare provider. Even then, sufficient medical care is not a guarantee.

Some people seem to feel that the lack of transgender health care is due less to discrimination and more due to not knowing how to properly care for a transgender person. However, an “Annals of Family Medicine” study showed that only 69% of health care providers know how to take care of transgender people and 86% are willing to attempt to take care of them.

I think that it’s a good sign that healthcare providers are willing to take care of transgender people. However, courses on transgender healthcare should be added to their curriculum on healthcare so they have that sufficient knowledge to better treat transgender people.

I still feel there is some discrimination within the healthcare field because not everyone is willing to take care of transgender people and healthcare providers that are uncomfortable with transgender patients should find a different career.

Violence and Harassment

The fact that people were physically attacked- and there aren’t many laws protecting them- has me concerned that people don’t value the lives of transgender people. Transgender people have been killed just because they were transgender. Human Rights Watch lists perpetrators of violence against trans people to include family members, partners, and even law enforcement.

Although the number of violent attacks on transgender people may have gone down in recent years, it’s still not enough because their safety is still a concern. They shouldn’t have to worry about being verbally or physically attacked.

Nearly half of the respondents in a 2015 Violence Against Trans and Non Binary People survey said they were verbally assaulted for being transgender, and 9% of them said they were physical attacked. According to Human Rights Watch, 88% perecent of transgender people were killed in Florida, 90% in Texas, and 91% in Ohio.

It’s unacceptable that in 2022, the transgender community still faces issues of discrimination, harassment, and violence. Despite media and books starting to represent transgender characters, it’s still not fully accepted in society. We’ve come a long way in terms of being open-minded of the transgender community, but there is still a long way to go.

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