Trans Day of Visibility, the 31st March, is dedicated to celebrating Transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination faced by Transgender people worldwide, and that is exactly what we are about to do.
Between 2008 and 2014, 1,612 Trans people were murdered across 62 countries – equivalent to a killing every two days. This rate has not slowed down as in the past year there has been at least 190 murders of Trans people over the world, equivalent to more than one every two days.
The stigma around Trans people still exists massively, both in the western and eastern world. Whether this be due to religion, tradition, or just negative perceptions; it needs to be addressed that Trans people are still severely at risk of being murdered or targeted due to their change of gender.
Two in five Trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity from 2015-2016. It is also important to remember that not all people within the LGBT+ community will report their incident to the police as more studies on the Stonewall website show that four in five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident did not report it to the police.
The abuse that is received by Trans people not only exists physically but also verbally. Over 10 per cent of Trans people experienced being verbally abused and six per cent were physically assaulted at work. As a consequence of harassment and bullying, a quarter of Trans people will feel obliged to change their jobs. No person should ever feel the need to change their job due to being targeted because of their gender identity, sexuality, race, religion or anything else for that matter.
People in Japan who wish to undertake a gender change are required by law to undergo sterilisation before changing their gender; this law exists in a number of other countries and also existed in Sweden until 2013. However, as previously mentioned in this post, this can be for a variety of different reasons such as religion, tradition or just negative perceptions as a whole. This does not mean that it cannot be changed; over the past few years we have seen various countries such as the US, UK and others announce same-sex marriage as legal, which is a massive achievement and victory for the rights of the LGBT+ community.
There still exists hatred and fear of the LGBT+ community within these countries, even within the UK, but the acceptance of the community is becoming more apparent and widespread than it has ever been before. If Lesbians and Gays can now be more accepted in society than previously, then Transsexuals will someday become more accepted in society than they are currently. It will be a long and hard fight for equality, but all it takes is one conversation, one interaction, one action to change the perception of one person; and one by one the ripples of change can bring about equality.
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