LGB and Sometimes T

LGB+and+Sometimes+T

Wally Skalij

In this day and age, gay marriage is practically guaranteed to become a reality. On the Daily Show, John Stewart mentions that people “support gay marriage more than evolution.” You hear in the news about states turning their attention towards the issue, one by one. Legalizing gay marriage is great for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, but despite being a part of the acronym, it’s a whole other ball game for transgendered people everywhere.

Transgender very loosely means that the sex you are born with does not match up with your identity; and there are many ways to fall under this umbrella. There are people who identify as the opposite of who they are physically – female-to-male and male-to-female, there are people who feel they are in between sexes – ambiguous – and tons more. The term “trans*” is a politically correct way to address all gender identities that do not match their sex.

The fight for transgender equality is a long, long battle – from being able to enter the restroom for the gender you identify with, despite being physically the opposite, to getting insurance coverage for sexual reassignment surgery. Having gay marriage legalized is the least of a trans* person’s problems.

According to The Williams Institute, a California Law School that studies LGBT statistics,  3.5% of adults in the United States are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and 0.3% of adults are transgendered. This incredibly small number seems to be one of the reasons why transgender people are not commonly addressed.

Being ambiguous myself, I think that behind the gay rights movement, transgendered rights are being overshadowed. In the future, when boys and girls are happily married to whomever they truly love, I feel like transgendered rights will still be far from achieved. We’ll still be waiting to enter the restroom that suits us, we’ll still be waiting for affordable reassignment surgeries, and we’ll still be waiting to walk the streets wearing whatever we want and not have to be told “you need to dress more like a girl” or “he must be one of those flamboyant gays.”

While it may be agonizingly slow, trans* rights are becoming a success. In California, Governor Jerry Brown signed in a law that would allow students to enter the restroom and locker room that applies to them. Some parents of high school students were not pleased. Tom Ammiano, the assemblyman who created the bill, states that “being uncomfortable does not justify discrimination.”

In my opinion, I don’t think it’s exactly fair to group the T with the LGB. For lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, the fight for their rights is a matter of who they’re attracted to and who they want to happily live their lives with. However, for transsexuals, it’s a matter of expressing themselves the way they feel. It’s a matter of being comfortable in their own skin, and I feel like in the end that’s the most important priority.

I don’t think a statistic should define whether that’s an important issue to discuss or not. While rainbow flags are flying for marriage, I’ll be here with the 0.3% waiting for our insurance coverage.