People often think of gender in forms of male and female. The truth is, gender is richer and more complex than that. Not everyone looks or feels like one sex or the other.
Gender identity is the inherent feeling people have about what gender they are.Some people identify as a gender other than the sex they appeared to be at birth.
They might identify as male, female or as something else, like transgender. Sometimes people use "Trans" for short.
The more you understand about gender issues, the easier it will be to support trans friends.
Gender isn't the same as sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is about whom a person is sexually attracted to.
Pictured above: Mal Faust, 29
Transgender is sometimes used as an umbrella term that includes people with many different gender identities:
The support of friends is very important. There is still a lot of misunderstanding and fear about gender differences. Support Transgender friends in these ways:
Once a year our local chapter of LTA Louisiana Trans Advocates remembers those Trans individuals who lost their lives in the previous year. The numbers keep growing.
In 2017, Human Rights Watch tracked at least 28 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness.
While the details of these cases differ, it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.
Sadly, 2018 has already seen at least 14 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. As HRC continues to work toward justice and equality for transgender people, we mourn those we have lost.