(Accidentally made it 500 words because I misread and thought the blog post had to be 500, not the short answer. Sorry!!)
Individuals who identify as transgender have never been protected by the United Nations Convention on Genocide. Many report that there is currently a ‘quiet’ transgender genocide that has been happening for decades. In 1969, the Stonewall riots occurred after multiple police raids on a gay bar, where police arrested gay and transgender individuals and dehumanized them in the process. Since the beginning of the modern century, to today, there have been millions of attacks on the transgender community, even more so than the gay community. In some more well known examples, in 1993, a transgender male, Brandon Teena, was raped and murdered at seventeen years old by his friends after they found out that he was a transgender male.
Until 2000, crimes against gay and transgender people were not considered hate crimes. However, even after hate crimes against gay and transgender people were recognized, the judicial process is not being applied to these attacks as if they are hate crimes. Prominent trans activist, Terrianne Summers was found shot to death outside of her home in 2001, and police did not investigate her murder as a hate crime. In 2007, Ruby Ordeñana was raped and then strangled to death, and her murderer only received eighteen years in prison. Duana Johnson was severely beaten by a police officer while she was held in county criminal justice center, later she was found dead after being shot by three unknown individuals. Her murder case was ignored.
The criminal justice system has failed the transgender community. Individuals who commit hate crimes against transgender people are rarely if ever prosecuted for committing hate crimes, and many attacks that can be easily defined as a hate crime based on gender identity are not identified as hate crimes. In only seventeen states there are laws to protect transgender people at school and work, while in thirty-two there are no laws to protect transgender people. And despite laws being instated, hate crimes have not decreased. It is currently illegal to be transgender in seventy-seven countries, and there are many more where it is extremely unsafe to be transgender. In 2015, the Family Research Council created a five point plan to eradicate transgender individuals out of existence. The five points consist of complete dehumanization of transgender people. In this plan, the government should not permit transgender individuals to change their legal gender, and should not give transgender people legal protection. It also states that the government should also not allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity, and legally get surgery for their transition, as well as not allow transgender people to service in the military.
Transgender people face discrimination every single day of their lives, and it takes a huge mental toll on most. According to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, at least fifty percent of transgender youth are estimated to try to kill themselves before they turn twenty. In 2014, Leelah Alcorn committed suicide at age seventeen, after her parents forced her to attend conversion therapy and removed her from public school. After her suicide, in an interview, her mother referred to Leelah as her son repeatedly, showing just a sliver of the type of mental stress Leelah was under on a daily basis.
Transgender people need to be declared as a fifth group for protection by the United Nations for Genocide. In many countries their very existence is illegal, and in many more countries transgender people are murdered in hate crimes. Hate crimes have not ceased whatsoever, despite how several protection laws have been passed around the world. There needs to be action taken quickly to aid in the protection of transgender people.
Fantz, A. (2015, January 4). Ohio transgender teen’s mom: ‘He was an amazing boy’ Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/31/us/ohio-transgender-teen-suicide/
Fenton, S. (2016, May 17). LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/gay-lesbian-bisexual- relationships-illegal-in-74-countries-a7033666.html
Statistics about Youth Suicide. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.yspp.org/about_suicide/statistics.htm
Stabler, M. (n.d.). Transgender FAQ | Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.hrc.org/resources/transgender-faq
Tannehill, B. (2014, November 14). The Truth About Transgender Suicide. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/the-truth-about- transgend_b_8564834.html
Tannehill, B. (2016, February 17). And Then They Came for Transgender People. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/and-then-they-came-for- tr_b_9258678.html
Tremonti, A. M. (2015, January 09). The ‘quiet genocide’ against the transgender community – Home | The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti | CBC Radio. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/muhammad-cartoon-controversy-transgender-genocide-and- tobogganing-bans-1.2906924/the-quiet-genocide-against-the-transgender-community-1.2906927