Support Your Brothers and Sisters | Teen Ink

Support Your Brothers and Sisters

February 18, 2016
By _unordinary.human_ BRONZE, Morrisville, Pennsylvania
_unordinary.human_ BRONZE, Morrisville, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

There has been much talk about transgender people. It doesn’t come up often but when it does some people don’t know what to say on the matter. Some people are not educated on anything about transgender people. Some people know about it maybe they had a friend or a family member. Or they might know of the famous transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner. Either way there are important reasons showing people need to support them as human beings.  The first few reasons are some shocking fact: transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty; 90% percent of transgender people reported experiencing harrassment, mistreatment, or discrimination while working; and transgender people cannot serve in the military. To be honestly informed on this popular topic some backround information is essential.

First is gender dysphoria. Now what is gender dysphoria? Gender dysphoria is when you are born as a gender and want to be the opposite gender and feeling as if you're in the wrong body. Everyone is different so sometimes you have the dysphoria for so long you cannot tell the difference between dysphoric emotions and regular emotions. Some days the dysphoria can be not that strong but some days it's horrible. Gender Dysphoria often occurs at adolescence. Suicide attempts, self harm, and substance abuse are common. Rate of suicide for transgender youth is 41%, 80% of transgender kids feel unsafe at school, 70% of transgender people have issues with the bathroom. But people don’t understand what he or she is  feeling they can react violently hate isn’t something you're born it is usually taught.

Now being transgender, in a nutshell is not feeling in in allignment with your emotions and feeling like you are reading a scipt when with people. All people know what it’s like to not feel like yourself but it is not in the same sense that a transgender person would feel.  The stress of these emotions build over time from having to be forced to act like the gender people want the person to be. And having to look in the mirror everyday can be hard for the person because of what he or she is feeling. It can hard to deal with that type of dissatisfaction with your body and this would be where the gender dysphoria would soon come in.

School life is difficult for all people because of the desire to fit in. Society and stereotypes make it hard to fit in and people have insecurities that can be hard to deal with. This is usually because people don’t always focus on the good things about themselves but the bad things. Society often points out people’s flaws. Without celbrating differences its hard for people to fit into a catagory. If people don’t understand something they usually pretend it's stupid or weird. This is where people use anger, and in somecases voilence towards transgender people. This is called transphobia. Transphobia is the intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people. Transsexual means a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex. Transgender means denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender. Examples of Transphobia often are started the students and usually not by teachers. An example of this was in 2014 at Thorne Middle School In Middletown, NJ a 13 year-old transgender girl named Rachel Pepe (In 2013 she went by Brian Pepe) when this girl’s mother was told she couldn’t send her child as Rachel but could as Brian. Rachel’s mother said "He was going to school last year as Brian, how can I send her back as Rachel? And I am not sending her back as Brian because the depression will start again." But on Monday during the evening superintendent William O. George said he would work with the staff to make sure LGBT+ sensitivity training so they can feel like they're in a safe environment. It was said to be a huge victory for the transgender community.

“Coming out” to friends and family, for some, is a wonderful process. Some get accepted for who they are and some don’t. Some parents of transgender kids think, “God doesn’t make mistakes” or “It’s just a phase.” And it can be hard to accept because the parent or parents have spent so long treating their child a certain way and calling their child by their birth name. Now after so long the child want the parent or parents to accept he or she as this gender. Not only does the child go through emotional trauma but so does the parent. However, gender therapy with the parent or parents helps them accept the person for whoever she or he is. When coming out in general the person should confident and feel like they're coming because they want and not because they feel obligated to do it at that moment. Coming out to friends is usually what most people do first because if their parents don’t support them they still have the support from their friends. It’s also important to make sure you feel like  in a safe and comfortable environment. Even though it can be stressful stay calm when telling a person’s friends and family members. But coming out is different for all people you just have to be prepared. All the person can do is hope for the best.

Here are some ways of responding to questions and reactions
Q: What if you meet a nice boy/girl?
A: If they are that nice they will accept me for who I am. Who I fancy is not determined by my gender.
R: You’ll never be able to have kids.
A: There are lots of options for trans people to have kids.
R: You’ll never be a real man/woman.
A: What’s the definition of a real man/woman? Who’s to say what a man/woman is?
R: I’ll always see you as a son/daughter/brother/sister.
A: Hopefully over time it will change and it would mean a lot to me if you tried.
R: But I love having a son/daughter/brother/sister.
A: I’m still the same person inside. I’ve just changed on the outside. 
Q: Personal questions about body/surgery/sex life.
A: It’s your choice what you feel comfortable answering. Would you ask someone who wasn’t trans that sort of question?
Q: You don’t have a penis/breasts & a vagina how can you be a man/woman?
A: It’s how you feel inside that counts, not what’s on the outside.
R: But I would never have guessed.
A: Why would you have expected to be able to tell? I wouldn’t have expected you to.
R: So that’s why you’re so masculine/b****y/etc...
A: I’m like that because that’s who I am not because of my gender. That’s just my personality.

In conclusion there needs to be more support. Just use the person’s new name and pronouns (Such as he/him for female to male or she/her for male to female)  makes a huge difference. And that more education on the LGBT+ Community is needed. So now when someone is being transphobic speak up! And even if after all this you still don’t understand here is something to remember. People are built differently, we don’t need to understand it just respect it.

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