The word "express" or the term "expression", with regard to sex, does not appear in any law to date. Not one, none. I found that amazing. Laws prohibiting discrimination, bullying, out-right physical attacks, are all over the place, but not one law says anything based on gender identity or gender expression!
In truth, anti-discrimination laws established in most US cities and states do not protect people from anything because laws do not protect, period! That would be like saying, more pencils will make smarter people. I don't think so.
These "anti-discrimination" laws merely add an additional layer to an established law which carries its own fine or sentence and most people who would violate that law already know it but don't care. Being a guy dressed in a pretty yellow outfit won't stop you from being dragged into an alleyway!
Laws, regardless of how they're worded, will not change a person's heart, nor will they amend an attitude, nor will they positively impact upon negative mind sets. Barry McGuire said it best; "legislation alone, won't bring integration" I say, we can not expect everyone to be our advocate.
Consequently, even non-expressive gay people, like myself, face one form or another of discrimination in nearly every aspect of their daily lives. I know I face discrimination every time my landlord's look changes to a leer because he knows about me. Every time I go shopping everyone seems to know! And it makes no difference if I'm dressed as a male or a female.
A new policy was implemented by USAID recently and represents an impressive step forward. But because the policy is not mandatory and does not have the full force of the law behind it, employees in organizations contracting with USAID have absolutely no remedy if the policy is violated.
Really? Kudos to USAID of course, I guess, but a policy which is NOT mandatory? Then what good is it to have it? To just be able to say you got a policy?
In order to protect the rights of transgendered people, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) continues to urge President Obama to issue an executive order prohibiting all federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Perhaps the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a first step in that direction, but we are talking about gays and lesbians, not transgendered or cross dressers. Might I dare add, if you don't pass don't hold your breath for any federal gender expression laws getting on the books any time soon.
Interestingly, the NCTE and NGLTF also released a finding from a report back in 2001, it was entitled; Injustice at Every Turn. Very nice title. While this report confirmed the pervasive and severe discrimination faced by transgendered people, it did not investigate the situation for those who "express" as the opposite sex. I think of this as a kind of discrimination within our own ranks.
Out of a small sample of nearly 6,500 trans persons, the report found they experienced high levels of discrimination in fields of employment, housing, health care, education, legal, and even in their own families! And you thought is was just you! The full report can be found online, just Google it.
Apparently, after 10 years at least, absolutely nothing has changed! LMFAO!
Transgender people may also have additional identities that affect the types of discrimination they experience. Simply said, experiencing discrimination of any kind adds significantly to psychological stress and often includes people from sundry racial, ethnic, or religious and minority backgrounds. Often times individuals are left to wonder whether they were discriminated against solely because of their gender identity or gender expression, or was it their socio-cultural identity, their race, or some combination of all of these!
How can one possibly know? Do you ask? Do you dare?
Worth noting, and also according to the study from 2001, while discrimination is quite pervasive for many transgender people, the main intersection of anti-transgender bias and persistence, is also where structural racism is especially severe. African American transgendered individuals fare far worse than all other transgender populations examined.
All. I find that very note worthy. I also find it appalling!
The report goes on to say, many transgender people, regardless of race, are the targets of hate crimes, but there are simply no laws addressing that issue. Hate AND Gender Expression. These transgender persons are simply considered victims of a unique and subtle form of discrimination. I mean, honestly! This kind of discrimination can include everything from a disapproving glare, an extremely mean verbal attack, a statement about specific body parts or the typical physical attack. This kind of discrimination usually produces some level of discomfort.
Say it ain't so!
People who engage in this type of activity are usually nothing less than invasive, usually vulgar, and total brutes.
So, where does it all end? My guess is when society decides it ends. I'm not holding my breath.