(I have all my notes on a google doc so they wont be in my project)
For my independent project I did Transgender Discrimination. I went back and forth between topics for ages, and do to my hospitalization I wasn't able to work in class or ask peoples opinions on my topic. I went from wanting to do my project on aliens, to space, to ghosts, to mental health, but I decided to do it on the topic that I really wanted. To be honest, doing a project on a topic that relates heavily to me was difficult. There were multiple times doing my research faze where I had to stop reading whatever I was reading because of how terrible it was. I remember when I was reading about the transgender military ban and seeing someone say something along the lines of "I don't want these faggots serving our county" and being so disgusted that I couldn't finish the article. Needless to say, I was really nervous to do this topic, but I'm proud of myself for doing it.
What I liked most about my project was the feeling I got after I presented it. I felt like I finally did something for myself even though I was scared to, and the positive reactions I got from everyone made me extremely happy. It made me feel like I was one step closer to being open about myself and helping the people around me understand.
The hardest part of my project was talking about my personal story with coming out and suicide. It was very important to me to share that to spread awareness about how big of a deal suicide attempts in Trans teens ate. I wanted to give a message that yeah, It's been extremely difficult to get where I am today, but that doesn't mean I can't keep going. I think people don't realize the amount of discrimination that goes on, and that its bound to happen to everyone. I wanted to show how this topic related to me. The reason that this was hard is because I was reliving a part in my life that I've tried to forget, and although I tried my best to get through it without crying, I failed. Even so, it was something that needed to be shared and it was.
I think I defiantly improved my time management skills. When I got back to school most everybody was finished with their projects and starting to present where as I hadn't even started (do to being in the hospital and not having access to computers). I think for the first time in my life I didn't procrastinate and big project and instead used my time well.
If I could do my project over again I would be more prepared to present. I feel like I could have practiced what I was going to say more than I did. I remember looking down at my notes while presenting and not being able to read them because my hands were shaking so bad.
I think its important with big projects like this to do a topic that you really want to. Even if you're nervous about the topic you chose, if it means a lot to you, you should do
- No one should be denied a job, place to live, or access to public places because of who they are, but that’s exactly what happens to transgender people.
- 1-5 Transgender people experience employment discrimination
- In six studies between 1996-2006 57% of transgender people were denied a job, promotion, were harassed, and even fired because they are transgender.
- Dana Rivers, a high school teacher in Sacramento, Calif., wrote a letter to colleagues in May 1999 explaining that she was undergoing a sex reassignment surgery from male-to-female. Rivers had worked in the school for eight years and was consistently rated by students as one of the best teachers they ever had. She had also developed a program for unmotivated students for which she was awarded an $80,000 grant as well as the school's "Stand and Deliver" award for the teacher who most inspired students. In June of that year, the school board sent a letter to all 1,500 families in the district disclosing Rivers' status. Four parents wrote back in protest. The school board fired Rivers in September based on those parents' complaints.
- More recent study shows that almost every transgender person in the U.S experiences harassment in the workplace. 25% of those who were surveyed were forced to use the bathroom opposite to the gender they identify with, dress opposite to the gender they identify with, and act and present themselves as a gender different than their own to keep their job. (Use female to male example)
- 70% of transgender individuals had to hide their gender identity, delay their transition, or quit their job due to fear.
- Estimated 70,000 trans youth are homeless and living on the streets in the U.S alone
- 1 in 5 trans people have been denied housing, and 1 in ten have been kicked out of their homes because of their gender identity
- 20-40% of the homeless population around the world are transgender
- Unfortunately, housing shelters are known to deny homeless transgender people because of their identity
- In 2016, at least 27 transgender people were murdered because of their identity
- Out of these 27, two of them were only 17 years old.
- The murder rates are only going up, 2017 also had 27 deaths and it is likely that 2018 will have even more
- In the summer of 2002, transgender girl Gwen Araujo attended a party with friends Michael Magidson, José Merél, Jaron Nabors, and Jason Cazares. The party was at a house rented by Jose Merel’s brother Paul Merel. During the party, Pauls girlfriend Nicole Brown forcefully stripped Gwen and discovered her to be a Transgender Woman. Once Michael Magidson found out, after puking, he put Gwen in a choke hold. Later, he punched her in the face and choked her again. Jose Merel hit her in the head with a can of food and a frying pan. Thankfully other attendants at the party helped get her attacks to leave. When they came back and saw her sitting on a couch, Magidson kneed her in the face against the living room wall until she was unconscious. After this, she was taken to the garage of the home where she was strangled with a rope and stabbed with a shovel. She was then hog-tied behind a truck and dragged for 4 hours.
- 41% of transgender people have tried to commit suicide because of discrimination
- Suicide attempts are more prevalent in youth ages 18 and below. So kids who haven't even had the chance to live the life they were meant to live.
- My story with suicide (start with coming out to mom)
- Talk about Finn
So, is it getting better? Politically, no.
- In 2017 alone, the new government administration has made 22+ anti-transgender actions, including the Transgender Military Ban. Thankfully he military ban was was blocked by a Judge on October 30th, and on January 1st of 2018 transgender people were allowed to list in the military again.
- Bathroom ban on students. President Trump has rolled back guidelines protecting transgender students that were made by President Obama, now forcing trans students to use to bathroom opposite of their gender identity.
- Bathroom bill- In march of 2017, 40% of Americans voted for a bill that would force Transgender people to use the bathroom of their sex assigned at birth. If that bill was passed (next slide)... it would force him to use the womans restroom, and her to use the mens.
Being transgender isn’t a choice. It’s just the way we were born. I have always been transgender, and I always will be, even after I die. It’s a fact of life. Transgender people will not go away, no matter how much hate gets thrown at us. Discriminating against us won’t make us any less trans. We arent hurting anybody by trying to live the life we were meant to live, yet people still chose to hurt us, just because of who we are. The way to stop discrimination, is with education, and that’s why I chose to do this project. Thank you.