Is Hunter Schafer from Euphoria really transgender
Trans, cis, non-binary and more - that's what we need to know about transgender people
Unfortunately, transgender people are not yet fully accepted in society, as a Swiss study shows. Why it is important to show commitment and how we can change the situation together.
he year 2020 was formative for history, also for the rights of the LGBTQ * community in Switzerland. Marriage for all has been allowed, discrimination against the LGBTQ * community has become a criminal offense, changing names and gender is now easier.
These are important steps, but there is still a long way to go before transgender people are fully accepted in society.
Each of us can help to achieve this. For example through further training - we have put together useful information. Is something missing here or do you have something to add? Then write us a PM on Instagram.
Everything you should know about transgender people:
Structural disadvantage for trans people
A study by the Universities of Zurich and Lausanne found that members of sexual and gender minorities continue to experience structural discrimination, social exclusion and physical violence.
According to the survey, members of gender minorities in particular, such as trans, non-binary or intersex people, were twice as likely to be victims of discrimination as sexual minorities. The study highlights the disadvantages of trans people: in addition to frequent physical violence and social exclusion, there is alarmingly often structural disadvantage.
This includes, for example, that it is more difficult for trans people to adopt children or even to find work. Non-binary and intersex people do not have the opportunity to state “diverse” or “intersex” in official documents. In schools in particular, there is also a lack of awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"This is in stark contrast to the needs of school-age LGBTQ * people," says Dr. Léïla Eisner, social psychologist at the University of Lausanne. There is not enough talk about the topic of “transgender”, which is why people outside the LGBTQ * community are too little familiar with it.
We explain the most important terms as well as dos and don'ts.
Trans and Co .: Overview of terms
Transgender people are people whose physical gender does not correspond to the perceived gender for a time or for a longer period of time. Being trans has nothing to do with sexuality. Transgender also includes people who do not identify as clearly male or female.
Transsexual is an outdated term for those who do not, or not fully, identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. It can be misleading because the term sounds like it is a sexual orientation. In addition, the term is rejected by the community because it is a medical and psychological term that not all trans people identify with.
Because problems creep in with the terms and someone could be excluded, the term trans is as neutral as possible and is used like an adjective. For example: a trans woman.
A transvestite is a person who consciously dresses against the assigned gender, without feeling that they belong to it, and consequently has nothing to do with transgender identities.
A trans woman is a woman who, due to her biological characteristics, was mistaken for a boy at birth.
A trans man is a man who, due to his biological characteristics, was mistaken for a girl at birth.
This is a person who identifies with their gender, determined at birth.
This is the name given to the medical procedure in which the physical genitals are made to match the real sex. For example, there is hormone therapy or surgical interventions.
Non-binary or genderqueer are those people who identify themselves outside the strictly two-part binary system, male-female. These include, for example, agender (no gender), bigender (two genders) and gender fluid (changing gender identity) characteristics.
Trans: How do you behave respectfully?
When a person in your environment comes out as trans, some things change for you. However, this is not a subject that is open to discussion. There are things that do not belong to you and things that are none of your business. Mistakes happen out of ignorance or because you don't know any better. It's okay to make mistakes. If a trans person improves you, take on the criticism and learn from it. So that you don't unconsciously offend someone, a few of the rules are summarized here.
1. The pronouns
For example, actor Elliot Page came out as trans and said that he used the pronouns "he / they". If you're not sure which salutation and pronouns the person prefers, ask them. If you make a mistake and use the wrong pronoun, correct yourself. Don't start complaining about how hard it is.
2. Difficult term: transsexual
The term “transsexual” is out of date and comes from medicine. It assumes that the person is seeking gender reassignment. Many transgender people cannot identify with it. Instead, use words like: trans person, trans man, trans woman, transgender and transgender.
3. Bombardment with questions
Many questions arise, especially when someone close to you confides in you. Make sure that you remain respectful and that the person does not have to tell you whether and which medical interventions they are planning. Many trans people are willing to answer your questions, but it depends on what the intention of your question is. If you don't understand something or are unsure about something but don't want to hurt the person, make that clear.
You may not understand what the problem is or what concerns are there. You don't have to. As a cis man or cis woman, however, you do not face the same challenges as trans people. Listen to them - it can often be helpful for a person to be able to talk to you.
Make sure you don't come out transgender without their consent. That can be personally hurtful if she wasn't ready for it in the new environment. As trans people are more likely to be affected by physical violence, it can put them at risk.
2. Make assumptions
Appearance doesn't tell you a person's identity. Just because a person may seem particularly feminine to you does not necessarily mean that this person is a trans woman or cis woman. Therefore, no assumptions should be made on the basis of the appearance, it may be a non-binary person, or the person has androgynous traits - so ask or wait how a person introduces himself.
3. Quotation marks, wink, smile
Enclosing a person's pronouns or gender in quotation marks makes it appear that the pronouns are incorrect or do not really apply. This can be very hurtful to the trans person.
4. Private parts and assimilation
Don't ask the person what genitals they have or what surgeries they are planning unless the person is willing to talk to you about it. Respect a no, your counterpart doesn't have to tell you anything, after all, this is a personal issue. If you have questions about being trans, or how the person is doing about it, be sure to remain respectful.
5. Use the «Deadname»
When someone comes out as trans, this is often accompanied by a new name. This must be respected (regardless of whether this is also on the ID card). The new name should always be used, unless you would then come out the person without their consent. The old name is called "Dead Name".
6. "I just have a different opinion"
Unfortunately, it still happens that people find themselves in a discussion about identity. Another person's identity has nothing to do with one's own opinion, any more than that person's body or life. To say that a trans woman still remains a man because the body showed male genitals at birth is simply wrong, disrespectful - and this is not an "opinion".
The situation in Switzerland
I asked the Transgender Network Switzerland what are currently the biggest problems and hurdles for trans people. From a medical point of view alone, difficulties arise. The care of trans patients is not part of the medical training itself and here too there is prejudice, ignorance and rejection.
For example, imagine that a trans man needs to see a gynecologist because of his private parts even though he is not a woman. It gets even worse if the staff shows no understanding, uses the dead name or calls the person with "Ms. XY". For these reasons, many transgender people are reluctant to go to exams or avoid them altogether.
Little research has been done into the effects of drugs on cis women, and the situation is even worse for transgender people. How drugs work in conjunction with hormones is therefore still unclear, which leads to the medical undersupply of trans people. Surgical gender reassignment surgery is lucrative from the medical point of view because it is costly. It is completely different with everyday medical care, the level of knowledge here is unfortunately sobering. It looks similar with the competencies. Having the adjustment done abroad is also difficult because the health insurance does not necessarily cover it. The TGNS is happy to advise and provide information here.
Furthermore, transgender people are more often affected by poverty and unemployment, which is why medical interventions are more significant.
Trans people are also not sufficiently represented in the media. For example, trans women are often played by cis men in films. This creates a false image of transgender people because it reduces their real identity to a role that one can "discard" after the shoot. Some series do it better: In the series “Euphoria” the role of Jules Vaughn, a trans student, is played by Hunter Schafer, a trans model. The series "Sense8" also cast trans roles with trans actresses. Jamie Clayton explains in the following video the problem of the lack of visibility of trans people.
In order to change something in the situation, we have to sensitize society and make it aware of these problems. *
Cover picture: Baran Lotfollahi / Unsplash
* Special Thanks at this point to my good friend Kai, who took the time to bring the topic closer to me and to explain the problems of trans people.
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