I went on the GLSEN website and I found an article that I thought was most interesting to me. This article is called "Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School". I found that this article was particularly interesting because it was about transgenders. In my experience I have heard more about gay, lesbian, and bisexual harassment more than transgender harassment. I am most unfamiliar with transgenders so I thought that this article may inform me a little more. The article absolutely informed me and taught me a lot more than I did know. It also got me a little more interested and I also found some other things on the internet that relate to this subject.
This article, "Lonley Road: Why School is Hell for Transgender Pupils" made me see how it made transgenders feel when they went to school with peers. In the GLSEN article it said that transgenders face even higher victimization in schools than non-transgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. 9 out of 10 transgender students faced verbal harassment from their peers at school because they were transgender and unfortunately more than half faced physical harassment. " Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%)." It really makes me very sad to see what the girl in the Lonley Road article had to go through. Lauren was verbally harassed to the point of where she wanted to kill herself. It came to the point to her that the harassment was enough to not even make her want to live her life anymore. She didn't feel like she was worth enough to live. That is a really low place to be in your life when you don't want to live anymore. All of the feelings that she had about wanting to kill herself was all thanks to her disrespectful peers. The treatment from her peers eventually got worse, and it became physical harassment. They spit in her face and even tried to take off her skirt so they could see her genitals. I don't think that any student should have to deal with these sort of issues in school. Fortunately for Lauren she spoke to her parents about these problems and higher authority at school and they helped her change schools and did the best they could do to help. In the GLSEN article it says that transgender students are more likely than gay, lesbian, and bisexual students to speak out about the harassment. In the article it also says that it's very important that the schools are made aware of these problems so they can try to help in the best way they can. Some do not help at all, but when they do it could change a situation for the better.
This video unfortunately shows how school systems are not willing to help transgenders lives easier in the school system. They won't allow Oakleigh to become homecoming king because he is technically a "female" In this case, the students that are shown in this video are supporting Oakleigh which is a nice sight to see, but the school system is showing discrimination towards him because he is transgender. Oakleigh is technically a female but he chooses to be seen as a male. He ran for homecoming king and the students obviously think that he should be able to be homecoming king. I think that he should be able to be the king because if the students voted for him, they want him to be their homecoming king. All the school system did was make him feel different and as he said in the video, he was holding back tears. He also said that he wasn't able to enjoy his homecoming because of this and did not show school spirit because he was so let down. In the GLSEN article it says that "Although most transgender students (83%) could identify at least one supportive educator, only a third (36%) could identify many (six or more) supportive staff." In Oakleigh's case she did not have very much support from her school district in any way.
It makes me really sad that there are even worse cases of harassment than these links that I posted. Some people are even killed for the fact that they transgender. Even when transgender students are out of school and on their own, they will still always be harassed and discriminated against. They will always have to live this way as long and people don't change their mind sets. Here is a video in remembrance of some of those who have been murdered for being transgender. It truly breaks my heart to watch it because transgenders are people just like anybody else. I don't understand why people have to hate others who are different from them.
Questions/Comments/Points to Share: This assignment was one of my favorite ones so far because it is so interesting, but sad at the same time to read the articles and watch the videos about LGBT men and women. I understand why people are afraid to accept someone who isn't the "norm", but what is normal anyway? There is no true definition for normal. Some things may be normal to some and not normal to others. It all has to do with a particular person's view. I see why people may be afraid to accept people of LGBT because they are different but I certainly don't believe that this gives them the right to harass or even murder them.