The LGBT Community tackles violence and discrimination and sometimes tortured, even killed because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. Gender identity and Sexual orientation are meaning aspects of ourselves and they shouldn’t be reasons for discrimination. Rights are important for everyone individually so as an intergroup the LGBT community is fighting for equality. The LGBT community faces issues that the heterosexual community doesn’t and throughout this essay, we will see examples of prejudice and discrimination towards the LGBT community. Sexual stigma, sexual prejudice and Gender-based prejudice are going to be some of the perspectives I will be using in order to give a better understanding of the issues the LGBT community faces.
Over time we can see an improvement in the world’s view on the LGBT community but with leaders in office like Donald Trump, we can see a setback on the acceptance of this community. The LGBT community is fighting for equal rights because they are part of society like heterosexuals. One of the recent issues the LGBT community is facing is the transgender ban from the military. The transgender ban from the military that the Donald Trump administration is requesting is an act of prejudice and discrimination towards the LGBT community.
Transgender is “individuals who identify with a gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”(Schaefer, Iyengar, Kadiyala, Engel, Williams, Kress,2017,p.X ) This ban supports sexual stigma and sexual prejudice towards transgender. Leaders like Trump implicit hatred towards minority groups to get on top and create setbacks for them to grow by blaming everything bad happening on minority groups. The transgender ban caused a lot of controversies that lashed out in protest. Through the Obama administration, transgender troops were able to openly serve in the military but unfortunately, the Trump administration wants to overturn that policy by saying transgender troops cost the military lots of money. “Using private health insurance claims data to estimate the cost of extending gender transition-related health care coverage to transgender personnel indicated that active-component health care costs would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures” (Schaefer, Iyengar, Kadiyala, Engel, Williams, Kress, 2016) the percentages that the data provides are tiny compared to the total the military spends on medicine for the heterosexual male.
The “total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to $84 million annually — 10 times the cost of annual transition-related medical care for active duty transgender service members”.“The military spends $41.6 million annually on Viagra alone, roughly five times the estimated spending on transition-related medical care for transgender troops.”(Ingraham, 2017) the military wouldn’t be affected if the transgender community is covered by healthcare. These are examples of discrimination towards a minority group that just wants to be part of society. The military is discriminating transgender by not giving them the same medical treatment heterosexuals receive. We are able to see that the military takes care of males spending millions on medicine that takes care and betters their sex life. The transgender community has many health concerns that they face due to minority stress. Minority stress comes from negative social attitudes and disapproval (social stigma), abuse, harassment, neglect, or unfair treatment (discrimination) and accepting negative attitudes and thoughts toward one’s self (internalized stigma). The medical attention Transgender need is mainly too mentally better themselves. Minority stress causes mental health problems, like anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Prejudice, discrimination and sexual stigma are all factors that contribute to the creation of this ban and attacks towards transgender.
Through heterosexism, we allow principles and beliefs that benefit one group harm another. “Heterosexism is the societal and institutional reinforcement of heterosexuality as the privileged and the norm; and the assumption that everyone does or should identify as heterosexual” (Anderso& Middleton, 2018,p.219). The LGBT community has been facing attacks from Trump and his administration since the beginning of 2017. Like it was said before this ban supports Sexual stigma “the negative regard, inferior status, and relative powerlessness that society collectively accords anyone associated with non-heterosexual behaviors, identity, relationships, or communities” (Herek, Gillis, Cogan, 2015, p. 19) and Sexual prejudice “a negative attitude toward an individual, based on her or his membership in a group defined by sexual attractions, behaviors, or orientation” (Kite & Whitley, 2016, p. 463) this ban informs us that people still feel threatened by anything that intervenes with the gender belief system.
The LGBT community faces issues that range from homelessness to bans like this one towards the military which according to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is an act of discrimination. On November 30, 2018 Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly stated that “Without supporting evidence, defendants’ bare assertion that the Court’s injunction poses a threat to military readiness is insufficient to overcome the public interest in ensuring that the government does not engage in unconstitutional and discriminatory conduct,” “After all, ‘it must be remembered that all Plaintiffs seek during this litigation is to serve their nation with honor and dignity, volunteering to face extreme hardships, to endure lengthy deployments and separation from family and friends, and to willingly make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives if necessary to protect the Nation, the people of the United States, and the Constitution against all who would attack them,”( Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly,2018). The transgender community like many other minority groups is proud to be American and serve their nation but with leaders that support sexual stigma and sexual prejudice, it makes it hard for an American to be an American. The transgender community isn’t looking for special benefits it’s looking for equality within the military and this judge saw that.
Wondering who would support this ban, allowed me to do a comparison between two maps of the USA. Comparing a map of the 2016 Electoral Votes and a map of states that have laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation we were able to see that the maps looked the same but every state that didn’t support transgender equality voted for trump. “The transgender community, as compared to the cis population, has higher rates of unemployment, is more likely to live in poverty, and suffers adverse job outcomes and discrimination. It’s beyond being second-class citizens — it’s a systematic denial of basic human rights” (Editors,2015). Transgender are human that are denied of human rights because they don’t fit the norms society has constructed to keep order and minority groups. Once a society comes together and accepts minority groups for who they are we get a stronger and more accepting state that would provide for the minority communities.
The states that protect transgender equality focus on five areas like health care, school, employment, identity documents, and hate crime. The health care system in these states covers transition-related care, school and employment systems in these states have laws for non-discrimination and anti-bullying based on gender identity. These states also make it easy for transgender to change their gender on their driver license and some even their birth certificate. The states that voted for Trump are supporters of this ban and reality is that these states have LGBT communities in them. The side by side comparison shows us about the world we are living in and how we need to spread awareness to other states. The map displays states from “the most livable ones (California, Vermont) to the least inviting (South Dakota, Mississippi)”(Editors,2015). As Californians, we forget that there are more states besides our because of all the benefits we have.
Using Gender-based prejudice to describe this issue will help explain why there is so much hatred towards the LGBT community for wanting equality. As a member of this community, you face discrimination due to your sexual identity and/or orientation. Gender-based prejudice affects this community in personal areas like family to housing problems with landlords. The LGBT community has programs that help educate families on the topic but sometimes do to the gender belief system it’s hard to change people’s beliefs on the topic. The problem here is that the LGBT community is fighting for equality and the heterosexual community doesn’t benefit from it. Through gender-based prejudice, we can see that the male sex benefits more from this than the female sex. The female sex has never benefited from gender-based prejudice so why is it that the heterosexual female sex supports it. The gender belief system is constructed of different factors that keep gender-based prejudice active in society. The gender belief system is constructed with factors like beliefs about own gender roles, gender role attitudes, gender stereotypes, beliefs about sexual orientation, and perceptions of role violators. These factors contribute to the way that anything out of the ordinary gets treated in society.
The LGBT community clashes with the gender belief system due to it violating perceptions of gender roles. The use of gender stereotypes encourages male and females to act in certain ways. The stereotypes used are categorized as agentic for male and communal for females. These gender stereotypes are used to keep order and control over society. Through power points, we learn that being agentic means being independent, strong, and self-confident. We also learn that being communal means being kind, helpful, and emotional. This shows us how the gender belief system categorizes female as a sign of weakness and male as a sign of strength. An example from the power points that tells us that “Gay men viewed as more similar to heterosexual women than lesbians to heterosexual men”(Rinella,2018) proves that anything feminine isn’t agentic and anything new won’t be accepted as agentic. The gender belief system informs us that through the use of discrimination-affection paradox, women tend to be appraised more positively than men, but are also discriminated against more compared to men. The gender belief system shows us that anything other than heterosexual male is discriminated on but not completely removed because of the benefits the minority groups bring.
The transgender ban was an awakening for both the LGBT and heterosexual community allowing them to see that discrimination and prejudice are in control of our nation. Through sexual stigma, sexual prejudice, and gender-based prejudice, we are able to see how minority groups such as the transgender community are discriminated for not being part of the norm. Discrimination and prejudice are never going to stop because we have leaders that support these acts and benefit from hatred towards minority groups. The transgender ban and other recent bans towards minority groups are a reminder that the united states is having some setbacks. Obama and his administration made it seem like equality was headed towards minority groups but once again minority groups have to live in fear because our so call leader is blaming this groups for the nations problems. Lies about the effect that minority groups have on the society is the cause of hate crime that we are witnessing now. The fight for equality is going to be tough and take time but communities like LGBT will have a big impact on this issue.
Setbacks like this presidential election allows for discrimination and prejudice to be part of society. The transgender ban was an act of discrimination towards a community that just wants to serve their country and are proud to die for our country, their sexual identity or orientation should not limit them from their rights. The reduction of prejudice and discrimination will start when as a society we start educating one another about the effects that sexual stigma, sexual prejudice, and gender-based prejudice have on minority communities.