Understanding Diversity and Respect in our Culture
How to talk (and listen) to Transgender People
CJ246 Unit 2 Assignment
Jack is one of many brave transgendered individuals. While watching his TED Talk video he addressed may issues that the transgendered community face today. These issues include how others are our them, and the on-going battle of questions that are asked of them. For example, what bathroom do you use? What body parts they have, and how is their sex life. The transgender community is already incredibly diverse, and while listening to Jack express the challenges, they face was surprising mainly because I personally haven’t had to think about transgender individuals because I do not know any or have encounter anyone transgendered. I can’t imagine how gut wrenching it is for a transgendered individual to struggle with what bathroom they can use because they are afraid of being targeted and harmed. When Jack mentioned in his video that there was a survey taken to see if bathrooms are used in public, I was shocked to hear that 8% of the individuals survived showed that the transgender community would rather get UTIs then use public bathrooms.
One thing I know that I have learned, is that there is a lack of protection when it comes to the transgendered community. Unfortunately, with the lack of protection and help from the law enforcement many transgender people find themselves homeless. Being homeless in the transgender community could lead the individuals to partake in underground activities which include sex work and drug sales. Jack really opened my eyes to problems that the diverse transgender community face and could be facing even in my area and I have never given it a thought until seeing this video.
How can our society step up to help the transgender community? I would ask Jack this question in hopes he would give me advice on how to talk to a transgendered individual without being awkward or passing unwanted judgement. I mean we all know it’s in our nature to pass judgement on any situation, but how to control the judgement that could hurt the transgendered person even you don’t mean to is another story. Just a look could a make a situation difficult for both parties. Like Jack said in his video “I want to be able to say Hi my name is Jack, and I am transgendered, and all he wants is to have another person reply with, Hi Jack its nice to meet you”, because he feels like we are the reasons situations are awkward. I also would want to ask Jack how individuals like myself should act if we see a transgendered person being targeted in a negative way. I know for me personally, I do not like bullying of my kind so I know I would probably fight fire with fire and get involved physically. Would that bother a transgendered person, or would they be grateful for the help.
While I listened to Jack express his life as a transgendered person, and the struggles that he and the others in the transgender community face, I began to think that I have been sheltered from reality. Like I mentioned above, I don’t know anyone transgendered and I am sad to say that because I feel like I don’t know a community that is so important in todays culture. In the short time that Jack talked during the video, I have a better understanding of how our culture are different and although everyone struggles the struggles that transgender people face can be harsh and uncontrolled because of the lack of knowledge other have about their choices and beliefs. I have a new respect for these individuals because they all put aside how others may feel about their transition and they follow through with how they feel about whether they are destined to be a man or women. The process that transgendered people take to achieve their identity is something that they should be proud of and regardless of the hate that shadows these choices they continue to transition. I do not know if I would be able to take on such a challenge because I am not strong enough to take on the hatred that is lashed upon these individuals. I believe that we need to come together and learn all we can about the LGBTQ community so we can treat them like we would treat someone who was straight and not transgendered. We need to respect one’s choices just like we would want to be respected for our choices no matter what they are.
Bird, J. (2017, June). Jackson Bird: How to talk (and listen) to transgender people. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_bird_how_to_talk_and_listen_to_transgender_people