8 Critical Facts about the State of Transgender America​

Washpost

The Washington Post
By Danielle Paquette
January 22, 2015

In May, “Orange is the New Black” transgender star Laverne Cox appeared on the cover of Time. Earlier this month, Amazon’s “Transparent,” which focuses on a family with a transgender father, won the Golden Globe for best comedy series. And on Tuesday night, for the first time ever, a president said the word “transgender” in the State of the Union address:

As Americans, we respect human dignity…” Obama declared. “That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, hopes the mention thrusts transgender issues into more national policy discussions. “The point of the president’s speech was about economics, about making the country more livable for people in the working class and in poverty,” she said. “It wasn’t a transgender speech at all — but just inserting the words LGBT the way he did… He’s bringing us into that dream, that promise.”

Though visibility of transgender Americans is rapidly heightening, people in the community still face discrimination from employers, housing agencies, medical providers and the military, Keisling said. They endure harassment in every aspect of their lives: at home, school, work and on the streets.

Helping to stop the discrimination, she said, starts with data collection.

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