Chieftain Press

Where is the Rest of Equality?

Madison Afonso, Contributor

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In history classes, we learn about rights and equality each year. Who didn’t have rights? How did they eventually obtain these rights?

Over hundreds of years, students have been told that equality is important, that being equal is what America has fought for. The fight for rights is for all of us. They learn that the fight for an equal country is coming to an end. That almost everyone in America has rights now: all men, African Americans, women, etc. (even though some people still do not agree with them, since these rights are in place, yet not always accepted). However, while all of these other rights are in place, the LGBT community is only starting to obtain theirs.

Not even a year ago, gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states. Most thought that it was the end of the fight, the victory that the LGBT community has been waiting for, but there are still people that are not classified as equal: people who are transgender. And although other states are fighting for the right to be equal, these rights are not being fulfilled.

It is not just state laws that limit their equality, it is businesses as well. Some businesses do not want transgender people working for them: they find it wrong and unhealthy for their business. Some also want transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender they were born with, not the gender they identify as now.

Then there are also the close-minded people, that do not want them to work or enter a bathroom with the gender that they identify as, as though it does not matter that they are now technically classified as the gender they chose.

In one instance a woman sued Global Fitness because of a transgender person. A woman in the locker rooms felt uncomfortable because another person was in the locker room. Now, this typically is not a problem, but she was bothered by the transgender woman, (yes, read as a woman and not a man). Apparently the fact that she is now a, well, she, does not sit right with the woman who sued Global Fitness.

Transgender people are just that: people. They are like everyone else. It does not matter what gender they were born with or what it says on their birth certificate. People change, and America needs to be more accepting of that.

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Where is the Rest of Equality?