In a recent State of the Union speech, President Obama made history, when for the first time ever, he mentioned transgender people by name, stating: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. Obama added, “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. We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.”
Ridiculous right wing assertions that Michelle Obama is a transsexual aside, the President has grown to be an ally of the trans community over the course of his time in office, recently signing an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
While making real progress is slow, it is happening, and from pop culture to our government’s laws and policies, the day when full equality is enjoyed by transgender people is rapidly approaching. It is evident in the words and actions of the President, and it is obvious in the ways that the culture reacts to the bigotry of the transphobic.
Right wing hysteria about transgender bathroom use is widely ridiculed. The tragic case of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide after being subjected to conversion therapy by her religious parents, unleashed a tidal wave of support on social media.
Saks Fifth Avenue was recently shamed into retracting their assertion that they could fire an employee for her trans status, as the mainstream media criticized them relentlessly over the mistreatment of a transgender employee. The department of Justice has indicated that discrimination against the transgendered is discrimination based on sex, and justice will be pursued.
The forces of oppression and bigotry are literally dying off, and a new day is dawning in this country, forever striving to form a more perfect union, and a society where being transgender is no longer viewed as something deviant.