Viewpoint: Trans Homecoming Queen still facing prejudices

By on September 25, 2013
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The news has been circulating with coverage of Cassidy Campbell, a transgender high school student who won Homecoming Queen at her high school in California. It’s a very heartwarming story for trans youth and adults alike. While the story is a positive image of how acceptance can overcome stereotypes, there are still people who express their transphobic views onto Campbell and other transgender people.

Throughout September, a female-to-male trans high school student in Pennsylvania was able to run for Homecoming Court on the male ballot, until voting day, when he was moved to the female side of the ballot. Kasey Caron appealed to the school board with over one hundred supporters and his driver’s license, that recognizes Caron as male. Eventually, Caron’s school decided to take no responsibility and just did nothing.

I get all of my LGBT news from the magazine, Advocate, which covers LGBT politics, business, health, parenting, and more. Unfortunately, their website allows comments, opening up resistance and ignorance.

The article about Campbell being crowned Homecoming Queen has been shared two thousand times since it’s been posted. However, a comment on the website shows everything but acceptance. Directing their comment directly toward Campbell herself, a man named Michael said, “So you’re a girl huh, drop your pants and prove it.”

Kasey Caron’s story has been covered multiple times while updates were made available. Like the article about Campbell, a lot of the comments are supportive. However, there are still people casting their prejudices onto the undeserving.

A woman, in regards to Caron presenting his license, shared her thoughts: “I agree a driver Lic doesn’t equal a sex change! Just because someone is able to fool some half witted DMV clerk into putting the opposite gender on their drivers lic doesn’t mean they have completed an SOC transition or had sex changing life changing surgery. Living in the opposite gender does not make you that gender only surgery can…..my two cents.”

Each of these comments makes me angry. I can only assume that each commenter is a cisgendered (meaning that you identify as the gender you were born as) person who hasn’t faced opposition to their gender presentation. The hardest thing I’ve encountered and witnessed as part of the trans community has been cisgendered individuals pressing their ideas of masculinity or femininity onto a trans person.

Both of the comments express the same idea: gender is determined by genitalia. That belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Gender is not experienced physically. Yes, there are physical differences between men and women due to hormones, but gender is mainly experienced in the brain. During transition, members of the trans community do not change their minds to match their bodies, they change their bodies to match their minds.

In daily life, trans people face discrimination in the workplace, clothing stores, and bathrooms because of people’s idea of what creates gender.

 

Emmett Christolear
staff writer
christolear@uab.edu

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