Violence against transgender people is on the rise, advocates say

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In her article “Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say.”  Maggie Astor reports many transgender violence cases including discrimination and even murder. In her article, she states numerous killings of the transgender persons using crude weapons like guns, knives or drowning. As she indicates, the killings of this group of people are on the rise because of an increased hate for the transgender people throughout the United States. The murder case reported in the article took place in Texas City whereby Stephanie Montez a 47-year-old woman was the victim. Also, the author mentions that there are about two murder cases of the transgender women in the United States weekly. Black and Hispanic women are the most affected. In the article, Astor talks about the escalating rates of murder of this group of people. She also points out that there are reduced rates of police reporting the cases due to misidentification of the people. The cops take long to identify transgender victims and establish the reason behind their murder. Further, there is a high rate of stigmatization of the transgender people leading to psychological torture and failure of the affected people to identify with self. Lastly, the author acknowledges the progress made by many states in the US to develop laws protecting this vulnerable group of people.

Prevalence of transgender criminal cases is synonymous with racism, discrimination and stereotyping. Most of the transgender murder cases reported in the United States are black and Hispanic women. Thus there is a strong relationship between racism and transgender crimes. Despite the fact that there is a considerable number of white transgender people in the United States, there have been no cases of white murders reported by the police as indicated by the transgender advocate’s agencies throughout the country.  Secondly, discrimination against Hispanic and black Americans has played a significant role in the escalation of the transgender cases in the United States.

Discrimination, stereotyping, racism and prejudice are deeply rooted in the people’s minds. In most cases, the attitudes are historical and passed from one generation to another. Therefore, it is not an easy task to resolve such problems (Introduction to Sociology 2e – IntroductionToSociology2e-OP.Pdf 228).  The problems vary from community to community hence simple solutions cannot be adopted to solve the issue throughout the United States. Not even strict laws can help solve the problems concerning societal issues. To address the problems, one needs to follow a systemic approach in developing a plan that is unique to each community or group of people. First, one has to learn about the community in which the cases occur. Establish the type of groups of people living in the city, the number of incidences that have happened before and the people’s relationships. Secondly, a comprehensive documentation of the activities reflecting any discrimination or prejudice to the transgender group to show the existence of the problem is essential. Third, representatives of the general population, the affected people, and advocates who take action should be involved in the planning process. The group of selected people. Should scrutinize the problem, to establish whether it is an old problem or an emerging one to determine the risk factors for the challenge.

The selected group should come up with short-term and long-term goals to help prevent the problem by changing people’s attitudes towards the transgender individuals. To achieve the set goals the team has to consolidate the necessary resources to carry out the tasks. Some of the funds may include, set laws or pieces of training, funding, and support by the elected leaders in a community. Lastly, it is essential to consider the amount of time needed in resolving the problem. For instance, transgender discrimination and murders cases can be dealt with over an extended period in a single locality since the occurrence is not as frequent.  One year is appropriate in achieving attitude change among the people. Concisely solving the problem, requires the involvement of the affected people, and takes time to change people’s attitude through conversations.

In the article, Astor (1) mentions, three groups of people including the police, advocacy groups, and the judiciary. All these teams of people play different roles in solving or perpetuating the problem. The police have been accused of misreporting transgender homicide cases hence a lesser number of the cases are on the domain. As a result, affecting the zeal with which the relevant bodies use in preventing the instances thus the police indirectly play a role in perpetuating the problem though not intentionally. The advocacy groups have been crucial in solving the problem. The teams are responsible for creating awareness among the American people on the injustices taking place throughout the country, eventually leading to the development of laws and increased vigilance of the police. Moreover, the groups help in developing strategies to assist communities to accept the transgender groups and eliminate stigmatizations.

As the author reports, transgender hate and crimes are not an isolated problem but part of a more significant issue. The probe is coupled with racial and gender discrimination. Therefore, to solve the problem by eliminating the core risk factors perpetuating the difficulties. For instance, there has been no case of white victims as there is an increasing number of Hispanic and black women victims. It could be argued that the fact that the two groups of people affected come from racial and ethnic groups that have been discriminated for a long time in the United States could be the reason for the high number of cases. Thus the importance of looking at the issue in different perspectives.

In agreement with the symbolic interaction theories, human behavior is as a result of different relationships with people. People are responsible for shaping the world. For instance, a consistent interaction of a person with transgender persons might lead to a development of a particular behavior towards this group of people which might be violent or of compassion.

Finally a reader of the article “Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say.” gets an impression that the transgender people are going through hard times due to stigmatization and murder cases. The author is not biased since she gives both accounts of the story, she does not incriminate any group of people but instead gives the general roles of each group of people mentioned in the article. The authorship indicates that the government and advocacy groups have a crucial role to play in protecting the transgender people and creating awareness among different communities respectively.

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  1. Astor, Maggie. “Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say.” The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2017. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/us/transgender-women-killed.html.
  2. Introduction to Sociology 2e – IntroductionToSociology2e-OP.Pdf. https://d3bxy9euw4e147.cloudfront.net/oscms-prodcms/media/documents/IntroductionToSociology2e-OP.pdf. Accessed 11 Nov. 2017.
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