It’s not easy being transgender, period. A recent report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force showed that a majority of transgender and gender non-conforming people are harassed in public. In addition, many live in abject poverty and are routinely turned down for jobs and housing.
Washington, DC is no exception. Despite the DC Human Rights Act, which protects gender identity and expression, a series of harrowing crimes committed against members of the transgender community have outraged activists. According to LGBT news website Queerty, there have been several attacks on transgender people in the nation's capital within the past year, including two shootings and a stabbing.
Thankfully, the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) has taken a step in the right direction for transgender and gender non-conforming people in the city. As part of its “Transgender and Gender Identity Respect” campaign, the government office recently released five awareness ads featuring residents who don’t fit the gender binary.
“The campaign aims to increase understanding and respect for the transgender and gender non-conforming communities, decrease incidents of discrimination and increase reporting of discrimination to OHR,” read part of a statement on OHR’s website.
Queerty reports that the posters will hit hundreds of city bus shelters this fall and winter. The above ad succinctly reads, “I'm a transgender man and I'm part of DC. Please treat me the same way any man would want to be treated: with courtesy and respect.”
We can take action to support this worthy cause by getting social: Like and Share OHR’s campaign Facebook album or take it to Twitter with the hashtag #TransRespect.
In the meantime, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed in hope that cities across the country follow in DC’s footsteps.
Images courtesy of the DC Office of Human Rights