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The struggle of trans and gender diverse people – struggle of trans and lgbt people

The struggle of trans and gender diverse people – struggle of trans and lgbt people

struggle of trans and lgbt people


Gender identity refers to each person’s deeply felt inner and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of body (which may involve, it is freely chosen, a modification of appearance or bodily function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms. 1The term “gender diverse” is used to refer to people whose gender identity, including their gender expression, conflicts with what is perceived to be the gender norm in a particular context at a particular time, including including those that don’t. placing oneself in the masculine/feminine binary; the more specific term “trans” is used to describe people who identify as a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth.

A spiral of exclusion and marginalization

Around the world, people of diverse gender and trans identities are subjected to levels of violence and discrimination that offend the human conscience:

  • they are caught in a spiral of exclusion and marginalization: often harassed at school, rejected by their families, pushed into the street and deprived of access to employment;
  • when it comes to people of color, ethnic minorities or migrants, living with HIV or sex workers, they are particularly vulnerable to violence, including murder, beatings, mutilation, rape and other forms of violence. abuse and mistreatment; And
  • In order to exercise their right to recognition before the law, people of diverse gender and trans identities often experience violence in healthcare settings, such as forced psychiatric evaluations, unwanted surgeries, sterilizations or other coercive medical procedures, often justified by discriminatory medical classifications.

Trans people are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations when their name and gender in official documents do not match their gender identity or expression. Today, however, the vast majority of trans and gender-diverse people around the world do not have access to state recognition of their gender. This scenario creates a legal vacuum and a climate that tacitly promotes stigma and prejudice against them.

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At the root of acts of violence and discrimination is the intent to punish based on preconceived notions of what the victim’s gender identity should be, with a binary understanding of what constitutes male and female. , or masculine and feminine. These acts are invariably a manifestation of deep-rooted stigma and prejudice, irrational hatred and a form of gender-based violence, driven by the intent to punish those seen as defying gender norms.

A glimmer of hope: the depathologization of trans identities

For years, mental health diagnoses have been misused to pathologize identities and other diversities. In 2017, the UN special rapporteur on the right to health  said  that reducing trans identities to diseases worsens stigma and discrimination.

In 2019, the World Health Assembly adopted the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which removed trans-related categories from the chapter on mental and behavioral disorders. The review depathologizes trans identities and is seen as an important step forward in ensuring that trans people can live free from violence and discrimination.

It is important to note that for a long time, pathologization has had a profound impact on public policy, legislation and jurisprudence, thus permeating all areas of state action around the world and the collective consciousness. Eradicating the conception of certain forms of gender as a pathology from everyday life will be a longer process that will require additional measures for this purpose.

States are invited to:

  • review their medical classifications based on ICD-11;
  • adopt strong proactive measures, including education and awareness campaigns to eliminate the social stigma associated with gender diversity;
  • provide access to quality health care services and health information for trans people and consider establishing the provision of gender-affirming care as a state obligation not dependent on a diagnosis ; And
  • take strong action to end so-called “conversion therapy,” involuntary treatment, forced or otherwise involuntary psychiatric assessments, forced or coerced surgery, sterilization, and other coercive medical procedures imposed on trans people and of various kinds.
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Read the   UN experts’  statement welcoming the revision and view the updated International Classification of Diseases  published by the World Health Organization.

Legal gender recognition still a distant dream for many

Self-determined gender is the cornerstone of a person’s identity. The resulting obligation for states is to provide access to gender recognition in a manner consistent with the rights to freedom from discrimination, equal protection of the law, privacy, identity and freedom of expression.

Lack of access to gender recognition denies a person’s identity to such an extent that it causes a fundamental breakdown in state obligations. Denying someone legal gender recognition has a negative impact on all aspects of their life: their right to health, housing, access to social security, freedom of movement and residence; and it also fuels discrimination, violence and exclusion in social settings, including educational and work environments. When states recognize the gender identity of trans people, they often impose unreasonable requirements, such as a medical certificate, surgery, treatment, sterilization or divorce.

The Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity has called on states to ensure that legal gender recognition is accessible to all people, everywhere. The Independent Expert urged States to legislate and adopt public policies in line with the  recommendations issued in 2015  by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which indicates that the process of legal recognition of the identity of gender should be:

  • based on the applicant’s self-determination;
  • a simple administrative process;
  • accessible and, as far as possible, free of charge;
  • not require applicants to meet unreasonable medical or legal requirements;
  • recognize non-binary identities (gender identities that are neither “man” nor “woman”); And
  • ensure that minors also have access to recognition of their gender identity.

Struggle of trans and lgbt people

Social inclusion

States have the power, the duty, to end the ordeal faced by trans and gender diverse people and to promote their inclusion. In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, States should:

  • conduct awareness campaigns to eliminate the social stigma associated with gender diversity;
  • adopt educational policies that address harmful social and cultural biases, misconceptions and prejudices;
  • addressing negative and/or stereotypical portrayals of trans and gender non-conforming people in the media;
  • adopt measures to protect transgender and gender diverse children from all forms of discrimination and violence, including bullying;
  • review laws and policies that exacerbate police abuse and harassment, extortion and acts of violence against people based on gender identity (for example, laws based on public decency, morality, health and safety, including those on begging and vagrancy, and laws criminalizing conduct considered “indecent” or “provocative”);
  • adopt anti-discrimination legislation that includes gender identity among the prohibited grounds;
  • pass hate crime legislation that makes transphobia an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes; and hate speech legislation based on gender identity;
  • collect data to assess the type, prevalence, trends and patterns of violence and discrimination against transgender people and diverse gender identities and, based on this, inform policy and legislative action and address gaps deficiencies in investigations, prosecutions and remedies provided; And
  • take positive action to correct structural discrimination and address socio-economic inequalities.

struggle of trans and lgbt people

Thematic reports

Legal recognition of gender identity and depatologization (2018)

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The October 2018 report of the Independent Expert to the United Nations General Assembly examines the process of abandoning the classification of certain forms of gender as “pathologies”. It clarifies the duty of states to respect and promote respect for gender recognition as a component of identity. It also highlights some effective measures to ensure respect for gender identity and provides guidance to States on how to address violence and discrimination based on gender identity.

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