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A State of Dysphoria Voices 

A State of Dysphoria

According to the date on this issue of the Insider the year is 2023, a time in history full of scientific innovations and supposed progressive societal change; so how is it possible that our society still manages to be so unbelievably stuck in the past?  How is it that so many people derive some twisted sense of duty in forcing others to live according to their rules? People claim to advocate for the protection of important rights such as the freedom of self-expression and the freedom of speech for all, but that obviously doesn’t include protecting the voices of those whose opinions differ from their own. The hypocrisy of it all is absolutely disgusting, disgraceful and disheartening, even more so because so many have fought for so long and continue to fight to eliminate such corrosive mindsets.

 Today especially, being your true authentic self can be treated like some ailment that you must be cured of if you do not conform to society’s strict ideas. People in the community are all too familiar with this sort of treatment, especially those who identify as Transgender. Recently there has been an astonishing influx of anti-trans and all-around homophobic legislation circulating in the law-making chambers of our lovely neighbours across the border. Across the USA, the governments of many states are introducing laws that serve to undermine the very existence and quality of life of trans individuals. Some of these new bills target transgender youths’ access to gender affirming care**, some even going so far as to consider doctors administering this sort of care to those under 18 to be guilty of a felony. Others prohibit transgender and non-binary people from using any bathroom other than one that fits their biological sex. Other bills make it harder for trans individuals to modify ID and official documentation to indicate their gender identity. Furthermore, there are bills that prevent trans individuals from joining sports in teams that match their gender. Other bills limit how gender identity and sexuality can be taught in the classroom and or make it optional to learn about these subjects. Better yet, other bills force teachers to refer to students by their biological sex and deadname* (source: CNN and Them magazine). Even worse, some bills prevent schools from disciplining students for misgendering or deadnaming other classmates, effectively encouraging discrimination against trans youth (source: CTV News). 

Proponents of these bills claim that they are being proposed for the protection of children, when in fact they achieve nothing but the opposite. They are not supported by science or actual factual truths but on the contrary, they are merely grounded in the closed-minded opinions of some of those who hold power. It is a sad and well-known truth that trans youth are more likely to take their own lives than cisgender youth, and these bills certainly do not help the matter (source: CNN). They merely serve to further the decline of the trans community’s mental health. In addition to the direct impact this mountain of hostile legislation will have within the transgender community, this also provides encouragement and fuel for the circulation of transphobic views. 

There is no question that limiting how subjects like sexuality and gender identity are taught in schools and providing parents with the option to opt their children out of these discussions, only further encourages ignorance and bigotry in the minds of future generations. It is so important to expose children to diverse viewpoints and the experiences of others to allow them to form their own opinions about the world, instead of forcing them to adhere to their parents’ views. I find it supremely ironic that critics of the 2SLGBTQIA+ claim that the community is indoctrinating their impressionable children with their “harmful” ideas, but isn’t the very definition of indoctrination teaching someone to accept something without question?  Thus, by not providing their children with the opportunity to form their own opinions, they are conditioning their children to believe what they do without question. Contrary to popular belief in some circles, being read to by a Drag queen does not mean their child will be infected by “gayness”; it merely means they’ll likely grow up to be better, more tolerant human beings than them.

So many people hold the irrational fear of being something other than the norm, but honestly where is the fun in that? What is the harm in living life to the fullest and expressing yourself in the ways that fill you with the most joy? What significant harm would society face if people were themselves? What is the actual harm in someone living life as the gender they feel the most fulfilled as? What is the harm in a man embracing femininity and engaging in drag? Why must society cling to such archaic views at the expense of other people’s happiness?

   What is happening now within the world is exactly why it is so important for allies and transgender people alike to rally together and fight for their rights. With the sheer amount of bad news, it is easy to feel powerless and hopeless, but you can’t give in. Speak up, go to protests like the one that took place right here in Montreal on March 17th. Though they are certainly forces to be reckoned with, trans people cannot win this fight alone. They need their allies to support them and act as their megaphone so their voices can be amplified for everyone to hear. Perhaps by sharing their stories and reminding everyone, especially those in power, of their shared humanity, positive change can occur. Though we are in a period where many steps backwards are being taken, there is always an opportunity for a change in the right direction.

*a deadname refers to the original name that someone was given at birth that usually corresponds to their biological sex

**gender affirming care, refers to care such as hormone therapies which aid trans people in feeling more comfortable within their own skin which allow for the development of traits associated with a certain gender or for the retardation of puberty (source: Association of American Medical Colleges).

By: Brianna Fasoli

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