Minneapolis City Council Speaker Andrea Jenkins spoke about the challenges facing transgender people and what transgender politicians like her can do about them in a podcast on The Washington Post on Friday.
Jenkins, who has interviewed Montana State Representative Zoe Zephyr before mail Journalist Akila Johnson said she was lucky to come from a “hospitable country” like Minnesota.
Earlier this month, Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order protecting the rights of LGBT people from Minnesota and other states to receive gender-affirming health care. On Friday, the Minnesota State Assembly approved a bill that would prevent people from outside the state from being arrested for providing or receiving gender confirmation care in Minnesota, even if they come from a state that has banned such care.
However, Jenkins said, homelessness among transgender youth remains a major concern, which is largely based on the discrimination they face in the labor market.
“They find themselves on the street late at night,” she said, and are prone to violence. “We have to break down those barriers to housing and employment.”
The podcast aired the same day that a Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll of more than 500 transgender people was released. It also surveyed more than 800 cisgender Americans about restrictions regarding transgender people. And it found that despite the difficulties, the vast majority — 77% of transgender people — said they were happier than they were before their transition.
The survey said that 64% of transgender adults surveyed said they had been verbally attacked because of their gender identity, gender expression, or gender identity, and 25% said they had been physically assaulted.
The survey also determined that a majority of 62% of trans adults identify as “gender non-conforming trans” or “trans and non-binary”, while 33% identify as “transgender” or a “transgender woman”. About half of them ask people to refer to them with their pronouns, although most say they use their own pronouns.
Although the majority of transgender respondents, 77%, said they changed their clothes and hairstyles, only 31% said they used hormonal therapies, hormone replacement therapy, or puberty-preventing hormones and 16% had gender confirmation surgery or other surgical treatment to change their physical appearance. .
The Washington Post said it conducted the poll because of the “extreme polarization” around transgender rights, with more than 200 bills introduced in state legislatures this year that seek to limit access to gender affirmation care, and what children can learn about their transgender identity. in schools or whether trans girls can play sports. However, only about 1% of the US population identifies as transgender or non-binary.
Montana, which has already barred residents from changing their gender on birth certificates after conversion, is among the states whose legislatures are considering anti-transformation legislation.
Zepher is trying to counter this with a bill of her own that would ban “transphobic panic defense” from those who commit violence against transgender people and allow them to use “because they were shocked to discover” who their victims are. But Zeffer said the refusal to defend a “crime of passion” by those who attack transgender people faces an uphill battle in a “red” state like Montana.
However, when she knocked on the door in her area, Zeph said, “I’ve been met kindly at every door.”
It’s important for transgender people to be in politics, Jenkins said, so “they’re in the space where laws are considered.”
Jenkins also gave some advice on how to treat transgender people with dignity.
She said, “Don’t ask people for their real names, that’s insulting, and don’t ask them about their medical transformation.”
She also said that “to be a positive ally” for transgender people, one must be willing to “shut down transgender jokes” if the situation arises.