Transsexual and transgendered individuals expose the shortcomings of our narrow categories. Because they trouble this vision of male and female, they have been “socially erased,” to borrow a term from Concordia Professor Viviane Namaste. The result is a serious dearth in understanding concerning trans identities and everyday experience.
This lack of understanding can take on many forms, from workplace discrimination to physical, emotional and sexual violence. The lack of education concerning the existence of trans people and their various societal contributions has a significantly negative impact on this demographic. Many trans people, especially transsexual women from visible minorities, struggle to gain access to education, employment, health care and essential social services. As a result, many trans persons are placed at high risk of impoverishment, illness, homelessness and violence.
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Mr. McVety’s use of the language of pedophilia, and other forms of sexual predation, criminal opportunism and violence within female-specific spaces serves as a perfect example of the pathologization, criminalization and fear-mongering that continues to mark the lives of those within the trans communities.
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