Transgender Discrimination

The struggles of being transgender in Iowa


Zander Ross

According to PubMed, 40 percent of transgender people commit suicide, 82 percent have suicidal thoughts, and with Iowa’s anti-trans bills, it hasn’t been improving life for trans people. It gets you wondering what other struggles does the trans community face?

For years, trans people have struggled with not being seen or understood, social discrimination has been a fight for years, with people not understanding what they go through, the anxiety of coming out for years with everyone you meet, your family and friends. More recently the risk has lessened but the anxiety has not. The fear of not being accepted by the people around you is terrifying, the loss of social groups when you’re already in a bad place not feeling like you’re in your own body.

They’re trying to kill us.

Internal issues are one of the first issues transgender people deal with. Having to accept the fact you’re different from everyone else, and thinking about how to function for the rest of your life. Coming out to family is terrifying; the possibility of transphobic family, along with what horrors could come with it often making transgender teens unable to come out until adulthood, and if they do come out and are met with abuse and unacceptance, this can lead to many things throughout their adolescence.
Gender dysphoria is something that causes a lot of trans people to suffer, knowing you’re not your truest form can feel like a nagging voice in the back of your head, like you’re walking with your sock falling down but you can’t stop walking to deal with it.

Personally, gender dysphoria is a large struggle for me, many nights I lay in bed wishing for a boys childhood or experience, wishing to exist in the same way guys my age exist. The discomfort in my own body makes it difficult to exist, I love getting dressed up and looking girly, but its never in the same way as a cis male. Trans men are often expected to be exactly masculine and manly, but gender is always a spectrum, presentation and identity are not always hand in hand.

Social discrimination is something I think every trans person deals with, if its anxiety or a hate crime. Trans people are often mocked for getting fed up with discrimination and lashing out, from the viral video back in 2018 where a trans woman is yelling at a Game Stop employee who had been misgendering her even after being corrected. She was frustrated, as anyone would be. In 2022, a video came out on TikTok of a boy yelling at another that he is not a girl and throwing a desk, it was obvious there was previous instances of bullying between the one recording and the kid who threw the desk. When people are not listened to and heard, they often lash out to make themselves heard, on that TikTok video, trans people in the comments defended the boy’s yelling, having understood that situation as a trans person. Others in the comments laughed at his anger. Trans people are human, you wouldn’t like it either.

Politically transgender people are still getting hurt, with many transgender laws and bills being against their ability to do things such as access to healthcare which is often a large part of their transition, with medication and possible surgeries being expensive. Trans adolescents are also heavily discriminated against. Providing hormone blockers can be punished by lawsuits or jail time. Often trans minors will file out a form called “Mature Minor doctrine” showing that they are able to make the choice for themselves even without parental consent. Outside of a medical sense; some states have been trying to put a law similar to Florida’s harmful “Don’t Say Gay” bill, where schools are not allowed to keep their trans-students protected and forcing them to out their students to parents.

This bill is active in Iowa, bill 9 makes teachers unable to let students stay closeted.
You would have to have a letter from parents saying that they are aware of their child’s name and pronouns. As a trans man, I find this ridiculous. Schools have been a safe place for years between gay, trans and abusive homes, school is often the only escape kids have, and with all the work American schools add to prepare children for factory jobs, the least a teacher could do to lessen the kid’s stress of home and work balance is let them be themselves. Bill 8 doesn’t let grades younger than third grade speak about their families if they have same-sex parents, or parents that do not fit the ideal family dynamic, this teaches kids shame. Shame for who they are or who their families are, kids shouldn’t be ashamed of their dads or moms.
In Iowa there are more laws being passed and in debate, do what you can as a minor or if you’re turning eight-teen, vote against these bills and make your voice heard