The Trans community, regardless of what country you set foot on, is an oppressed minority. They are more likely to face many issues, and in Mexico, these issues are on the forefront. The US has its own issues with the Trans community as well, but their involvement will make the lives of Transpeople better everywhere.
The issues Transpeople face in Mexico
While the rights for gay and lesbian people have risen in recent years, many of these protections exclude Transpeople. For instance, Mexico has prohibited discrimination based on Sexual Orientation, making it illegal to fire someone or deny them a job or housing, due to them being gay or straight. However, according to the Transgender Law Center:
“...there are no federal laws that explicitly protect transgender individuals
from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity”
People who are biologically male, yet portray as female or otherwise gender non-binary, are generally called Muxes. Muxes are often celebrated in parties and festivities, and are a vital part of Mexican culture. Despite this, they are still not awarded many rights, and are treated as the “other” in many circumstances. For example, Muxes are still forced to use the men’s restrooms.
This double standard of being both celebrated, as well as oppressed, have caused many issues to arise. For instance, South and Central America as a whole account for the vast majority of murders of Transwomen. These are then mostly concentrated in Brazil and Mexico. With 247 Transpeople murdered in Mexico from 2008 to 2016, this is a serious problem that needs to be taken seriously.
Why the United States should care
We saw a recent change in the North America trade agreement that would have included Canada, Mexico, and the US, to agree to prevent workplace discrimination of LGBTQ+ peoples. These protections were recently scaled back before the agreement was signed, however.
By scaling back these protections, the United States sends a message that it does not care much about the issues LGBT people face in the workforce and elsewhere. This can also be seen with the US’s recent ban on Transgender military troops, and their state fights to ban Transwomen from using the women’s restrooms.
However, by opening up and being more accepting of Transpeople, the lives of Transpeople can improve. Not just in the US or Mexico, but everywhere. Since the United States is considered a world Superpower, they have the responsibility to use their resources for the betterment of the people.
Many of these resources should also go to people who are suffering in other countries as well. With the influence that the US has, they can be a leader in Trans Rights, and show that they care about the lives and safety of people, regardless of how they identify.
With so many Transpeople denied basic rights, the United States is in a unique position to make a difference. And doesn’t everyone deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?