Through different analyses, we have addressed the struggles that transgender children faced in the 1980s and 1990s versus today. This post serves as a means to tie our argument into a concluding remark. Despite the fact that the scope of our argument is limited to the direct experiences of only a couple individuals, our website achieved its goal of conveying information of the past and present experiences of transgender youth.
Janet Mock was the primary individual whom we analyzed, given that her memoir, Redefining Realness, was a vital component in our understanding of one woman’s trans experience. By analyzing passages from her memoir, a picture from her youth and an interview with her, we were able to hone in on Mock’s childhood struggles, and use it as a comparison to the struggles that transgender children face in current society. For example, while Mock had to express her gender identity in more private settings, Jacob, from the NBC Nightly News segment, has had the opportunity to openly express himself as a boy since a very young age. It is not our intention to group the experiences of trans children. Instead, the focus of our project was to illuminate several similarities and differences that trans children have faced throughout the past three decades.
Unfortunately, the harassment that transgender students are subjected to is still present in schools, and, often, teachers fail to intervene. However, laws have been passed to instate gender-neutral restrooms in schools and allow transgender children to play on the sports team they identify with. Although these laws allow trans students to openly express their gender identities, more laws are necessary to further advocate for the rights of transgender people. Despite the strides being made, President Trump is attempting to redefine the term ‘gender’ to exclude transgender individuals. If his efforts succeed, transgender students would lose all protection provided under Title XI, which would reverse much of the progress made to ensure the safety and inclusion of such students.
We chose to analyze Mock’s experiences in the late 1980s and 1990s given that this time period falls directly before the current generation. Despite the fact that this time period spans a mere 30 years, generalized attitudes towards transgender individuals have improved. Specifically, individuals born in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s have grown up in a more progressive era, which has promoted an increased acceptance of all individuals, regardless of their identity, such as their gender and race. For this reason, there is hope that each preceding generation will further perpetuate this ideological trend, and, as a result, society will become increasingly accepting. In essence, in order to educate older generations on trans issues, younger generations must be the agents of change and promote equality for all individuals.