Transgenders and trans-women in the US are having an increasingly difficult time of simply trying to be themselves.
Trans-women and anyone one who dares to be different are coming under increasing pressure from the current political administration. The US is the self-proclaimed "leader of the free world". And has built a reputation of welcoming and caring for displaced peoples. Unfortunately, Trans-women in the US are facing an uncertain future. Indeed, the treatment of Trans women is quite shocking.
Transgenders are in a difficult place in the United States, but there is hope for a better 'Trans-friendly' future
Far-right, conservative religious figures occupy not only the position of US Vice President. But also Attorney General and Secretary of State (not to mention Supreme Court Judges). The current administration can instigate its discriminatory and prejudicial, religious dogma against any minority it chooses.
Over the last 18 months or so, we have seen:
Attempts (on going) to ban Transgender people (men and women) from the US Military. This is despite the fact that Trans people have served in the US Military for decades without major incident. Many have earned commendations for performance. Furthermore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (ie military leaders) have signed open letters decrying such attempted bans;
False information disseminated by far-right Christian so-called family groups about the risks Trans people pose. Especially in terms of which bathroom they use. There is no substantive evidence that Transgender people have any ulterior motivation being in bathrooms associated with their preferred gender. Except, of course, to relieve themselves;
Denial of health care coverage in many States for Transgender women looking to have gender confirmation surgery. This is primarily on the basis that such surgeries are elective, ie chosen not essential;
A major increase in attacks on and murder of T-girls in the US. Especially in the so-called bible belt areas where the people are more conservative in outlook. By and large these people follow whatever rhetoric their elected leaders bleat. The fact that, in the 21st century, you can be physically attacked and even murdered for the way you live your life is a very sad reflection on the US.
Still, as with many other minorities who are suppressed, the will to overcome and succeed is made stronger each and every time a Trans person is discriminated against. Each time this happens, the will is strengthened. And, now, Trans people in the US and their supporters are fighting back.
Accordingly, there have been some major successes and positives.
Transgender women in particular have gained high visibility in media, on TV shows and in films. The internet and social media have elevated the profiles of many T-women such as Laverne Cox or Jazz Jennings or Caitlyn Jenner. These women have become de-facto leaders for the Trans cause. Indeed, it can only be a positive for T-rights when a person as well known internationally as Caitlyn Jenner stands in the limelight. And when she explains what it means to be Trans. She disparages the claim that it is a lifestyle choice (as opponents to T-people claim).
There have been numerous reported cases of T-women becoming CEOs or achieving high positions in business. For example Margaret (Maggie) Stumpp, senior VP in Prudential Financial. Or medical life (ie Dr Marci Bowers).
Furthermore, hardly a week goes by without a Trans person (or non-binary person at least) attempting to run for some sort of public office. This might be at City or State levels. Others T-girls have run for Congress or the Senate. At the last count, there are around 16-18 recorded officials of various levels who are openly Transgender.
So, the prognosis for Transgender women to be able to live peacefully and without fear of prejudice and discrimination in the US is mixed. To some extent, where a T-girl lives can shape her views and outlook on life and allow her to live openly or not. The bigger coastal cities such as New York, LA and San Francisco (with its high ratio of gay people as residents) are going to be far better places to live and work. Living in a small town in the mid-west bible belt can be very hard for any T-girl.
Despite the challenges mentioned above which T-girls face in the US. A positive of all the publicity that T's have been receiving is the substantive growth in the numbers of men keen to date a Trans woman. You only have to look at specialized dating sites such as MyTransgenderCupid to see the huge amount of men seeking such women. Profiles of men seeking a T-girl for a long-term relationship abound.
So, as such relationships become more commonplace, hopefully, acceptance and tolerance of Transgender women in the US will continue to grow.
You would also hope that as a "first-world" country, the US should again be able to lead the way in terms of the treatment of Transgender women. This involves the terms of its respect for human rights and freedom of choice.
So, let's see what the next few years bring and if there is a change in the current administration. Without such a change, Trans people cannot make significant progress in their quest for rights in the US.