The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population has long fought for their right to equal treatment with some progress made. As society’s values change and adjust to become more accepting of this marginalized community, the more our policies and lawmakers include them. Anti-LGBT policy is at risk.
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Under the Trump administration, the federal civil rights law, Title IX, that bans sex discrimination, would enact that sex only include female, or male orientation and is strictly determined by the gender assigned at birth. This proposal would directly affect the transgender community, who identify as the opposite gender that was assigned to them from birth. If enacted, these laws would ensure that the transgender community could be discriminated against in any place setting, including school, employment, healthcare, and housing. Whether we may mean to or not, hidden bias can cast a shadow over many of us.
It can be presented in the way we speak, and think, and the way we present ourselves toward others. There are many variables that influence our thoughts and behaviors. Society, at a macro level, plays a huge role in shaping the ‘norm.’ I believe that society as a whole places these roles on groups, and individuals. It can only be presumed why we do that. The one thing that is certain is that we feel compelled to put a label on just about everything, whether it is for race, ethnicity, sex, age. Because laws vary state by state, there are discrepancies in discriminatory practices. More than three out of five citizens live in areas that do not offer protections against gender identity and sexual orientation. The human rights campaign advocates for workplace discrimination laws and policies. This organization provides resources to assist in informative policies, and encourage active involvement to advocate for the LGBT community. Their mission is advocating for equal treatment for all humans regardless of how they may identify and dispute societal norms.
Implications for Social Work practice
Social workers have an important role in strategically advocating for equal treatment. Suicidal behavior is often gone unnoticed. Social workers should be educated and well versed on what to advocacy, as well as providing interventions for clients that have been discriminated against, and be able to refer clients to proper assessments and treatments as seen fit. The social work Code of Ethics states that social workers should obtain education and seek an understanding social diversity, and oppression. Educating individuals is crucial, in creating acceptance toward LGBT adolescents and reducing stigmas. This problem is not going to be solved in a day, but it begins with children, and education. Teaching children that diversity is a beautiful thing, and equality is important. Even continuing to educate for generations on the importance of inclusivenes.
One of the strongest, in the sense that it has a lasting impact, systems of support are directly in our homes. In which case, resources for parents or caregivers who are struggling with their loved one’s identity should be made readily available. It should promote the mental well being of all individuals affected, provide guidance, and suggestions in helpful, as well as, harmful behaviors. Aside from providing education for and on this community, I think discriminatory practices on age, gender, name, ethnicity, etc should have zero tolerance. I propose that applications eliminate questions that could cause hidden bias. Character and professional references should be the primary focus in reviewing a person for a job, or housing. I would target local legislatures as it is easier to focus on small goals to progress into the long term goals. I would enlist the help of an organization such as the human rights campaign before attempting to contact local legislatures. I would then lobby my position on hidden bias, and how simple questions regarding our gender, marital status, and etc could potentially hurt an individual’s opportunity for employment, healthcare and housing. Because hidden bias is not easily distinguishable and not always intended, a person’s experience, for example, may influence their opinion on a certain sex.
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