22 March 2012

99 Steps

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has just issued a new Blueprint for Equality. It outlines 99 steps that could be taken to improve the lives of transgender  Americans.   The steps are classified among such areas as Housing and Homelessness, Safe and Supportive Schools and Health Care Access.  Also, there are sections about Immigration, Travel, Documents and Privacy as well as Military Service and Honoring Our Veterans, all of which are issues that are all but completely missed by the mainstream media.

It's particularly gratifying to note that even in areas like Safe and Supportive Schools that have recently been part of the national conversation, the report makes useful suggestions that go well beyond what even policy-makers, let alone the mainstream media, have discussed.  For example, the report recommends that the Department of Education should mandate that all high schools provide comprehensive suicide prevention education--which includes discussion of LGBT youth and why they are at increased risk--to all high-school students.  

Another thing I like about the report is that it points out the importance of the efforts parents and youth educators have made in bringing about safer schools.  It also mentions the work done by individuals as well as small local organization in helping to get trans elders the care they need, among other things.  As I have maintained, in this blog and in my other communications, the real change will happen at the local level and will start with individual people, working alone or in small groups and families.  More than one Civil Rights activist said, in essence, that anti-discrimination laws will mean only so much if the people whose rights are protected by those laws aren't seen as their friends, neighbors, co-workers, brothers, sisters and members of their community rather than as merely Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Gays, Transgenders or members of any other "minority" group you care to name.

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