Do more to protect Transgender users of Social Networks

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We the undersigned, call upon Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to adopt and enforce a robust protective policy prohibiting the abuse of transgender people, specifically negative posts or images that result from a transgender person's gender identity or nonconformance to gender stereotypes.

While the protection of the freedom of speech is a laudable and desirable goal, it cannot be allowed to override the right of transgender people to utilize social networks free from the harm wrought by those subjecting them to transphobic abuse including hate, bigotry, and overt discrimination.

Medically documented injuries which arise from the abuse of transgender people include: dysphoria, depression, fear, isolation, feelings of hopelessness, and often can lead to an increased risk of the transgender person committing suicide.

Transphobia has a precise definition, and any activity which meets its criteria must be dealt with promptly.

"Transphobia is the fear, hatred, disbelief, or mistrust of people who are transgender, thought to be transgender, or whose gender expression doesn’t conform to the traditional gender roles of society. Transphobia can prevent transgender and gender nonconforming people from living full lives free from harm."

Transphobia takes many different forms, including:

  • Negative attitudes and beliefs directed towards transgender and gender non-conforming persons on the basis of their Gender Identity or the non-adherence to gender stereotypes.
  • Expressions of aversion to and prejudice against transgender people.
  • Expressions of irrational fear and often spreading intentionally false claims, misinformation, or disinformation about transgender individuals, or the science behind someone being so.
  • Claiming that transgender people's access to facilities which match their gender identity is somehow dangerous, or that transgender individuals are more violent than others of their gender based on their sex identified at birth.
  • Disbelief, Denial, Intentional Misgendering, or outright discounting of a person's preferred pronouns; or denial of their gender, sex, legal identity, or gender identity; including attempting to deny that it is possible for someone to transition their gender or sex.
  • The use of derogatory language, and name-calling; bullying, abuse, and even violence on the basis of someone's gender Identity or nonconformance to gender stereotypes.

While many of these social networks have policies which state similar goals, they are frequently not enforced or even ignored outright even when instances of explicit transphobia are reported to them by the transgender members of their networks; this is something that must change.

For updates on this and other transgender issues, you can follow me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/Susan_Larson_TN



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