Gender Identity Wrap Up

The objective of this Gender Identity Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.36.43 PMControversy blog was to bring awareness to the issues those in the LGBTQ community face. Many people feel uncomfortable discussing these topics because they are likely to lead to public disagreement. It is important to bring attention to this topic so that everyone is informed. We believe that people in the LBGT community should be welcomed in any situation. Transgender people should have the same rights as those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.  We believe that transgender people deserve equality in schools, the workplace and religion. We also think that the Federal Government should control laws regarding gender identity because then they will be the same everywhere, as opposed to being different based off what state you reside in.

Throughout our research, we have found some scholars who disagree with our views. These scholars have often held conservative beliefs such as government members of the Republican party and church officials.  However, in our evolving society is important that all individuals are given the same rights and freedoms, even if the individual is a part of the LGBT community. No one should be discriminated against based on their gender identity. At the end of the day, people are people. Someone’s gender identity or sexual preference should not influence how they are treated by society.

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We also interacted with the public regarding gender identity through our Twitter account. We created a handle and followed numerous other accounts that spoke about LGBT rights. Engaging with other users on Twitter helped us to learn what the public opinion was on our issue. It also let us see what people on both sides of the spectrum thought about gender identity.

We hope that by reading our blog you were able to learn about gender identity as an issue. If you or anyone you know is questioning their identity or need help coming out to friends and family, direct them here for guidance.

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The Bible and Gender Identity

 

The following is a video of Michael Coogan, editor of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, explaining the view on LGBT based on the Bible.

He explains how gender identity started off as somewhat fluid, since the first human had no gender, and then was split into Adam and Eve.

In the New Testament, Paul explained the concept of equality. He said that there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female. This could be interpreted as Christians recognizing equality. Paul could be referring to the unity that we once had at the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve were created.

This is one of many interpretations of the Bible.

LGBTQ Rights Based On State

This image is a state breakdown of LGBTQ rights. It covers marriage rights, hospital visits, adoption, employment, housing, hate crimes and schools.

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By looking at this image, it is clear that all states do not agree on LGBTQ rights. Some states are more accepting than others. The darker the color is in the image represents how accepting a state is on certain rights. We believe that the Federal Government should control LGBTQ rights because the states all think differently. Members of the LGBTQ community will have greater acceptance nationwide because of this control.

Workplace Tolerance: An Affirmative View

UnknownGender is something that follows people everywhere they go, including in the workplace. Transgender employees are constantly being discriminated against at their jobs. 21 percent of LGBTQ employees have reported being discriminated against regarding hiring, promotions and pay. As a group, we believe this is not fair. All people, no matter what their gender identity is, deserve equal rights.

One company in particular that has shown great growth with workplace acceptance and tolerance of LGBTQ employees is Starbucks. Starbucks is committed to including and accepting all. In May 2016, Lucy Helm, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, released a letter to all Starbucks employees. The letter reinforced Starbucks’ Global Human Rights Statement which reads, “Starbucks is committed to support and uphold the provision of basic human rights and to eliminate discriminatory practices.” They support their employees through everything and do not stand for inequality.

In the past, Starbucks has offered health insurance coverage to their employees who are lesbian and gay and has also supported employees that are transgender or considering transitioning. The company has expanded their health care coverage to include gender reassignment surgeries. This creates a company environment that is respectful and welcoming.

zR9ap6dk-7360-4912This is an image of the Starbucks headquarters raising a Gay Pride flag, recognizing the LGBTQ community.

The work environment at Starbucks has positively impacted many employees. One in particular is Shawn Orchowski. Orchowski had a difficult time coming out as transgender to his family but found “unconditional acceptance” at Starbucks because of the open and inclusive setting.

This sense of inclusion runs deep through their entire company. Each worker fully believes in the company’s goals, including Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. At an annual meeting of shareholders, one stockholder stated that Starbucks lost customers because of its support of the LGBTQ community and gay marriage. Schultz responded by explaining that not every decision a company makes is based on finances. His decision to support the LGBTQ community was made “through the lens of the people [employees and clients].”

Other companies should follow in Starbucks’ footsteps. The company strives to make everyone feel accepted and to create a space where employees and customers are not afraid to be their true selves.url

Gender Identity Curriculum in Virginia

This video discusses the debate surrounding public schools in Fairfax County, Virginia adding gender identity to their curriculum. The school board voted to add it in for grades 7 through 12 even though many parents disagreed. The following is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nojasEbTtEI

Although this is a controversial topic to be discussed in schools, it is important that children learn about gender identity and sexual orientation while they are younger. If children are exposed to these ideas in their youth, they might be more tolerant and accepting as time goes on. It will also make people feel like they are able to come to terms with their true identity if they are questioning and create a more welcoming environment. As we see in our culture today, when gender identity is not incorporated, some individuals are narrow minded and not accepting of transgenders. It is important that we are educated as a society.

Hannah Geller

My name is Hannah Geller. I am a sophomore communications major on the public relations track at the University of Maryland. In this post, I will be discussing why gender identity is an important issue to me.

I think that it is necessary to study gender identity because sometimes the public misunderstands what gender identity is. People make assumptions before being fully informed.

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To me, gender identity is important because I feel that every individual should be able to be their true self without being judged for it. I know many people who are transgender and I think that they deserve to be treated fairly, without criticism. Gender identity often comes with some sort of stigma and controversy, which I believe is unfair. Some people are intolerant of others who are transgender or might be questioning their gender identity and in my opinion, this is unacceptable. We need to do something as a society to progress and move forward. Our blog will be discussing this issue over the course of the semester!