"There is NO such thing as "transgender" it's a made up word. This is a Mental Illness. Period."
"They're disgusting and they should be isolated"
"Thats nasty. If my wife were in that bathroom, I would have kicked its ass for being a pervert."
"You shouldn't arrest someone for killing a tranny, you should give them a medal"
I realize these quotes will be difficult for some people to read. These are direct quotes from the comments section on Facebook and YouTube posts about transgender issues. The problem isn't that "some" people will find these quotes difficult, it's that "all" people won't. What would cause someone to say something so hateful, so vile, about another human being? Undoubtedly the anonymity of the internet is a factor, but in my opinion it's something more; ignorance. When some people don't understand something, they fear it. When they fear something, they lash out to try to protect themselves. So hopefully a little knowledge will help remove the fear and therefore, the hate.
There are two kinds of ignorance. The first is simply not having the facts about an issue. This is understandable and forgivable; no one can know all there is to know about every subject, there are many, many things I don't know as much about as I should. The second is willful ignorance. This is purposely distorting, twisting and even changing facts to suit your argument. This is indefensible.
Willful ignorance is used by a lot of right wing "experts" trying to prove their point. Ben Shapiro is often lauded by right wingers as "disproving" trans issues. When debating those, generally students, who disagree with him, Shapiro will often reference "a study" he read, then misinterpret or outright misrepresent the information in that study, knowing it's very unlikely anyone will be able to correct him on the spot. He "wins" by willfully presenting false information. Shapiro also says there is "no such thing as a female brain existing in a male body", there is no evidence to back up such a claim. In fact there are several studies that have found similarities between the female brain and the male to female trans brain as well as the male brain and female to male trans brain. This link - http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2016/gender-lines-science-transgender-... - will take you to a page from the Harvard University site discussing these studies as well as providing links to them. Ben Shapiro is a well educated man, he could have very easily found these studies, but they don't further his viewpoint so he has no interest in them. Willful ignorance.
Simply being ignorant of something because you don't know the facts may be understandable, but the damage it can do is very real. Imagine being a young trans person, already unsure how the world is going to react to you, and then coming across the hateful, bigoted comments listed above ; there is a reason the rate of suicide is disproportionately high among the transgender community and being subjected to hate like that is a large part of the issue. If you are willing to make hurtful comments, knowing you are hurting a vulnerable person, maybe even pushing them down the path to suicide, you are what is wrong with society, not them.
So how do you educate yourself about this issue? Ideally you would get to know a trans person. It's always easier to hate an idea than a person. If you got to know a trans person, you would see they are just people, the same as any other, trying to live their lives, attain their goals, realize their dreams. You would see that unfortunately for some, their dreams are as simple as not being mocked, not being verbally or physically assaulted, being able to do something as simple as use the washroom without any issue; basic human rights that no one should have to think twice about. After learning this, if you have any human decency, you would regret your hateful words and realize there is no need to fear or hate these people.
I realize this may not work for everyone, getting to know someone trans may not be an option. In this case do some research. Google transgender and learn what it is and what it isn't. There are many trans people who have documented their transition on YouTube. Watch them, learn their stories, who they are and the obstacles they've had to overcome. There are some very good documentaries on the subject. Check them out. There are unfortunately many stories of trans people who have had their lives cut short, either by murder or suicide; read about them and see for yourself the very real consequences of bigotry and hate. We live in an age were this information is easily accessible, if you care enough to comment on this issue you owe it to yourself to have an informed opinion.
Look, I understand it can be easy to just follow the group, to let the loudest voice speak for everyone. I'm a straight white male, born and raised in small town Canada. I spent my youth playing sports and fooling around with cars, if someone had said something negative about trans people, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to speak up. I'm sure I've said some things when I was younger that would make me cringe today. However I was brought up to have an open mind, to respect people for who they are. I may have said some dumb things when I was young, but I think I've grown out of that. I realize everyone deserves to be happy, deserves to love and be loved. Look at it this way; you were like me, growing up a straight male. Imagine one day you're told "Stop playing with those cars, from now on you play with dolls. Stop playing ball with your friends, from now on you skip rope. Stop wearing jeans and a t-shirt to school, from now on you wear a dress. And put some makeup on before you go out!" Chances are you'd be pretty miserable appearing outwardly to the world as one gender, but knowing you're actually another. That is what transgender people deal with every day.
So hopefully some people will read this, learn a little and realize there's nothing to fear from trans people. I'm not naïve though. Some won't. Some will do some research and be convinced their bigotry is justified. To those people I say this; you are doing yourself a huge disservice. There is a whole wide, wonderful world out there that you are never going to experience. You are going to let your fear and hatred keep you from that. You are going to go through life thinking your bigotry somehow makes you superior, never realizing that in reality it has made you far, far less. I could almost feel sorry for you, but you have willingly chosen a life of hatred; you aren't worthy of my sympathy. You are on the wrong side of history, living your empty, frightened existence until you are ultimately cast on the scrap heap of the world, a used up relic with no place in today's society.
To any trans folk who feel intimidated or bullied by people like this, don't be. They are desperately clinging to a world that no longer exists, while everyone else continues forward to a brighter future. Oh, there will always be a few who think like they do, who stubbornly hold on to hate over acceptance, but their numbers steadily will dwindle. They have lost, they are just to ignorant to realize it. They are not the future, they are the past. Just today I saw that over 1800 religious leaders from various faiths and organizations have told the Supreme Court they support transgender teen Gavin Grimm. They stated equal treatment of transgender individuals doesn't threaten religious freedom; like I said the future is acceptance, not hate. Never give up, never stop fighting. Despite the words of a backwards few, the world marches on, and the world supports you.