Transphobia: the main reason of the lack of opportunities against the trans community

The big amount of stigmas against the trans community has been used to justify the violence against them but also has closed the access of trans people to basic human rights like health or education.

Person from the LGBT + community at a carnival

Person from the LGBT + community at a carnival. / Photo: Pxhere

The Woman Post | Ana María Betancourt

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Leer en español: Transfobia: la razón principal ante la falta de oportunidades de la comunidad trans

"I love being how I am, and I will fight to feel comfortable with my body", says Alexa, a trans sex worker, while she tries to fix her white lycra dress, and adds a little bit of eyeliner looking herself in the mirror of her room in Santafé neighborhood.

In Colombia sexual work is an inferior, indecent, and pitiful job. All of these stigmas have their root in the notion of the traditional family and the fear to God of the Christian and Conservative Colombian morals.

Nevertheless, if cisgender sex workers are outraged, the violence against trans sex workers is worse because of transphobia. According to the numbers of Colombia Diversa, a 100% of the cases of violence (harassment) have been unpunished during 2018, and the 95% of the femicides to trans women are still in the impunity.  

A problem that has face trans community is that "the homicides against trans women are not counted as femicides", as Coqueta, an activist for trans women´s rights, says. This means that a lot of femicides are not registered in the official number of the State, and, as a result, they are invisible institutionally and socially. 

Trans women have been choosing the streets rather than their own homes, though of the violence that they´re exposed in the streets, since their homes are a place where they suffer from intrafamily violence, and they can´t express themselves with freedom. 

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"I would have made my transit with my family support, but my dad started to chase me in the streets and hit me. The only solution I had at that moment was the street, they made my transit possible. I started to take care of myself; to wake up early and also go out early; to stay up late without any money, stood up with that cold weather, the danger, and crazy people that bother me, and if it wasn´t some crazy people, it was the police", says Alexa. 

Transphobia generates aggressions and homicides, but also enable the trans women (and especially trans sex workers) stereotypes and stigmas that obstacle their access to basic rights. 

As it is said by Colombia Diversa, "the stereotypes and gender roles against LBT women obstacle their access to justice, health, education, and work. The lack of a global strategy implemented by the national government, with affirmative and plain indicators, obstacle the real results about LBT women's living conditions".

In order to obstacle their rights, Alexa says: "As we don´t have money to live, we must work in the street or in a website. The majority of studies and jobs are in the day, and if you don´t have any money for neither transportation nor feeding, you can´t study, that´s why it´s so complicated to study for trans women".

Transphobia is not only a verbal, physical, and psychological violence, or it´s not only in homicides, but it´s also the main reason why the trans community doesn´t have easy access to basic things as health, education, justice, or transportation.

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