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What kind of challenges can I face as a transgender in society?

Many people of color are faced with difficult choices around their sexuality, gender, and coming out. We risk alienation from our communities by coming out. We also experience racial discrimination within queer communities, which creates division and conflict. Some white lesbians are unaware of the pervasiveness of racism or are unwilling to confront their own racism. When white lesbians assume that their experience parallels that of people of color in the United States, they ignore both their own privilege as white-skinned women in a racist society and the complex layers of discrimination that affect the daily lives of lesbians of color. Women of color may find ways of living openly in both worlds and may learn to come out in their communities in ways that are culturally appropriate. Some of us may be able to seek out queer communities of color.

Our jobs and workplaces may affect how out we can be. Some of us work in faith-based organizations where being queer may be unacceptable. We might work in jobs that are not secure, and coming out could jeopardize our employment. In most places in the United States, it is legal to fire employees because they are trans, lesbian, or bisexual, though some states and municipalities have enacted civil rights protections based on sexual orientation. Those of us in traditionally religious families or conservative communities might face additional challenges around coming out. Lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people with disabilities face additional trials around coming out and being queer. We may face homophobia or transphobia in the disabled community, and we may need to struggle to find places and events in able-bodied communities that are wheelchair-accessible, smoke free and scent free, or sign-language-interpreted. Fat lesbians face size discrimination within both queer and straight worlds. People may assume that we are queer because we cannot find a man or that we are asexual. Some queer spaces are more accepting of fat women.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.