We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have the constitution...the Civil Rights Act...the ACLU. Most Americans believe that we live in the most tolerant, progressive country in the world. And that may be true unless your transgendered.
Last week the video of a Baltimore transgendered woman getting beat down at McDonalds went viral. She had entered the women's room and a group of patrons decided to beat her senseless. You can see her just laying on the ground unable to defend herself - she went into an epileptic seizure but they kept beating her until they heard police sirens. Even more shocking was that the McDonald's employees did nothing to stop the fight or call police - no, they just took video of the attack and posted it out youtube.
Here's the irony. The very same week that this helpless woman was attacked for using the restroom Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled that those Pakistanis who do not consider themselves to be either male or female should be allowed to choose an alternative sex when they apply for their national identity cards. Now, transgendered individuals can apply for jobs, take part in government programs, and sue for discrimination.
Who would have thought that a Middle Eastern country would take such a bold step towards gender equality. I think we can learn a great deal about tolerance and why it's so important that our government recognize a third sex - and let's throw in gay marriage while we're at it. By refusing to protect all of its citizens, our government is sending the message that violence against specific segments of the population is condoned.
Equality is an all or nothing proposition.
There's a new book out for parents of transgendered children Helping Your Transgender Teens: A Guide for Parents by Irwin Krieger, LCSW. It's available only online through Amazon.