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Saturday, April 13, 2024

In the past decade alone, the landscape of the gay and lesbian fight for equality has changed dramatically.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in six states, gay couples can now adopt in Florida, gay soldiers can now serve openly in the military and it appears the Defense of Marriage Act is on its way out as legitimate policy.

Yet, it seems bittersweet that at a time where such progress is being achieved, others are being left out.

While most of the gay-rights advocates are focusing on marriage equality, few groups are focusing on transgender discrimination.

These people face enormous obstacles every day in simply trying to express their identities.

From ordinarily mundane tasks like going to the restroom to extraordinary situations like being placed in juvenile centers, transgender people have to battle with their gender constantly.

Due to society's imposed significance on gender, these individuals are pressured to either identify as male or female or otherwise be excluded.

Governmental programs are inherently gender-biased and discriminate against transgender people.

In Gainesville, we are fortunate to have citywide and university-wide gender identity nondiscrimination policies.

This is a start to forming a better world for these people, but until we stop only focusing on marriage equality, progress will not occur.

Justin Soto

Gainesville resident

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