EXPLORING THE MORAL AND LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS
Abstract: Transgender rights encompass the advocacy for equal civil and social rights for those who do not conform to traditional gender norms. This term covers a diverse range of individuals, including transsexuals, cross-dressers, and those identifying as gender non-binary. Conversely, cisgender individuals accept their biological gender identity. Over the past few decades, the political organization and visibility of transgender individuals have grown significantly. Despite variations in global estimates, recent research suggests that around 1 in 250 people in the United States identify as transgender (Meerwijk and Sevelius, 2017). Transgender rights are often framed as moral claims, entailing benefits such as the right to self-identify gender, access to necessary medical care, and protection from discrimination. This advocacy places responsibilities on governments, corporations, and individuals. While there is a risk of oversimplifying the experiences of transgender individuals by using a single term, "transgender," it remains a crucial phrase for organizing and advocating for rights. The term encompasses a political and social movement striving for equal protection of civil and social rights, expanding beyond the transgender community. Transgender rights are not confined solely to this group; they apply universally, grounded in moral principles rather than statutory protection. Despite legal progress, transgender individuals still face violence, prejudice, and marginalization, ranging from verbal abuse to extreme physical violence. Transgender women of color, in particular, encounter heightened risks in the United States and Europe. Health issues, unemployment, poverty, and suicidal thoughts are prevalent among transgender individuals. While legal and jurisprudential aspects of transgender rights are well-documented, philosophical ethics discussions on this topic are limited. To understand the essence of transgender rights, we explore human rights organizations' efforts and moral arguments advocating for fundamental gender rights, including the freedom to choose and express one's gender identity.