Today marks a revolutionary day for the LGBT community. Hours ago, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states and people all over the world are rejoicing, especially transgenders, who now have the viable option to enter into either a same-sex marriage or a heterosexual marriage after undergoing sex-reassignment. Embarking on “the transgender tipping point,” society is finally starting to address trans peoples’ struggles in civil rights and recognize their efforts to normalize gender identity on a global scale.

However, to fundamentally understand transgenderism, the reader must take into context that sex and gender are two completely different distinctions in sexual orientation. Sex is assigned at birth, referring to biological differences; genes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs. Gender is the socially constructed roles, behaviors, and attributes that society considers appropriate for men or women, influencing the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. Although biological sex is understood across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ. The two carry separate connotations, where one concerns someone’s anatomy and the other concerns someone’s gender identity, a person’s internal sense of being male or female, and expression, the way a person manifests masculinity or femininity.

Transgender is a word that applies to someone who doesn’t fit within society’s norms of how a woman or man is supposed to look or act. Though it is generally a good term to use, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-nonconforming will identify as a transgender person; for instance, gender fluidity, the dynamic mix of both boy and girl. The ways that transgender people are portrayed in pop culture, politics, and science are constantly changing, particularly as individuals’ awareness, knowledge, and openness about transgender people and their experiences grow. However, because 8% of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender, an overwhelming majority of people learn about transgenderism through the media.

TransLuvvv: Gender Equality 4 All

Living in this reality, where 17 million people tuned in to watch former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner reveal on 20/20 that she is, in fact, a woman, and transgender celebrities popping up on TV shows and magazine covers, there has been a remarkable surge in media interest towards the transgender movement. Despite all the progress and support shown by the LGBT community, the transgender movement has been under recent fire by cisgenders, non-transgenders, who basically don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. I’m addressing the recent miscorrelation between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.

It is absolute bullshit that people are even considering race and gender to identify as the same social constructs, when the difference is that gender is not a social construct based on biological traits passed down from parent to child, whereas race is. It is a common misconception that ignorant cisgenders believe trans people transition to fool the people around them. However, trans people are not being dishonest when proclaiming gender identity, as it is not a choice, and shouldn’t be compared to someone who chose to preemptively lie about their racial identity. Dolezal stating that she is “transracial” is not only devaluing the strenuous process of transitioning but also belittling to the trans community’s continuous fight for recognition within politics and the government system.

During such high rates of violence, unemployment, and inequality, the media’s pattern of dehumanizing and misidentifying the trans community goes against authentic journalism and instead permits for continued discrimination against a community that instead deserves support and respect. Looking at the wide range of arbitrary laws and regulations against the trans community, from administrative segregation of transgender prisoners to the militia oppression felt by trans service members, people must regard the rights of transgender Americans into domestic social politics. It is imperative to expand legal protections on the basis of gender identity and reduce feelings of isolation within humankind.

Despite all these negative advances to debunk the transgender movement, it is continuing to combat gender boundaries and press forward transgender equality in a androcentric world. More media coverage of transgender people and those for the expanding movement produces an inherently positive aspect because it ultimately raises visibility and forces people to think about relationship between trans people and humanity at large. It is critical to human growth that future generations learn to accept trans people as human beings in order to not adopt a universal bias for a transphobic society. And with the legalization of gay marriage in U.S, this has shown to be a great success for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parts of the community.

Originally from Korea, Emily Choi is a now a longtime Los Angeles resident and FRANK151 contributor. You may recognize her work if you’re searching for trending topics or cultural deconstructions, all from a voice much larger than her frame. Tackling topics on socio-economic policies, cultures, and idiosyncrasies, Choi is here to deliver you the truth without all the run-around and sugar-coated fluff.