It's pretty likely 2015 will go down as a watershed year for transgender Americans. Thanks to a growing awareness and cultural acceptance, folks who identify as trans are feeling less sidelined. Still, some states are ahead of others. Refinery29.com recently dropped a study ranking each of the 50 states on transgender issues. Bad news: Florida is pretty low on the list.
The methodology behind the ranking focused on four areas: work and school, meaning does the state's laws "protect trans workers and students from discrimination?"; health care, or whether or not insurance "covers trans-related health care"; safety, i.e. are there hate-crime laws tied to gender identity; and community, which the study labels as "how easy does the state make daily life for a trans person?."
Using these criteria, Florida kind of sucks. We fell in number 31 out of the 50 states. The study says that we are "very poor" when it comes to transgender rights and issues, only notches 15 out of the 100 possible points for a state.
"A number of cities and towns in the third most populous state have individual ordinances banning discrimination based on gender identity," the study notes, "but there are no statewide bills protecting workers or students."
The list's topper: California. Last place: the blasted civil rights no-man's-land known as Mississippi.
What's particularly troubling, however, is the states that have outstripped us in terms of transgender rights -- and there are some surprising one. Tennessee, always a ground zero for a culture war battle, came in at 24. Utah, Mormon-land, is at 25. Texas, fucking Texas, came in at 27. All three, technically speaking, are more trans-friendly than Florida. Obviously, we've got a lot more work to do.
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