I understand that this is a very emotionally charged issue, so I'd like to start out with a disclaimer. I do not look down on anyone for being transgendered. I don't think you've done anything immoral, reprehensible, or undesirable. You are who you are and I have no problem with that. Transgendered people are deserving of the same rights and considerations are other people; they're just people.
Paradoxically, the apparent media consensus that these two people are gay may help secure their release if international pressure can be maintained. But I, for one, will not be forgetting how this story's transgender angle appears to have been systematically suppressed – some might even say censored. This probably stems from the fact society still does not consider trans people to be human beings.
This kind of hyperbole and exaggeration is unproductive; just because someone doesn't approve of your behavior or lacks sympathy at consequences you suffered for that behavior does not mean that they do not believe you are human. The conclusion they're drawing from media coverage and international pressure supposedly speaks of all of society--how is that even remotely fair? What society are we even talking about? There is no global society,
yet they're talking about international politics. The article is also splattered with words like transphobia and homophobia, as if the only way you can disapprove of those lifestyles and mindsets is if you're afraid of them.
It has been calculated that a transgender woman is murdered somewhere in the world every 53 hours. Given the relative size of the population of transgender women who are "out", and the fact that not all murders of trans women are known or reported, that is equivalent to at least 1.3 million cisgender women being murdered every year.
Not only is the source of these statistics incredibly biased and questionable but this amounts to (according to the actual report):
Trans Murder Monitoring Project reveals more than 200 reported murders of trans persons in the last 1 1/2 years
There are 7 billion people in this world. If only 200 of them are being killed in the past 1 1/2 years for being transgendered, I'd say... that's not really a big deal at all. The way they spun the article was pretty horrendous. By the way, more women get raped in Africa as a result of the ongoing Civil Wars in a year than the figure they "estimated."
Want to know why the average person is largely indifferent to the struggles of transgendered peoples? They can't relate at all. To the average person their gender is equatable with their sex; the two concepts are immutably equal and when they see other people acting like they're not it does not make sense to them. It's something that they cannot grasp. So instead, they see people acting in what they deem a bizarre fashion.
Now, I think people should have the right to act in a bizarre fashion, and as long as they're not hurting other people, I don't believe they should suffer unduly for doing so. I think people have the right to be weird. What gets me is when transgendered associations complain about their unique struggles, attempt to raise awareness, and shove their predicament down other people's throats (or otherwise demand societal change that makes their position more acceptable and not viewed as weird).
The condescending attitude on "educating" people in their situation is especially enraging; I don't need to know about your situation--your tastes, interests, and inclinations are your own. Imagine if a furry came up to you and wanted to "educate" you about their position, give you details and information about it, then made up their own little scale regarding their situation. It's pretty much the same thing.
Weird does not mean bad, and there are a lot of people out there in this world who suffer for being different from others. Why not campaign on that point instead of trying to isolate themselves into a subsection that deserves special attention? I don't want
to hear about their unique struggles. Everyone has problems; I don't want to hear about other people's, I can still respect them on it while giving them their space, privacy, and understanding.
I am not comfortable with the race I was born with. I don't identify with people of my race. When I have conversations with them, they often say things or assume things about me based on my race that are inaccurate. I kind of wish I was another race; if the option was available to me, I might take it. But it would be a little ridiculous of me to demand that other people call me the race that I feel like, to start referring to everyone else as cisracial, and to begin to "educate you guys" on transracialism and demand your respect for my unique struggles.
If you don't fit the stereotype of your sex, that's a good indication that you are being yourself (which I think is a good thing personally). If you don't feel like that gender identity, you have every right to consider yourself and think of yourself as something else. But the way that transgendered organizations want to make demands on the rest of society, how they seem to want the greater majority to conform to their new gender labeling paradigm, and the general self-righteousness and victimization--well, I find it very hard to sympathize with their cause because of it.
That isn't to say I haven't sympathized with individual transgendered people. In college, I did, and I was friends with several of them. On a personal level, I can see their struggles and feel for them. It's the agenda that irritates me, the polarized language, and air of entitlement.