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Singh: Trans liberation benefits all of us

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By changing the way we think about our own gender, we can help change the lives of transgender people for the better.

That's the message Anneliese Singh, an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, had for the audience at a recent TEDx talk at Georgia State University.

Singh's talk, now available on YouTube, was part of an event at the Atlanta college earlier this year. Following the theme "Keep the Change," speakers addressed topics such as beauty, gender roles, the environment, women in science, and resistance to change.

In her presentation, Singh noted that 41 percent of all people who identify as transgender consider suicide at some point in their lives. As she pointed to the audience, she asked — what if nearly half of everyone in the room had the same thought? What if that statistic were applied to any gender?

As a society, she said, we need to do better.

"If society is so toxic for trans people, why aren't we all working hard to make this world a better place?" she asked.

The change can start from birth — the next time you celebrate the birth of a child, "how about you say, 'Yay, it's a baby!'" she said. Imagine what would happen, she added, if we all stepped out of our small gender boxes and considered the view from a different angle?

"We can all change the lives of trans people for the better, just by changing how we think and feel about our own gender," she said. "When we make those changes, they have ripple effects for our communities and our world."

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602