While medical identification and treatment of gender dysphoria have existed for decades, the development of transgender as a “collective political identity” is a recent construct. Over the past twenty-five years, the transgender movement has gained statutory nondiscrimination protections at the state and local levels, hate crimes protections in a number of states, inclusion in a federal law against hate crimes, legal victories in the courts, and increasingly favorable policies in bureaucracies at all levels. It has achieved these victories despite the relatively small number of trans people and despite the widespread discrimination, poverty, and violence experienced by many in the transgender community. This is a remarkable achievement in a political system where public policy often favors those with important resources that the transgender community lacks: access, money, and voters. The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights explains the growth of the transgender rights movement despite its marginalized status within the current political opportunity structure.
By Jami K. Taylor, Donald P. Haider-Markel, and Daniel C. Lewis, 2018