Humans have been given a fantastic tool that has brought us to the moon, increased life expectancy by 61% from 1950 to 2023, and thinks it can tell you the gender of your unborn baby (but you never know, right?). Of course, I´m talking about the mind, which is capable of such wonderful things but is also the cause of wars, famine, inequality, and social injustice.
Our world has provided us with many resources to ensure that everyone has food, yet many people starve. Every single person should have access to medical care, a job, be a part of a community, have a family, express themselves uniquely, and so many other rights, and yet we’re far from being there.
Carl Sagan, in his famous book and then TV series Cosmos, introduced Drake’s equation to calculate the probability of finding communicative life in our galaxy. However, the most interesting part of it, the one that really kills the likelihood of finding other civilizations, is the probability that a civilization that reaches its technological adolescence does not use its technology to destroy itself.
Social injustice can be explained by the phrase “You should be like I say, or else…” People with privilege force others to adapt to their arbitrary rules, so if they think differently or do not agree to be part of their machinery, they can expect to be cut off from the system.
In November 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed February 20th as World Day of Social Justice. The day was to be observed for the first time in 2009. We know well enough about social injustice in the trans community. Something that makes it hard to identify is that it is so widespread, taken for granted, goes unpunished, and goes under the radar.
It is not only the person who could be hostile to you on the street, because that can have some consequences for them, but it’s also the person who does not consider your CV for a job. Yet this repeated discrimination is threatening trans people’s lives; those who desperately need a job and have been kicked out of their families and have no other way to survive. Of course, now that discrimination is frowned upon more than ever, people avoid doing it publicly, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing it.
As a trans person, you never know who is blocking you; even companies with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies can be easily fooled by the boss who argues that they chose another person for their team because “they were a better fit”, and no one’s the wiser! Of course, that applies to any minority based on gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or any other excuse.
We fight against injustice by creating awareness about it and never letting it occur in our circle of influence. It is difficult, and I’m sure Carl Sagan would be more pessimistic now because the fight against social injustice has gained ground, and the system is not happy with what they hear, so it’s more aggressive than ever. We have a longer life expectancy, but we haven’t learned anything in some areas compared to last century because, still, the “bad guys are the ones who can push the red buttons.” We have such complex political systems that only one person can still turn the world upside-down and start World War 3.
I always thought that “treating others the way you want to be treated” or to “love each other” should suffice; it’s so simple, elegant, and inclusive. You wouldn’t hurt anyone if you loved them, and you would see everyone’s rights are respected and share your food with the hungry.
Yes, that would work in a conscious society, but we’re not there yet. That’s why we must keep advocating for our community and making it clear what the science actually says until -and if- we pass the test of our technological adolescence.