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Watch John Oliver Break Down The Importance Of Transgender Legislation

By Alyssa Pereira

As the tides turn and the national media begins to better understand the legal plights of transgender individuals, so do the legislators. Eventually.


That’s the premise of John Oliver’s latest feature story on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight”, wherein he lays out several instances offering glimpses into the types of everyday issues that trans individuals are forced to reckon with, from choosing which bathroom to use, to differentiating between sexual identity and sexual orientation.

“Transgender people have a gender identity that differs from the one they were assigned at birth,” Oliver says. “Gender identity is who you are; sexual orientation is who you love. Some transgender people do undergo hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery as part of their transition; some do not. And interestingly, their decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your f*****g business.”

Probably most poignantly, Oliver discusses how official rules (as implemented by a school in one example and a DMV in another) can affect the real-life prejudices of people.

“This is a civil rights issue,” he says. “And if you’re not willing to support transgender people for their sake, at least do it for your own. Because we’ve been through this before; we know how this thing ends. If you take the anti-civil rights side and deny people something they’re entitled to, history is not going to be kind to you.”

Watch the full video above but be warned: it features NSFW language.


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