In the introduction of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, Jennifer Boylan notes how diverse the transgender community is: “If I’ve met over 5,000 transgender people, I’ve probably heard 5,000 different explanations of what it means to be trans, and what our defining experiences are.”  However, there are common challenges that transgender individuals face. Advocates such as Michael Hughes and Laverne Cox speak out to empower transgender youth to be themselves and highlight the challenges transgender people face.
The word transgender represents an umbrella term for people who express their gender differently than the one they were assigned at birth. Their gender expression does not match their gender identity. As Boylan mentioned, there are many reasons why a person might identify as transgender. Some do not feel at home with their body and they want to feel comfortable thus they use medical intervention to feel the way they want to feel. The important thing is to remember that transgender identity and trans experience are works in progress. Many individuals will go through medical transition via hormones and surgeries; while others won’t. After transition, some people reject their transgender identity and just live as the gender they want to live as. They are going “stealth’—living as the gender as they perceive themselves as. The transgender experience is different for each person and the way they experience it is their own. It’s up to them how they identify—just like everyone else.
Differences among transgender individuals highlight the intersectionality of identities with the trans experience. Economic issues remain prevalent. Some people cannot transition due to the high cost of medical procedures and drugs. Health insurance does not always cover hormones and individuals must often pay for surgeries out of pocket. Trans people face high rates of unemployment due to only eighteen states protecting gender identity and expression. This creates a large portion of transgender people who are unable to access medical treatment. In addition, social pressures and religious preferences influence individuals’ freedom to transition. Race is an additional factor in the treatment of transgender women of color. Monica Jones was jailed for prostitution due to law enforcement believing the common stereotype that all transgender women, particularly women of color, are sex workers. 
Despite the differences in individual identifications of gender, some common issues exist among the trans community. The transgender community suffers the highest rate of violence [of any subaltern group?]. Over 65% of transgender people report harassment in public accommodations.  Lawsuits have recently been filed concerning unjust firing practices. For example, Tristan Broussard was fired from his job shortly after starting because his license still stated that he was female.  There is an increased amount of concern especially with public accommodations such as the restroom. One of the most common issues transgender people face concerns passing as their chosen gender and being able to use the restroom. Transphobic legislators have sought to make it difficult for those who do not identify with their assigned gender. In Minnesota, a social movement was sparked due to this situation.
#WeJustNeedToPee came out of the transphobic thought that boys would dress up as girls to use the women’s restroom. Michael Hughes, a trans man, took a selfie in the bathroom of his assigned gender. Up until the selfie, Hughes was in stealth. When the legislation gained momentum, Hughes stated that ”I decided right away to control the situation as much as possible — I didn’t want to encounter women who didn’t know me, and make anyone feel vulnerable. I was acutely aware of that.”  His selfie generated buzz and while voting will happen soon, it’s unclear whether it will pass. President Obama has signed an executive order banning gender discrimination among federal contractors and opened gender neutral bathrooms in the White House. 
In the end, it is important to remember everyone is different. Despite these differences, one thing should be remembered. As Boylan started her own transition, she would struggle with her ability to pass as female. After one harsh outing, a young girl was confused about Boylan’s appearance. The young girl asked her mother who Boylan was. Her mother responded “That honey,…that was a human being.”  Each human being deserves respect on their identities and to have their identities affirmed.
 Jennifer Finney Boylan, “Throwing Our Voices An Introduction,” ed Laura Erickson-Scroth (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2014) xvi.
 Boylan xvii
 GLAAD, “GLAAD Media Reference Guide – Transgender Issues,” http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender Accessed 4/17/2015.
 Movement Advancement Project et all, “Understand Issues Facing Transgender Americans,” http://www.glaad.org/sites/default/files/understanding-issues-facing-transgender-americans.pdf Last modified 2015, 6-7, 10.
 Movement Advancement Project 2
 Mitch Kelley, “Fired for Refusing to Wear “Women’s Clothes’ Louisiana Trans Man Files Suit,” Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/04/14/watch-trans-man-sues-company-who-fired-him-refusing-wear-womens-cl-0 Last accessed 4/17/2015.
 Claire-Renee Kohner, “Trans Man Behind #WeJustNeedtoPee Isn’t Selfie-Center,” Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/03/17/trans-man-behind-wejustneedtopee-isnt-selfie-centeredLast accessed 4/17/2015.
 Dave Boyer, ”Obama Goes All-In on Gay Rights as his Legacy,” The Washington Time. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/12/obama-making-gay-rights-his-legacy/ Last accessed 4/17/2015.
 Boylan xviii