I am an atheist, and at one point while growing up I thought that gay people or trans people were less valid as people because they can’t or don’t reproduce. This notion goes contrary to the notion that all human beings have intrinsic worth – that they are valuable regardless of whether they can attract the opposite sex, marry, or reproduce.
First I would like to say that even if you think that trans people are weird, creepy, gross, or anything like that, trans people are a legit category of people and they actually appear to benefit from a transition process that involves hormones, something that I have seen both in real life people and in people online. Example (fast forward to 0:37) :
“For me, I have absolutely no regrets about transitioning and it has made me a million times happier.”
- Riley Dennis (37 seconds into this video)
But here is the thing. Imagine that these hormones weren’t invented yet or that they did not exist and that this transition process weren’t possible. Should these people be persecuted? Absolutely not.
Every single person ought to be valued not for what they have, how they identify, or who they are, but just for being a person. Every single one. Failing to do so leads down some very dark paths. For example, a disproportionately high percentage of trans people attempt suicide. In my opinion, suicide implies not valuing yourself as a person because if you valued your life, you wouldn’t take it away. Believing that human life doesn’t have intrinsic value means that people have to justify their existence in order to receive basic human decency like love, compassion, or care. This leads down some pretty dark paths. For example, the Nazis believed in a sort of quasi-scientific racism, one that does not value human life but rather puts different races or types of humans on a pyramid. This leads down some dark paths indeed, such as towards genocide. In the second formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative, it says “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.” I think that treating people as an ends in and of themselves implies that they have inherit value or worth.
Remember that whoever you are, you have intrinsic value. You don’t have to identify a certain way, attract the opposite sex, or do or be anything special in order to possess value. For example, maybe a trans person feels that a transitioning process is right for them, but that doesn’t mean that they should commit suicide if that process isn’t available to them because regardless, they themselves have intrinsic value. We all do.
In a perfect world, I don’t think people should have to fight for human rights. In a perfect world, all humans would just get them without having to fight. Unfortunately, that is not the real world.