Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 I GLBT National Help Center: 1-888-843-4564
In their latest attempt not to discriminate against women under Title IX, the Trump administration has decided to institute a legal and fixed definition of gender, which in turn discriminates against transgender people. (Nailed it.)
For those who don’t know what Title IX is, it’s a law under the Education Amendments Act of 1972 that basically says no federally-funded institution can deny someone from participating in or benefitting from any activity or program on account of their sex. Meaning one’s gender doesn’t give institutions the right to discriminate against them.
Due to this law, President Trump asserts that there needs to be a “biological” and “scientific” definition for someone’s sex, based on genitalia. (And we’re talking about REAL science here, not any of that fake news about climate change being an imminent issue, or whatever.) If this definition was accepted, trans boys would receive the same funding and consideration as cis girls in sports, housing, financial assistance and other activities, and vice versa for trans girls and cis boys.
Of course, this would also eliminate all federal progress for transgender people in terms of their rights and court-of-law visibility. If this definition is enacted, the realm beyond the cisgender binary would essentially cease to exist, causing trans people to adhere to their legal sex for things such as locker room and bathroom designations, even if they’ve already transitioned.
And it wouldn’t truly be a Trumpian effort if it didn’t reverse Obama era policies.
Under Obama’s administration, the lawful concept of gender was more relaxed, meaning in federal programs such as healthcare and education, people didn’t have to adhere to the sex they were assigned at birth. This was barely a first step in the right direction towards equality for trans people, and it caused outrage amongst Conservatives and Christians, as well as a huge push-back against integrating cis and trans people in bathrooms and school dormitories.
But at least it was something. Now President Trump’s flagrantly transphobic side is showing as he is actively setting his sights on tackling America’s biggest problem: trans and nonbinary people’s right to exist as U.S. citizens.
Trump’s team has already tried to ban transgender recruitment into the military and force those serving who identify as trans to be discharged. Furthermore, just a month into Trump’s presidency he revoked Obama’s protection of public school students who could use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity. The sad part is, even without Trump’s interference, the U.S. would still be performing horribly in comparison to other countries as far as transgender rights go.
There are over 1.4 million trans people in this country. Their right to existence just isn’t something that can be scientifically proven. Yes, gender dysphoria exists, and there are medical studies confirming gender as something that isn’t binary, but the point is, trans people shouldn’t always have to convince people of their validity. They should be able to be happy in a body that makes them feel like right, rather than be trapped in an identity and a body that make them feel suicidal or constantly miserable.
In all honesty, no one chooses to be transgender on a whim for minority benefits or attention. Many forget that coming out as trans means signing up for a life of discrimination, ostracism and fear.
While this fear may seem overwhelming in light of the White House’s proposal to enforce a strict definition of sex and allow genetic testing to verify one’s biological sex, this provides the perfect rallying point to strike back against transphobia.
Many prominent organizations and celebrities took the opportunity on Twitter to say that the fight isn’t over yet, and affirm that trans people #WontBeErased.
IBM believes no one should be discriminated against for being who they are. That’s why we strongly support passage of the #EqualityAct, which would ensure transgender individuals receive fair and equal treatment under the law: https://t.co/Sp8rVB0IMG #WontBeErased pic.twitter.com/eSkOaHROi9
— IBM (@IBM) October 23, 2018
This is just ugly. Discriminating against people because of their gender identity is hateful & wrong. @realDonaldTrump’s plan to roll back rights & recognition for transgender Americans goes against everything our country stands for. https://t.co/JVb1hXqcMp #WontBeErased
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) October 22, 2018
The government may be living in an alternate universe, but we as a society & culture know who we are and know our truth and must stick together and raise our voices so we can educate them about gender identities. #TransRightsAreHumanRights #WontBeErased
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 22, 2018
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) October 22, 2018
Medically speaking, gender is a spectrum. Many intersex people have genitalia that do not fit our binary notions of being male nor female. In androgen insensitivity syndrome, a person can even have male XY chromosomes but female sexual characteristics and genitals. #WontBeErased
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) October 22, 2018
Just today, we've gotten 2x the normal number of first-time callers and 4x the number of total callers.
— Trans Lifeline (@TransLifeline) October 22, 2018
A word to all my cis family:
Trans people #wontbeerased and it’s HIGH time cis folks get on the right side of history and humanity.
To my trans and non-binary family: I see you, I always will. I’m following your lead. https://t.co/s0JHsif3zT
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) October 22, 2018
So let’s get to it. Call your representatives and tell them to vouch for transgender rights, before it’s too late.