After being banished from the military, discriminated against in prisons and have the right to use the bathroom one chooses removed, the Trump administration felt it wasn’t enough for the transgender community. Now they are going to be erased completely thanks to a new proposed law.
The Department of Health and Human Services proposed to define sex under Title IX, which is the civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs funded by the government, as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person was born with. The sex on a person’s original birth certificate would be proof of a person’s sex unless clarified using genetic testing.
According to the New York Times, “The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves, surgically or otherwise, as a gender other than the one they were born into.”
During the Obama administration, the transgender community was finally starting to be recognized. They loosened many rules against the community allowing them to use one’s gender identity to define them even if it did not match their birth certificate. They allowed individuals to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity, protected trans people from employment discrimination and finally started the acceptance of the transgender and LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
On their route to tear down the transgender community, the Trump administration has already attempted to ban people who identify as transgender from serving in the military, with the excuse that health costs are too high. The administration is now assigning inmates in prisons based on the gender on their birth certificate. All of this follows his repeal of the Obama memo that allowed individuals to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity.
“What this [law] would do is exclude transgender people from all the civil rights protections that everyone else takes for granted,” said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT project.
With recent transgender celebrities such as actress Laverne Cox, House of Delegates member Danica Roem, and the uninformed reality star Caitlyn Jenner representing the transgender community, the outdated idea that all transgender people are monsters who are trying to touch your children in bathrooms is slowly being dissolved.
In April 2016, Donald Trump said that he supported the right of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” and added that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted.
Less than a year later, he went over Betsy DeVos’ head, who has been a clear supporter for the LGBTQIA+ community fighting for their bathroom rights and rights in schools in general, and repealed Obama’s memo. Instead of helping the country as a whole, the Trump administration has begun focusing on destroying the lives of innocent citizens.
According to the Washington Post, calls to the Trans Lifeline crisis hotline based in Oakland, California more than doubled in the 24 hours following the news of the new proposed law, with 434 calls by mid afternoon Monday, up from 212 on an average Monday.
For decades the transgender community has been put on the back burner and simply ignored as far as LGBTQIA+ acceptance. Recently, the gay and lesbian communities have started to become more and more accepted. Just when it seemed as though the transgender community would finally see acceptance, society began taking steps backwards. We need more transgender representation that young, confused queer children can look up to.
It is important, especially now that the government is trying to erase them, that queer youth has the opportunity to see someone just like them succeeding to show them that it is okay to be themselves. No matter what their peers think, no matter what their family thinks they need to be shown they are important and they matter. It is now more crucial than ever that we show support to our transgender brothers and sisters and stand together as whole community. We will not let our family be erased. We will not let the government win.