How You Can Help Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Friends After The Trump Administration's Proposed Anti-Trans Memo

With the extremely disheartening news that the Trump administration is working to narrow the legal definition of gender, you may be wondering what you could possibly to do address this issue and help transgender and non-binary folks in your life.

Should the Department of Health and Human Services is planning on restricting gender to those that are the same as the sex that are assigned at birth (which are reductive and don't include the diverse ways folks identify and experience gender) it would alter the legal definition of sex in Title IX and inevitably directly take away crucial protections of transgender people. In addition to erasing non-discrimination protections, this continued assault on the trans community will have a significantly detrimental effect on feelings of safety for over 1.4 million American citizens.

So how can you help? First, do some research. 

It's important to understand exactly what this dreadful plan could do. This will allow you to have a better picture of the gravity of the situation.

Based on the draft of the memo obtained by The New York Times, it aimed to include a legal definition of sex in Title IX (the federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs that receive federal funding) with the goal of restricting the definitions of gender and sex as unchangeable, limited to only "male" and "female" and assigned at birth.

Next, listen to trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in your community. What are they calling for you to do? 

Activists and members of the trans community have been working over-time (in all sorts of emotionally draining, challenging ways) to explain exactly what their fears are and what their communities need from allies right now. 

Whether it's making calls to your local representatives, showing up and putting your body at a rally or protest or providing other assistance to organizers, the best way to get involved in an impactful way is to take your marching orders from folks who have been doing the work. 

Want to get started ASAP? Here's a few other ways you can get involved. 

1. Fill out GLAAD’s message form

GLAAD is described as a “dynamic media force” which “tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.” If you wish to send a direct message to transgender and gender nonconforming people, GLAAD will share it on their social channels in order to show them the support they have.

2. Join a rally

On October 22nd in DC there was a rally outside the White House by the National Center for Transgender Equality. They used the #Won’tBeErased hashtag to generate support and attendance. Look for a rally near you or use the hashtag to keep the conversation going on social media.

3. Vote

Make sure to get out to vote in November to eradicate the possibility of having more of these problems surface.

In order to remain vigilant on the Trump administration we must stay informed and show support in any of these ways. If you’re in a position to assist and wish to use your resources, check out some of these helpful organizations and movements.

4. Donate

Your money is always needed to fund the work of organizations fighting against injustice. Think of donating to these orgs as yet another way you can vote with your dollars and support the work that represents your values. Here's a few orgs you can consider donating to: 

Trans Lifeline

This transgender-led organization is committed to emotional and financial support for anyone needing assistance. They have a well trained hotline peer support staff and microgrants. Donating to them could help to add to microgrants which aid in legal name changes and updated government ID documentation.

Lambda Legal

Any transgender person looking for legal help with no cost can go to this non profit legal organization. The staff here are determined to “achieve full recognition of rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.” A donation to this organization could contribute to this important cause.

The Trevor Project

This organization assists in crisis intervention and suicide prevention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning people under 25. They work tirelessly to create safe and accepting environments for those that need somewhere to turn to.

Human Rights Campaign

With three million members, this is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization. The overall goal is to increase advocacy and education for all issues pertaining to these marginalized groups.

National Center for Transgender Equality

NCTE is celebrating its 15th anniversary of being an organization which was one of the first to provide championing of transgender policy work in DC.

While it's absolutely a scary time and it's so easy to feel hopeless and helpless, it's important to remember that there are always ways you can step up and stand up for marginalized people who need your support.