How the Trump Administration is Trying to Erase Transgender Americans

Recently, it was reported that the Trump administration is in the process of creating laws that would reverse expanded gender identity provisions put in place by the Obama administration, which recognized that gender did not always match one’s sex as determined at birth. The proposal could be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year.

According to a report from The New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services is leading "an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX…” The proposal seeks to define gender under Title IX as purely based on a “biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective, and administrable.” In short, the administration is seeking to define gender as binary. The NYTimes report further explains that disputes regarding an individual’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing. Yeah you read that correctly, genetic testing.

Via @nytimes on Twitter

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There are many flaws in this potential proposal. To begin, the science community recognizes that there is no such thing as a gender binary in nature. The proposal totally neglects the 1.7% of people that are born intersex. This number is not small at all and is even compared to the number of redheaded people. Furthermore, the medical community also does not believe in a gender binary because it accepts that gender is not determined by genitalia at birth. It is completely false to claim that the proposed definition of gender is grounded in science. Gender has been recognized as merely a social construct, something I learned in my 12th grade psychology class, so I guess we can tell how educated the Trump administration is.

Gender is different from sex. I’ll say it again, gender is different from sex. Trying to combine the two goes against every scientific, medical and psychological fact out there. However, it sad to recognize that those within the Trump administration were raised in a time when people found gender and sex to be synonymous.

There are currently over 1.4 million people in the United States that identify differently from their assigned sex and this new proposal would be a direct challenge to their civil liberties and rights; thus, this would leave the door open for an increased level of discrimination in education, the job market, day to day life and in many other areas. As Catherine Lhamon of the Obama Education Department said, the proposed definition “quite simply negates the humanity of people.”

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The government has a job to protect the people of the United States, however it would be failing this responsibility if the proposed definition goes into effect. Suicide rates within the transgender community are already immensely high and violence against transgender individuals is certainly not decreasing. The proposed definition would only work to exacerbate these issues and would in effect erase the trans identity.

How would you feel if your entire identity was just erased by an institution as powerful as the entire United States government?

The Trump administration is setting a dangerous precedent with this proposed definition and it could send shockwaves into every other aspect of a transgender individual’s life, leaving them more alone than ever before. But today, we must be allies instead of adversaries because trans rights are human rights and we cannot allow the administration to isolate a group that has already been discounted by so many.

Via @jvn Twitter