This weekend, the New York Times revealed that the Trump administration was actively considering ways to strip rights from trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) Americans. One memo sent to the Department of Health and Human Services attempted to narrow the definition of gender so as to exclude trans people, which said in part, “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.” That means that the genitalia you were born with would define how you were listed legally, regardless of how you identify. If you dispute this classification, then under the new guidelines you would be genetically tested. The HHS is seeking to make these definition changes under Title IX, which is supposed to prohibit discrimination based on gender.
Though it’s depraved, this isn’t the first time Trump and his administration have attacked trans and GNC rights: In May, it was announced that questions about gender and sexual orientation would not be included on the upcoming census. And in July of last year, Trump abruptly tweeted that he would ban trans folks from enlisting for military service, a move that even military leaders were largely unaware of prior to the announcement. (That ban was lifted by the Justice Department, though trans recruits reportedly still encounter barriers to actually signing up for duty.) All of which means that Trump has made it clear that he intends to roll back rights and protections for trans and GNC folks, constitutionality be damned. (For a full list of these attacks, the National Center for Transgender Equality has been keeping track.)
When the latest story dropped, social media was immediately flooded with outraged responses and calls for solidarity to defeat Trump’s hateful policies:
Attempts to marginalize the trans and GNC communities, like this latest attack from the Trump administration, leads to more stigmatization and higher risk of violence and economic disenfranchisement for those communities, which already face a higher rate of discrimination. According to a 2012 study from the National Center for Transgender Equality, 63 percent of respondents faced “serious discrimination,” which includes loss of jobs and housing due to bias, bullying, and physical and sexual assault.
Trans rights are human rights, which means an attack on trans and GNC folks is an attack on everyone. One of the most important ways you can tell this administration that you don’t support their hateful policies is to vote on November 6. (Here’s a guide to everything you need to know for the midterms.) For other action items, Out has a really helpful guide.
You should also make a point of supporting organizations that prioritize helping trans and GNC people. Here are a list of seven groups, in no particular order, that need your attention and material support:
- The National Center for Transgender Equality has a lot of projects that need support, including the Trans Legal Services Network (comprised of over 50 organizations that help with everything from navigating “the name and gender change process” to addressing legal needs) and Families for Trans Equality (which helps “ensure that all families with trans youth are being treated well, and that trans youth are able to live their lives with dignity and respect.”) To donate, go here.
- The Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative “to support grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people.” To donate, you can head here. If you have a group that needs funding, you can apply for the project at this link (though be advised that the next grant cycle begins in December).
- Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund wants to end discrimination through “public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.” You can donate here.
- Trans Student Educational Resources is a student-led organization that teaches trans and GNC youth how to be effective organizers, and seeks to end discrimination through advocacy and empowerment. You can donate or volunteer at this link.