Trump’s government is trying to roll back recognition and protections of trans people – here’s how you can help
The Trump administration has doubled down on its assault on the trans community. Reports are surfacing that the government are preparing to unveil new plans that will see transgender people lose the right to have their gender recognised legally.
According to The New York Times, the changes are intended to strip transgender people of official recognition by narrowing the definition of gender. Babies will be identified as male or female based on their genitalia and this will be unchangeable after birth.
The publication received a memo that outlined the changes that the Department of Health and Human Services are proposing. It read: “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.”
This marks a u-turn from the promising progress from the Obama era which loosened the definition of gender in education, health care and beyond. In 2014, he signed a historic rights bill passing an executive order that protected federal employees from discrimination based on their sexuality or gender identity. As a kneejerk reaction one of Trump’s first moves was to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
When recent findings show that even being called by a chosen name can improve the mental health of trans people, news like this marks a damaging step backward. Here’s how you can help improve the trans well being in the USA.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
There are a number of sites online that will help you find the right representative for your area so you can voice your outrage at the new plans. You can also write and call the White House directly.
MARCH FOR TRANS EQUALITY
Today there is a march in Washington organised by the National Center for Transgender Equality. At 12:30 PM (EDT) hundreds are expected to gather at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue near the Rochambeau statue to march to the White House. Also remember that trans rights are under threat elsewhere. Even if you’re not in the USA, you can set an example by lobbying for rights of trans people in your country. Today is the final day for British residents to have their say in the Gender Recognition Act consultation. You can find the form here.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE FIGHTING FOR AND AGAINST
This isn’t just about paperwork. A move to reduce trans rights reduces the dignity of a community of people who are already under threat. A recent study found that young trans-masculine and non-binary people were at a higher risk of suicide, while trans-feminine young people were more likely to die at the hands of violence. In 2018, transgender hate crimes are on the rise and most of the 21 trans victims of murder were black trans women.
Trans people are being attacked out of existence. We need people to notice, not to let us fade away unseen and unprotected. It’s not enough to protest after negative changes are made, we need to protest proposed changes so they don’t happen in the first place.— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) October 21, 2018
REGISTER TO VOTE
Midterm elections are coming up in November and it offers US voters their first chance to pass judgement on Donald Trump since the start of his presidency. By registering to vote you can make your voice heard and make it harder for Trump to get his bigoted legislation through for the rest of his term.
DONATE TO TRANS ORGANISATIONS
The National Center for Transgender Equality is just one charity in need of funding to keep the fight going. However, there are other organisations working to improve the transgender experience. The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund targets public education, legal defense and public policy. While Trans Lifeline runs a hotline to offer a kind ear and vital support to people struggling with their gender identity.