Imagine someone debating if you’re allowed to exist. That’s right folks: the current administration is considering adopting a new definition of gender, one that would deny recognition under the law to transgender people, rendering them erased from federal protection.
Long gone is the beloved Obama-era of security when people who weren’t straight white males actually had protection under the law.
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the Department of Health and Human Services was considering proposing a new law that would define gender as “an immutable biological condition determined by a person’s sex organs at birth.” Not only does the proposal aim to define gender as either female or male; it will also attempt to ban transgender people from the military.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that civil rights laws don’t protect transgender people from discrimination on the job. So, I guess forbidding patriotic citizens who want to defend their country just because of what gender identity they adopt is who we are as a country now?
It was only three years ago when former President Obama was encouraging schools to let transgender students use the bathroom of their choice that matched with their gender identity. Now all that hard work and campaigning for equal rights could be done away with if Trump has his way.
It was only a matter of time until we got to this point; having a blatantly racist and misogynistic man for president, a newly confirmed sexual predator Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice, and the disregard in general for women’s rights issues, it’s truly no surprise the president and his posse want to strip transgender people of their rights and protections as well.
When questioned about these new anti-trans policies, President Trump said, “We have a lot of different concepts right now,” “They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now — you know that as well as I do — and we’re looking at it very seriously.” Adding, “I’m protecting everybody.”
If there’s any protecting going on here, it’s the protection of a disgraced system that was designed to benefit the old white straight males that created it.
In response to the allegations that the Trump administration will try to do away with trans rights, many people have complained that the system is broken and doesn’t help the citizens of this “great” nation.
Yet in a country where hatred has been soaring recently, our system is working just as it was designed. There are people in power that are scared of and feel threatened by those who are not like them. Threatened by people whose only desire is to be who they feel on the inside.
To those who are cisgender and don’t understand those who differ from you; there are people being persecuted for identifying by a different gender. Imagine your government doesn’t want to recognize you or give you civil rights because you identify as a boy and were born a girl.
While these announcements infuriate me, it also sparks a fire in me to fight bigotry and hatred and be an advocate for equality as best I can. Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Rights responded to these reports by saying “We will stand up and be resilient, and we will be here long after this administration is in the trash heap” and I stand with her and her mindset.
Politicizing gender identity continues to turn back the clock on social issues and help advance Trump’s insensitive, ignorant and hateful rhetoric against those who aren’t his ideal American. But I have news for him and his administration: he will be voted out and young millennials will fight for equality among all genders, sexuaities, colors and ability and we will not give up.
I believe history will look back on this low moment in time and everyone will have to ask themselves if we supported trans rights and trans people when it mattered most.