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Attack on Trans People Rallies Allies

By M. TomaschPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

An outcry from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus (LGBTQ+) community arose Sunday morning following an article published in The New York Times reporting that the Trump administration is considering defining gender as “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth,” which would roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

It has been no secret that the current administration has an unprovoked vendetta out for the trans community. In April 2017 Donald Trump signed an order that would ban transgender people from the military. This would have stripped transgender veterans of benefits and booted thousands of soldiers currently enlisted. In December 2017 the ban was thrown out by the Supreme Court due to a lack of evidence in the claims that transgender soldiers were costing the government too much to be unlisted.

This new attack on the trans community would unravel a series of decisions by the previous administration that loosened the legal concept of gender in education, healthcare, and other federal programs as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth.

Around the nation bathroom laws are still being waged for transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. A total of 14 states have had legislation proposed that would limit the rights of transgender students, 16 states have considered legislation that would restrict access to multiuser restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of a definition of sex or gender consistent with sex assigned at birth.

North Carolina was the only state to pass and then repeal this law. It is also the only state to pass legislation that would preempt municipal and county-level anti-discrimination laws, similar legislation is pending in Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas.

According to the memo released to the media regarding the current situation, the Department of Health and Human Services is the department that is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive financial government assistance.

Their new definition of gender would be strictly male or female, unchangeable, and determined by a person’s genitals they have at birth. This would then have to be proven by genetic testing if over a dispute. According to the memo, this definition of gender would be “grounded in science.”

The science of psychology and decades of scientific study of transgender people is not considered in this decision as science.

In order for a transgender person to be eligible for sex reassignment surgery, or SRS, in the state of Nebraska, that person would have to of seen a psychologist with a doctorate in gender studies, been going through hormone therapy for at least two years, and have letters from said psychologists stating that the person is transgender and recommending the surgery on the basis that their current genitalia is the source of their gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is a mental condition caused by the extreme repulsiveness of one’s own sex that was assigned at birth. This can potentially lead to a varying degree of depression and a leading cause of suicides in the trans community.

After completing all those steps to legally have SRS and submitting it to one’s insurance, it can be denied coverage due to being classified as a “cosmetic” surgery. SRS can cost upward from $23,000 in the United States according to a study done in 2012.

According to a study from the Williams Institute in 2016, 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender.

Additionally, there is no indication of how this policy would affect intersex people. These people are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics of chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies.

“Transgender people are frightened,” said Sarah Warbelow, Director of the Human Rights Campaign. “At every step where the administration has had the choice, they’ve opted to turn their back on transgender people.”

The definition is critical to two proposed rules currently under review at the White House. One from the Education Department deals with complaints of sex discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal financial assistance. The other, from health and human services, deals with health programs and activities that receive federal funds or subsidies.

Both regulations are expected to be released later this fall. The agencies would consider public comments before issuing final rules with the force of law, which both of could include the new gender definition.

As the administration is considering this questionable decision, civil rights groups across the nation have taken to the streets of capital cities, the White House, and meetings with federal officials in the hopes that health and human services will at the very least rein in the most extreme parts of this proposal.

A petition from the Pantsuit Nation non-profit organization is making its rounds on social media in protest to the Trump administration’s attempt to “define Transgender out of existence.” Already the petition has gained over 200,000 signatures.

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About the Creator

M. Tomasch

I live for a sigh, I die for a kiss, I lust for the laugh, ha ha! I never walk when I can leap! I never flee when I can fight! I swoon at the beauty of a rose.

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    M. TomaschWritten by M. Tomasch

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