Culture

The Trump Administration Is Threatening To Erase Trans People But Here’s How People Are Fighting Back

According to a memo leaked to The New York Times, the Trump administration plans to narrowly define gender by a person’s genitalia at birth. This decision will directly remove rights put in place by the Obama administration for the 1.4 million people who identify as trans.

The Trump administration has already scrubbed the federal government’s websites of the word ‘trans.’ While Trump attempts to erase trans people from our history books, government census information and the military, the trans community rallied with the hashtag #WontBeErased.

Here are some of the ways LGBTQ+ people and their allies raised their voices against the decision.

Americans took to the streets and social media to push back against Trump’s move to erase the identity of trans people.

CREDIT: @JanetsGoodNews / Twitter

Tens of thousands of people marched in New York, Washington, Boston and Los Angeles for trans rights within days of the announcement. Trans people have been under attack for years with bathroom bills, under investigated and reported crimes and forced misgendering in prisons and detention centers.

This is the man behind the memo that has sparked such outrage across the country.

CREDIT: @iskandrah / Twitter

Meet Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. He was one of the conservatives that was outraged with Obama’s decision to expand the definition of gender to individuals, rather than state-regulated definitions.

Meanwhile, The National Center for Transgender Equality took to the Lincoln Memorial steps.

CREDIT: @TransEquality / Twitter

Caption: “We #WontBeErased, and we won’t be forgotten, and we won’t be ignored. Today, we worked with local advocates and community members to unfurl a 150-foot trans flag on some of our nation’s most visible real estate: the Lincoln Memorial.”

Remember this name: Matthew Emanuel Alejandro Cox.

CREDIT: @pedrojulio / Twitter

Caption: “Bravo! Matthew Emanuel Alejandro Cox faces U.S. Secretary of Justice Jeff sessions, in the face of the Trump administration’s attempt to remove rights and protections from transgender people. #WontBeErased #TransRightsAreHumanRights”

Activists dropped a massive trans flag at the Dodger Stadium.

CREDIT: @juanagallardo / Twitter

While Fox News did not cover the flag in their broadcast of the World Series Game 5, pretty much every other news outlets reported this. The flag was unfurled by TransLatin@, a trans advocacy group led by trans Latina activist Bamby Salcedo.

Los Angeles is leading the fight for trans inclusion and protection of rights.

CREDIT: @allantweeting / Twitter

This was seen hanging over an overpass in Downtown Los Angeles during rush hour traffic. Hint: your town has public canvasses begging for this kind of adornment.

Boston’s Paramount Theatre Shouted Their Support

CREDIT: @upandoutcomic / Twitter

Massachusetts recently passed the first statewide measure protecting trans people from discrimination. The measure prohibits gender-based discrimination in public places.

There was a “No on 3” campaign that failed in further trans discrimination.

CREDIT: @itsashlyperez / Twitter

It shows an older guy hiding in a locker room and waiting to pounce on a teenage girl. Countless studies and reports prove that trans people are not using the law to commit sexual assault in bathrooms.

Other folks made supporting trans folks their job.

CREDIT: @meakoopa / Twitter

There are a million ways to show solidarity with trans people, whether that’s wearing a pin, a shirt, or setting up an ofrenda in your local library or bookstore.

Celebrities like Sara Ramirez are posting mad support online.

CREDIT: @SaraRamirez / Twitter

Ramirez banded together with other queer icons to create a video of support for trans people. Since the memo leaked, calls to the trans suicide hotline have quadrupled. These are quite literally very dangerous times.

Trans model Laith Ashley De La Cruz hasn’t let the memo slow him down.

CREDIT: @laith_ashley / Instagram

He posted a few tweets claiming the hashtag #WontBeErased, followed by some very poderoso underwear shots. I’m here for this.

Some emblems standing for trans pride have been vandalized by anti-trans people.

CREDIT: @AmandaTaylor199 / Twitter

The students at the Daytona Beach college campus repainted a rainbow flag over it and it was once again vandalized. Activists refuse to be silenced and continue to beat the drum

The fear isn’t isolated to the U.S.

CREDIT: @team_mariconas / Twitter

It has been a scary time for the queer community across the Americas. The newly elected president of Brazil has openly said that his son would be dead to him if he were gay.

A lot of people are nervous and worried.

CREDIT: @Belifving_ / Twitter

The current political climate has left the country divided over what to do. There are two strong camps pushing in opposite directions and neither seems to be giving any ground. That’s democracy and it all comes down to votes and ideology being boosted that you agree with.

As always, we will continue to push pa’lante.

CREDIT: @fagsigns / Instagram

It’s the only thing we can do: keep moving forward. I am not a trans person, but as a human being, we all need to rally. They’re coming for all of us, and trans people are the absolute most vulnerable segment of our community.

Call your senators.

CREDIT: @Into / Twitter

Demand that they take up the fight for equal rights for all. Demand that they don’t allow our federal government to legally box our gender identity into an immutable, biological trait.

Educate yourself.

CREDIT: @LGTBNews / Twitter

Read books from trans people of color. Read their memoirs. The New York Times recommends works of fiction by trans writers like “Freshwater” by Akwaeke Emezi and “An Unkindness of Ghosts” by Rivers Solomon.

Stay positive and own your power.

CREDIT: @Alex_lograno / Twitter

The Trump administration has the support of white supremacists, which essentially fears any group that threatens the white community.

So give the trans people in your life some extra love today and always.

CREDIT: @TobilTop / Twitter

If you’re an ally, you have more power to exact change safely than your trans friends and family. Be strong and support them however they need.

Remember that you have to stay engaged in the political process if you want longterm change.

CREDIT: @victor_97_lopez / Twitter

Twitter user Victor Lopez couldn’t have put it better: “We all bleed red. We all breathe the same air. We all walk the same land. We all crave the same dream. We are el equal!! #transrights #translivesmatter”


READ: These 19 Straight Allies Are Using Their Fame And Influence To Stand Up For Their LGBTQ+ Brothers And Sisters

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Sports Illustrated Featured Valentina Sampaio As Their First Trans Model And The Images Are Stunning

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Sports Illustrated Featured Valentina Sampaio As Their First Trans Model And The Images Are Stunning

She might be listed as part of Sports Illustrated’s 2020 “rookies, but Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio is hardly one herself. In 2017, the model made waves when she became the first trans woman to appear on the cover of Vogue Paris. With appearances on the catwalks of Victoria Secret and appearances for L’Oréal, she’s been breaking barriers ever since.

Now, three years after making her first big splash, the Brazilian model is making waves for Sports Illustrated.

Joining the likes of models such as Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley and Heidi Klum, Sampaio’s feature on Sports Illustrated makes for another first. As a transwoman, she became the first trans model to appear in its pages and spoke out in an open essay on what it means to be part of the brand.

“Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds. We face snickers, insults, fearful reactions and physical violations just for existing. Our options for growing up in a loving and accepting family, having a fruitful experience at school or finding dignified work are unimaginably limited and challenging,” Sampaio wrote. “I recognize that I am one of the fortunate ones, and my intention is to honor that as best I can.”

Reflecting on her humble beginnings in a fishing village in northern Brazil, Sampaio explained that she intends to use her growing platform to fight for trans rights.

Writing about the beauty of her home country, Sampaio explained that its lovely visuals are darkened by a backdrop of brutal crimes against the transgender community. “I was born trans in a remote, humble fishing village in northern Brazil. Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community in the world—three times that of the U.S,” she wrote. In a previous interview with Vogue, Sampaio highlighted that in 2019, 129 transgender people had been murdered in Brazil.

“What unites us as humans is that we all share the common desire to be accepted and loved for who we are,” Sampaio wrote in the essay. “Thank you SI for seeing and respecting me as I truly am. For understanding that more than anything, I am human. Thank you for supporting me in continuing to spread a message of love, compassion, and unity for ALL.”

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Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ+ People Protected From Workplace Discrimination

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Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ+ People Protected From Workplace Discrimination

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The Supreme Court has ruled that companies cannot fire people for being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Before the ruling, it was still legal for employers to fire people for being part of the LGBTQ+ community. This is a major victory for LGBTQ+ Americans and a major loss for the Trump administration.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of LGBTQ+ employees.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the LGBTQ+ community is protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are protected from discriminatory firings and treatment for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The court’s decision states that the LGBTQ+ community is protected under Title VII of the act.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the decision. “It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

The decision was 6-3 in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ employees.

Conservative justice Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Samuel A. Alito Jr all voted against protecting LGBTQ+ protections in the workplace. Justices John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer voted that the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does include LGBTQ+ people.

“There is only one word for what the court has done today: legislation. The document that the court releases is in the form of a judicial opinion interpreting a statute, but that is deceptive,” Alito wrote in the dissent. “A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall. The court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous.”

The ruling protects millions of LGBTQ+ workers in states that offered no protection.

Before the ruling, employees in several states faced a constant threat of termination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The fear was greater for transgender people who had protections in fewer states than gay and lesbian workers. Justice Gorsuch did state the scope of the ruling.

“We do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms or anything else of the kind,” Justice Gorsuch wrote. “Whether other policies and practices might or might not qualify as unlawful discrimination or find justifications under other provisions of Title VII are questions for future cases, not these.”

The decision comes on a day that they also decided not to hear arguments in a case of qualified immunity for police.

It requires four justices to agree to allow for a case to be heard by the justices. Justice Thoms dissented the decision not to take up the case. The conservative justice claims that “qualified immunity doctrine appears to stray from the statutory text.”

Advocates want to see the qualified immunity doctrine to be revised. The doctrine currently makes it easy for lower courts to dismiss cases against police officers. Growing protests in the U.S. demanding a change in police reform after the death of George Floyd.

READ: Supreme Court Refuses Case Challenging California’s Sanctuary State Status

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