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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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