identity

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

@victor_97_lopez / Twitter

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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Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.

Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.

Instagram/@marinadelbey

Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.

While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.

Instagram/@hispanic_history_

Four of her coworkers physically assaulted her, which left her in ruins.

“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.

But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.

Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.

“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”

As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.

Instagram/@florentinoreyes

“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”

Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.

“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”

READ: Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

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Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

aclu_montana / Instagram

There’s no question that in metropolitan cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami, that gay rights must be respected. With such huge LGBTQ+ communities in those cities, Pride is like 4th of July, but in smaller cities and states that is not the case. There are still places, like Montana, trying to attack LGBTQ+ rights and one nonbinary Latinx activist stood up and defeated an anti-trans bill.

In Montana, lawmakers introduced a measure that would strip rights away from the trans community and one person would not have it.

Facebook/FreeFairMT

The bill — I-183 — would be a change a Montana law that would allow the permission to discriminate against transgender people.

I-183 would force people to use public accommodations like restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender on their original birth certificate instead of the gender by which they live and identify.”

That means that a trans woman could not use a female bathroom and a trans man could not use a male bathroom. Furthermore, “I-183 would 1) make work, school, and recreation unsafe for transgender Montanans; 2) put local government and state agencies at risk of expensive, unnecessary lawsuits; and 3) fail to further protect anyone from assault or rape, as these things are already illegal in Montana. I-183 would also jeopardize your privacy by forcing you to prove your gender to anyone who requests to see your paperwork before you enter a public facility.”

Essentially, the Montana government was ready to tell trans people that they have to adhere to the sex they were assigned at birth. This would strip away the most basic right for trans people, and one most Americans enjoy, of self-determination.

Thanks to Zuri Moreno that bill never saw the light of day.

Moreno, who describes themselves as queer, nonbinary, multiracial, and Latinx, made sure their community remained safe in Montana and fought hard to make sure that the bill was blocked.

“My life and my passion focus on racial equity and access in the community,” Moreno said to The Advocate.

The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to state and the federal governments from attacking their basic rights. North Carolina tried and failed to limit trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Indiana tried passing a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed anyone to legally discriminate against anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

It is because of their fight for trans rights in Montana that The Advocate named them among the 2019 Champions of Pride.

Twitter/@ACLUMT

“Montana still does not have an explicit sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination law,” the 32-year-old said to the magazine. “Although a handful of municipalities have passed local nondiscrimination ordinances, at the state level progress is hindered by transphobia, disinterest from non-LGBTQ people, and a lack of political will. There is still a lot of work to do around bringing awareness and dispelling misinformation about trans, nonbinary, and two-spirit identities.”

The federal government is also fighting over a similar measure. H.R. 5 and S. 788, also known as the Equality Act, is a simple piece of legislation that has been embroiled in legal battles for years. The Equality Act seeks to protect LGBTQ+ American from discrimination based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” That’s right. The Equality Act would finally close loopholes in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and legally address discrimination against women based on sex. So, the LGBTQ+ community and women would benefit if the Equality Act were passed.

READ: Show Your Pride And Allyship With These Colorful And Fun Rainbow Outfits

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