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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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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A Small Victory For Trans Ohioans As Transphobic Violence And Legislation Persists

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A Small Victory For Trans Ohioans As Transphobic Violence And Legislation Persists

Prior to 2016, trans people were able to change the sex marker on their birth certificates. That was until the Ohio Department of Health under former Republican gov. John Kasich “re-reviewed” its policy denying this right.

Upheld for four years, state government officials claimed the regulations were necessary to maintain “accurate birth records” and prevent “fraud.”

Though for trans folk, not having an accurate ID can be dangerous.

Ohio’s former four-year-old policy explicitly targeted transgender people.

Stacie Ray, a transgender woman, attended a job orientation back in 2016 that required new employees to present their birth certificates. When a human resources staffer called Ray up, she was outed in front of the other new employees.

According to the ACLU, she was called a “freak” and received harassment from co-workers threatening to “beat her ass” if she used the women’s bathroom. Ray quit after two weeks, though her troubles didn’t end there.

Although her driver’s license correctly identified her as female, her mismatched birth certificate prevented her from receiving higher paying jobs. Humiliated she went to change her birth certificate, but was rejected.

Fed up Ray, alongside three other transgender people sued the state against the policy refusing to change their birth certificates.

Ohio, until recently, was one of two states that banned trans people from updating their birth certificates to match their lived gender.

Last December, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled in their favor condemning the state’s unconstitutional policy.

After examining the Plaintiffs’ evidence, Judge Michael Watson wrote in a 28-page-order that, “It is not just the Plaintiffs’ own experiences that have caused them to fear disclosing their status but also a broader reality that, unfortunately, many transgender individuals do face a heightened risk of ‘discrimination, harassment, and violence because of their gender identity.'”

In a 2015 state report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 36 percent of trans people who presented an ID that didn’t match their lived gender were “verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, asked to leave, or assaulted.”

The Ohio Department of Health was expected to challenge the court ruling, but have since recanted their appeal. A process for trans people to rectify their birth certificates is set to be unveiled by June 1st.

This small victory comes as anti-trans laws are piling up nationwide.

2021 is on the cusp of surpassing 2015’s record for the most anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history. More than 250 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced with states like Texas, Montana, Tennessee, and Arkansas leading the country’s bills.

Eight of them have already been enacted into law. But a vast majority of the anti-trans legislation will affect trans youth.

LGBTQ+ people and their allies are fighting back against a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

Currently, at least 66 proposed bills are anti-trans sports bills. At least 35 bills would prohibit youth from receiving access to gender-affirming medical care.

Last month, Arkansas became the first state to pass the most extreme anti-trans law yet. Despite a veto by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, lawmakers passed the bill which will ban transgender youth from receiving proper medical gender-affirming care.

House Bill 1570, also known as the SAFE Act, would ban doctors from providing care to trans and non-binary youth under the age of 18 or risk losing their medical license.

LGBTQ+ activists have continuously advocated that these bills are increasingly harmful to trans and nonbinary youth.

In 2020, 52 percent of trans and nonbinary youth considered suicide, according to a survey by The Trevor Project. Twenty-six percent of youth without access to gender-affirming care attempted suicide.

Unfortunately, the horrors of transphobic rhetoric has not ceased.

Anti-trans violence is also rising as another trans woman of color is killed.

At least 17 transgender people have been killed in 2021 with the majority of victims disproportionately being Black and Latinx trans women.

In April alone, five trans women were killed as the recent news of Natalia “Smut” Lopez emerged last week. A 24-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican trans woman, Lopez was a beloved drag artist in her local San Jose LGBTQ+ community.

Senselessly killed by her partner, her assailant admitted to having stabbed Lopez in a 911 call, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and is now facing murder charges.

Intimate partner violence disproportionately affects trans women of color compared to the general population. Since 2013, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked over 202 cases of fatal violence against trans and nonbinary people.

Last year was marked as the worst year for transphobic violence as 44 trans people were killed. So far, 2021 is on track to surpass that.

Local organizers and friends of Lopez have held a vigil for her which was attended by over 100 people. In addition, Lopez’s longtime friend Kiara Ohlde organized a GoFundMe to support Lopez’s family and funeral expenses.

To help donate, you can access the GoFundMe here.

As 2021, shows little promise in protecting and uplifting trans life, it is adamant that we continue to fight for trans and LGBTQ rights.

As the fight for justice prevails the Human Rights Campaign has compiled a list mourning the trans lives lost in 2021 so far.

Say their names! Share their stories! Continue to fight for your fellow trans brothers and sisters.

  • Tyianna Alexander, who was also known as Davarea Alexander, was a 28-year-old Black trans woman. Tyianna was shot to death in Chicago on January 6.
  • Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, a transgender man, was killed on January 9 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Samuel was looking forward to starting a new year.
  • Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Atlanta, Ga. on January 17.
  • Dominique Jackson, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Jackson, Miss. on January 25.
  • Fifty Bandza 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 28.
  • Alexus Braxton, also known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, a 45-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on Feb. 4 in Miami.  
  • Chyna Carrillo, who also went by Chyna Cardenas, was killed in the morning hours of February 18, 2021, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
  • Siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, a 16-year-old trans boy, and Jasmine Cannady, a 22-year-old non-binary person, both from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, were killed on February 22.
  • Jenna Franks, a 34-year-old white transgender woman, was killed in Jacksonville, North Carolina in February.
  • Diamond Kyree Sanders, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 3.
  • Rayanna Pardo, a 26-year-old Latina trans woman, was killed on March 17 in Los Angeles.
  • Jaida Peterson, a 29-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on April 4 in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed on April 8 in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Remy Fennell, a Black transgender woman in her 20s, was shot to death on April 15 in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Tiara Banks, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Chicago, Illinois on April 21, 2021. According to a news report, Tiara was sitting alone in her Ford Fusion when the shooter approached the vehicle and shot Tiara multiple times. Tiara was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • Natalia Smut, a 24-year-old Black and Puerto Rican transgender woman, was killed on April 23 in Milpitas, California.

Read: More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

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More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

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More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Trans rights are under siege in over half of the United States this year, as 28 states have proposed one or more anti-trans bills. The bills range from banning trans children from playing on sports teams to prohibiting doctors from giving trans youth life-saving care. 

Despite winning the White House and both houses of Congress, we cannot grow complacent. Now is the time for others from the LGBTQ community and allies to stand up and protect our trans brothers and sisters.

At least 28 states have proposed anti-trans legislation that could severely harm the community.

Less than three months into the new year, Republican lawmakers have already introduced a record number of anti-trans bills across the country.

According to a report published Monday by Axios, at least 73 pieces of legislation have already been put forward in state legislatures targeting members of the transgender community. Of those proposals, 65 specifically single out trans youth, such as bills prohibiting the kinds of medical care doctors can offer trans minors and others seeking to limit the participation of trans student athletes in school sports. 

Notable examples include legislative efforts by South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed bills in the past week blocking trans girls from competing in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. After being approved by their respective Houses and Senates, their governors have vowed to sign them.

These would be the first bills of their kind to become law in the U.S. after numerous attempts to pass anti-trans sports bills in previous years. In 2019, a bill targeting trans student athletes failed in the South Dakota House by just one vote.

LGBTQ+ advocates are warning that the influx of this type of legislation will harm trans and nonbinary youth.

Trans advocates and experts argue that bills like this do not protect young trans people, and recent studies support this. In February, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report which argued that banning the trans community from certain sports programs would deprive an entire group of people of the benefits of athletics, including lower risks of depression, anxiety, and drug use. Despite so many states introducing legislation targeting trans youth in sports, the report also found that the argument of an “unfair advantage” does not actually hold up to data-driven scrutiny.

“This has been a significant part of my work at the ACLU for the past six years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, told CNN. “There have never been this many bills targeting trans youth voted out of committee and then making it to the floor.”

There is widespread opposition to anti-trans bills, and not just from LGBTQ+ civil rights groups. More than 55 major corporations have endorsed a statement against these bills and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in general; they include Facebook, Pfizer, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Dell, American Airlines, and many more. Nearly 550 college athletes have signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association demanding that championship games be pulled from states that have anti-trans sports laws or are close to enacting them. More than 1,000 child welfare groups have taken a stand against legislation that would keep trans youth out of school sports or deny them health care.

States that enact anti-LGBTQ+ legislation often experience boycotts, as was the case with North Carolina and its anti-trans “bathroom bill” in 2016 and Indiana with its discriminatory religious freedom law in 2015. The former has now been repealed, the latter amended.

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