#WontBeErased: Transgender Rights Under Attack

The transgender community is, once again, under attack by the Trump administration – this time, by proposing to limit the definition of a person’s gender by what their genitalia is at birth.  We must join together to support and defend the rights of our trans brothers and sisters.  Below is a recap of the latest news, as well as concrete steps you can take to offer your support.

‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration

New York Times

By Erica L. Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

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At Rallies and Online, Transgender People Say They #WontBeErased

New York Times

By Sarah Mervosh and Christine Hauser

L.G.B.T. activists mobilized a fast and fierce campaign that included a protest outside the White House on Monday to say transgender people cannot be expunged from society, in response to an unreleased Trump administration memo that proposes a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth.

The existence of the draft memo, the administration’s latest effort to roll back the recognition and protection of transgender people under federal civil rights law, was reported by The New York Times on Sunday morning.

Within hours, the hashtag #WontBeErased circulated on social media. By Sunday evening, a rally for transgender rights took place in New York; another took place on Monday in Washington.

With the White House as their backdrop, speakers repeated the phrase “We will not be erased,” which has become a rallying cry against the proposal. The 45-minute rally, attended by what appeared to be at least several hundred people, repeatedly referred to the coming midterm elections and encouraged people to vote.

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 Hell No to the Memo: 7 Action Items to Protect Trans and GNC People

By Out.com Editors

In a new memo from the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to legally define sex as biological under Title IX, which prevents gender-based discrimination. It states that the government needs to define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” It would define gender as male or female, based on genitalia recorded at birth, and any individual’s dispute about their gender would require genetic testing.

Social media has been consumed in outrage over the memo, as LGBTQ people and allies are calling out this administration’s latest act of transphobia. Voices4 and Lambda Legal are organizing a “Hell No to the Memo” rally in support of trans and GNC rights, which will take place in New York on Sunday night. But there’s more to this battle than just showing up.

Chase Strangio of the ACLU has compiled a list of action items that anyone in support of trans and GNC people should acknowledge. From voting to raising awareness among cis friends and supporting trans journalists, this is an essential checklist for trans rights.

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