Trans Fight For Rights

by Jack Conner

    In past years, gender has had a strict, binary definition: male or female. Now, thanks to progressive thinking and an increase in confidence from the LGBTQ community, gender has adopted a more fluid meaning, one that allows people to choose their own gender based on how they truly feel. This change was supported by the Obama administration, which put policies into place that protect transgender people from harassment and discrimination.


However,ever since Trump was elected, he has worked to undo much of his predecessor's accomplishments. One way he has gone around doing this has been by announcing a “new definition of gender.” This new definition would change gender back to what it was once thought of: an unchangeable, binary system determined by reproductive organs at birth.  What this means is that there would only be two genders, male and female. Additionally, your genitals at birth would determine your gender (someone who has female reproductive organs would be female, and male reproductive organs would be male). This would seriously harm the LGBTQ community, especially transgenders, in numerous ways. The issue of transgenders and bathrooms has recently come into the spotlight, and the new definition would help those who wish to discriminate against transgenders to do so.  Since the new definition would have each person’s legal gender be what was on their birth certificate, a school administrator could force a trans boy who was born as a girl to use the women's restroom, even if they have gone through surgery to change their genital organs.


On a related topic, the new definition would allow for surgeons to refuse to perform surgery on a person’s genital area in order to switch their gender-affiliated organs.  A recent poll has shown that 70% of transgenders have been harassed by healthcare providers, and the number would only grow under the new definition. The memo that introduced this idea was met with bipartisan backlash, as demonstrated by Ms. Lhamon of the Obama Administration, who states that the definition “negates the humanity of people.”  Even Republicans, who tend to be completely on board with Trump’s policies, are upset by this new concept. Jordan Evans, a 27-year old Republican-affiliated transgender woman, calls the idea “shortsighted of the administration,” meaning it would be like taking a step back from the progress being made in respect to transgenders. The memo sparked a new movement, much like the #MeToo movement, meant to amplify the voices of LGBTQ community supporters. The movement, called #WontBeErased, is supported by countless people and organizations, such as the National Center for Transgender Equality and Bernie Sanders. Some of these people have said that the Trump administration is trying to “define us (transgenders) out of existence.”  


While it is still a possibility for the new definition to be passed, the #WontBeErased movement, and the one million transgenders currently in the United States, should help put a stop to the injustice presented by the Trump administration. For numerous past years, our country has been progressing in respect to LGBTQ rights, and, with their supporters growing and their voice increasing, transgenders should be able to push for their rights and secure a fair future for others like themselves.