Trump Moves to Remove the Term “Transgender”


Toni Reed

Pride rally

Caleb Rathbone

Trump Moves to Remove the Term “Transgender”

President Donald Trump and his administration have announced that they are attempting to roll back protections and rights of people who are transgender, someone who changes the gender they identify to, as well as officially having gender be defined by the federal government as being determined by one’s chromosomes and genitals at birth. This removes almost all of the special rights and privileges given to people identifying as being LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), such as bathroom privileges and competitions in unisex events, as well as revoking recognition of those people with gender changes in prisons, schools and shelters for the homeless. The Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading the effort to define the legal definition of gender. This definition will be stated in a law called Title IX. Which will define gender as an unchangeable thing defined by a person’s genitalia.

The argument over what defines gender and the fluidity of it has been hotly argued for decades. Currently, Title IX states that gender is “male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” It also states that the sex stated on someone’s birth certificate is their unchangeable gender, conflicting with the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify with a gender different than the one they were born with. The Department of Health and Human Services argues that the administration under former President Barack Obama was too loose with the meaning of “sex” and “gender” and extended certain privileges and rights to people that did not need or deserve them.

There is also an uproarious protest to the new Title IX. Many transgender people believe that the new law will be a violation of their rights and that repressing their gender identity is against the Constitution and what America stands for: freedom and civil liberty. Civil rights and LGBTQ groups have been protesting and fighting the government to slow the legalization and possibly eliminate Title IX. Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Humana Rights Campaign, says that “transgender people are frightened,” due to the threat on their current rights and privilege from the Trump administration.

The fight for LGBTQ rights has been a long one filled with many speed bumps and lots of adversity and strife. For centuries, people who have identified as being gay or transgender have been looked down upon, sometimes being harshly discriminated against or even killed. The acceptance of those who are LGBTQ in culture has only started fairly recently, particularly around the seventies and eighties when radical change in culture was occurring. The struggle for the legalization and recognition of those people began and after harsh discrimination and mistreatment, and on June 23, 2003, gay and lesbian relationships were finally legalized. The legality of gay marriage was also finalized in all fifty states on June 26, 2015 after the Supreme Court case ruled that gay marriage is legal under one’s personal liberties in the groundbreakingObergefell vs. Hodges case. While the marriage of same-sex couples has been legalized, there are still no federal laws to protect them from discrimination in employment, housing and from public or private areas.

With the Trump administration taking such a direct stand on the complex issue, he is sure to gain some supporters, but the harsh opposition that is likely to come will surely outweigh the support. It is estimated that 4.5% of American adults identify as LGBTQ as of 2017, which accounts for almost 15 million American citizens. This bold move will clearly grant him even more distaste by civil rights and LGBTQ groups around the nation. Even so, President Trump has made a name for himself by brewing controversy, shown by his stance on immigration and gun laws. However, even with all the criticism and accusations leveled against him, he never seems to back down. Only time will tell how this situation will play out for Trump and his administration in the coming months.

The LGBTQ community is now facing a serious, direct threat to their civil rights for the first time since the beginning of the Obama administration. With the power of an entire presidential administration and several government organizations, the fight to maintain LGBTQ rights will be rigorous, but not impossible.