Discrimination should have no place in a country where freedom and equality are said to be the core values. These values that we pride ourselves on are often swept under the rug, and are only brought out again for the convenience of the white man.
These values have been pushed aside once again with the emergence of the Trump administration’s new plan to limit the definition of gender as only male or female. Basically, an attempt to erase the recognition of transgender individuals, or individual who identify on a spectrum of gender.
“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,” reported The New York Times.
The New York Times went on to say that this new definition of gender will be acutely felt in schools, specifically locker rooms and bathrooms.
This brings us back to the Trump administration’s first strike against the rights of transgender individuals: bathroom bills. Bathroom bills essentially define access to restrooms for transgender individuals. “Bathroom bills affect access to sex-segregated public facilities for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined in a specific way…Such as their sex as assigned at birth, their sex listed on their birth certificate, or the sex that corresponds to their gender identity,” as stated by Wikipedia.
A bathroom bill is a powerful tool that can either be inclusive, or exclusive of transgender individuals depending on how they choose to identify. The problem with that, as stated by CNN, is that a transgender individual’s gender identity is different from cultural expectations of their gender.
A Bathroom bill is basically telling transgender individuals what bathroom they have to use according to their sex assigned at birth, and in spite of how they choose to identify, gender-wise. That doesn’t sound very free, does it?
Supporters of this bill justify it’s existence because they believe it’ll protect against predators in bathrooms, that transgender people don’t deserve such protections, and the belief that letting children identify as transgender is harmful, according to CNN.
You and I both know that this translates to: “we don’t care enough to thoroughly research and listen to transgender individuals, so we’re just going to enact these bills simply based on our assumptions of how we think they should identify.”
A new study conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that “there is no evidence that letting transgender people use public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks,” according to NBC News.
NBC News also reported that Amira Hasenbush, lead author of the study, stated that opponents often claim that the laws leave women and children vulnerable to safety risks. The study claims that it “provides evidence that these incidents are rare, and unrelated to the laws.”
So what does this tell us exactly? It’s your common case of scaremongering when political tensions are high.
“The more people are taught to fear us and our bodies, the more violence we can expect against our community,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and a transgender rights activist said, according to The Intercept.
To further refute those supporters’ absurd claims, CNN revealed research has shown that not allowing transgender children to live their gender identity is harmful, and can be deadly.
With their discriminatory practices, the Trump administration is creating safety risks for transgender individuals. This isn’t a terribly new tactic from this administration. After all, they have a history, and a knack for making already marginalized groups of people feel like the “other.”
The Trump administration is blatantly stripping the rights of transgender individuals away, and we can’t let it happen. It is discrimination, point blank. We must continue to uphold the values of equality and freedom, even if the president himself is sweeping them under the rug.
As reported by the New York Times, this proposed definition of gender as either male or female, whilst ignoring the spectrum that actually makes up gender, “quite simply negates the humanity of people.”