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Transgender memo is setting back society

The leaked transgender memo has caused outrage in their community- is it justified?

Photo Credit: Photo via Wikipedia under Creative Commons License

The leaked transgender memo has caused outrage in their community- is it justified?

By: Jada Davis, Senior Editor

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President Donald Trump’s administration is considering eliminating transgender rights by limiting the definition of gender to the “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”  In a memo obtained by the New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services is leading the movement to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX.

Previously, Obama’s administration spent years creating bills to help expand civil rights for transgender people. Under Obama’s administration,  the government allowed individuals to choose their gender despite their assigned biological sex, without restriction.  These bills protected transgender people’s under Title VII (employment rights), Title IX (education rights), and the Affordable Care Act.

This act could potentially put transgender people’s needs at risk by taking away things such as access to healthcare.  It is also worth mentioning that the Trump administration has already taken efforts to lessen transgender visibility. Recently, Trump revoked the Education Department’s recommendation to use different pronouns for individuals as well as letting students use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with. They have also tried to exclude transgender people from the military. And currently, health care providers can deny care on religious or moral grounds. According to The New York Times, “several agencies have withdrawn Obama-era policies that recognized gender identity in schoolsprisons and homeless shelters. The administration even tried to remove questions about gender identity from a 2020 census survey and a national survey of elderly citizens. All of these reversals seem to allude to Trump not being supportive of the transgender community.

This has sparked outrage within the LGBT community as a whole. The LGBT community is asking Congress to the pass the Equality Act which would amend federal legislation on Title VII, Title IX , the Affordable Care Act and the Civil Rights Act to explicitly provide protection against discrimination on the basis of sex by including sexual orientation and gender identity. Since the push for the passing of the Equality Act, the LGBT community taken to social media by using the hashtag #WontBeErased under pictures and in posts.

Transgender people feel that this is a huge setback for everything they have accomplished as a society. Caroline Sosa, a transgender female at Colonia High School, believes this definition will not sit well with the community. She explains, “This setback is going to be the fire that causes people to rise.” There are currently 1.4 million Americans who recognize themselves as a gender other than the one they were born into.

Personally, I think this limitation is ridiculous, and all the outrage surrounding is justified. Changing your gender is a personal decision that I feel the government shouldn’t interfere with. The fact that we have come so far to possibly be brought back to where we started is mind blowing.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking supporters of the Equality Act to sign the petition on their website. Please also use the hashtag #WontBeErased to draw attention to the cause.

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About the Writer
Jada Davis, Senior Opinion Editor

Jada Davis is a senior at Colonia High School with a creative mind and a love for literature. In her free time, she sings for her school's Concert Choir...

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Transgender memo is setting back society