Trump Is Trying To Eradicate The Definition Of “Transgender”

Written by

Sara Langer

3:00 pm
10/22/18

Photographed by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

In what sounds like an absolute nightmare to so many of us, The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is proposing a new legal definition of sex and gender under Title IX as “a biological, unchangeable condition determined by a person’s genitals at the time of birth.” Yes, that’s right, according to Trump and his cohorts, gender is binary—you’re a boy if you have a penis, a girl if you have a vagina, end of story. Of course, this is something most evolved people and parents know is not always the case.

The federal civil rights law that he is looking to change, Title IX, was originally written into place in 1972 in order to protect people from discrimination or exclusion from programs that receive federal funding based on their sex or gender.

Previously, the Obama administration had worked to unpack the legal concept and definition of gender in order to provide more rights and protections for those that did not identify with one of the two binary categories. According to The Times, if the proposed changes are passed, “The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves—surgically or otherwise—as a gender other than the one they were born into.”

The proposed changes, drafted by the Department of Health and Human Services, would require key government agencies to “adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” For the last year, the department has “privately argued that the term ‘sex’ was never meant to include gender identity or even homosexuality.”

“Transgender people are frightened,” Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBTQ, tells The New York Times. “At every step where the administration has had the choice, they’ve opted to turn their back on transgender people.”

Soon after the article was on the New York Times website, thousands of social media posts have appeared with the hashtag #WontBeErased.

For more on the gender revolution, check out our Q&A with Lisa Ling on this very topic.

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