The Trump administration takes strides to erase transgender people

Allie Boulier

By Allie Boulier

While the wave of ridiculous tweets from our President continues, as love blooms between Trump and dictators across the world, and our eyes remain trained on the upcoming midterm elections, the Trump administration has continued to go low and attacked the civil rights of 1.4 million Americans who identify as a gender that opposes the identity determined at their birth.

As new outlets focus on the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the caravan of migrants slowly but surely making their way from South America to the U.S., the Trump administration has undeniably hoped that its proposed alteration to Title IX would go on unnoticed and – and so far they were correct to think so.

Title IX was initially passed as a federal law as a part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Currently, the U.S. Department of Education defines Title IX as, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Essentially, the Trump administration is proposing an alteration of the word sex under Title IX, which would mean transgender individuals would no longer be acknowledged by the federal government at all, and any protections of transgender people under civil rights laws will now disappear into thin air. Interestingly, during the presidential campaign, Trump guaranteed that he would be a champion of LGBT rights.

The Obama Administration previously provided a looser definition of sex, in order to provide civil rights protections to the LGBT community. According to The New York Times, the new definition of sex would be defined as unchangeably male or female, and would be determined by the genitals a person is born with. As if this was not enough, the Trump administration went on to say that any dispute over a person’s sex will need to be proven with genetic testing.

Imagine the federal government refused to acknowledge your existence. Imagine the federal government has announced that it will no longer recognize what you identify as yourself. Because the transgender population makes up such a small fraction of our country, it is easy for citizens to turn a blind eye. If Trump said that the government was no longer acknowledging the existence of gay people, the country would be up in arms. Riots would flood the streets, schools would be filled with chaos, and politicians would stand divided, all insisting their personal opinion is correct.

Because gender identity has become a joke to many, the phrase has now become a bad word. Being gay is still seen as taboo in some parts of the country, but being transgender, although not a new concept, is still viewed by a large portion of the country like it is. First, as a country, we debated on whether or not transgender people should be able to change their names and gender identity on government documents. Next, the government debated on whether or not transgender people have the right to use the bathroom assigned to the gender they feel comfortable with, as if that has any effect on others. Republicans argued that sexual predators would use a law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity as a way to assault others. Now in 2018, this argument is almost funny, as we watched our own President mock Dr. Christine Blasely Ford for accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, making it clear the issue Republicans had with the bathroom bill was not due to risk of sexual assault.

After already humiliating and debating the rights of transgender people as they are objects or political ideologies rather than human beings, now we call into question their existence at all. My question is what harm does it do to you, for someone to identify as a different gender? How does that affect you in a negative way, that is worthy of legislation on a federal level? The fact is, to transgender people their identity means the world to them, but to these politicians it is nothing but a way to stir up their base and rally support.

Since the 2016 election, the LGBT community has felt the threat the Trump administration poses against them, as Vice President Mike Pence’s blatant hatred for gay people has been seen time and time again, such as opposing the ability for students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with and when he called preventing gay marriage not discrimination, but a reinforcement of “God’s idea.”

2016 has long since come and gone, and now the inevitable effects of the results of the election are being felt across the LGBT community, but apart from those in the community, the alterations to Title IX are largely being ignored. I ask you to remember that these people are people, above all else. They could be your family, friends, neighbors, the person you bump into on the street or the barista who serves your coffee. They deserve recognition and acknowledgement of who they are on a national level.

Ask yourself: What makes you worthy of being acknowledged by the federal government, but not them?