Protests broke out in New York and on Twitter late Sunday after The New York Times revealed a leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that would make a person’s legal gender unchangeable from what is says their birth certificate.
LGBT+ rights groups are forming part a huge backlash to the news that Trump’s administration want to erase transgender people from official existence. The memo would destroy protections for trans people under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, sparked outrage and plans for further protests.
In a powerful series of tweets, trans actress and activist Laverne Cox said,
“In indigenous cultures all over the world gender existed beyond the binary and folks who we would call trans today held sacred places in those cultures. Western colonialism drove those trans folks to the margins but we have always been here.
Marginalising trans folks is another example of the brutality of colonialism. This latest administration effort to legislate trans folks out of existence is yet another example of why the fight for gender equity must be intersectional and necessarily must include trans folks.
Trans folks need everyone to stand with us in this fight, to let our government know this is not who we are.”
Chelsea Manning, wrote that
“laws don’t determine our existence – *we* determine our existence – it’s our weapon, our shelter, our energy, our healer, our truth – we will keep moving forward – we will keep fighting – existence is *our* only law.”
Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator and potential Democratic presidential candidate, wrote:
“The Trump administration once again displays their boundless cruelty by proposing yet another terrible, discriminatory policy.
I want all transgender Americans to know that we will not let anyone erase you. We see you, and we will fight this.”
Actress and producer Trace Lysette, who also stars on Transparent, wrote:
“Scary… I really don’t know what else to say except that we need your allyship now more than ever.”
Cameron Esposito, a lesbian stand-up comic, said:
“Reminder: no trans person’s gender expression has ever hurt anyone in a bathroom or anywhere.
Anti-trans measures cause violence, entrench patriarchy & pain. I am w/ my trans family members. ALWAYS.”
Jonathan Van Ness, one of the Queer Eye‘s fab five, tweeted:
“#TransRightsAreHumanRights & they won’t be erased.”
Several pro-LGBT+ organisations including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Centre for Transgender Equality are planning to lead a protest march to the White House on Monday (October 22).’
Alexandra Billings, another Transparent actress and vocal trans advocate, wrote on Facebook:
“I will not be erased. I will not be eradicated. And I am not a political pawn.
I lived through the plague in the 80’s and buried my friends in a cloak of death and silence. I was diagnosed with AIDS a few years later and have Hep B and C and nearly died while I was in the hospital with a temperature of 104.”
I have navigated my way through sex work, heroin, homelessness and male violence and privilege.
And I’ll be damned if one small-minded man who’s pretending to be president, is going to attempt to annihilate everything I have been through, stood for and survived simply because he cannot face the facts of his insufferable and tragic presidency.”
We are loud and we are present, and no matter what happens with Mr Trump’s pathetic attempt to silence us, our history has proven, we are made of stronger stuff.
I am here because of my historic Trans sisters and brothers, and all those who fit under that beautiful umbrella. And no law can ever change that.
Here I stand. And here I will remain.”
“Transgender folks: You are valid. You matter. You are loved.
We will not stop fighting for your rights and you #WontBeErased by this heartless administration. #TransRightsAreHumanRights.”
James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, said that the administration’s plan was
“an attack on the very lives and existence of transgender people. It is painful, it is hateful, and it will not go unchallenged.
Transgender people have the right to not only exist, but to fully participate in public life. Transgender people are real and transgender lives have meaning.
More and more courts are seeing that policies targeting transgender people have no place in our country. The ACLU will fight back against any efforts to use transgender people as political pawns and continue to seek full equality for transgender and non-binary people.”
The National Centre for Lesbian Rights’ legal director Shannon Minter said:
“This proposed policy is a heavy-handed attempt to strip federal legal protections from transgender people.
We have fought similar battles and won. We can and will defeat this together.”
This headline is inaccurate; the Trump administration is trying to create the illusion that trans people don’t exist. Transgender people have always and will continue to exist as long as people exist. https://t.co/wX6NwvFupB
— Meredith Talusan❄️ (@1demerith) October 21, 2018
(Photos, Twitter; via Pink News)