The Trump administration is working on a plan to severely narrow the legal definition of gender, according to a report in The New York Times on Sunday.
The proposed policy, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, would define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” meaning it would define gender as either male or female as determined by genitalia at birth. Any dispute about an individual’s gender would require genetic testing. This would have major repercussions for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities ― particularly in regard to health care.
You’ve likely seen people coming out in droves to encourage others to vote; it’s one of the most important things you can do as an American. Casting ballots at the federal, state and local levels affects transgender rights. Check Vote.org for ways to promote turnout in your area. Call your friends and family members nearby to go to the polls with you, and remind those in other states to vote too.
Being an ally isn’t just patting your trans or nonbinary friends on the back or retweeting them occasionally. It’s about respect and fighting for their rights. The first step to being a good ally is educating yourself on the basics — knowing someone’s preferred pronouns, avoiding stereotypes and learning what policies in government directly affect the trans and gender nonconforming communities. You can find a primer on those issues and more here.
Promote helpful resources and trans-led organizations
While many “prominent national organizations are not led by trans or nonbinary people,” many are and need help on both the national and local levels. Some of those organizations, according to Out magazine are: Audre Lorde Project, Casa Ruby, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Fierce, Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas, Southerners on New Ground, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Trans Latin@ Coalition, Trans Law Center and Trans Lifeline. More comprehensive lists can be found at the Trans Justice Funding Project and Borealis Philanthropy’s Fund for Trans Generations.
Sharing numbers like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) and Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 can be immensely helpful for those in crisis.
Share the work of trans activists and journalists
Groups like Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the Transgender Law Center are legal organizations that ofter extensive information about trans rights and policies that affect them. Keep an eye on their social media pages to see if they’re holding events you can take part in or to share their messaging.
Additionally, sharing the work of trans and gender nonconforming journalists helps spread the messaging being put out by the community for the community. Too often, work about the trans community is written by people who are not members of that community ― which can be completely OK, as long as it’s done correctly. This piece in Them does an excellent job of explaining the problem with media organizations not hiring trans reporters to cover trans issues.
I am now even more strongly in favor of removing sex and gender markers from identification and legal documents.
I see no reason for the government to collect and keep information about gender identity or assigned sex on an individual basis. The only time that question should be asked is during a census, and answering it should be voluntary.
Remove sex and gender markers from drivers licences, passports, voter registration cards, and birth certificates.
At best, legal gender/sex markers can be inaccurate. At worst? They can be weaponized by the state and used to enable oppression against already vulnerable communities.
Protect trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and gender diverse lives.
Amazing TED talk on the way the strict gender binary harms us, by XY intersex woman Emily Quinn
Here’s an extract of her talk:
“I have a vagina. Just thought you should know. Just thought you should know. I look like a woman. I’m dressed like one, I guess. The thing is, I also have balls….I’m not male or female. I’m intersex.
“Most people assume that you’re biologically either a man or a woman, but it’s actually a lot more complex than that. There are so many ways somebody could be intersex.
In my case, it means I was born with XY chromosomes, which you probably know as male chromosomes. And I was born with a vagina and balls inside my body. I don’t respond to testosterone, so during puberty, I grew breasts… I don’t actually have a uterus – I was born without one, so I don’t menstruate, I can’t have biological children…
“We put people in boxes based on their genitalia. Before a baby’s even born, we ask whether it’s a boy or a girl, as if it actually matters; as if you’re going to be less excited about having a baby if it doesn’t have the genitals you wanted; as if what’s between somebody’s legs tells you anything about that person.
Are they kind, generous, funny? Smart? Who do they want to be when they grow up? Genitals don’t actually tell you anything. Yet, we define ourselves by them. In this society, we love putting people into boxes and labeling each other…
“But there’s one really big problem: biological sex is not black or white. It’s on a spectrum. Besides your genitalia, you also have your chromosomes, your gonads, like ovaries or testicles. You have your internal sex organs, your hormone production, your hormone response and your secondary sex characteristics, like breast development, body hair, etc.
Those seven areas of biological sex all have so much variation, yet we only get two options: male or female. Which is kind of absurd to me, because I can’t think of a single other human trait that there’s only two options for: skin color, hair, height, eyes…”
Listen to the whole talk here. Believe me, it is worth your time!
A lot of the “Boys are easy to raise” mentality comes down to parents being convinced it’s perfectly acceptable to emotionally neglect boys due to the horrible concept that boys have less or even no emotional needs.
I don’t understand trans people without dysphoria. I just don’t get it. And i probably never will.
Having said that;
Shout-out to the trans boys out there without dysphoria. I’m glad you don’t have to go through that.
Shout-out to the trans girls out there that don’t have dysphoria. You look amazing and I’m glad you don’t have dysphoria.
Shout-out to all those enbys out there who don’t have dysphoria. Im proud of you for being yourself.
You don’t have to understand someone’s gender or sexuality in order to be supportive. And you definitely don’t have to be hateful.
Edit: I’m adding this edit because of how many times I’ve said this, and I’m done repeating myself. I have made a mistake. I was grossly uneducated and naive when I made this post. I didn’t know what I was talking about. You do need dysphoria to be trans. Having said that, I stand by my statement that there is no reason to be hateful. If someone is just confused about what transgeder or gender dysphoria is, then you don’t need to bully them. It’s fine to argue and disagree with someone, but it’s not okay to resort to bullying and harrasment.