The Trump Administration’s proposal to enact through regulation an incorrect definition of gender as sex assigned at birth, as reported by the New York Times, is their latest blatant attempt to target our family members, friends, and neighbors who identify as transgender or outside of the gender binary. This misguided effort contradicts the medical community’s understanding of gender and is an immoral effort to strip two million Americans of their dignity. This move is not just a change in language, but frames the existence of trans and gender non-conforming people as a debate, which is both insulting and incorrect. Every person should have the right to live authentically and freely with equal opportunity and fair treatment under the law. We strongly condemn this proposal.
While we are deeply troubled by this proposed action, we must acknowledge that it would not change much for those in the trans community who are most marginalized. We are especially concerned how actions like these embolden violence against those in the trans community who the law rarely, if ever, protects: people of color, those who are incarcerated, those who have criminal records, and those who are sex-workers. Regardless of this administration’s actions, there is much work to be done.
To the Trans community, we see you, are here to support you, and will defend your rights with fervor. This attack is not to be taken lightly, as it lies within a greater, intentional, and calculated strategy to invalidate the humanity of trans people. We will stand with you and fight with you.
Maryland’s non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people are still in force – and we will continue fighting for more. Having identification that is accurate and safe is always important. Driver’s licenses and birth certificates are under state jurisdiction and policies surrounding them will not be changed anytime soon. Although we cannot predict major changes to Federal identity documents such as social security cards and passports, we are encouraging people to get these documents updated as soon as possible.
If you would like assistance in obtaining accurate identity documents, please reach out to FreeState Justice.
It is also important to remember that we can and should take action. We are urging people to contact our elected officials! Let our Federal and State representatives know that you oppose the proposal and demand that they push forward in voting for the Equality Act which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination nationwide.
The midterm election is right around the corner. We are also urging all eligible voters to get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th or vote early starting this Thursday. You can find information about early voting here and Election Day here. FreeState will be hosting an early voting fieldtrip to an early voting polling site in Baltimore, Maryland this Friday, October 26th. There is no better time than now to make sure your voice is heard.
We must continue fighting, and in the face of adversity, choose love over fear. The National Center for Transgender Equality puts it beautifully, “millions of transgender people wake up every day and step into an uncertain world. This is the most common trait shared by transgender people: A strength and resilience for hard and difficult times. If this administration is hoping to demoralize us, they will be disappointed. If they are hoping we will give up, they should reconsider the power of our persistence and our fury.”