On Sunday, The New York Times reported on a memo drafted by the Trump administration that could lead to regulatory attempts to define gender as “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” NYT outlined how the memo, drafted by HHS, will pave the way for a violent attack on the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming communities in accessing comprehensive healthcare or receiving an equal education. In response, Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi issued the following statement:
“Because of brave people like Ash Whitaker and Gavin Grimm and so many others, transgender and gender nonconforming communities have achieved wins in the courts. Through key victories like Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District and Macy v. Holder, courts and government agencies have made clear that transgender and gender nonconforming people are protected from discrimination under federal civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution.
The draft memo the NYT reported on this weekend, a document written by officials at HHS, is transparently a hate-motivated response to these victories. It attempts to rewrite years of progress achieved by advocates under the Obama administration. Here, written out plain, is their attempt to erase our very existence as transgender people. This memo reveals that this administration intends nothing short of our destruction.
To be clear: nothing this administration can do will undermine the scores of federal courts that have recognized our humanity and hundreds of state and local legal protections we’ve already won.
We know now that the administration intends to ignore the preponderance of law, science and evidence on gender identity to empower hate and rollback access to healthcare and to make schools less safe for transgender and gender nonconforming youth. Transgender Law Center will fight this as we’ve fought all of the attacks by this administration, and the many attacks that came before the current administration. In community, we will organize and protect each other through our joint campaign with National Center for Transgender Equality, #ProtectTransHealth, as well as by working with local leaders in states that have faced or are facing anti-trans ballot measures and successfully defeated these attempts. Whether the fight takes us to the courts, to the ballot box, or to the streets, we will continue to fight for a country in which all of us enjoy dignity and respect.
This summer, we marched in honor of Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender woman and asylum seeker from Honduras who died in ICE detention. In the past few weeks, we have mourned the deaths of Black trans women. We are a community under attack, but we are not silent and we won’t be erased.”