#WontBeErased was used as a battle cry for many transgender Americans who protested over the past week in Washington D.C. and New York.
The hashtag circulated throughout social media after Congress’s latest plans for the group, who has always been a pariah to the American society, had been released. The Trump administration had been considering defining gender as a biological factor determined by genitalia at birth.
In addition, they have suggested that anyone whose gender is in question must get genetic testing done to confirm the sex that they were born with. This strict definition diminishes the Obama administration’s efforts to include equal civil rights for everyone.
In May 2016, a guidance was issued to clarify that transgender students were already protected under Title IX, which is a federal law banning sex discrimination in education programs. This, along with other guidance, helped recognize gender identities in prisons and homeless shelters.
Less than a year later, President Donald Trump plans to remove that guidance. The Supreme Court may be a challenge for Congress if they agree to hear a case regarding a transgender employee.
Aimee Stephens is a transgender woman who alleged that she was fired from her job at a funeral home after she disclosed to her employer that she would begin living openly as a woman.
“I think it would hypocritical in the extreme for justices, who claim to be textualists, to rule against Aimee Stephens,” said Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Although the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals believes that it does constitute as discrimination, the idea of having the justices weigh in is being sought after.
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 15 percent of respondents have reported that they are living in severe poverty. Trump’s push to eliminate the law that protects transgenders from being discriminated in the workplace makes it even harder for them to break out of the severe poverty that the group is currently in.
Although the visibility in transgender has increased among our daily lives and popular culture, this group still faces discrimination and systematic inequality. Often, transgender people face issues such as lack of legal protection, poverty, healthcare barriers and violence.
With Congress threatening to roll back the laws, people are questioning how it would be possible. Giving civil rights to a group only to revoke it is very unethical.
To a lot of people, America is supposed to be the land of the free, yet many still get denied the basic civil rights that should be granted to them. To make matters worse, a person whose gender cannot be determined will be subjected to a humiliating genetic testing, which will probably at their own expense.
I feel that if Congress approved the new definition of “gender,” it gives Donald Trump more power than he already has. No matter how many people may disagree, it is unjust for America to deny the rights that they know many are entitled to have.