National orgs promise action against proposed federal transgender policy

WASHINGTON — Advocacy groups promised Monday to fight a proposed policy that would erase transgender people from federal policy protections.

James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, issued this statement on the ACLU website:

“This is 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.

“If the Trump administration moves forward with these hateful and hurtful policies, they will once again be met with opposition in courts and in communities. 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 nonbinary people.”

Diana Flynn, Lambda Legal Litigation Director, issued this statement in a press release sent out on Monday:

“If the New York Times story is accurate, the sheer breadth of what HHS is proposing is jaw-dropping. HHS would be calling on the federal agencies that enforce parts of Title IX – including the Departments of Labor, Justice and Education in addition to HHS – to accept its completely arbitrary definition of what constitutes a person’s “sex” for purposes of applying federal antidiscrimination law in aspects of life ranging from education to employment to health care.  This is clearly another ideologically-driven attempt by the Trump administration to marginalize transgender people and force them into the shadows. They have neither law nor fact on their side, and we will not accept this shameless attempt on the part of our government to erase the very existence of transgender members of our community.

“Let us be clear:  For years, courts across the country have recognized that discriminating against someone because they are transgender is a form of sex discrimination, full stop. If this administration wants to try and turn back the clock by moving ahead with its own legally frivolous and scientifically unsupportable definition of sex, we will be there to meet that challenge.”

Bianey Garcia, TGNCIQ (Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex, and Queer) organizer at Make the Road New York:

“Transgender people like me will not stand by while Trump tries to erase us. As the current administration continues the attacks on our communities — this time against trans and gender non-conforming communities — we will stand together and show that our fights are connected. In Queens, our Trans Immigrant Project will continue to elevate and uplift Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex, Queer and Non-Binary lives, and take to the streets, the courthouse, and the halls of government, to resist these attacks. Our trans community refuses to be erased — not by Trump, not by his bigoted cronies, not by anyone. Our existence is resistance and we will continue to proudly affirm our humanity and our strength.”

Kiara St. James, founder and CEO of New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG)

“Resilience has been written into our collective DNA.We will not be erased. We won’t go back to times of fear and punishment Next year, on April 1st join us for a national march in DC to let this administration know that they won’t force us back to the shadows. We will fight and secure our rights. We are here to stay whether they like it or not.  We will resist and we will win!”

Samy Nemir Olivares, co-founder of Queeramisú (Queer Leaders of Color for Equality) and Latinx and LGBTQ activist

“Transgender, non binary and intersex people, particularly of color, are at greater risk of discrimination and access to health care, housing and education. This latest attack is part of an orchestrated plan from the Trump administration to erase transgender and LGBTQ community from the law and roll back our civil rights by imposing its heteronormative, patriarchal agenda divorced from reality and science. Trans and GNC people of color would be greatly impacted by this uncerasure and the mere discussion in the public agenda create confusion and a threatening environment for one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. Language is powerful. It creates reality and also produces violence. But #WeWontBeErased because even they strip out the words of our community from documents, we will rise more powerfully and persist. They might get rid of the word, but they can’t get rid of our own existence.”

Cristina Herrera, CEO and founder TransLatin@ Network:

“Trans Latinx community is extremely worried now more than ever because governmental institutions are actively working to set back or eliminate our rights- or simply erase us from existence. It’s a very stressful and alarming moment. We are responding to address this by gathering our community to prepare and educate them about this, especially those TransLatinx people that are undocumented that are at greater risk of discrimination and violence”

Alejandra Caraballo, transgender attorney at New York Legal Assistance Group and LGBTQ and Latinx activist

“We will not be erased, we will not be defined out of existence, and we will not be intimidated to go back into hiding. We as a community will use every available legal and political strategy to fight this administrations bigoted policies. They will not win this fight.”

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