LGBT activists in New Jersey are speaking out against Donald Trump's plan to redefine gender as matching one's birth genitalia, according to NorthJersey.com. Randy Slovacek has written more about this issue here.
By Trump attempting to redefine gender as strictly binary and the same as someone's birth sex, him and his administration are displaying a tenuous understanding of the concept of gender and would completely erase the identities of transgender and nonbinary people on a federal level. Since the United States is a constitutional republic and not an authoritarian state, I, and many other people, have a problem with the federal government trying to police identities.
Luckily, certain states such as New Jersey, have full legal protection under the law for LGBTQ people so NJ and others with such protections will not be affected as much as states without the protections. Still though, Trump's potential redefinition may set a dangerous precedent that could create a more hostile environment for trans people. In the past I worked in pediatrics and I knew of a few intersex patients, and by using Trump's definition, intersex people would not exist in a linguistic sense.
People such as Melinda Mangin, an associate professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Education, says that Trump's definition of gender being determined by birth genitalia is not supported by advances within the medical community. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, addressed the medical aspect of this redefinition, saying that often times, health issues are specific to the identities ghat people hold and that healthcare providers have to be mindful of the gender identities of their clients in order to ensure a healthy environment.
Not only will identities be erased, but people may also be in danger of losing access to education, healthcare, and employment. However, recently in New Jersey, governor Phil Murphy signed into law that transgender individuals will be able to change their gender on their birth certificate, that teachers do not have to disclose their students' gender identity to parents, and that health insurers can't discriminate against transgender NJ residents.
It's promising to know that transgender and nonbinary people will not be too horribly affected, but seeing as these states are technically united (whether federally or geographically) so it is important that people fight against this harmful potential policy to ensure that we remain united in this polarizing time in America's history.